Blockchain and Games Event

Posted by Jamie Smith

InGAME welcomed Manuel Badel, founder of Badel Media, for a masterclass in blockchain in the creative industries. He was joined by Bronwin Patrickson and Ronan Sandford, creator of Etherplay, in exploring how blockchain can be utilised in a video game context.

Manuel explained the fundamental principles of blockchain and how these might impact the games industry. Manuel was involved in developing Canada’s first blockchain prototype for the screen industry, tracking copyright and royalty agreements for creative works to notable success. His demonstration of the game ‘Cryptokitties’ was particularly enlightening, proving the old internet adage that complex ideas are always enhanced by the inclusion of cats. Cryptokitties acts as gamified exploration of the concept of non-fungible tokens and smart contracts and is an excellent introduction for the uninitiated.

Ronan Sandford demonstrated Etherplay and The Sandbox, two games which he has helped develop using blockchain technologies. The Sandbox is perhaps the most exciting development in blockchain gaming in recent times, repurposing an already popular game franchise to work with the technology. Previous versions of the user-generated platformer have been downloaded over 40 million times with around 70 million unique universes created by its users. The decision to launch the first 3D version of the game using blockchain technology is hoped to bring the concept to a wider audience.

To finish, Bronwin Patrickson, a Creative Economy Researcher at the University of Dundee, facilitated an interactive session where audience members proposed an outline for a game that utilised the key features of blockchain. Amongst a range of intriguing suggestions, the idea that most captured the imagination was the concept of a virtual orchestra, with IP ownership logged and tracked for each musician using blockchain’s non-fungible token functionality. Players could sell their creations through an online marketplace and their popularity could trigger game progression, with musicians starting off in the back room of a pub with the aim of headlining a major (virtual) festival.

InGAME is excited to operate on the frontier of new games technology and we hope this event has inspired Dundee’s games industry to further investigate the benefits of blockchain. If you’re a registered games company in the Dundee area and believe that InGAME can support you to move beyond the business as usual then please contact us and let us know more.