The Different Types of ‘Blank-to-Earn’ Games & their Positive Impact on the World

As the blockchain space has grown, the number of use cases spawned from it is staggering. Companies are finding countless ways of putting this innovative technology to use. 

One of the more prevalent types is the ‘blank-to-earn’ games. This blanket term can refer to a number of different games that have incorporated blockchain into their infrastructure to allow players to earn while they play. There is play-to-earn, walk-to-earn, exercise-to-earn, and explore-to-earn, all with different benefits. These are collectively known as GameFi. 

These innovative game types ensure that gamers can earn while interacting with some of their favourite games. Now the favourite pass time of many can be more than just fun; but also a way to make some additional capital. 

Through this article, we will break down each category of blank-to-earn games to educate on what they are and how they can improve life and the world.

Play-to-Earn

Play-to-Earn games may be the most prevalent of all blank-to-earn games. These are online games that allow players to earn rewards that have real-world value by engaging with the game. Players can earn through completing tasks, winning battles against other players, or progressing through the game levels. 

Rewards from these games are often in the form of in-game assets like crypto tokens, plots of virtual land, skins, weapons, and NFTs. These rewards can then be traded, sold, or collected. 

Some popular examples of the play-to-earn model are CryptoKitties, Axie Infinity, Decentraland, and DeFi Kingdoms.

Walk-to-Earn, Exercise-to-Earn, and Move-to-Earn

Walk-to-earn and exercise-to-earn both function pretty similarly. Both let you earn rewards for partaking in the betterment of your physical health. These models incentivize a healthier lifestyle by rewarding users the more they walk or exercise. 

As an example, Sweatcoin, the most popular walk-to-earn app, you are awarded 0.95 SWEATCOIN for every 1,000 steps you take. Sweatcoins can be redeemed for cash via PayPal or rewards like gift cards, fitness products like Apple watches and FitBits, music downloads, and more. 

Some examples of walk-to-earn games are: Rover, Achievement, StepBet, Charity Miles, and HealthyWage.

Some more examples of exercise-to-earn games are: Evidation, FitPotato, Fitforbucks, and Lead Fitness Boot Camps. 

Explore-to-Earn

Like the previously mentioned game models, explore-to-earn incentives users to get outside. However, unlike exercise and walk-to-earn models, explore-to-earn games reward users for exploring. Many of the games that have adopted this model set points of exploration that users must go to. Once they have gone to the set places set by the game, they are rewarded. Rewards consist of physical rewards like coupons, electronics, and more. 

Move-to-Earn

As much as Blank-to-Earn games are making waves collectively, the move-to-earn…movement… is really picking up steam.

That’s thanks in large part to a project called STEPN. STEPN is a top 100 cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Users get paid to move/walk long distances using the STEPN app available for both Android and iOS smartphones.

Even in a down market like the one we are in now, STEPN has a market capitalization of over $500 million and people are making substantial amounts of money just for exercising. Big corporate brands like Nike want you to use all their special technology so that you can track the races you run, but they don’t want to pay you for it.

STEPN is totally willing to pay you for your effort, not to mention you get the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle for all the moving around you’re doing.

The Benefits of Blank-to-Earn Games

While it may be easy to say that the benefits from these games come simply from being able to earn monetary value while playing, their benefits go beyond that. 

  • Own a Part of the Game - In traditional games, when you achieve something, the victory remains a solitary one, known only to you and possibly any of the cooperative players you are joined by. Any of the in-game weapons, skins, or other assets, while “awarded” to you, aren’t really yours. In-game assets do not belong to the player but instead to the game developer. 

These game types, like play-to-earn, allow players to own parts of the game which they can later benefit from. These in-game asset can then be subsequently sold for real money on multiple markets.

  • Community - Many of these games require a strong, dedicated community. Without this community, these games would not be able to go beyond the launch phase of the project. 

By interacting with these games, you become part of a larger community of like-minded individuals, turning the once singular hobby of gaming into a group affair. Being a part of the community is beneficial not only financially, but also on a personal level as it allows people to connect through shared interests. 

  • Improved Health - For the walk, exercise, and explore-to-earn models, users benefit from improved health. Being incentivized to walk, explore, or exercise help get people out of the house and get moving. This will naturally improve your physical health but could also be incredibly beneficial to mental health as well as it is getting people outside and out of the house. 

These innovative game models flip the traditional video game industry on its head, providing players with engaging ways to earn while interacting with fun games. The old adage of gamers being lazy and wasting time is a thing of the past because now players can earn while they play or get out and exercise, walk, explore and earn. 

The positive benefits these games can have on users, such as getting them involved with a strong community, providing additional income streams, and improving their health, ensure they will have a positive impact on their userbase. 

Like many blockchain-related movements, blank-to-earn games are still in their infancy, but the direction they are taking is towards benefiting the user beyond entertainment, making them a more practical option over traditional gaming.