The escape fantasy of NFT games is capitalism



Best of all, these assets don’t just exist as numbers on an MMORPG server; they are kept in a cryptocurrency wallet controlled by the player. Owning an Axie means owning an NFT; speech therapists and Axis Infinity the other currency, AXS, is the ERC20, a type of Ethereum token. And like a privatized central banker, Sky Mavis has gradually crafted a monetary policy that appears to be aimed at ensuring that there is no oversupply of tokens. The company cracked down on people using multiple accounts, limited the number of tokens that can be obtained in non-combat mode, and generally made it more difficult to obtain tokens. Analysts talk about “overpopulation of the Axies” causing inflation to rise in ironic terms. (Turns out the main problem is little bastards can’t die.) And in November, Sky Mavis launched Katana, an automated cryptocurrency market maker where Infinite Axis tokens can be exchanged for Ether, which provides a direct and inexpensive channel between the game and the burgeoning sphere of decentralized, cryptocurrency-fueled finance, or DeFi.

“Providing DeFi services was a very natural next step for us,” says Larsen. “I mean, if you have a wallet, which stores your digital items, and you can also have your fungible assets and everything in between, it all naturally leads to DeFi.” Katana quickly became one of the most popular DeFi apps in terms of user volume, according to DappRadar.

If you ask players what is preventing them from reconnecting to Infinite Axis, few will quote its mechanics of play. When the co-founder of Sky Mavis, Jeff Zirlin asked his Twitter followers in May what was their favorite thing in the game, 48% of those polled were most excited about “the economy”. And like any economy, Infinite Axis‘s includes a thriving job market.

Venture capitalist Yat Siu has become one of the Infinite Axislast year because of the scholarship system that Axie owners like Catdicax put in place. “What we have seen is the relationship between the combination of capital and labor,” he says. Players he describes as “time-limited but capital rich” would lease their digital assets to other players who are “more time and capital rich.” It was like the way Chinese workers (and sometimes even incarcerated people) Would “close” fancy armor and gold for which they had “grinded” in World of warcraft and sell it on gray market websites for cash. Except that with many NFT games, players are encouraged to pass their assets on to others, and trading those assets for real money down the line is totally over the edge.

Thousands richer Infinite Axis players rented their Axies to other players in exchange for a 30 or 40 percent cut in income. It’s the same with the NFT card game Exploded lands‘digital cards, which, according to co-founder and COO Jesse Reich, overlap with both a “altruistic and capitalist experience … to increase their financial status and reputation.” These other actors are often based in developing countries like Ecuador or the Philippines. (More than half of Infinite Axis the players are Filipino, according to Ciel Mavis). Many of them are part of exchanges or “guilds”. Players lease their accounts to each other, sharing usernames and passwords, as part of the manager-employee relationship organized on Discord. In Infinite Axis‘s Discord, dozens of workers “apply” for positions every 10 minutes, explaining why they should be hired, what their gaming experience is, and how good their internet connection is.



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