Blockchain In Video Games?

By Marvel Kinantan, DIGITS Staff Writer

So what do you know about Blockchain? Umm.. Bitcoin? Well you’re not wrong since Bitcoin is related to Blockchain. Then what is Blockchain? To put it simply, Blockchain is growing list of records, called Blocks that are linked using cryptography. Each block Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. So let us say that you order Instant pot pressure cooker in Amazon, your order information such as date, time, dollar amount of your order are stored in something called “Block”, each block is distinguished from other blocks using unique code called “hash” which allow us to tell it apart from every other blocks, even if the contain of let’s say Block A is the same with Block B they have their own unique Hash. Blockchain addresses security issues from non-blockchain system since each computer in the blockchain network has its own copy of the blockchain, which means that there are thousands, or in the case of Bitcoin, millions of copies of the same blockchain. Although each copy of the Blockchain is identical, spreading that information across a network of computers makes the information more difficult to manipulate. With blockchain, there isn’t a single, definitive account of events that can be manipulated. Instead, a hacker would need to manipulate every copy of the blockchain on the network. Furthermore if let’s say a hacker want to hack your Instant pot pressure cooker transaction then he needs to alter every single block that is in Blockchain network which require enormous amount of computing power.

Meowing Virtual Kittens

As we know that Blockchain technology is applicable to many sectors, such as financial, healthcare, governmental, etc but have you heard something called “Blockchain Gaming”.  Yep basically you can play games in a Blockchain network. Released in 2017 CryptoKitties is considered as the first block chain application used for leisure purpose. In CryptoKitties players purchase, breed, and sell various type of virtual cats. For every cat you sold you can get Ethereum which can later be converted to cash. Furthermore every cat you own cannot be repilcated, taken away, or destroyed by any means since it is encrypted in the Blockchain network. The thing is that this game is “freemium” which means to play this game properly you have to use your own money let’s say for buying a cat or breeding a cat (sorry free-to-play players). since as those people say: “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”.  CryptoKitties is not the only Blockchain-based game that you can play, there are more than 650 etherium Dapps are listed currently under games and gambling category on DappRadar. You can check them here.

Nothing is Perfect

Blockchain games nowadays still face issues in their development since it is not quite easy to insert games to the Blockchain network. One of the issues is the Scalability problem of blockchain, which refers to the capability of processing transactions per second in the network. Bitcoin processes 4.6 transactions per second while Visa does around 1,700 transactions per second on average. Another issue to be considered is video games involve a host of operations at any given moment. For example, graphics must render while the gaming system also processes every action the player makes. A conventional role-playing or shooter game running on a blockchain network would require a small miracle because of the astronomical number of state changes that would need to be verified. Blockchain technology, then, is pretty much unusable in real-time video games like StarCraft or Age of Empires. Besides video game architecture, there is also the issue of cost. Any industry dabbling in blockchain would want to know the potential cost savings of pursuing the technology; gaming is no different. Jorgensen explained: “The cost structure to use decentralized and distributed networks needs to show significant cost savings for the industry to shift its attention and tech stack onto blockchain-like solutions.”

Benefits? Advantages? Plus Points?

Well as we know by playing with our cats in CryptoKitties we can earn money, but that is not the only thing offered by Blockchain-based games. One of them is in the term of security, no hacker would be able to steal your account or copy your in-game items. Smart contracts allow gamers to be confident they are receiving authentic items that haven’t been copied and also gamers have a full control over their virtual assets, it is pretty different with the legacy games where player’s virtual assets, such as purchased items, are stored in a centralised server which poses a risk being copied by someone, while in blockchain games, the virtual asset management is decentralised which means users have freedom to manage and interact in P2P manner. Eventually, gamers will be able to use and exchange their virtual assets across different games, providing players with a better, more personalised gaming experience.

Since the application of Blockchain technology is still evolving, there are still much more to improve in this blockchain-based games. Despite all the limitation these games still offer us something different than the conventional games we played all these years one of them is monetary incentive which make these games are at the very least worth to try.




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