My adventure with Axie Infinity, and not just playing games

Key facts

:

  • With play to earn games, more and more people are experimenting with cryptocurrencies.

  • Fear is spreading because of alleged extortion cases, but privacy concerns are growing.

Being a journalist often forces me to face two worlds. One I’m passionate about and tied to my profession, as it involves writing, researching and interviewing; in the other, I’m dealing with crowds, something I’m not so comfortable with.

So, you can imagine how I felt when a dozen people contacted me in different ways about an article I recently wrote

about Axie Infinity. I felt a bit like Messi at his farewell press conference at Barcelona. God, everyone has their attention on me! Do I cry or laugh?

In over two years of writing about bitcoin on CryptoNews, never before had I received so much attention around a published piece.

So, twelve people contacting me for a single article caused me a lot of surprise. Also a lot of fear, I must confess. When you work in the cryptocurrency world you really are always on the lookout for any strangers who might contact you. Even more so when you are really aware of how exposed our data tends to be on the Internet.

It was only later that I realized that there was nothing to be scared of, quite the opposite. When I took another look at the messages they had left me, most of them pointed to the place they belonged to and all of them claimed to be from some city in Venezuela, the country where I live. It was then when I realized that there is a real Axie Infinity fever in every corner of my nation.

At this point anyone could ask me: “you say there is an Axie Infinity fever in Venezuela because you received comments from twelve people who wanted to know more about a game?” Then I would reply, “wait, finish reading this whole note because the story isn’t over”.

My adventure with Axie Infinity, and not just playing games My adventure with Axie Infinity, and not just playing games Play to earn model games can be seen as a new way of social entrepreneurship. Composition by CryptoNews Sources: fauxels / pexels.com .

Playing Axie Infinity from the Orinoco Delta to the Andean wastelands

I

first came into contact with Axie Infinity in February this year when the game r

e recorded the largestnon fungible token (NFT)sale

in history. Four months later I heard about it again during a meeting with friends who didn’t believe in cryptocurrencies.

That’s when one of them mentioned Ethereum

next to the words Axie Infinity. So, upon hearing it, from across the room where I was standing, I turned to him with the face of a zombie from The Walking Dead when its prey makes a noise.

Immediately everything in the room transformed and a football fan date, took a 180-degree turn to make room for an Ethereum-based game with digital pets in NFT

and other native tokens like AXS and Smooth Love Potion (SLP).

Hours later, when I was returning home, I thought that something must be going on because in these meetings every time I mentioned the word bitcoin, I always perceived the subliminal message they were sending: “you again with this topic”. And indeed, I could see that something was transforming a few hours later.

“We’re stung”, that’s what my friends say when they want to continue talking about a topic, but we have to leave it pending because it’s time for everyone to go home. That’s why I knew it wouldn’t be long before we would meet again. Although, this time, everything was more accelerated than on any other occasion.

My surprise was that the next day everyone was at my house, preparing lunch and still talking about Axie Infinity. The TVs were off, there were no interesting games to talk about and no one cared.

No one was talking about Mbappé’s dribbling, Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal or Messi’s tricks. The new focus was on the genetics of the monsters in NFT

and which parents to breed them with to produce the best offspring. Who changed my friends, I almost shouted in the middle of the room.

While my friends were debating, they weren’t biting their nails when the opposing team approached the goal about to shoot as they used to do. Now they were anguishing over Ethereum’ s high fees

or the danger of a transaction getting stuck in the network.

They argued, they talked, and those who knew nothing wanted to learn. Between explanations, teachings and learning, that day teams were assembled and scholarships were assigned among them, before everyone left happier than they arrived.

For the next meeting we had the task of entering the Axie Infinity communities that exist in the social networks because we wanted to know what the players from practically every corner of Venezuela were saying.

My adventure with Axie Infinity, and not just playing games My adventure with Axie Infinity, and not just playing games Existsn Axie Infinity players in every corner of Venezuela and to notice it is enough to give a small tour of social networks. Source: Venezuela Tuya / Axies Infinity.

The group had grown when I attended the next meeting with my friends and that’s how in one of those appointments I got an interview with Rodrigo Zerpa and Antonio Zambrano, who told me about their dreams and nightmares

with the game. They are the protagonists of my article, the one for which I received messages from all over Venezuela.

It is evident that something is happening in my country. An adoption that would have awakened with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but that can definitely reach a whole new level with games based

on

the play to earn

model. Why is

this happening? Well, simply because video games no longer belong only to the world of entertainment, but with them, a new class of gamer is emerging who has the opportunity to invest, and even earn a living.

Cryptocurrencies have offered this opportunity to invest and make a profit for as long as they have existed, it’s true, but what was missing was a way for more people to discover it on a massive scale through other methods, not just trading

.

Ultimately, you couldn’t say that Axie Infinity and other similar games are the boost that bitcoin adoption in the country needed. I’m not saying that, but at least it’s clear that, with play to earn

games, more and more people are experimenting with cryptocurrencies.

They are also discovering how they can use them to undertake with them and turn their lifestyle around. After a while some will engage and learn more, while others will end up disenchanted. But eventually, by then, there will be many more people who know the market.

In the meantime, in my Venezuela, the friends I had involuntarily distanced myself from because I had little in common since I first learned about bitcoin will return to my house for intense days of chats. We will no longer dedicate so much to football, but to the new passion we share, cryptocurrencies.

Axie Infinity: an adventure full of surprises in Venezuela

Axie Infinity had more surprises for me. I received a new sign that I was in the middle of a process of change when a month and a half after getting into the game my friends called in alert mode.

They were baffled by what was being shared in the Axie Infinity communities in Venezuela. It was information about several cases of extortion in different states of the country. Some claimed to have received death threats in exchange for their NFTs and others said that they had been robbed of all their belongings, including their

digital assets.

Although there were no confirmed cases, fear began to spread through online communities and forums dedicated to Axie Infinity. That didn’t dampen the frenzy around the game, but it did make it clear that the need for privacy protection was growing.

My shocked expression may have come off as a version of the WTF meme. It comes spontaneously whenever a new friend, neighbor or family member tells me they want to know more about new ways to protect themselves

. My adventure with Axie Infinity, and not just playing games My adventure with Axie Infinity, and not just playing games Axie Infinity players are realizing the need to protect their private information. Composition by CryptoNews Sources: fauxels / pexels.com ; axieinfinity.com.

Yes, something is definitely changing in my environment, even further because I also see it on social networks

where there are people giving a higher value to their private information and understanding that, in the digital world, we live in glass houses. It’s a new vision of the world we live in, because what I had seen until now is that few people usually care about data privacy.

All this has given me the opportunity to discover a new world in which everything complements each other. This is because for some time now I have been preparing myself, now that I research and disseminate information so that people are more prepared and know how to protect themselves as they play and navigate in the digital world.

I think it’s really important that communities are creating a new awareness about using VPNs, browsers and other tools

to protect privacy while playing and staying online.

It’s true that fear spreading and gripping Axie Infinity players is not the ideal way to inject awareness. However, I think that, if there is finally a greater appreciation for the importance of preserving privacy in the digital world, then we can say that the end justifies the means.