The evolution of video games and online video games has been incredible. But just how long have they been around? Some of the first video games date back to the early 1950s. These were one or two-player games that had to be played on the same computer.
As computers and computer networks evolved, so did video games. Arguably, the advent of the internet was a game-changer for the video game industry. It allowed players to play and compete with each other around the globe. From those early rudimentary games, few imagined that they would lead to a multi-billion dollar industry.
The video game industry continues to evolve and expand. The gaming market was valued at over $170 billion in 2021, up more than 14% from 2020. The market is expected to exceed $314 billion by 2027, equating to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 9% from 2022 to 2027.
The newest addition to the video game market is play-to-earn blockchain games. It is currently a small but rapidly growing video game market segment. What is a play-to-earn video game? These games let players earn crypto playing online. Rewards could be paid in crypto or non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Axie Infinity is currently the most popular play-to-earn online game.
Rewards or purchased items are stored in the player's crypto wallet, giving the player ownership. The in-game items are typically NFTs that can be traded or sold to other players or sold in other NFT marketplaces. However, the market for NFTs is changing, and some people prefer to collect rather than purely invest. Most financial institutions would not allow for the gamification of their products, but that’s where NFTs and online games are different.
What Are Cool Cats?
Image Credit: Cool Cats NFT, OpenSea
What is a Cool Cat? At first glance, it looks like just another NFT collection featuring some sort of wild animal. But Cool Cats are more than that, with 9,999 randomly generated NFTs in the Cool Cat collection. As with so many other NFT collections, Cool Cats exist on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning that transaction fees will be tied to each transaction and the NFTs are among hundreds of thousands of items that exist ont he blockchain.
An NFT is a token minted on a blockchain and, as the name suggests, is unique and irreplaceable — a one-of-a-kind piece of digital art or image. NFTs can also represent real-world items, like real estate or the title to a vehicle.
Cool Cats Collabs
Image Credit: OpenSea
In addition to the Cool Cats NFT collection, you could also buy an NFT in the Cool Cats Collabs collection. This collection of NFTs was created in collaboration with various artists, projects and brands. Other potential items to purchase include Cool Cats Events, a collection of NFTs that celebrate events worldwide and Cool Cats Achievements, badge and trophy NFTs earned by participating or winning Cool Cats events. Cool Cats Originals are a limited edition collection of NFTs created by the Cool Cats team that are randomly dropped to Cool Cats holders.
Cool Cats has also launched a play-to-earn game that ties blockchain transactions to accomplishments in the game.
The Cool Cats collection was created by a four-member team interested in art and cryptocurrencies: Tom Williamson, Rob Mehew, Evan Luza and Colin Egan.
What Are Cool Pets?
Image Credit: Cool Pets
Cool Pets is a play-to-earn game that expands on the Cool Cats Cooltopia universe, and includes 19,999 Cool Pets, 9,999 for Cool Cats holders and 10,000 for the public. Cool Pets start out as eggs and hatch into water, grass, air or fire element creatures. The food and items you use to interact with your egg help determine the element creature it will become. The collection makes over 17 million possible combinations of pets available.
You go through four stages for your Cool Pet to achieve its final form. You are limited to giving your Cool Pet a maximum of five items per day, so it takes 10 days to go from the egg stage to its final form.
How to Play the Cool Pets Game
In the Cool Pets game, you send your Cool Pet out on quests to help Sapphire Town and Cooltopia. Quests can range from minor tasks to epic adventures. Cool Pets can compete in up to 10 quests per day. Not all quests are equal; they range in rarity from common to legendary. You can determine how epic a quest is by the size of the stars and the color of the quest in its listing.
Cool Pets earn MILK tokens, the in-game currency, by setting out on these quests. Depending on its evolutionary stage, your Cool Pet can also receive bonuses during a quest. MILK tokens can be used to purchase loot crates available on the Cool Cats marketplace. The loot crates contain the in-game items you use to interact with your egg. Cool Cat holders automatically earn MILK tokens every day as passive income. Cool Cat holders can earn MILK tokens by renting out their Cool Pets.
How to Buy MILK Token
If you are not a Cool Cats holder, you don’t earn MILK tokens as passive income. Therefore initially, you need to buy MILK tokens. You need MILK tokens to grow your Cool Pet until it can earn tokens on its own.
- Use a cryptocurrency exchange to buy Ethereum.
Because Cool Pets resides on the Ethereum blockchain, you need Ether (ETH) to purchase MILK tokens. If you don’t have an account at a crypto exchange, open one to buy ETH. You can choose from numerous exchanges, but Uphold, Gemini and Voyager are among the best. All three have user-friendly trading platforms and a good selection of cryptocurrencies.
- Transfer your ETH to a cryptocurrency wallet.
Once you purchase ETH, transfer it into a wallet to connect to the Cool Cats website and the QuickSwap decentralized exchange (DEX). A MetaMask wallet is your best choice to connect to Web3 websites. MetaMask is available as a browser extension and also a mobile app. MetaMask is an easy-to-use wallet that supports multiple blockchains.
To install, go to metamask.io, click on the download button, choose your browser and click “Install MetaMask.” Next, click on the “Get started” button, select “Create wallet,” and choose a password. Write down and store the secret backup phrase. Confirm your secret backup phrase.
With the wallet, copy your ETH address and paste it into the withdrawal window on the exchange. Before sending the transfer, double-check the address to ensure it is correct. Once you complete the transfer, you can’t reverse it, so take your time and double and triple-check everything.
- Make Your Purchase
Purchase MILK tokens from the QuickSwap DEX. Because MILK tokens are on the Polygon blockchain, add the Polygon network to your MetaMask wallet.
Follow these steps to add the Polygon network.
Import MILK tokens into MetaMask so that they show in your wallet. Many coins and tokens are not automatically displayed in the MetaMask wallet and require this step.
To add MILK tokens, go to the MILK page on CoinGecko. Next, copy the contract address (right side under Info). Then open your MetaMask wallet and ensure you are on the Polygon network. Scroll down to the bottom and click on “Import token.” Paste in the contract address, then click on “Add Custom Token.”
After configuring your wallet, purchasing MILK tokens is pretty straightforward. Connect your MetaMask wallet to QuickSwap. Find MILK tokens and input the number of tokens you would like to swap. Click on “swap,” then click on confirm when your wallet pops up.
Will NFTs Take Over Traditional Gaming?
It’s still too early to say with certainty whether NFTs and play-to-earn gaming will overtake traditional gaming. However, it is hard to imagine that players would not choose actual ownership of in-game items over basically renting them.
The amount of money players spend on in-game items is substantial. Approximately $54 billion was spent on in-game content in 2020; that number is expected to surpass $74 billion by 2025. Another huge bonus for players is if in-game items have value outside of the game.
Current Cryptocurrency Prices
The overall crypto market remains in a somewhat neutral state. After hitting a low of $32,917 on January 24, Bitcoin has rebounded to nearly $45k. Most altcoins have followed Bitcoin’s lead and are down a similar amount from their peaks, at around 30% to 40%. However, some are down as much as 70%. The big question now is how long the bear market will last.
Are Gaming NFTs a Good Investment?
Whether NFTs make a good investment is subjective and ultimately depends on your investment horizon. NFTs are a speculative investment, and ample evidence suggests that early investors see gains that are orders of magnitude larger than later investors.
Overall, the NFT market still seems to be pretty hot. After a peak last August, traders saw a slight cooling-off period before things heated up again towards the end of the year. So far, 2022 has started off hot, with OpenSea setting a record in January with $4 billion in NFT sales. It would be wise to keep an eye on the state of the overall NFT market, which will likely determine where the prices of individual NFTs go from here.
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