Art and videogames are two sectors that are being impacted by blockchain disruption in very transcendent ways. With the emergence of NFT, you now have the ability to assign and track ownership of digital art —making it an asset in the digital world—. In the case of gaming, you have the ability to create assets that you can trade for crypto or fiat currencies in different exchanges, which create enhanced reward systems for the gaming experience. These assets will require, of course, some sort of artistic input in order to be created.
As Web3 continues to be developed, it is quite telling that some of the main drivers of this development is gaming and art. In the case of art really, it needed to find a way to reward the creators in a better way in the digital space, which is why it has embraced blockchain and NFTs with open arms. Gaming had people acquiring assets without fully being able to harness their full potential, nor being rewarded for the time spent on it. That has all changed with these assets being tokenized and tradeable, and the appearance of the play-to-earn gaming model.
Because NFT art is digital, there are many ways in which this art can be produced. You can have a painting, which is scanned into a JPG file. Or one can use a digital pencil on a screen to produce something that is made in a similar way as a painting. This is all in the still visual arts realm. NFT art can be animation, video, renderings, and many more things.
As worlds get built, we find ourselves in the curious scenario that the builders are not architects and engineers; but artists and game developers. This is how NFT art and gaming interacts. They form a symbiosis —at times— to help create the assets of the new digital world that is slowly arising.
Through smart contract functionality, a NFT artwork can morph and change. It can be in accordance to what is in the holder’s wallet, or if it comes into contact with another NFT of the same collection. This can encourage a specific type of behavior that can make a NFT more valuable or, at least, more unique. The artwork can be programmed to mutate if it is traded at least a number of times, and acquire new and rare attribute. Or merge into one piece, which brings down the total number of editions inside a collection making the NFTs more valuable.
Dynamic NFTs —NFT art that can mutate in some way thanks to a smart contract function— have a gamification aspect to themselves. They provide a reward to actions done by the user, or simply mutate in accordance to what the person has.
Art within games
One can think of videogames as a work of art in and of themselves. A story, the creature creation aspect, and designing the world in which it all takes place requires artists to create. But now, players can actually own stuff within the game that are artwork.
What this means, basically, is that you could have a house that is registered to your name or wallet on the blockchain as an NFT. But the people that are going to be designing this house, or develop this real estate, are going to be artists and game developers. All within a gaming experience.
All of this is a great place to be for developers and videogame artists. Because all the artwork that is done, all the items that can be used inside the game, can now be traded and generate commissions for the creators. A way to open the gaming experience to more people and still be profitable.
There are already many gaming notions intertwined with art and design. Think of UX/UI design, where you want users to perform certain actions. Designing that experience where users are led to the desired action is done with the help of gamification. Something is done; therefore, the users get rewarded in some way. And to create engaging gamified experiences, they will have to be visually appealing. Have compelling artistic work attached to the whole experience.
Today we see a deepening of these ties. It’s no longer just about the art that one can find within videogames or the gamification of art. Today, art and gaming have joined forces to create new economies and new worlds.
Think of the SOPRG art gallery in the Somnium Spaces metaverse. This NFT art gallery owns a parcel in the metaverse, a property in the form of an NFT. This piece of land is where SOPRG displays all the NFT art that is done by the artists that. Technically speaking, an NFT where other NFTs are displayed. All of it happening within an immersive experience that draws heavily from videogames (here you can find some of the best out there).
These are only a few of many touching points of gaming and art that are just being explored. It is not for nothing that these two sectors are the driving forces of Web3.