What is the relationship between gamers and crypto?
There are multiple reasons why a connection is always strong between video games and the world of cryptocurrency and there is much more to it than idea of them being virtual domains.
For starters gamers have often been very vocal about the practices that corporations have been indulging themselves in. This includes secretly including certain piracy software into releases (Denuvo being a more famous example) or the controversial nature of in-game currencies and micro-transactions. It is often argued that these practices do more damage to the product and the community trying to support it than good.
Another reason is that gamers have been used to making virtual transactions for years. Whether it’s a more literal example of using e-transfers and PayPal accounts to pay for downloadable software or the much more apt and analogous practice of trading items or currency with other players in-game, it’s clear that gamers are used to the idea of virtual economies in some sense.
Arguably the most important aspect of blockchain technology is decentralization and privacy and assured ownership over one’s funds. As video games enter the world of streaming content some conversations have arisen over who actually owns purchased titles anymore.
As a result blockchain technology gets grouped in with gaming because it can help sway the tide in the battle for true, privatized ownership of one’s digital assets, be they IAPs (in-app purchases) or, the apps or games themselves.
The survey BitCrystals performed encompasses answers from 513 different people, 91% identifying as male and 6% identifying as female. The most prominent age group was 25-34 years old. The participants came from all over the world, with 25% from the United States and 12% from Japan. Unsurprising as these two countries are two of the densest in the world regarding gaming population.
Besides these three demographic based inquiries, 10 questions were asked concerning their thoughts on gaming and crypto. The results overall held a modestly positive reception to the nature of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
There is perhaps some room for interpretation but we believe it is safe to say that BitCrystals’ survey indeed shows a correlation between gaming and crypto interests and sensibilities. It would be a massive stretch to say that every gamer in all surveyed countries have a strong positive opinion towards Bitcoin and the like. But it is clear that the previously postulated connection between video gamers and blockchain goals is rooted in some solid ground.
The first question they asked was “In the last 12 months, have you purchased or traded game items (such as cards) on the blockchain?” Surprisingly the results were higher than most people would have expected. 44% answered “Yes.” This means nearly half of interviewed gamers have directly engaged in decentralized, blockchain-based trading.
A later question asked how difficult or how easy was it to trade for items on the blockchain. The majority of people tended to answer 5 or up on a scale of 0 to 10. This is unsurprising as learning how to use the blockchain is much simpler than some of the video games that are popular these days.
Arguably the most important question in the survey asked participants how important or unimportant would the blockchain be to games in the next 12 months. The vast majority of people leaned towards higher numbers of 5 and above. This is proof that gamers have a strong predilection towards blockchain technology.
They also found that over two thirds of gamers had invested in Bitcoin and Ethereum over the past 12 months. This is fascinating as it would generally be considered difficult to find a group of people where nearly 70% of them had purchased both the top two cryptocurrencies. 42% listed “Other” as their answer but BitCrystals assures us that “Responses were too varied and numerous to list here.”
So, what does this mean?
It seems that this is all quite good news. The reception that gamers have to the world of crypto is fairly positive and one would assume that it will only grow over the next year, and beyond. Gamers don’t just like convenience. They like freedom, and this explains a large amount of their affinity for the world of the blockchain: a true sense of ownership over transactions and products.
Where people all over the world spent years speculating and presuming, BitCrystals actually put in some solid effort and did the field work that confirmed what was on everyone’s mind. Hopefully they have paved the way for future research to be performed regarding this connection. A best case scenario would be that awareness will spread among even more people in the video game community. This will help increase people’s ability to stay informed on decentralization, further increasing their privacy.
As BitCrystals’ survey demonstrates, there is still more work to be done: not just more research with more participants, and not just with game developers concentrating on better implementation, but an effort to inform. The fact that sizeable amounts of people still find blockchain utility too difficult to use means they aren’t being taught how to take advantage of the technology.
But as blockchain technology becomes more and more intuitive and more people realize its potential, things will become better for both the gaming and the crypto communities.