As NFTs move deeper into the mainstream, including their recent guest appearances on Super Bowl ads (registration required), they’re getting more and more hype. But outside of the Metaverse and Web3 echo chambers, critics still question the utility of NFTs for the average person. Dominating headlines and increasingly exaggerated sales of pixelated avatars can only push the technology so far before the hype fizzles out. And once the NFT bubble bursts, only serious projects will remain.
To weather the storm, legitimate NFT projects need a serious shift in the way they reach out to average users, especially in industries like gaming and entertainment.
Creating real added value
Talking about NFTs in gaming feels like walking on eggshells – each step can trigger an avalanche of backlash from mainstream gamers. Developers risk getting caught up in the hype and novelty of integrating NFTs without considering their usefulness within a game’s universe. Selling NFT collectibles in a game where they are ultimately meaningless will inevitably provoke a backlash from the audience, who see these collectibles as greed fueled by greed.
So developers and companies creating native NFT or play-to-earn projects end up somewhere in the middle, choosing to either tread lightly in a broader gaming market or stick to their niche audience.
For NFTs to break into the mainstream gaming arena, developers need to spin and build NFTs that have utility and meaning in the larger gaming ecosystem. From an RPG character that grows stronger with each adventure to a weapon that gains new functionality with use, non-static NFT assets provide players with renewable novelty and value. Importantly, this value is clear and tangible within the game itself, and is obvious even to a person who doesn’t understand what NFTs actually are.
While one could argue that there’s more to a bored monkey than a fancy Twitter avatar with a cool hexagonal outline, that sermon is likely to get lost on the average gamer. However, an element that makes for an organic and moving gameplay component is completely different as it helps create the overall experience of the user. Created a major shift to NFTs using renewable energy Value can attract a wider audience who are skeptical of play-to-earn games and retain them once the initial novelty of a static NFT wears off.
NFTs beyond the gaming use case
NFTs already have practical applications in gaming, with projects like Axe Infinity and CryptoKitties at the forefront of this market, but this approach can actually be absolutely applicable beyond games. These NFTs have infinite potential as cornerstones for wider adoption because of the sheer real world value and practicality they bring to the table. There is more to NFTs than stating on-chain rights.
New technical advances do not necessarily have to excite the public; Mainstream acceptance is often more related to convenience and accessibility. The digitization of simple, everyday routines could highlight the practicality of NFTs and encourage a broader shift in public opinion towards the technology.
A rewards program can be an easy way to make NFTs viable. Much like an RPG character who gets stronger with every adventure, an NFT can get stronger with every visit to the supermarket with an eventual reward. By being integrated into daily life instead of being an image on a screen, they become alive, accessible and practical.
Another example of experience-based usage is a subscription service. Imagine a restaurant group or a platform like ClassPass. By offering redeemable NFT Passes, users can book weekly reservations or lessons, customize subscriptions, or securely gift them.
Developers shouldn’t take this surge of interest for granted. Public attention is fickle, and such a big magnifying glass can uncover vulnerabilities that validate prejudices and assumptions about technological innovation. Encouraging the shift towards practical, malleable digital assets can bridge the gap to creating sustained adoption rather than having to constantly convince an average consumer to place value on something static.
Umberto Canessa Cerchi is the founder and CEO of Kryptomon.
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