GameFi: to DAO or not to DAO
While DAOs saw a massive surge in interest in late 2021, they were not the sole figure under the spotlight, as another key player was making trends in the DeFi community. Referred to by many names such as Play-to-Earn and Blockchain-Based Games, GameFi is a new and emerging genre of gaming that leverages blockchain technology to realize various goals that are difficult to accomplish via conventional means.
The two are interesting use-cases of blockchain tech, and are growing at very rapid rates. DAOs move at a very different pace however, as they’re not only older, but more versatile, and easier to develop — whereas games are more niche and require lots of time to bring to life.
Given how GameFi emerged from an overwhelmingly decentralized environment, it begs the following question: Should GameFi projects be decentralized, and by extension, should they be governed by a DAO? At first glance the question seems rather simple and surface-leveled, but there are a lot of factors that make it a difficult question to answer.
Games as a Product
The first perspective worth looking at — and perhaps the most important — is that of games in the context of a product (or a service). Like any other good, producing a game requires expertise in various areas that include but are not limited to: programming, level design, graphic design, sound design, art direction… etc.
As the gaming industry developed, courses designed for game developers became more and more popular, until they became the standard. Today, the knowledge and experience obtained by game developers, be it through academia or profession, are important for the development of enjoyable and compelling games.
The questions that arise here is: will a community with no such credentials be able to steer a GameFi project in the right direction? Will the average person have the insight of those of developers to propose and vote on the right changes and updates? And will a non-DAO player aware of these realities consider playing a game managed by a DAO?
Games as a Work of Art
Another worthwhile viewpoint on games is that of an artistic lens that sees games as works of art. From story writing to visuals, music and gameplay, a lot of thought and creativity can go into a video game; and like any other medium, can be used to convey a message with varying levels of subtlety and complexity.
Art has often been about artists and their works and ideas; and although billions of people around the world consume art in one form or another, most people care about the central figures producing them, and not the average consumer and how they would have done it. From painters to music groups, something about their perspective, skill and ways of expression have made them interesting enough to make them the major focal point when discussing their work.
So, what kind of implications would a DAO have on creative direction? Would the torch be handed from a centralized art group to a decentralized community? Would a random group of people be able to produce something artistic? How would the creativity of such a group take form, and would outsiders be interested in such ideas?
To Answer the Question
As long as a project is aware of such points, it can design itself to address such concerns from the very beginning, rather than risk building upon shaky and uncertain foundations. It is a complex matter that requires weighing in different perspectives and approaches, and most importantly, the opinions of the community.
DAOs add value in a vast number of areas, but this may be where not enough benefits are yet realized to see a lot of GameFi projects prioritize them. Ironically, this may be one area where the community itself would prefer sitting it out instead of having a say in the development of a game, but it is still too early to say for sure, and is all up for speculation.
Do you think most GameFi projects will end up being governed by a DAO? Or are you of the opinion that it might be a case of predominantly centralized projects in a wider decentralized ecosystem? Discuss with community members in the official Accessifi group, or stay tuned to see what we have in store for projects and DAOs!
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