Blockchain: The GAME DESIGN Platform
Bitcoin, blockchain. Nonces, hashes and Satoshi. Smart contracts.
Lots of confusing jargon here.
Question: What is the blockchain really all about? What is the blockchain?
Here. Let me help you. The blockchain is a GAME DESIGN PLATFORM.
Nothing more, and (this is important) certainly nothing less.
And, you can design any kind of game you want on this platform.
And attract players.
And build a culture.
But I’m getting ahead of the story….
Consider Bitcoin, quite literally: a game that runs on the blockchain.
Bitcoin has goals. Bitcoin has rules. Bitcoin has very clear ways to track progress.
Bitcoin is an opt-in game; meaning: not one can ‘make you’ play Bitcoin, the game. You have to want to. You have to ‘opt in’ to play this game.
This means the Bitcoin Game is a good game. All four necessary elements of a good game are present.
So the “permanent-ledger called blockchain” is actually a game platform; Bitcoin is the name of a popular game that runs on it. A game about currency, a game about money. A game about authority. A game about “medium of exchange.” A game about “store of value.” Bitcoin (the game) runs on the blockchain. To play, get yourself a Bitcoin wallet and populate it with some Bitcoin. Go ahead.
The moment you do this, the moment you go and actually buy yourself some Bitcoin, you are playing the game. And you are implicitly agreeing to every single rule of this game. And in so doing, you are agreeing to play THE VERY SAME GAME all the other players are playing.
The Bitcoin Game. You are in, or you are out. The choice is yours. Now what is interesting is this: someone designed the Bitcoin game.
Any kind of game can be designed and then defined on the blockchain. Bitcoin is just one example. If you carefully observe the hundreds of possible “crypto currencies” through this “gaming lense,” you will quickly see what is going on.
Each coin is a token.
Each token is a very specific kind of game token.
Connected to the token are the goals, the rules and the progress-tracking aspects of the game.
Blockchain-based tokens like Bitcoin, therefore, are actually game tokens. If you have some tokens, you are playing a game. This is true whether you understand that, or not. It’s a game. A game with goals.
A game, with rules. A game with progress tracking.
And opt-in participation.
A game, like culture. Culture is a game.
Inside my 2012 book, THE CULTURE GAME, I assert that a culture, populated by people, is actually a kind of game. Such heresy!
If culture IS A game, this also means that a game, when populated and played by people, IS A kind of culture.
If these outrageous assertions are true, it means that the blockchain is actually a platform for culture design.
If these outrageous assertions are true, the implications are profound.
One implication is that the blockchain is itself is not simply a game design platform, but also what we might call a culture-design platform.
Another implication is that these games, implemented on the blockchain, are in fact instances of designed culture technologies.
They are in fact culture games.
And so: I think that’s quite enough for now.
I invite your feedback.