Play and earn

Welcome to the world of Web3 gaming, and, while you’re here, would you like to buy an NFT?

20 January 2023

Mic Mann, Africarare. Photo:

There’s no better way to explain Axie Infinity than that it’s adorable. It’s a blockchain- based game where players collect, breed and battle digital pets called Axies (Pokémon-like monsters) for rewards. The difference is that what you’re winning is not fictitious bounty, but cryptocurrency. If you’ve ever been hooked by a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) like World of Warcraft, EVE Online or Guild Wars 2, you’ll understand the basic idea. Mic Mann, the co-founder of Africarare – Africa’s first metaverse – stumbled upon Axie Infinity in February 2021, when there were less than 10 000 daily active users. “I played the game actively until about June, when it exploded and turned into 2.6 million players.” For Mann, it was a casual gaming experience, something he could play for an hour every evening “and make quite a decent amount of money. It was unbelievable.”

The main difference between Axie Infinity and MMOs is that Axies are actually NFTs (non-fungible tokens). The game was originally built on the Ethereum network and in order to breed Axies, players need to spend the gaming universe’s governance token. Axie Infinity has two tokens, Axie Infinity Shard (AXS) and Smooth Love Potion (SLP). Both AXS and SLP can be bought or sold on a cryptocurrency exchange platform. “There’s an education gap at the moment, but gamers see the benefits of Web3 gaming – it’s a much more compelling proposition,” says Mann. “The old way of gaming is that you put money in and get entertainment out. Nothing else. With this way of gaming, you put money in and get money out that you can invest. You own those digital assets.” Before blockchain gaming, there were essentially two main categories of games. There were those that you paid an upfront fee for, with the possibility of buying add-on packs for more content at a later stage, and then free games filled with microtransactions, where the player spends money on digital purchases. “In the old way of gaming, the gaming company takes all of the revenue and all the value is sent to them,” says Mann. “But in this way of gaming, all the value is sent to the player and the community, which is more compelling. Would you rather play a game where you own nothing and get nothing out but entertainment, or a game where you put in money, get enjoyment out and those assets become worth more?” Mann explains that when you buy an Axie, it’s the same as purchasing any other kind of NFT. “You can sell them whenever you want to, at any point in time, and make a lot more profit than your initial investment – or just recoup your initial investment,” he says.

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