Crypto researcher and investor Dave Stanton put forward what seems to be a wild idea. It is play-to-die. He wants to build a system which allows a beloved character that dies in one game to die forever. The character is minted as a non-fungible token (NFT) that can be bought or sold on the open market.
Once the character dies, it burns the NFT.
“I believe that the value potential of NFT characters is much greater than traditional game characters,” Stanton wrote in a blog. “Thus, introducing a concept of loss by dying in game is much more interesting and engaging than before.”
Play-to-Die: Dead but alive as an NFT
Death is not a new concept in gaming, so play-to-die could be an easy transition. Characters in first-person shooter games, or FPS, as well as those in role-playing games (RPG) “die” in the game. Players get a certain number of lives, either a limited amount or infinite.
However, the existing idea is of death in gaming represents nothing more than a feedback mechanism that you have performed poorly in a certain aspect of the gameplay. In real life, when you die it’s game over for good. When you play-to-die, you die.
Stanton believes the actual death experience could be applied to cryptocurrency gaming. He hopes this “will unlock new experiences in gameplay, new opportunities for gamers to earn and potentially create some of the most enticing spectator experiences.”
His plan revolves around non-fungible tokens, immutable and unique units of data stored on the blockchain. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files. And now dead characters in the gaming metaverse.
“NFTs can be bought, sold, traded, or used in other contexts outside of just one game,” he said. “These points are significant… compared to previous game experiences. Instead of only being able to use the character in that game, a player can now buy/sell on the open market.”
Stanton also spoke about the growth of NFTs that can be shared and traded across different blockchains. “It means characters will have much more value (not just monetary value but emotional value to the player) because they are not tied to a single game,” he explained.
“This interoperability could manifest in many ways. Being able to use a character in multiple games is an obvious one. I think there could also be promotional partnerships, membership opportunities and many more we can’t imagine at the moment,” added Stanton.
Dying while gaming
Dying in a game means players lose their character. Stanton said players “may become even more engaged and attached to their characters being extra thoughtful about their actions. This can lead to much more engaged gamers.”