Game3.js Newsletter #7
Gitcoin Grants Round 7, WTF is QF, and Today's Open Source Games: The Evolution of Trust + The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
We started Game3.js with a vision:
5 to 10 years from now, what will fully realized Web 3.0 games look like?
Today’s blockchain games are just the early iterations of Web 3.0 games. A fully realized Web 3.0 game will need to be more compelling than web, mobile, console, and VR games. Their virtual economies will need to have the same utility as those of sovereign fiat currencies. They will need to provide more meaning in people’s lives than just being a vehicle for intrusive ads and forced in-app purchases.
To achieve this vision, we need to bring in more builders, and make it as easy as possible for them to start building games in this new Web 3.0 world.
Game3.js aspires to be the game framework that will lead the way 🔥
Thank you for joining us in this quest!
We start this newsletter with some awesome news: we’ve listed Game3.js on Gitcoin Grants Round 7!
Game3.js has been supported by the Gitcoin community since its early days. From ETHDenver, to Funding the Future, Unitize, KERNEL🌱and APOLLO 🚀, Game3.js has been shaped by the great work of Gitcoin hackers and the insightful discussions with KERNEL fellows.
Gitcoin Grants has done a great job of not only supporting public goods in the Web 3.0 space, but also letting projects like Game3.js be discovered by the builders that need them.
As we continue to build Game3.js, helping game developers successfully transition to Web 3.0 will always be our north star. Please also share this newsletter with any developers that may be interested to build with us, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us via Github or Gitter for any questions!
We wanted to spend some part of today’s newsletter to inform more people about QF, or what makes Gitcoin Grants so exciting.
wtfisqf.com has a great primer on what Quadratic Funding is
Quadratic funding is simply an equation for funding that “pushes power to the edges, away from whales & other central power brokers”
If there’s one thing the video game industry knows about, it’s whales. The industry practically invented the term.
We also know about central power brokers. Power in the game industry now revolves around discovery. In the past decade, games have moved from a simple, honest transaction to a nebulous free-to-play model: dominated by whales, and obscured by ad networks and platform in-app purchases.
We won’t be able to change platform economics overnight, but with tools such as Quadratic Funding, Harberger’s Tax, Fair Launches and other radical ideas from the Web 3.0 community, we’re optimistic that we’ll find a better way.
Today’s Open-Source Games: The Evolution of Trust +The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem
In the final KERNEL 🌱 Genesis Block Fireside chat, the last question posed to Vitalik was “What was a game that he’s ever played and why?”
Vivek wonderfully brings up Nicky Case’s The Evolution of Trust, and how Vitalik used to play World of Warcraft. Vitalik ends with:
“The cryptocurrency ecosystem, does that count as a game?”
Trust is something that us Web 3.0 builders don’t have an agreed definition for. Its meaning has been diluted by all the memes and buzzwords.
Nicky Case shows us a clear, principled interpretation of what Trust truly is— all through the powerful medium of video games.
The Evolution of Trust should be played by everyone, but it’s exponentially more important that it be played by Web 3.0 builders, game developers and designers.
The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem by You
Vitalik: “The cryptocurrency ecosystem, does that count as a game?”
Vivek: “Most definitely.”
Throughout this series of newsletters we’ve mostly discussed games in the context of video games— games played using a controller with predefined goals and rules. We go a bit philosophical this week, as Nicky and Vitalik both challenge our definition of what games are.
In the context of Nicky Case’s Trust, games are played between two people every time they have an interaction.
In the context of Vitalik’s question, games can take on whole new meanings. Games can mean blockchain gaming via NFTs. It can mean game theory in token design. It can mean the money games we play on DeFi.
In most of these cryptocurrency games though, “Number go up” is the Schelling Point.
It’s a finite, zero-sum game.
As builders, developers and designers, I believe this isn’t the game that we should be playing. We’ve played this game before, and the attention economy has already determined the winners.
We should take a step back, and realize that there are ultimately two kinds of games: finite and infinite.
Finite games, paradoxically, are played with the explicit purpose of ending them.
Infinite games are played to make sure the game continues on.
Vitalik sees himself as a player in the infinite game of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. This game is a meta layer above and beyond the video games that we play and create, but nonetheless it is also an infinite game that we are all part of.
The cryptocurrency ecosystem game will transcend game universes, and 5 to 10 years from now it will change how trust and behavior works in our societies. If we don’t have a solid grasp of what trust is, what incentives we’re designing for, and what principles we stand for, we can break more than we build.
As builders, game developers and game designers, I believe it’s our responsibility to build scalable but principled games. Some of the greatest game design minds in the video game industry also believe this: we need to create prosocial systems that lift us up, rather than ones that make us tear each other down.
And this is precisely why we build Game3.js.
Web 3.0 will change how people play and pay for games, and game developers and designers need to be involved in the discussion.
Please do share this newsletter with them, participate in our Gitcoin Grant, and discuss with us online 🌱 🤗
Thank you for reading! If you would like to contribute to game3.js or have any questions, please reach out via Github or Gitter. To keep receiving Game3.js updates, just click the Subscribe button below.
Cheers and see you next issue!