The NFT space is red hot now with many projects boasting multi-million dollar sales of single NFT’s and floor prices north of 40 ETH ($120k+).
One of the factors driving the mania in NFT’s is the growing realisation of the importance that NFT’s will play in the metaverse to come.
Traditional Game Add-ons and Content
Nearly all of today's games are entirely self-contained worlds developed and controlled by a single publisher. All the items in the game and all the additional content is either made by the publisher or approved by the publisher.
All or the majority of the profit of add-on content for the games is retained by the publisher and any attempt to sell content outside of that ecosystem is usually greeted with a ban.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a world in which all games are interconnected and the content in those games common to all. Think of a hub world connecting all other games, where you are represented by the same avatar in all games.
You can walk out of a lobby in Call of Duty, cross the street and walk into another building to play Fortnite, all without changing your outfit or appearance. This is the promise of the metaverse that is so well depicted in Ready Player One.
But how will all the different developers agree on a data format to allow content to be exchanged between games? That sounds like a massive undertaking, but that is where NFT’s come in.
What are NFT’s
When most people think of NFT's, they probably think they are just expensive JPEG's. But all NFT's are something much more than that. To make it possible for platforms like OpenSea to be able to display images and metadata and allow for the sale and transfer of them, they all have to conform to a common standard.
This standard in the Ethereum blockchain, and even in derived chains such as Binance Smart Chain, is the ERC-721 standard.
ERC-721 describes some common functions that all NFT's that meet the standard need to follow. This includes simple information such as the name and a mechanism to transfer them, but also includes a method to query the properties of the NFT.
This query returns a JSON description of the NFT along with a link to an image of the NFT. ERC-721 is what makes NFT's possible, and changes them from JPEG's to fully-fledged objects that can both describe themselves to the world and interact with the world via clearly defined interfaces.
Onto the Metaverse
If you take NFT's which are interchangeable objects with properties, a clearly defined owner, and mechanisms to interact with the world then you have the makings of a standard that will allow all games to interact with the same content. NFT's are also linked to a known digital identity in the form of a wallet address and a single wallet can contain hundreds of NFT's.
There are already some early games that are making a play to be the gaming hub of the future. The two most common ones are The Sandbox and Decentraland. Both of these games contain many different gaming experiences and are integrating many different NFT community projects.
For example, Decentraland contains a yacht that you can only board if you have a Bored Apes NFT in your wallet. I've personally been to an Alison Wonderland concert in a Cathedral in Decentraland that was only accessible to me because I had an NFT egg in my wallet from her Wonderland NFT project. Ready Player One isn't as far away as you might think.
Footnote: This content was provided to me by @steddyman who is attempting to get a project off the ground. Details with be forthcoming. As he has barely a presence on HIVE he asked me to format the text, with my usual styling and promote it for him.
I have added @steddyman as a beneficiary of this post and any others in line with this one. He will be the one responding to any comments, I will be dishing out comment votes.