Amalgamation of GameFi and SocialFi
One of the hottest new trends in the crypto space is GameFi, a new game concept where the integration of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) enables players to earn cryptocurrency by playing blockchain-based games.
As outlined in multiple previous blogs, the main difference between traditional games and blockchain games is that GameFi games use a play-to-earn model. For players, this means earning money by playing the games and leveling up characters, so much so that in some cases a proper living can be earned through play-to-earn games.
We’ve now superficially covered GameFi, but what about SocialFi? To be able to explain SocialFi, we first need to look back in time at how social gaming and earning through games evolved in the first place.
Evolution of earning through games
Since the early 1970s, video games have been ubiquitous. The introduction of game consoles was one of the biggest steps in establishing video games as an important part of many people’s lives. As time progressed, so did the technology in video games, allowing for new features in every new generation of consoles and game releases.
The primary intent for video games was to bring friends and family together for a good time, but that has since shifted. Game technology has come very far since the first home consoles, so much so that for the last decade, online games have dominated the marketplace.
As online gaming gained popularity, the shift from bringing friends and family together for a good time solidified further, with players caring more about their game statistics and being competitive in their games’ respective leagues. A byproduct of this shift was the birth of eSports, and the first eSports leagues emerged soon after.
The next step after eSports will be the combination of GameFi and SocialFi. So what is SocialFi?
SocialFi: The new age for social media
It’s a well known fact that 99% of all social media is controlled by a handful of very large companies, and this presents some problems for the general public. Consumers are concerned about their privacy more than ever and governments are concerned with the political debates that social platforms bring. Those controlling the largest social media platforms on the other hand have much to gain from exploiting their users’ private data and sensationalizing news, so very little has been done to fix this issue so far. Enter SocialFi, a new way for people to be social on the web, but without all the concerns for data exploitation. The core premise of SocialFi is a new network procedure that protects user privacy whilst at the same time giving them infinitely more control about which content they want to share. Because this new way of socializing is all done over the blockchain, there are no handful of large companies that stand to make massive returns from harvesting their users’ data, everybody is responsible for their own data and has complete ownership over it.
What the blockchain also allows (and where the “…Fi” in SocialFi comes in) is for users to earn income by sharing their content and data on these platforms. Other decentralized activities such as minting NFTs and gaming are more great ways for users to earn income, and because advertising profits are split much more equitably, content creators may earn more by advertising on SocialFi networks than traditional social media.
Merging SocialFi and GameFi
As discussed in previous blogs, GameFi is poised to take over a huge portion of the worldwide game industry, and connecting GameFi with SocialFi may just give both platforms the boost in engagement they need to become truly ubiquitous. The core idea is that of combining the relevance of social networks in today’s world with the engagement that video games offer.
The main stand-out features of SocialFi such as data privacy, transparency, and equitable monetization and those of GameFi (discussed in previous blogs) could completely change the web as we know it.
Real-world GameFi and SocialFi merging
Whilst numerous projects offer varying flavors of SocialFi, only a few have been able to successfully merge GameFi and SocialFi, most notably, “Superhero NFT Wars” (SNW). SNW aims to create a platform where NFT, social media and DeFi communities can be united under one umbrella to create more value for each individual user through marketplaces, social events, and NFT trading.
What does the future hold for SocialFi? Will there be many more projects in the coming years that will harness this new concept and perhaps even merge it with GameFi technology? We can’t say for sure, but the game industry and online communities in general have been known to catch on to new trends from time to time, and we sincerely hope they will catch on to this one, as it may very well change the way we interact on the web. SocialFi is anticipated to gain more traction as it appeals to content creators and at the same time restores much needed responsibility into individual users’ hands. We highly encourage anyone wishing to be part of this sector to keep an eye out for future developments, as it will only be a matter of time before users get tired of the traditional social networks.