Blockchain technology as an enhancement
Considering how people already feel a negative sentiment the moment they hear the word ‘blockchain,’ what if we offered an alternative, where addition of blockchain technology was an opt-in choice for the users?
Making the utilization of new technology opt-in is common in several successful products. Pokémon Go had their Augmented Reality technology be optional, as having the AR technology on drained the battery at a rapid rate. After all, the reason why people were coming to play the game was to catch Pokémon, not necessarily to see what it’s like to see Pokémon in the wild.
If all Pokémon Go users had to use AR technology by default, then the mass adoption may not have been as smooth. Catching with AR on is a lot harder, as one must hold the camera in the right spot for it to even be aimed right. The battery drain would have also been hugely frustrating, as live phones are a must in today’s world and you can’t sit at your house to play the game, as you must move out to see a new Pokémon.
I still remember going for a run on my iPhone with the AR on and seeing my battery level drop as fast as that of Google Glass. If I had to charge my phone several times a day just to play Pokémon Go, I doubt that it would have stayed for too long.
As such, with blockchain technology at its nascency, we can’t expect people to suddenly embrace it. Rather, we must give them a game that is fun without blockchain, but even better with blockchain. What if you were playing Fortnite and for setting up your own wallet, the game gave you access to a store with unique skins that only you can own? Or what if the game opened up new mainnets with a limited number of seats per each mainnet, so that it won’t overwhelm the blockchain with too many transactions at once, while offering special benefits to those who play in these settings?
A blockchain company taking this approach is Proxy, a digital identity platform that is creating a frictionless world with a universal identity. Currently, it is using the user’s smartphone to authenticate and interact with devices in the physical world, although its end goal is to use blockchain technology to give users ownership of their digital identity.
If Proxy began as a blockchain company, I doubt that WeWork and Dropbox would have become their clients when they were a stealth company with only seed round funding. Rather, they focused on solving a problem that the clients wanted solutions to first, so that they can raise their Series-A funding and continue to grow.
I don’t know if building a blockchain was always their end goal, as they only mentioned it on their website’s company vision page. However, I am sure that Proxy’s clients won’t mind blockchain technology being used to enhance the services they provided without blockchain. As such, blockchain games should also look to think about how to solve the problem without blockchain first and then look to enhance that experience through blockchain.