With the popularity of the NFTs, games that use hidden money in their e-mail economy are becoming increasingly popular. Play-paid games attract attention with the promise of easy money, but in the end they resemble a type of low-paying job, according to experts.
To join most of these games, the user has to face an initial hurdle that is to have a digital wallet and buy NFT. The difference is that crypto assets will not wait for the buyer on OpenSea, a platform set up for the non-fungal token market.
Digital authentication certificates, within the so-called NFT games, or cryptogames, have a practical function. They represent characters, devices or abilities that allow the user to play a game.
But while in normal games a player is rewarded with e-mails that fit only in the ecosystem he came from, in gaming consoles to earn the revenue that a user receives when performing a particular activity is a token.
This term is used to refer to assets used in blockchain, such as bitcoin and ethereum. The difference between a token and a standard gaming email is that it can be converted into regular currencies, such as real and dollars, depending on the daily rate.
This means that prizes that were originally intended to be privatized by improvements only, such as in popular games such as League of Legends and World of Warcraft, also serve as a resource in the cash market.
As for Axie Infinity, an NFT game with 2.8 million players playing daily, the symbol is SLP (Smooth Love Potion), whose price increased in mid-2021. According to the official website, the original Vietnamese game has moved to the United States. $ 3.6 billion ($ 18.5 billion) since its launch.
The Axie Infinity game involves using previously purchased NFTs – now represented by beautiful pets and their own characteristics – to turn battles against computers or other players, such as the Pokémon Franchise.
It is by winning these fights and completing the daily voluntary challenges that the player earns SLPs, which can not only be used to improve the Axies team and facilitate future battles, but also to transform into a reais.
But the payer for the user with the token is not Sky Mavis, a software developer based in Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam. As with software such as Uber, the game acts as a central platform between its users and the market, as well as its fees and rules. The market, in the case of Axie Infinity, is a crypto asset.
NFT game economics is often created by professionals to make sense. It is on the basis of this trust, also supported by cryptography of blockchains, that SLP has value, as does bitcoin itself.
“What this blockchain and cryptocurrency trend is doing is supporting this online economy, with investors ensuring the structure, functionality and balance of the context,” explains Thiago Falcão, a professor of Digital Media at UFPB (Paraíba Federal University).
Although the promise of earning extra income by playing on a mobile phone or desktop attracts users of a variety of profiles, from young people to financial experts, the token is a fragile asset that needs to be erased from the market. It is as if, instead of the employee receiving his salary in reais, he received it in stock.
“The most effective use of these games requires the player to enter the culture of encryption, to understand the volatile prices, to buy and sell. It is a prelude to day trading, in the stock market”, says Falcão. “You can play unexpectedly, but you won’t get anywhere.”
An initial restriction on the cost of play-to-earn-it games hindered the working relationship. In “studies” (or “escolinhas”, as they are called in Brazil), account holders illegally employ users to play them and, therefore, divide the winners, whose percentage varies from 30% to 50%.
Entrepreneur Jean Maia met Axie Infinity in November 2021 via an Instagram profile dedicated to money and secret coins. He started playing after earning a place in a small school, without investing his own pocket.
“We used to earn between $ 150 (R $ 770) and 200 (R $ 1,000) a month, but when I quit, in January we were earning $ 30 (R $ 154),” he says. who spent two hours a day on the game.
“Today I have two NFTs, one worth US $ 120 (R $ 616) and the other worth US $ 150, standing, trying to sell, because of that small game,” he complains.
Heloísa Passos, CEO of Sp4ce, a Brazilian company specializing in secret sports, estimates that nearly 80,000 Brazilians were playing Axie Infinity by the end of 2021.
In his view, the success of the game stems from its design, which should be the rule in an environment where few can thrive for a long time, and where the characters face revolutionary attempts.
According to a UFPB professor, NFT games are more related to risky activities than video games, because people feel compelled to spend as much time on their devices as possible in search of potential benefits.
“It’s not fun. It’s not systems designed for entertainment, but enhanced work structures. In NFT games, there are very few things that make a game, a game. Pleasure, personal and social experience to play, none of that. it exists in these secret games, “he says.
Psychology student Vanessa de Barros was not as lucky as Jean. After spending a few weeks playing at Axie Infinity School, where she earned R $ 70 a week, she borrowed R $ 5,000 from a friend to invest in a personal account.
Vanessa used the money to buy the starting NFTs and build the Axies team in the belief that they would get a quick paycheck. But, despite the depreciation of the SLP and the dollar in recent months, the account now has a value of R $ 2,000, and cryptoassets that could only resolve by lowering the price even further.
“I know I will not enter another [jogo NFT]. I’m waiting for the SLP to go up and down to try to recover at least what I’ve invested in, and I don’t think it’s worth the stress, “he said.” I’d rather pay for play than play to receive. “
For Passos, the main reason for the slowdown in the SLP in recent months was the extra supply and lack of utility in the game ecosystem, the fault of the software developer himself. This means that more SLPs ended up in users’ wallets than they did in the game.
He believes that players who intend to risk any secrecy of the game should be aware of the red card notifications, such as promises of high return on investment (ROI), lack of public documentation about the project (whitepaper) and dependency. from the entry of new players to the appreciation of tokens.
“It is important that people before entering this market understand very well how it works so that they can invest their money well, before entering the game an investigation must be done,” he said.