Games and Gains

My son plays Fortnite like a lot of people.

He puts in real hours. I asked him to look and over his lifespan of the game he’s put in over a thousand hours. We could be judgmental parents but I bet during my teenage years I put in that or more playing Golden Eye. Throw in Sonic, Street Fighter, Mario, Streets of Rage, GTA, Need for Speed, Doom, Total Annihilation, and the litany of other games we’d spend entire summer nights playing. I’d bet my own personal game time would be enough to make even my son blush.

There are so many differences between his experience and mine. My multiplayer experiences were really fragmented because there wasn’t enough bandwidth and any of my “earnings” in game weren’t persistent. They were session based and as soon as that session was completed so were all my gains for the day. Modern games have completely changed that.

With Fortnite and a most other games now, the accomplishments aren’t lost. Assets are gained and held like Trophies for the players. My son would gladly spend a day talking to me just about his trophies (skins or hidden elite guns) or accomplishments in the game.

To him, it’s a team sport. If you sit and play with him and his friends you actually tap into a surprisingly elaborate set of strategies to win the game and the quirks of the game become inside jokes between friends. A language emerges just like the one I had on the soccer field with my teammates. The relationship goes way beyond the game itself and the assets earned in the game might stick with him for a very long time.

While playing more games with my son, I’ve also been floating around a bunch of NFT projects lately. It occurred to me that he might actually have the rewards from his games when he’s an adult like I do some of my soccer trophies.

Impacts like this are one of the ways I think NFTs are interesting. Viewing the NFTs not as an asset themselves but as an agreed upon format for any asset class starts to open us up to an entirely new way of building value or monetizing it later on. Both aspects feel fairly unbounded. If my son tells me one day that he bought a car by selling off his Fortnite bag nothing about that would seem strange. At this point, it’d feel strange if that didn’t happen.

If you take this and apply it to non-game situations, it’s astonishing how many places we’re going to see this happen. Shoes and even land, it’s all up for grabs.