The next evolution of the Internet is upon us thanks to video games and Web3 – Rolling Stone
Dzmitri – stock.adobe.com
As an early adopter of cryptocurrency, the larger web3 space naturally caught my attention. After purchasing my Bored Apes, I became extremely fascinated by the communities that formed around digital assets and knew it wasn’t a fluke. I noticed similarities between my video game marketing days at BDE Ventures and web3, but most businesses didn’t understand the connection. As I continued to ponder the web3 space, a realization struck and my business life changed forever after realizing what business I was actually in.
Web3 and video games are synonymous. In fact, web3 was literally born out of a video game (more on that later). Basically, if you think the multiplayer/online video game industry will continue and grow, you’re also betting on web3 (or should be). But just as important is understanding the impact it will have on business for generations to come.
The Roots of Video Games and Internet Culture
One of the first uses of the personal computer (PC) was to play text-based computer games such as Adventure or Zork. The introduction of web browsers in the 90s enabled creators to create simple browser-based video games. But it wasn’t until the turn of the century that massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft gained popularity. These weren’t just software companies, but early metaverse-like experiences.
The popularity of MMORPGs and online multiplayer video games such as Call of Duty and Counterstrike helped shape cultures on the Internet. They allowed players from all over the world to interact with each other in the virtual world, creating communities that share common interests, values, and even languages or in-world knowledge. Friendships were formed, connections were made, entire esports organizations like FaZe Clan were born, and now decades of internet culture began through video games.
Video game creators who understood this desire for social connection flourished and realized they were in the business of bringing people together, creating shared experiences, and not just games, but a form of escapism.
Web3 communities are like video game communities on steroids
On Web3, you can own digital assets from your favorite IP. These assets can be from video games, movies, comedies, shows, or other smash hits like YUGA Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks of the web3 cultural zeitgeist.
Radiant communities are forming around these digital assets, and engagement extends beyond what we saw on web2. For example, there are thousands upon thousands of social media users who change their profile pictures from their IRL photos to these digital assets. Essentially, exchanging their real identity for a digital identity. Businesses need to understand that in the web3 world, you need to get the end user to represent your brand on a digital identity, marking a change from the old world of wearing logos on clothing on a physical identity.
Web3 video game communities will bring people together like we’ve never seen before
Web2 networking and connectivity mostly happened at physical events and gatherings. In Web3, the metaverse and communities based on digital assets can create a deeper connection and connection without meeting IRL. When I formed my own web3 community, Affinity Collective, I began to notice that many of the web3 creators were either gamers themselves or building video games. I pondered over this phenomenon and came to a conclusion.
Web3 and Online Multiplayer video games are cut from the same cloth
The invention of smart contracts based on Ethereum’s blockchain enabled operations that were not possible before. Decentralized exchanges (DEX) and protocols have arrived that can operate without much or any human or centralized intervention.
Rolling Stone Cultural Council is an invitation-only community for influencers, innovators, and creators. Do I qualify?
Interestingly, the creator of Ethereum, Vitalik, was a former World of Warcraft player who got tired of the game changing and decided to build Ethereum. Ethereum’s ideas certainly point to similarities to video games.
These similarities range from decentralized networks and game communities, smart contracts and in-game rules, tokens and in-game gold to decentralized applications (dapps) that resemble game modes, similarities between voting protocols and in-game decisions, crossing and betting. (as rewards for gaming activities). The list goes on and on.
Now that we know that web3 and Ethereum are synonymous with each other in obvious ways, we can see why the success of video games in the future means the success of web3. And it also means something deeper. businesses that want to understand web3 must also understand video games and culture.
Enter Web3 Samurai
Digital assets have meaning for many in certain cultures. Japanese samurai swords have centuries of mythology, beautiful craftsmanship, and are believed by some to have souls. The spiritual connection between samurai and their sword is significant. Some say they feel the power and presence of the sword spirit.
We notice the same “samurai culture” in web3. People form deep bonds with their NFTs, digital assets, in-world weapons, and communities. You see people completely changing their digital identities to reflect these NFTs as their profile pictures. Just as a Samurai makes a connection and takes pride in that sword, so does a member of the web3 community. Businesses looking to capitalize on and plant their roots in the web3 need to pay close attention to this point and make sure they build their digital assets to appeal to specific demographics.
Develop your Web3 strategy before it becomes a blockbuster
Not everyone needs to be an early adopter, but missing out completely and becoming a blockbuster notoriously dependent on the failed DVD store model for too long isn’t ideal either.
The Web3 business model is both about bringing people together and giving them real ownership. It’s about fans becoming one with a brand, connecting their digital identity and building a real community with skin in the game. Web2 brands have done a terrible job of bringing people together digitally. When was the last time you changed your digital identity to a web2 brand image? This happens all the time on Web3.
Simply put, web3 is an opportunity to realign incentives that have been grossly misaligned by web2 profit-seekers.