Art Malkov is a Columbia University Blockchain Accelerator Advisor.
We have all heard about the metaverse, yet one trend that is going relatively unseen is the gamification of various tasks and experiences around us. Gaming is a giant market, with over 3 billion players around the world. Let’s explore what is attracting these billions of players and why gamification may be happening.
Games have changed dramatically over the years. With the introduction of mobile devices, the masses gained access to a gaming computer that can be used any time: while riding the subway, when waiting in line at the grocery store, in the doctor’s office or on a work break. Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a greater push inward, which has led to enhanced virtual reality and remote work opportunities. Lockdowns have sped up the timelines for both the development and adoption of these technologies.
This mass adoption of technology has even revolutionized how we interact with our close circle. Most players play with family and friends, and it has become a fun way to interact while social distancing. Fifty-five percent of players report playing more during the pandemic, finding it a source of stress relief and distraction.
Gamification Can Unlock Opportunity For Billions More
The types of games most of us grew up playing are called “pay to play.” You go to the store, you buy a game, you play it. With the rise of Web 2.0, we saw the development of free-to-play games, where you play the game free of charge, but pay a fee or watch advertisements to unlock certain content.
The latest innovation in gaming is play to earn (P2E), which has been taking the world by storm. In P2E, players earn blockchain-enabled tokens for time and effort spent in-game, then trade those tokens for currency to be spent in everyday life. According to a report from DappRadar, there were 398 active blockchain games in January 2022, 92% growth from the year before. Meanwhile, the number of unique wallets interacting with game-related smart contracts on a daily basis increased to 1.4 million. The report also mentions that venture capitalists invested $4 billion in blockchain-based gaming in 2021, up from $80 million the year before.
It’s no shock that these types of games are on the rise as they have changed the way we think about gaming. You might think of P2E as a job, except the job is to play games.
Why Gamification Matters For The Future Of Businesses
Blockchain technology allows any activity to become gamified—think move to earn, watch to earn, wear to earn and more. Now a task someone might already be doing can become more interesting with additional token-based incentives.
Let’s unpack how this innovation can play a role for practically any business.
The application of the move to earn concept could help companies monitor the well-being of their employees. This is not hypothetical but already possible with current technology: Health Blocks recently introduced a move to earn program where employees can earn tokens for achieving fitness goals.
Watch to earn might help advertising and media firms engage users at a deeper level by both measuring and incentivizing their watching habits. Meanwhile, apply to earn could allow companies to stop missing out on candidates and recruits. Currently, job applicants have to fill out so many forms that they can easily get frustrated. A recent study showed that 80% of applicants who begin an application abandon it. If companies incentivized applicants with tokens, the task could become much more tolerable and maybe even interesting.
Innovation in the Web3 world is taking gamification out of gaming and bringing it into real life, including the workplace. Uniting all these new technologies into one melting pot of ideas gives us something brand new. I urge businesses, teams and projects to explore blockchain-enabled gamification technology because there is so much on the horizon that we can’t imagine now but will surely transform business as we know it in the near future.