Let the Games Begin - The Daily Gwei #278

Enhancing the crypto experience with gamification.

I played a lot of World of Warcraft in my teenage years (over 10,000 hours worth) and have been a pretty active gamer in general ever since I was a kid. One gaming-related trend that I’m starting to see pop up (and get really excited about) in the crypto ecosystem (besides NFT-based games) is the gamification of different on-chain products and services.

For those who are unaware, a few weeks ago Zapper added gamification features to their dashboard where users could complete ‘Quests’ to earn experience points and level up. There’s also a rewards section where users can claim unique NFTs based on their level (up to level 10) and it also displays how many people have claimed a particular reward so far. As for the quests - there’s only 3 so far - ‘Open Zapper’, ‘Add/Remove Liquidity’ and ‘Exchange’. The former can be completed once a day with the latter 2 able to be completed once a week. To complete the ‘Open Zapper’ quest, users need only sign a message using their Ethereum wallet but it requires them to open up the Zapper dashboard each day which acts as a very sticky re-engagement tool. Of course, this tool isn’t anything new, it’s one that a lot of mobile games use to lure people back into their pay-to-play casinos (and it works quite well).

There’s another project out there called RabbitHole that is using gamification as a way to onboard more people into the crypto ecosystem. You can basically use their service to “go questing” and earn rewards from your favorite projects (Compound, Aave, Uniswap etc). The thinking behind RabbitHole is that it should be possible to onboard a lot more new users into this ecosystem by simply offering them a “carrot” (rewards) which isn’t dissimilar to what web2 products have done to bootstrap user-bases in the past (such as PayPal infamously giving away $10 to new users in the early days).

You could probably argue that liquidity mining/yield farming programs are a form of gamification that we already have - after all, users are essentially earning “points” whenever they farm tokens - it just so happens that these points have actual monetary value attached to them. But I would still love to see much more gamification in the crypto space - give me NFT rewards for using your product, allow me to access unique features if I’m a loyal user, have a progression/leveling system where I can earn ‘power ups’ and, of course, allow me to customize my experience. On top of this, I’d like to see more apps integrate some sort of social experience - maybe something around DAOs which are commonly referred to as “guilds” (another term that’s used heavily in the gaming world).

I think the fact that we haven’t seen much gamification of crypto apps is just a sign that we’re still so incredibly early. Much of the non-crypto tech world hasn’t clued into this ecosystem yet so we don’t see many of the traditional web2 tactics employed at this time. In saying that, I believe that with DeFi and web3 technologies, we can create many new ways to onboard users and keep them engaged - after all, yield farming is already a powerful crypto-native engagement tool (for better or worse).

Have a great day everyone,
Anthony Sassano

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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.