Deep Dive
December 1, 2023

Fair Gameplay in Web3 Gaming - Part One

Exploring the prevalent design of web2 gaming world

Finding the Right Environment

Envision immersing yourself in the on-chain gaming realm, fueled by the excitement of meaningful competition, only to encounter a landscape filled with challenges. Despite mainstream interest, the stark reality revealed that a majority of games lacked the initial quality essential for a truly immersive experience. Gameplay environments found themselves in a perpetual struggle, often disadvantaged compared to traditional games due to misaligned incentives at their core. To compound matters, players had to grapple with the intrusion of mercenary capital exploiting in-game economies.

It's evident this wasn't the ideal setup for players seeking enduring and meaningful competition. Recognizing the imperative for change, the on-chain gaming space underwent a significant transformation. The approach shifted, steering game development with a renewed respect for the established traditions that have thrived in the gaming industry over recent decades.


  • Defining “Fair Gameplay
  • Issues arising in the absence of Fair Gameplay
  • Fair Gameplay Design in Traditional Gaming
  • Esports as the pinnacle of Fair Gameplay

Defining Fair Gameplay

Let's delve into the meaning of "Fair Gameplay" design and why it's pivotal in creating environments that foster thriving competition and keep players engaged.

At its core, Fair Gameplay design revolves around establishing an atmosphere where players experience a sense of safety and psychological well-being upon entering a given environment. While this principle might seem evident, it serves as the foundational bedrock for any game aiming to retain its player base over extended periods. This clarity might stem from the fact that many respected games have successfully struck a balance by integrating Fair Gameplay rules into their in-game environment, attracting and retaining a loyal player base. Notably, these games aren't exclusively competitive, as seen in esports titles. Even when competing against AI in strategy games, adherence to the rules remains essential, embodying the very essence of fair competition.

Now, let's shift our focus to the most competitive arena in the gaming world, which owes its popularity and gravity to the incorporation of "Fair Gameplay" design at its core. The realm of esports stands out as a prominent example of how competition should be introduced and continuously refined by iterating on best practices and novel approaches while preserving the core concepts.

While the competitive esports titles share numerous similarities under closer examination, honing in on prime examples suffices to drive home the point while maintaining conciseness in this article.

We've touched on the outcomes of safety and psychological well-being, but these are the results of various mechanisms and designs at play. A fundamental feature that instills a sense of security in players is the absence of any assets they can lose in the face of phishing attacks or other forms of digital vigilance. In games where players can indeed lose valuables upon an attack, the centralized nature of the entity providing the game and marketplace can implement top-tier solutions, making it extremely challenging for malicious actors to target players—assuming players take precautions and avoid exposing themselves to cyber threats, such as using reputable marketplaces for their in-game transactions.

When players feel they can trust the game and invest their all in mastering a particular title, there's nothing else they need to stay and refine their skills. This is how true leaders are forged—by prioritizing players' safety and psychological comfort.

Winner Takes All

In the realm of competitive environments, one aspect looms with grand significance - the concept of a winner and everything that accompanies it. Given that there is no consolation prize for the losing side, winning becomes the sole focus. This reality leads some players to go to great lengths to secure victory, even if it means transgressing ethical standards or deliberately violating the rules of the game with full awareness of the ethical breach.

Acknowledging this, the esports world actively combats those who exploit the game to gain an unfair advantage, with the severity of the problem varying across different titles. While encountering a so-called "cheater" is a rare event in games like League of Legends or Dota 2, in titles similar to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, unfortunately, it's a more common occurrence. The use of scripts or entire programs stands out as the most blatant method to gain an unfair advantage. Additionally, the utilization of bots and other game automation services is a common tactic to accumulate an excessive amount of in-game time and productivity. However, technical skills aren't the sole means by which players attempt to gain an advantage.

The misuse of in-game communicators, be it through chat or voice communication, can significantly impact one's morale and focus when confronted with hate speech, harassment, or even racism. Instances where in-game communication is employed to doxx players or disseminate phishing links can inflict severe damage on other players in various ways. Furthermore, there are those who exploit disparities in game mastery across different regions by concealing their actual location and connecting with other regions to compete against players of the same ranking but with a lower skill level.

The severity and frequency of activities employed by players to gain an unfair advantage significantly diminish when they encounter a game that strictly enforces rules and provides limited opportunities for maliciously affecting the final result. In essence, the overall safety and difficulty of gaining an unfair advantage that a given title offers directly correspond to the ultimate outcome—the sense of safety and fairness a player derives from that particular title.

Bringing Fairness to Web3 Gaming

For players seeking an environment conducive to growth, skill development, and mastering games, fairness and security are paramount. The essence of this concept is epitomized in the world of esports gaming. Hence, this is the benchmark that web3 gaming should aspire to and draw lessons from to reclaim its full glory, showcasing the true potential of blockchain gaming.

In the upcoming edition of our blog post, we will delve into how the concept of "Fair Gameplay" design was embraced by the First Wave of on-chain gaming and explore its impact on the final outcomes. Stay tuned for insights into this crucial aspect of the evolving gaming landscape.

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