Video gaming has often been criticized for encouraging antisocial behaviors; however, this may not be entirely true given the rise of gaming guilds over the years. Sometimes referred to as communities, clans or factions, gaming guilds are simply ‘a collection or group of gamers who organize to play video games together and share other valuable data’.
While gaming guilds date back to the 80s, the debut of the internet and esports competitions has increased their popularity. Today, most gaming enthusiasts have the opportunity to interact with peers across the world through gaming guilds that are run on Reddit and Discord, amongst other tech-oriented social applications.
It is also noteworthy that gaming guilds are emerging in the crypto ecosystem following the rise of play-to-earn (p2e) games. This burgeoning niche has been around since 2017 when Crypto Kitties made headlines for clogging the Ethereum network. Over these years, it has grown bigger, with Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) ranking as the most popular crypto asset class in 2021.
So, why are gaming guilds flocking into the p2e market? Well, most of the reasons are pretty similar to the traditional gaming space. However, the value proposition of p2e games as a source income is a plus for upcoming guilds in this ecosystem. The next section of this highlights the advantages of gaming guilds, narrowing down to examples in the p2e market.
The Value Proposition of Gaming Guilds
Gaming guilds are no longer limited to gamers, these social structures have evolved to include a wider audience. More importantly, there are gaming guilds for all sorts of games, including the likes of Fortnite, Blackjack Casino and upcoming metaverse platforms such as Decentraland and The Sandbox. That said, let’s take a deep into some of the advantages of becoming a member of a particular gaming guild.
Building Global Connections
Gaming guilds are a perfect avenue for building global connections with people who have a similar interest. Like social media platforms, they enable individuals to form new relationships, some of which have grown into lifelong friendships. According to a study by Nottingham Trent University Professor Mark Griffiths, ‘25% of 11,000 players from the online role-playing game EverQuest’ are most intrigued with the aspect of connecting with other gamers.
We live in the age of information; technology is changing faster than most can keep up. This means everyday is a learning curve for the modern-day citizen. On this front, gaming guilds have emerged as suitable learning ecosystems where stakeholders can share gaming strategies, alongside other forms of knowledge.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has previously noted that video game engagement can help improve cognitive skills such as perception, memory, reasoning and spatial navigation.
Sharing of Experiences
Gaming alone can be quite boring but nothing beats the experience of sharing with other players, either by competition or live-streaming one’s gameplay. Thanks to gaming guilds, it is now seamless for anyone to compete in Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games such as Fortnite and CoD. Even better, the metaverse has ushered in a new gameplay where participants can virtually interact through NFT-designed avatars.
Gaming Guilds in the P2E Ecosystem
As mentioned in the introduction, NFTs have set the stage for p2e games to thrive. According to 2021’s DApp Radar report, the NFT market generated $23 billion in sales, with leading p2e games such as Axie Infinity and Splinterlands recording an influx of daily active users. The former became particularly popular in the Philippines, where some players were literally making more than the country’s average per capita income.
Given so much potential, gaming guilds have started to launch in the NFT ecosystem. One of the earliest entrants is the Yield Guild Games (YGG), which was launched as a leasing guild for the Axie NFT ‘monsters’. While YGG has been instrumental in the p2e gaming community, there are upcoming alternatives such as Balthazar that have gone the extra mile to feature a more profitable model.
The Balthazar gaming guild allows users to loan or lease NFTs by acting as the connecting intermediary. Simply put, NFT owners can loan out their digital collectibles through this gaming guild, which in turn leases them to interested ‘scholars’. According to the project’s CEO John Stefanidis, Balthazar is designed to operate as the Airbnb or Uber of the p2e gaming ecosystem,
“So the goal around Balthazar, think of it like Airbnb or Uber, where people plug into us. Essentially, we take existing assets from people in different games, and they lend us the assets so we don’t have to buy them ourselves, and then we pass them on to our scholars.”
Following these examples, we can see the fundamental role of gaming guilds in the p2e market. As more capital continues to trickle in, gaming guilds will become a significant part of the NFT gaming ecosystem. It will not only be possible to lease or loan NFTs but interact with other community members to forge the future of Web 3.0 innovations.
Globalization has changed the nature of human interactions, making it seem like we exist in one small village (the internet). While it may sound like a joke, there is some truth to this statement. Gaming guilds are a proof of the interconnectedness in today’s world; it comes as no surprise that innovators are now leveraging these social structures in the p2e field and the metaverse. Looking into the future, people will not only be able to share ideas through gaming guilds but virtually interact via the metaverse.
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