As more people break away from the salaried 9 to 5 model of making a living, side gigs are taking center stage with labor-to-earn models turning out to be one of the most sought-after ways to make some extra -and perhaps easy -money.

For example, people can earn tokens from sharing and liking stuff on social media through learn-to-earn and participate-to-earn models, earn network tokens from art through create-to-earn models, and play games for money on play-to-earn gaming.

According to reports from Yahoo Finance, the playing-to-earn kind of gaming is responsible for the current surge in gaming because people have found a way they can make money doing what they love.

This article will take an in-depth look at play-to-earn games.

What are Play-to-earn Games

Ideally, a participant is rewarded with cryptocurrency or NFTs just for participating in a game or several of them that they would otherwise earn nothing for. The only catch is you have to meet a few requirements which sometimes involve spending money.

How it Works

The technology behind these games is blockchain technology. This technology moves games designed for Web 2 from following the web 2 approach to a Web 3 approach. Gamers cease to be just avid consumers to owners who control how their gaming turns out.

The blockchain system also relies on cryptography to link blocks of data in a particular sequence.

Because any alterations in one of the blocks may cause a ripple effect in the whole chain, each data unit on the blockchain has a unique design and cannot be altered. This is what differentiates these games from regular video games.

Each gamer earns unique NFTs (non-fungible tokens) – digitally secured claims to exclusive rights to a unique, non-interchangeable digital asset –or cryptocurrency depending on how well they advance in the game.

NFTs can be a lot of things in crypto games depending on the platform -characters, land, clothes, etc.

Because blockchain allows for full ownership of the assets earned, it gives owners the freedom to sell or keep their assets –unlike in traditional digital settings where digitally created assets could be reproduced multiple times without acknowledging the owner.

The better you play, the more valuable items you get to earn and sell within or outside the platform in question.

Some experts say the innovation depicted by these games could redefine how we work and it's not hard to see why.

Already, stats show that people in developing countries are gaining massive proceeds with the Philippines accounting for 40% of Axie Infinity users –one of the most popular of the kind. In Ghana, the platform's players can make an equivalent of $140 to $420 USD which is multiple times higher than the country's minimum wage.

Most Popular Play-to-earn Games

Here are the most popular games where players earn to play:

1. Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity commands the biggest crowd worldwide among these games and has 2 million active users every day.

Ideally, users can build a collection of 'Axies' which they use to play games on the platform.

To start, you need to buy three Axies (these Axies are also NFTs) which could cost you about $1,000. This purchase works like an investment that enables you to earn more tokens from the site.

You have several ways to make money:

  • Selling smooth love potions
  • Breeding rare Axies
  • AXS staking

Axie Infinity also allows you to sell your Axies and you can also make some crypto currency for playing any game on the site.

Better yet, you have exclusive rights to any asset you have or breed and you can sell them outside the gaming platform.

2. Decentraland

In Decentraland people can own and develop pieces of land to increase their value. The governing tokens are NFTs called LAND and cryptocurrency called MANA.

Owners use the marketplace to trade plots of land and other assets such as wearables and unique names.

You can explore decentraland as a guest but to have a better experience, you need a crypto wallet where you can keep your assets and make purchases from.

The platform has 300,000 monthly users and nearly 20,000 daily users.

3. Splinterlands

Splinterlands is a digital card game that, like the rest of its kind, is built on blockchain technology with over 300,000 active daily users.

The point is to build decks and earn in-game assets that you can trade on numerous marketplaces by fighting and winning battles, competing with other players in leagues, or taking part in tournaments.

It works like the Hearthstone card game only that the blockchain technology gives you more freedom when it comes to selling or transferring your cards - you can do both at will.

You're allowed to play for free but to earn cash, you have to spend $10 to get the Summoner's Spellbook.

4. Aavegotchi

This game focuses on crypto-collectibles and combines Decentralized Finance (DeFi) with NFTs. Gamers can stake NFT avatars with aTokens which generate interest.  It is set in a metaverse called Gotchiverse where users engage in farming, fighting, crafting, and trading.

The NFTs in this game are called Aavegotchis with each of them bearing unique characteristics. The more unique an Aavegotchi is, the more valuable it is.

You can buy Aavegotchis through the portal, Aavegotchi Baazaar, or the games secondary NFT marketplace.

5. Waves Duck

The competition in this game is based on collecting ducks on Waves duck that can be bred to produce a duck with unique genes. The new duck earns the gamer tokens called EGGs. Like Aavegotchis, the rarer the duck, the more valuable it is.

To play, players must collect some waves coins and duck eggs from or other crypto exchange sites that accept the $EGG token, then log into the Waves duck website to start playing.

In Conclusion

By creating undeniable convenience in the way people game, with engaging make-believe yet lucrative platforms, ever-evolving technology, play-to-earn games may just be the beginning of solving unemployment issues across the world.

The fact that each person among the millions of players gets to own the assets they make also presents a hard-to-refuse offer for people who shy away from making money out of the internet due to copyright infringement.