Assessing the effects of blockchains in video games : case IkuneRacers
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-202006192607
Oulu : J. Nyyssölä,
|Publish Date:|| 2020-06-26
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
Blockchain based applications are emerging on many domains to revolutionize software practices. Blockchains utilize technologies such as distributed ledgers and consensus algorithms to provide peer-to-peer based solutions that fulfil benefits like transparency, traceability, and immutability. The purpose of this study was to assess if these beneficial effects could be harnessed in video games to solve issues like poor retention and engagement. Additionally, one topic of interest was to find out if blockchain would affect the way players value their video game assets.
This study utilizes the design science research methodology to address the research problem. One of the steps of the methodology includes creating a design artefact that can fulfil the objectives defined to it. For this study, however, the early steps of the methodology including the creation of the artefact were already done and addressed in a previous paper. Therefore, the main goal of this study is to demonstrate the usage of the artefact with qualitative interviews and evaluate if the objectives have been met. As an additional research question, this study set out to provide suggestions for improving the artefact for a possible new iteration.
The interviews suggested that there were some indications towards increased retention for people who were interested in asset generation or the implementation of blockchain. For engagement, there were signs that people who enjoyed certain kind of video games were engaged by the asset generation aspect of the artefact. These are initial results that should be studied further to get definitive results. For the way users value their asset, there were huge discrepancies that made it difficult to draw conclusions, but the answers provided valuable insight on the topic.
The themes for improving the artefact were the role of authority, asset exchange systems, blockchain transparency, third-party involvement in video games, and trust on blockchain. The findings in this study can be helpful towards further research on any of those topics, but for the purposes of design science research, focusing on asset exchange systems or third-party involvement in video games was established to be most sensible. That is because both of those domains could be improved by new blockchain based designs solutions.
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