You may have heard of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which were conceived in 2009 and 2013 respectively, and have some understanding that the digital currencies run on a ledger called a blockchain. But did you know that this technology could be useful in a number of different applications? In fact, the system, which is an efficient way of recording an item’s history, could soon be applied in various industries. Recently, board game developers have even decided to incorporate the software. This type of gaming is still extremely popular and evolving for the digital age will ensure it stays around for many years to come.
Analogue Games Still Enjoyed Despite Having Digital Counterparts
With the digital age and the rise of mobile gaming, many classic games have been given a makeover for the new medium. Developers have understood that some games that have remained popular throughout history can’t be replaced, and should be adapted for new technology instead.
Chess is a prime example of one such game. The strategy game, which is believed to have originated in Eastern India somewhere between the year 280 and 550, is one of the oldest games known to man. Despite appearing simple, chess is one of the most complex games ever and, after each player has moved three times, there are 121 million possible ways it could play out. The game is still enjoyed in its physical form today and some of the best sets can be bought from shops like Chess Bazaar. It can also be enjoyed digitally. There are numerous chess apps available for mobile like Chess Free from Al Factory Limited, and some modern twists on the classic game such as Toon Clash Chess from Ludus Studio. The same could be said for blackjack. The classic casino card game has been around since the early 17th century and is still one of the most popular games in gambling houses today. It can be played online as well, where there are modern versions such as Betway Casino’s Super Fun 21. Poker is another card game that is still played by large numbers in real-life settings, despite having a massive online following – 7,221 players enrolled for the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2017.
Blockchain for Board Games
While board games have enjoyed a makeover in the world of apps, there is still something to be said for getting together with friends and interacting with some table entertainment. There are Monopoly apps such as Monopoly Here and Now from Hasbro, and other popular strategy games for mobile including RISK: Global Domination from SMG Studio and WarSmoke-MMO from PopPace Inc, which have brought classic games into the 21st century. Even so, board games are the most funded category on Kickstarter with $785.62 million invested, and there has been a recent increase in the number of board game cafes worldwide in recent years. There are places to play in major cities across the USA and, in Beijing alone, there are more than 200 locations. For this reason, it makes sense that developers are working on ways to extend the shelf life of board games.
This is where PlayTable comes in. The innovative idea from Blok.Party is an Android-based gameboard that works with small toys that have built-in RFID chips. The table, which has 72 RFID antennae built into its internal grid, uses the Ethereum blockchain. All the data associated with a particular toy is stored on this blockchain so that it has updated stats after each game is completed. These stats are stored permanently so that even if a piece is sold or traded it will still have its own unique history. This could be a revolutionary idea for the industry, and could also easily be applied to popular online trading card games such as Gwent from CD Projekt Red and the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online from the Pokémon Company International. The concept would also be great for saving data in tournaments and could add an extra element to the growing attraction of board game cafes.
Instead of mobile offerings taking over from the games that inspired them, this new revelation from Blok.Party could create a new avenue for digital and analogue games to work in tandem. It is an exciting innovation, and it will be interesting to see what kind of effect it will have on the games industry as a whole.