A gamer interacting with a virtual avatar holding an NFT, representing the merging of self-sovereign identity (SSI) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the gaming industry.

SSI and NFTs in the gaming industry

Home Blockchain Technology SSI and NFTs in the gaming industry

Self-Sovereign Identity, or SSI, offers new possibilities in the field of data ownership and security linked to decentralized technologies.

Many of the best-known cases of SSI implementation refer to sectors such as: government, health, education, logistics, transportation, tourism, etc.

Gaming Digital Identities: Verifiable Credentials & NFTs
Gaming Digital Identities: Verifiable Credentials & NFTs

But how would Self-Sovereign Identity be implemented in a sector such as gaming?

As many know, NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) and cryptocurrency technology, have many applications in this sector under the “play to earn” motto.

Play-to.earn games have already proven to be a huge success in low-income countries where some players reportedly earn thousands of dollars a month playing titles such as Axie Infinity (one of the most popular games with the most followers).

The ability to get paid to play games is a dream come true for millions of gamers around the world, and a growing number of game developers are looking to create more attractive titles to meet the demand.

With the increasing number of gamers on this type of platform, we may fall into thinking that nothing can get any better. But, it doesn’t. What if I told you that we can enhance this experience if we, in turn, implement SSI solutions?

Source: “Self-Sovereing Identity livebook” - Chapter 35
Source: “Self-Sovereing Identity livebook” – Chapter 35

Gaming + NFTs & SSI:

As we said, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) bring us a whole new gaming experience with great advantages.

How? Well, as we already know NFTs are ideal for capturing the uniqueness and scarcity of an asset, but how does the concept of SSI come into this? The Self-Sovereign Identity has great qualities dedicated to storing and updating features of an asset, especially when those features are player specific.

How does SSI work in the gaming industry?

Surely if you play a lot of different things, you may have found it tedious and impractical that there is no traceability between different games. But all this has a solution. Imagine being able to transfer your progress, logos, and even items between different universes or games. That your whole experience is linked to your identity and is recognizable in every game where you have a profile.

Downloadable content (DLC) specific to each game would no longer be locked to a platform, and progress in a game can allow you to avoid having to go through the initial routine that comes with each game. Although there are many who surely enjoy that….

Where are we now with this technology?

One of the closest examples of this technological linkage we mentioned, is that of Pokemon GO why?

It turns out that Pokemon is one of the few game universes where during its nearly 30 years of development, it has allowed characters to be transferred between each and every generation. From the first to the last game, participants had the ability to transfer stats, moves, preferences and traits.

This means that in-game progress (or at least part of it) can be transferred to another game without having to start from scratch. Cool, isn’t it?

Interoperability and traceability between game universes?

Imagine what would happen if your favorite character from any game could face or interact with characters from another universe. Clearly the possibilities and potential scope would be enormous and super interesting.

But, above we talked about how SSI technology (for transferring features) is linked to NFTs. And, in the gaming industry, a big driver and motivation is scarcity and uniqueness.

To achieve this, the game must provide unique rewards to players, ensuring that their assets or tokens are singular, unique and unrepeatable. 

Role of each technology in this implementation

NFTs are fantastic for providing this uniqueness and scarcity, while self-sovereign identity (SSI) is perfect for storing and updating features (especially with player-specific features, as we said before). as in the experience in first-person shooter games like Counter-Strike (CS) or Call of Duty (CoD).

Imagine playing where your progress/masks/objects can be transferred to another, either to use them or simply to give you an advantage. We’re talking about characters, weapons, costumes, or simply progress in one game, which gives you benefits in others, or takes you to another level without having to start from scratch.

NFTs can replace DLC items so that they can be transferred between games or ecosystems while maintaining their scarcity. On the other hand, SSI can link achievements and experience, so that progress is not lost between games.

In this sense, Axie Infinity achieves this, but it only does it behind closed doors, in its ecosystem. While this is a great advance, there is still a lot of ground to cover and a long way to go on this. 

So where do we go from here?

Some may think that this will generate losses for game creators, since the distinctive condition of the game that gives the possibility to find the elements of that game only there could disappear. But in reality, this is wrong. And the value of the creations could increase incredibly if they can be ported between ecosystems. Giving the user the option of interoperability between universes and an ease in the portability of existing elements between one game and another, would generate a greater attraction for gamers.

A summary of what the Self-Sovereign Identity solves:

* Disclamer: If you already know about SSI, we recommend that you fast forward to the next subtitle!

As we mentioned before, nowadays when we log into a digital product or service (a game, a digital service, social network, or e-commerce service, we leave traces of our identity: email, name, date of birth, etc.). This makes it almost impossible to know who has access to our identity, and where it is stored, not to mention the security (or non-security) with which this information is protected. We become vulnerable subjects, forced to trust countless companies that use our data. 

SSI technology aims to give this control of their own data back to the individual.

It creates a secure connection between an issuer (who issues the Verifiable Credential), the holder (who owns and holds the VC), and the verifier (who verifies that the information is true through the use of decentralized identifiers (DIDs). In case you missed it in other articles on our blog, DIDs, are encrypted pieces of information stored on the blockchain. The control over which institutions can access an ID or credential, be it an issuing institution such as the state or a verifying institution such as a bank, remains with the owner of the ID. It is the owner who decides which data to give to the verifier depending on the need of the process or procedure (selective disclosure).

Self-sovereign identity allows the user to have a collection of digital IDs, each with the issuer’s cryptographic signature or public key. All you need to do is provide an encrypted version of the ID, either as a QR code or a link, and the verifier will know it is trusted without even seeing the actual content of your information. 


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