Koi Metaverse Article Series #1 — Exodus to The Virtual World

A mini thesis on why we game and why it is meaningful

Koi Network
5 min readJun 15, 2022

I bet as a gamer, you never contemplate why we game.

Why bother asking such a question when you can inhabit yourself in the “zone”, “flow”, or the “optimal state”. After all, being there is already enough and the why is not that important anymore.

People call us gamers but may forget we have jobs, goals, school work, families, commitments, and real lives that we care about. But as we devote more and more of our lives to the game worlds, the real world increasingly feels like it is missing something important.

Maybe that is why we game and love gaming.

The Inconvenient Truth

The reality, compared to games, is broken.

It is more than a perception. It is considered a phenomenon economist Edward Castronova calls “mass exodus” to game spaces. And we can see this plays out in real life, in the numbers. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are opting out of reality.

The Video Gaming Industry is now estimated to be worth $178.73 Billion in 2021, which is an increase of 14.4% from 2020. This is a marked difference to what was predicted in 2016 predictions, forecasting a total worth of $90.07 Billion for the same period — a huge 76.8% difference between the two figures demonstrating that we could see a further acceleration in growth. Recent forecasts are estimating the video gaming industry to be worth $268 Billion by 2025, or even more if worldwide pandemic restrictions persist.

The skyrocketing amounts of time and capital generated by the gaming industry are, of course, being observed with concerns and even fear.

As people are making value judgments, holding moral debates on the addictive quality of games, a very important aspect of this debate should not be missed. The fact that so many people of all ages, of all social classes, from all lines of work, are choosing to spend so much time in the game is a sign of something significant, a truth that we urgently need to recognize.

“ The truth is this: in today’s society, computer and video games are fulfilling genuine human needs that the real world is currently unable to satiate. Games are providing rewards that reality is not. They are teaching and inspiring and engaging us in ways that reality is not. They are bringing us together in ways that reality is not. ”

Make no mistake. This is not beating the death drums. By any means of measurement, human beings are enjoying a better life around the globe. Now is arguably the best time to be alive. However, today, many of us are suffering from a vast and primal hunger or pains that our ancestors did not. It is not a hunger for food or the pains of diseases. It is a hunger for more and better engagement from the world around us.

Collectively, the planet is now spending more than 3 billion hours a week on gaming. We are starving, and our games are feeding us.

Why Gaming Meaningful & Satisfying

Let’s pick a game, any game. You log in to your account, create an avatar, which is a virtual representation of you in that gaming space. You decide to have fun. By creating that goal, you decide to “level up”, which is the most common way to have “fun”. It requires you to manage a constant workflow of quests, battles, and professional training. Generally, the more points you earn, the higher your level, the more challenging work you unlock, the more motivated you are to do it, and the more points you earn.

Enter the term — “blissful productivity”. It is the sense of being deeply immersed in work that produces immediate and obvious results. The clearer the result, and the faster we achieve them, the more blissfully productive we feel.

As economist Edward Castronova puts it “There is zero unemployment in World of Warcraft.” The WoW work flow is famously designed so that there is always something to do, always different ways to improve your avatar.

Why We Game is Why We Work

What exactly is the driver that motivates gamers to spend so much time playing to get to the “fun” part?

For some players, it is the ultimate promise of ultimate challenge that makes the incredible workload worth it. They want to experience the extreme satisfaction of what players call the “endgame”.

For others, like MMO fans, it is simply the idea of getting better. Professional game critics worried that fans would reject an MMO that required “so little effort” to achieve the highest level because reaching the highest level is simply a justification for what they love most: getting better.

Nick Yee, a leading researcher of MMOs and the first person to receive a Ph.D. for studying WoW, has argued that the MMOs are massively multiplayer work environments under the disguise of games. In the end, we are the ones asking for more work. We want to be given more work — or rather, we want to be given more satisfying work.

It is what we look forward to. It is what gives us meaning.

About Koi Metaverse

Koi Aims to Unlock the Next-Gen GameFi Metaverse Economies by Building the Digital Collectibles Platform for Virtual GameFi NFTs on Multichains.

Koi is a next-generation infrastructure for issuing, trading, and liquifying GameFi NFTs from different chains like Ethereum, BSC and so on. It is aimed at building a Metaverse dedicated for GameFi NFT assets.

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Koi Network

Koi Metaverse’s mission is to unlock the Next-Gen GameFi Metaverse Economies.