Cryptocurrency and the NFT craze have taken earning money via video games to a whole new level with the advent of play to earn games. Both young and old folks are no longer playing video games for fun. It seems everyone is looking for ways to convert their leisure time to money. And, that’s a great idea.
Amazingly, the trend is becoming toxic as teenagers gradually become interested in joining the play to earn the gaming community. So, as a parent, how should you navigate this with your kids? Read on to learn you can guide your child to make money via play to earn games.
Once upon a time, kids played video games because they were fun. They spent hours getting to the next level, saving the princess, and defeating the bad guy. Afterward, they shut off the console, wiped off their sweaty palms, and called it a day. That’s not all; they would have skipped their lunch or ignored some necessary household chores. That could have been a waste of time.
But today, a new class of games has emerged—one with a whole new set of goals, including investment opportunities and potential earning streams. Even teenagers can seize the advantage and earn big. Welcome to the beautiful world of crypto-based video games known as “play-to-earn.” Yes, this is already very much a thing.
Play to earn games such as Axie Infinity, Blankos Block Party, the upcoming Illuvium, and Star Atlas have exploded in popularity recently, with complex economic ecosystems and winning graphics. Unlike popular games (like Fortnite and Roblox), where in-game currency had no value in the real world, cryptocurrency and the recent NFT craze have taken things to a whole new level.
Teenagers are very fond of playing videos games. They are the most likely to be caught up spending the whole day holding a game console all through the day. So, how do these play to earn games work for them? As a parent, should you encourage your child to participate?
Yes! As a matter of fact, some play to earn games are suitable for teenagers. Here are some of the top games.
What are play-to-earn video games for teenagers?
The current leader in this new space is Axie Infinity, a Pokémon-style game created by Sky Mavis’s Vietnamese developer. The game revolves around cute furry creatures called Axies, which players breed, acquire, train, use to complete challenges, and do battle with online. The game’s object is to obtain smooth love potions (SLPs), which can be used to breed new Axies that can then be deployed within the game. SLP is also a recognized cryptocurrency on exchanges—which can be converted to real money.
Axies themselves can also be traded as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). NFTs are digital collectibles on online ledgers known as blockchains (such as Ethereum or Solana). They are better known for recently taking the art world by storm.
Late this summer, Axie Infinity passed one million daily active users and one billion USD in sales. This strategy-intensive game requires its players to be 18+.
Blankos Block Party
A much more accessible game is the colorful and wacky universe of Blankos Block Party by Mythical Games. Blankos Block Party is a multiplayer party game featuring digital vinyl toys known as Blankos. These funky minor characters, designed by mostly third-party artists—including fashion brand icon Burberry and DJ sensation Deadmau5—play and compete in various challenges and games often created by the game’s own players.
“The creativity is amazing,” John Linden, CEO of Mythical Games, tells Parents. “I love seeing what our players come up with.”
Blankos Block Party is free to play and includes in-game purchases like past gaming models. The difference? A secondary marketplace (Mythical Marketplace) is available. Owners can sell their collectible Blankos for much higher prices than their original investment. Players can even level up their Blankos through gameplay by completing set daily challenges, making their Blankos more valuable.
“We have been thinking about this space for nearly 10 years,” Linden tells their Parents. “Our mission with Blankos is to create a safe environment for players to become entrepreneurial within the games and where artists and brands can participate safely and showcase their work.”
To play Blankos Block Party, the age requirement is 13, but you must be 18 or older to cash out. Linden confirms that the brand wants “to make sure we are fully compliant with local laws to protect the consumer.”
With the success of current play to earn games, the industry has taken notice—and many more games are on the horizon: Star Atlas, a space exploration adventure, and Illuvium, the first blockchain-based AAA gaming title offering high-fidelity graphics, promise to take the level of gaming experience and revenue potential to the moon, somewhat literally.
Should this be your child’s first paycheck?
How, as parents, do we anticipate this next generation of games will affect the actual next generation? Is this just a natural evolution of collectibles—or is it a tangible way to earn revenue? And if the latter, is that healthy? Is it safe?
Dr. Nisha Patel, a Child and Adolescent Fellow at the University of California San Diego, tells Parents that the most crucial aspect is guidance from a parent or adult guardian.
“Ideally, a teenager is old enough to understand what it means to earn money and be in a structured environment where parents monitor spending,” Dr. Patel explains.Dr. Patel even thinks kids trading NFTs could be as harmless as kids trading or selling coins, stamps, or baseball cards. “This is a fair comparison, as long as some monitoring/regulations are implemented,” she adds.
In the end, Dr. Patel explains that “video games/gaming can be a wonderful hobby for a teenager and can be encouraged—as long as other responsibilities are being upheld and the amount of time spent playing is monitored.”
Supervised correctly, the play-to-earn model could assist teenagers in fostering early money management skills given guidance. “Most Pediatric Associations will recommend specific outlined times for hobbies like video games,” Dr. Patel points out. “For the most part, recommendations are 30-60 minutes on school days and two hours on weekends. The caveat being that kids should have homework/tasks/chores completed before video games and video games should not interfere with adequate sleep.”
Now that games like Axie Infinity and Blankos Block Party are possible, it seems likely that the play-to-earn trend will continue to develop further. Many games have sustained online communities in the past. Still, by adding the ability to make money into the mix, play to earn games may be the most alluring type.
More to read: 10 Best Play-To-Earn Crypto Games In 2022