A few weeks back I was playing some Starcraft 2 and I hit
master league rank for the second time ever. Looks like I also broke 10k+ total games recently. What a waste of time :D
I've been playing the Starcraft series on and off for over two decades now. The first game was released all the way back in 1998 when I was in high school. Both games were highly anticipated and I bought them the day they came out. As someone who had already played Warcraft 1, Warcraft 2, and Diablo I was already a pretty hardcore fan of Blizzard Entertainment. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
In fact, Starcraft 2 was such a highly anticipated game that the beta key I received just to play a couple months before the official release was worth $300 on Craigslist... and I didn't sell it (dumb move). That's how zealous this community was back in the day. Starcraft was (is?) the #1 sport in Korea, and that includes all sports, not just e-sports. Grandmasters in Korea are more highly respected and adored with cult-like status than even the highest paid professional athletes in the United States.
With the advent of League of Legends and the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) genre, RTS (real-time-strategy) games have fallen hugely out of favor overall. It's kinda like being good at Tenis: nobody cares. Team sports are much more popular because the dynamics and logistics involving team play are much more complex and interesting than 1v1 sports.
As an interesting aside, due to my shoulder and back injury I don't even use my computer right-handed. I made the switch to using the computer left handed probably close to a decade ago. So not only am I a master Starcraft player but it's almost like I'm playing with one hand tied behind my back... although I've actually gotten pretty good at the left-handed thing... I probably wouldn't be able to switch back very easily.
Another interesting aside, the race I play in Starcraft (zerg/terran/protoss) is zerg. I'm constantly being told to "defend the Hive cluster" and things like that. Funny how we rebranded to the name Hive because it somehow fits right in with my gaming experience.
In any case, it's easy to look at all of this time I've dumped into gaming as a complete waste, but is it really? Embarrassingly enough, I've probably still spent more total hours playing World of Warcraft. Thousands and thousands of hours straight don't the toilet, amirite?
However, with the advent of crypto, I see that we can start the whole gaming thing all over again at ground zero, except this time we can do it right.
I imagine a time soon™ when the skills and items we acquire in game can't be modified or hacked by any outside entity. A system owned by the players rather than a corporation. The prospects of such a system have bafflingly high value. I've already seen items on World of Warcraft and other role playing games sell for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. What happens when those items have provable scarcity and ownership, and no one, not even the game creator, can take that away from them? The future of gaming is in for a wild ride, and I plan on being at the forefront of that revolution.
This is where it gets really interesting, because blockchain is lowering the bar across the board. If you want to be a professional poker player, you have to be in the top 1% of skill. The same is true for gaming (might even be worse) and blogging.
However, we can already see that Steemit Inc changed all that. Rather than having to wait a year to even make a dime on blogging, anyone can make a little money even on day one. A rising tide raises all ships. The same thing is going to happen for gaming.
So rather than needing to be in the top 1% or the top 0.1% of gamers to be a professional and pay the bills, blockchain is going to reduce that threshold to 10% or even better. It all depends on the value of the underlying token. If Hive goes x100 all of a sudden the threshold of users who can make a living here goes way up. The same will be true for all the gaming tokens that come out in the future.
We are entering an age of abundance were humans no longer have to worry about growing food, finding water, or paying for shelter. We already have the technology to forge this reality, but we still need a way to achieve a more fair distribution. The decentralization that crypto provides is the exact solution we need on a long-term scale.
So while it doesn't make a lot of sense today that my gaming skills actually have value, I think that's going to change 10-20 years down the road. When the basic necessities of life are already taken care of and become extremely cheap due to abundance, humanity is going to start valuing very strange activities going forward, and that includes gaming.
Already we see websites like Twitch where gamers can potentially earn a living just by other people watching them play games and interacting with the gamer and his/her followers. As a gamer, even I don't understand how Twitch is possible, so I always revel in the opportunity to talk about it with less tech savvy people who are older than I am because they REALLY REALLY REALLY don't understand this emergent economy that's about to be thrust upon the world. Sometimes it's fun to blow some minds. Here's to hoping decentralization wins and the future just keeps getting weirder.
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