Magic Internet Gathering (MINTGOX) hosted its inaugural event on Sunday, showing what video game tournaments with Bitcoin microtransactions might look like in the game.
What is MINTGOX
MINTGOX was born from an idea of Zebedee, a platform that helps developers integrate Bitcoin Lightning payments into video games. The event had the collaboration of Lightning Labs, Bitcoin 2020 and THNDR Games.
Zebedee CEO Simon Cowell said that MINTGOX was originally intended to replace traditional Bitcoin conferences such as Bitcoin 2020 which have been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"However, when we started planning it, we realized that a totally virtual event would be uniquely placed to help test the development of Bitcoin + Lightning applications," said Cowell.
"The games in particular are online, global and digital, so we thought that if we could have an event with the same format, maybe we could have done something that physical conferences can't."
First approach to the in-game Lightning Network
For its first event, MINTGOX offered several online games managed in a VR panel hosted by Udi Wertheimer. Anyone could join tournaments for games like Raiki, a fighting game, as long as they had a Lightning-enabled wallet.
This allowed players and the public to gain satoshi (the fractions of Bitcoin), while influencing the games by releasing power-ups for the players. This type of event has "potentially profound" implications for the future of games according to Cowell.
"At the moment, live games are about winning a competition and earning cash prizes," he said. "But having a flow of value within a game in real time opens up the possibility for more complex, engaging and rewarding interactions."
A promising success
Cowell said the organizers would consider the event successful if they managed to get enough people online to play in tournaments while interacting with the Lightning feature.
"In the event, we had 100 people taking part in 3 separate games generating nearly 1.000 Lightning transactions," said Cowell. "Since we put this together in two weeks, we think this justifies the success of the first event."
Despite this, Cowell said he has learned a lot from the first event to better prepare for the next, which will continue on a monthly basis. One way will be to provide clearer instructions, especially for people who are not Bitcoin and VR experts.
Cowell has shown optimism about the future of these gaming experiences. "The really valuable thing that I hope these events offer is a live audience of participants willing to experience new Bitcoin games," he said. "This will be really useful for developers and the whole industry to move forward."
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