- The gaming industry is using web3 games to address critical social issues like bullying, eating disorders, war horrors, and child abuse. By immersing players in these scenarios, the industry aims to foster empathy and understanding among gamers, leading to positive social change.
- The rise of GameFi and P2E games allows players to earn cryptocurrencies and tradable NFTs while playing, providing financial opportunities for players, especially in financially challenged regions.
- Singapore-based DEA is a leading GameFi-for-Good platform, hosting casual P2E games while actively supporting charitable causes across Southeast Asia. Initiatives focus on uplifting single mothers, disabled individuals, and impoverished farming communities using NFTs for real-world problem-solving.
- Oasys, a fee-less and environmentally friendly blockchain, has partnered with DEA to create content focused on solving social issues through games.
- The gaming industry is reevaluating its role in society and actively embracing GameFi and NFTs.
For years, video games have faced criticism for being perceived as a mere pastime and even detrimental to players due to addiction and social isolation. However, a significant shift is underway, as the gaming industry is recognizing its potential to drive social good and positive change. With over 3 billion gamers worldwide, approximately 39% of the global population, this influential industry is poised to make a real impact on society. This article explores the rising trend of GameFi (Game Finance) and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) within the gaming world and how they are creating pathways for social awareness and empowerment.
#1. Raising Awareness through Entertainment
One of the most profound ways the gaming industry is contributing to social good is by creating games that raise awareness about critical social issues. These thematic games address subjects like bullying, eating disorders, war horrors, and child abuse, aiming to foster empathy and understanding among players.
By immersing gamers in these scenarios, the industry is fostering a new generation that is more compassionate and aware of real-world problems, ultimately paving the way for positive change.
In the US, GamesForChange.org has played a significant role in advocating for awareness-raising games long before the concept of ESG initiatives became mainstream. GamesForChange.org is a non-profit organization that focuses on promoting social impact through games. They have been at the forefront of the movement to create games that address critical social issues and foster empathy and understanding among players.
By developing and supporting games that tackle topics such as bullying, mental health, environmental conservation, and human rights, GamesForChange.org has been instrumental in using gaming as a medium for positive social change. These games are designed to raise awareness about real-world problems and inspire players to take action in their communities.
On the other side of the world, in China, the gaming industry faced heavy regulations from the government starting in the summer of 2021. These regulations were aimed at curbing gaming addiction among young people and limiting the amount of time minors could spend playing video games. However, the Chinese government recently approved 86 new games, signaling a relaxation of some of the strict regulations.
In response to this development, technology and entertainment giant Tencent, one of China’s largest gaming companies, announced several gaming projects with the specific goal of creating social value. This move indicates a shift in focus for Tencent, showing a growing recognition of gaming’s potential for social good rather than merely being a source of entertainment.
#2. GameFi and P2E: Empowering Players Economically
The blockchain gaming space has brought a revolutionary concept known as Play-to-Earn (P2E) or Play-and-Earn (P&E) to the forefront. In these “GameFi” games, players can earn cryptocurrencies and tradable NFTs while playing, turning what was once seen as a time-wasting activity into a productive and empowering pursuit.
Games like Axie Infinity have demonstrated the tremendous potential of GameFi by attracting millions of daily active players. For individuals in financially challenged regions, GameFi has become a means of generating labor-free supplemental income, transforming lives and enabling families to thrive.
Axie Infinity has emerged as one of the most popular and influential players in the GameFi space. During the crypto boom of 2021 and 2022, the platform reached a staggering peak of nearly 2.8 million daily active players, making it one of the most widely adopted GameFi projects to date. Despite facing challenges during the recent bear market when the value of its native token, $AXS, significantly dropped, Axie Infinity’s success continues to demonstrate the enduring strength of GameFi in Southeast Asia (SEA).
One of the most remarkable impacts of GameFi, particularly in SEA, is its role in providing economic opportunities to people in impoverished regions. Many areas in SEA have monthly minimum wages that are well below $300, making it challenging for individuals and families to meet their basic needs. However, the emergence of P2E gaming, exemplified by platforms like Axie Infinity, has opened up new possibilities for these communities.
Through P2E games, players can earn cryptocurrencies and tradable NFTs while gaming, effectively turning gaming into a productive and profitable activity. This has led to a significant number of individuals from impoverished regions in SEA turning to P2E gaming as a means of labor-free supplemental income. Some players have even been able to fully support their families solely through their earnings from gaming.
A poll conducted by Finder reveals the extent of P2E gaming’s popularity in certain countries in SEA. Around 23% of Vietnam’s entire population and 25% of people from the Philippines have played P2E games, indicating the widespread adoption and acceptance of this model.
The social impact of Web3 gaming, as represented by GameFi and P2E, in SEA cannot be overstated. These platforms are creating avenues for financial inclusion and economic empowerment for people who previously faced limited opportunities to improve their livelihoods. By offering an alternative source of income that requires only an internet connection and gaming skills, GameFi is breaking down barriers and providing hope for individuals in economically disadvantaged regions.
#3. Digital Entertainment Asset (DEA): GameFi-for-Good
Singapore-based Digital Entertainment Asset (DEA) is leading the charge in the GameFi-for-Good movement. DEA’s PlayMining GameFi platform hosts a variety of casual P2E games while actively supporting charitable causes across Southeast Asia.
Initiatives by DEA aim to uplift single mothers, disabled individuals, and impoverished farming communities. One remarkable project involves using NFTs to address infrastructure challenges by enlisting players to assist in inspecting and patrolling aging facilities, merging gaming with real-world problem-solving.
#4. Oasys: A Platform for Social Impact
Oasys, a fee-less and environmentally friendly blockchain, has partnered with DEA to develop content focused on solving social issues through games.
Embracing social impact as a core principle, Oasys is making strides with big-name partnerships in the traditional gaming industry, including SEGA, Square Enix, Ubisoft, and Bandai Namco.
This partnership signals a growing acceptance of NFTs and blockchain technology within mainstream gaming, propelling GameFi and social impact initiatives to a wider audience.
#5. The Gaming Industry’s Transformation
The gaming industry is undergoing a significant transformation as it reevaluates its role in society. Previously, some AAA gaming companies were hesitant about embracing NFTs and blockchain technology. However, recent moves by Square Enix, EA Sports, and Sony to explore NFT integration in their games indicate a shifting mindset towards the potential of GameFi.
This trend demonstrates that the gaming industry is not only capable of driving social impact but is actively embracing these innovations as part of its future.
The emergence of GameFi and NFTs within the gaming industry marks a momentous turning point in the quest for social good. From raising awareness about critical issues to empowering players economically and actively supporting charitable causes, games are no longer confined to entertainment alone. By tapping into its massive player base and harnessing the potential of blockchain technology, the gaming industry is becoming a formidable force in driving positive change and leaving a lasting impact on society.