If you’ve been following tech trends for the last, oh, several years, you’re aware of the growing influence of blockchain in several business sectors. Gaming is no exception to the reach of blockchain, which could affect everything in the world of interactive entertainment from game development, user-generated content, financing, virtual goods transactions, and more.
With the rise of blockchain in recent years, so has a cottage industry of blockchain conferences catering to the fast-growing, much-hyped business. And, given the paragraph above, conferences, meetups, and other assorted events about “blockchain in gaming” are starting to emerge. One of the first high-profile events on the scene is Pocket Gamer’s Blockchain Gamer Connects conference.
We had the chance to carry out a Q&A with Jon Jordan, who writes for the blockchain in gaming-focused online publication, BlockchainGamer.biz; and he helped organize the recently-held Blockchain Gamer Connects conference in San Francisco.
Events for Gamers (E4G): How did the idea to create Blockchain Gamer Connects originate?
Jon Jordan: Steel Media ran a half day event about blockchain gaming as part of its Pocket Gamer Connects London 2018 event in January, which proved highly successful.
One result was the launch of BlockchainGamer.biz in mid-March, which in turn lead to blockchain gaming getting its own full two-day track as part of Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2018 in May.
E4G: How challenging was it for the organizing team to integrate Blockchain Gamer Connects with a well-known event series in the games business, like Pocket Gamer Connects?
Jon: As with most events, there was a time challenge in terms of getting high-quality speakers early enough to be able to promote to potential attendees. But the blockchain gaming area is pretty dynamic so this wasn’t a major issue.
E4G: What qualities do you feel differentiates Blockchain Gamer Connects from other blockchain or cryptocurrency business or developer events?
Jon: While there are plenty of blockchain conferences, there are only a handful of blockchain gaming conferences. That, combined with the reputation of the Connects brands within games, means we had a strong proposition.
E4G: In hindsight how does the team feel the first iteration of the Blockchain Gamer Connects event generally worked out? What would you, as the organizers, do differently if anything?
Jon: With an excellent selection of speakers, a full room, and strong audience participation throughout the two days of the conference, we are very pleased with our first iteration.
E4G: Do you feel the Blockchain Gamer Connects summit reflected the opportunities and challenges of the still-emerging “gaming in blockchain” space as they stand right now?
Jon: The sector is clearly nascent. I guess the argument is just how nascent. Given that situation, the challenges are more current than the opportunities but I think the speakers reflected this situation while still being enthusiastic about the long-term potential.
E4G. What do you feel were the most distinctive “blockchain in games” thought leadership themes from participants to emerge from the summit?
Jon: As per the previous question, I think most speakers attempted to balance the many current challenges with the big future opportunities. The interesting debate at present is how quickly we move from the former to the latter.
E4G: Looking ahead, what’s the possible future of the Blockchain Gamer Connect event?
Jon: Next up, we’ll be debating the state of play in a couple months time in Helsinki, Finland as part of Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2018 in September. You can sign up right now!