The dream of making a living by playing video games for every little boy (and many adult men) is getting closer to reality. A recent release of Huntercoin and in-development VoidSpace, a game that rewards players in digital currencies instead of virtual princesses or gold stars, points to a future where one’s ranking on the scoreboard could be dollars, and sterling, euros and yen.
The story of the millionaire (virtual) real estate agent …
Digital currencies are slowly maturing in both their functionality and financial infrastructure which enables them to be used as a reliable alternative to non-virtual Fiat currency. Although Bitcoin, the 1st and most well-known of the crypto-currencies, was created in 2009, it has been the virtual currency form used in video games for over 15 years. The 1997 Ultima Online was the first significant attempt to incorporate a large-scale virtual economy into a game. Players can search, fight monsters and find treasures, collect gold coins and spend on armor, weapons or real estate. It was an early incarnation of a virtual currency because it existed purely within the game, although it reflected the real-world economy in such a way that game mechanics resulted in Ultima currency inflation which ensured that there was never ending supply. To kill monsters and thus collect gold coins.
Released in 1999, EverQuest took virtual currency gaming one step further, allowing players to trade virtual goods among themselves in games, although game designers forbade selling virtual items to each other on eBay. In Neil Stephenson’s 2011 novel Ramday, a real-world event explored for entertainment, Chinese gamers or ‘gold farmers’ were hired to play EverQuest and other such games full-time in order to gain experience points to level up their characters. This makes them stronger and more sought after. These characters will then be sold on eBay to Western gamers who were reluctant or unable to give time to flatten their own characters. Edward Castronova, a professor of telecommunications at Indiana University and an expert on virtual currency, based his calculations on EverQuest’s calculated exchange rates as a result of real world trade, estimating that in 2002 EverQuest was the 77th richest country in the world The People’s Republic is more than China and India.
Launched in 2003 and reached 1 million regular users by 2014, Second Life is probably the most complete example of a virtual economy to date where it can be used to buy or sell virtual currency, the Linden Dollar, in the game. Real-world currencies will be exchanged through market-based exchanges. Recorded $ 3.2 billion in-game transactions of virtual products in 10 years between 2002-13, Second Life has become a marketplace where players and businesses alike were able to design, promote and sell their products. A particularly lucrative product for the real estate business, Eileen Graf became the first Second Life Millionaire in 2006 when she turned an initial investment of $ 9.95 over 2.5 years into $ 1 million by buying, selling and transacting virtual real estate to other players. Examples such as Aileen Although exceptions to this rule, only 233 registered users earned more than 000 5000 in 2009 from Second Life activity.
How to pay in dollars for asteroid mining …
To date, the ability to create non-virtual cash in video games has been secondary designed, with players having to go through unauthorized channels to exchange their virtual loot or have a degree in creative or business skills in the real world. Which can be traded for cash. This may change with the advent of video games built from the ground up around the plumbing of the recognized digital currency platform. The method adopted by Huntercoin is to ‘gamify’ which is usually a technical and automated process of creating digital currency. Unlike real world currencies when printed by the central bank, digital currencies are created by users ‘digging’. The underlying source code of a particular digital currency that allows it to operate is called a blockchain, an online decentralized public ledger that records all transactions and currency exchanges between individuals. Since digital currency is nothing more than obscure data, it is more likely to be counterfeit than physical currency that a single unit of currency can be duplicated which can lead to inflation or change the value of a transaction for personal gain. To prevent this from happening, the blockchain is ‘policed’ by volunteers or ‘miners’ who check the legitimacy of each transaction to ensure that data is not manipulated with expert hardware and software. This is an automated process for mining software although it is a highly time consuming one that involves a lot of processing power from their computer. Blockchain releases a new unit of digital currency to reward a miner for verifying a transaction and rewards them with it as an incentive to maintain the network, thus creating digital currency. This is because it can take days or even years for a group of users to successfully combine their resources to mine coins more quickly with the combined processing power of their computer.
The Huntercoin game sits in this kind of blockchain for a digital currency called Huntercoin. The task of playing the game replaces the automated process of digital coin mining and for the first time makes it a manual and without the need for expensive hardware. Using tactics, time, and teamwork, players go to a map in search of coins and find some and return safely to their bases (other teams try to stop them there and steal their coins). They can deposit and cash their coins. . An app designed to make and receive digital payments, usually in their own digital wallet. 10% of the value of any coin deposited by players goes to Huntercoin blockchain maintenance miners and loses a small percentage of any coin if a player is killed and their coin falls. Although the game’s graphics take time to accumulate basic and significant prizes, Huntercoin is an experiment that can be seen as the first video game with financial rewards created as a preliminary function.
While still in development, VoidSpace is a more polished approach to gaming in a functional economy. A massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG), VoidSpace is set in space where players explore a growing universe, dig up natural resources like asteroids and trade with other players to build their own galactic empire. Players will be rewarded for mining at DogeCoin, a more established form of digital currency that is currently widely used for micro-payments on various social media sites. DogeCoin will also be a way for players to trade currency and in-game purchases within the game. Like Huntercoin, Dodgecoin is a legal and fully functional digital currency and like Huntercoin it can be traded for both digital and real currencies on exchanges like Poloniex.
The future of video games?
In terms of quality though, this is an interesting indication of what could be the next evolution of Huntercoin and Voidspace release games in the early days. MMORPG is currently being considered as a model for epidemic outbreaks, reflecting how the player’s response to an unwanted plague reflects the hard-to-model aspects of human behavior with real-world outbreaks. It can be speculated that virtual economics may eventually be used as a model to test economic theories in games and develop a widespread failure response based on observations of how players use digital currency with real value. It is also a good test for the functionality of digital currency and for potential applications that promise to move beyond the mere vehicle of exchange and, for example, into the exciting realm of personal digital ownership. During this time, players now have the means to translate hours in front of the screen in digital currency and then in dollars, sterling, euros or yen.
But before you quit your day job …
… to mention the current exchange rate. It is estimated that a player can easily recover their initial registration fee of 1.005 Huntercoin (HUC) for joining the Huntercoin game in 1 day of play. Currently HUC cannot be exchanged directly in USD, it needs to be converted into more established digital currency like Bitcoin. At the time of writing HUC to Bitcoin (BC) exchange rate is 0.00001900 while BC to USD exchange rate is $ 384.24. 1 HUC is traded in BC and then in USD, before considering any transaction fee … $ 0.01 USD. Needless to say, once a player became more proficient they couldn’t raise their Virtual Coinhunters team and probably hired a few ‘bots’ programs that would automatically play the game in the guise of another player and earn coins for them as well. But I think it’s safe to say that at the moment even such an effort could result in substantial changes for McDonald’s every day. Unless players are willing to submit intruders to in-game ads, share personal data, or participate in a game like CoinHunter, built on the Bitcoin blockchain, it is unlikely that there will ever be more rewards than casual payments for casual gamers. And maybe that’s a good thing, because of course if you pay for something, it’ll be another game off?