Nolan Bushnell, founder of gaming giant Atari, expressed his strong belief in the transformative power of Web3 games. Speaking at the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum in Hong Kong, Bushnell discussed the gaming evolution with Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu.
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Games imitating life
During the conference, Bushnell, recognized by Siu as the “grandfather of gaming”, praised Web3 games for their unparalleled capacity to transfer ownership concepts to the digital realm:
“Games will increasingly imitate all factors of life. Web3 with blockchain suddenly transmits ownership into the virtual world;”
Beyond ownership, the founder of Atari envisioned a future with self-driving cars transformed into mobile gaming studios. But Siu brought attention to another aspect: the economic potential of Web3 games:
“The impact that Web3 gaming has already had…is that you can start earning money with the engagement of the time that you spend in these games.”
Siu then touched upon the gaming industry’s shift. No longer confined to a “player versus environment” dynamic, the rise of platforms like Minecraft and Roblox heralded a new multiplayer ecosystem. Siu noted:
“You don’t go to Fortnite to play against yourself or an environment. You go online to play against others, meaning that we, the players, are the content, but the difference is that we haven’t really been compensated for it.”
Identity verification can prevent bot activity and malicious actors
In the Web3 gaming context, Bushnell felt the marriage of “KYC (Know Your Customer) and the immutability of blockchain” was vital. This fusion, he believed, would ensure genuine player participation, weeding out bots and malicious actors.
In fact, The Sandbox recently announced the implementation of KYC policies due to the increased regulatory pressure from U.S, financial autorithies. However, identity verification is not required to enter the metaverse, as the KYC process is only mandatory for those wanting to stake the $SAND token.
Education and Capitalism
Beyond entertainment, Bushnell predicts a paradigm shift in education. He envisions games becoming indispensable learning tools, where “story and simulation” drive understanding.
Yet, the rapid expansion of Web3 games isn’t without challenges. Siu candidly addressed the issues spawned by blending blockchain with gaming:
“When you introduce Web3 and blockchain to any system, including games, you’re introducing capitalism. And so the problems we have seen in the last 12 to 18 months comes from the fact that these games have become not just capitalist to the studio that produced it, but to every participant.”
Could web3 gaming usher in universal financial literacy?
“If the world becomes more financially literate because of Web3 gaming — because they understand something about value — then I think the world will become safer.”