EXCLUSIVE: Axie Infinity's Andrew Campbell On Coming Out As Non-Binary, LGBTQ Acceptance, And Breaking 'The Cycle of Broken Power Dynamics' With Blockchain

EXCLUSIVE: Axie Infinity's Andrew Campbell On Coming Out As Non-Binary, LGBTQ Acceptance, And Breaking 'The Cycle of Broken Power Dynamics' With Blockchain

Ethereum ETH/USD-based blockchain game Axie Infinity AXS/USD has been buzzing this year. Benzinga talked to eSports veteran Andrew Campbell, the program lead for the project, who came out as gender non-binary last year.

The Normality Of Coming Out: In a write-up earlier, Campbell touched on a one-on-one podcast with professional “Dota 2” player Slacks. In the podcast, Campbell expressed his desire to wear a dress at a live event.

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Campbell told Benzinga that he had thought of asking Slacks off-camera but decided it would be more “interesting” to put him on the spot.

“I wasn’t 100% planning on bringing it up, but as the podcast went on, it felt more appropriate. He’s a close friend, so it was comforting to have him there in a loud moment of public disclosure.”

Campbell, who specializes in Valve’s Dota 2, noted that coming out can feel a bit like Groundhog Day for people who might be shifting careers and uproot their entire lives often but "you get more used to talking about it though; the whole process becomes more normalized."

Changing The World With Blockchain: In terms of gender balance, Axie is about 60% male and 40% female, Campbell revealed, citing the latest web traffic data.

“Axie’s platform and artist style has a general appeal that I think is inclusive in nature,” said Campbell. The Axie executive pointed out that the “LGBTQ stuff is still not completely accepted,” — adding, “that’s ok; we’ll take it one step at a time.”

“I don’t think we’re too concerned about losing any potential players that are completely against a gaming company with an inclusive culture. That said, our mission is the change the world with blockchain.”

The success of that change is evident from the fact that Cathie Wood-led Ark Invest called Axie Infinity the “foundation” of “an emerging economy that is play-to-earn games.”

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AXS, one of the two tokens linked to Axie Infinity has shot up 12683.97% since the year began, making it the coin with the best year-to-date gains, as per CoinMarketCap data.

Smooth Love Potion SLP/USD, another Axie Infinity-linked token has shot up 224.86% in the same time frame.

What Matters Is What's Inside: Campbell told Benzinga that Axie was focussed on “building a meritocracy that is open to anyone with the chops to make an impact.”

On the representation of sexual and gender minorities in the blockchain arena, Campbell said, “ I don’t really care about these qualities when it comes to interacting with people in the blockchain space; I care about what they do, what they say, and how they choose to impact the world.”

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Campbell said he spends most of his time seeking out the “best builders, contributors, and content creators” he can find.

“Some of them are women, some of them are men. Some of them are probably queer, others aren’t.”

Pick Your Battles Carefully: Cryptocurrency evangelists have been gung-ho about certain countries like El Salvador and Belarus, whose leaders cannot be described as supportive of LGBTQ rights. 

On such issues, Campbell comes out as a realist. He said, “I think it’s important not to project your own morality onto the rest of the world when you have [a] truly global audience.”

“This is a very complex thing to balance, as some things are worth fighting for, but you have to pick your battles.”

Campbell said that some things need to be “compartmentalized in the short term” for the betterment of the long term.

“Obviously I would love to see more progress for LGBTQ acceptance in some of these countries; however, we can’t fight every battle at the same time.”

Instead, Campbell is focusing on evangelism surrounding non fungible token gaming and blockchain, especially in developing countries.

“I believe giving oppressed people access to sound money and connection to the global economy is one of the most powerful ways to equip them with tools to break the cycle of broken power dynamics.”

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Posted In: Andrew CampbellAxie InfinityBlockchaingamingLGBTQNFTNon fungible tokenCryptocurrencyNewsExclusivesMarkets

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