December 31, 2020 ~ 6 min read

Links from 2020 ğŸŽ‡

As we face 2021, it helps to look back at the year that was. Here are a few articles to reflect on as we make and play games in the coming year.

A Year of Great Multiplayer and Early-Access Games

As the pandemic prevented us from congregating in meatspace, we found solace in playing together online.

2020 mashup
Image by @fentoshops

Fall Guys, Among Us, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons were exactly the games we needed-- keeping us connected even while we're in isolation.

Early-access games also had a banner year, with Hades, the god-like rogue-like (such a great tagline!), leading the pack.

In a year of outstanding early-access games that included Monster Train, Hardspace: Shipbreaker and Noita, Hades is easily the best one; polished to a shine, and with a tremendously satisfying endgame that's perfectly weaved in with the narrative.

Side note: No Man's Sky, my favorite early-access game that didn't know it was in early-access, won a well-deserved Best Ongoing Game Award!

Deadmau5: the Gaming & Metaverse Innovator

Back in July 22, 2015, Deadmau5' Dieback Music Pack was sold on the DOTA 2 / Steam Market.


Now, more than 5 years later, Deadmau5 continues to innovate in the gaming and metaverse space.

Last December 15, he released In Titan's Light, an NFT collaboration with augmented reality artist Sutu and Superrare.

With NFTs capable of generating more than $100k in sales for creators in a single day, they've currently found a niche as a fundraising tool for indie game developers.

As Web 3.0 evolves, we need these mainstream cultural icons, innovators and creators to help us widen the audience and to craft exciting new narratives.

Games and the Passion Economy

In this brave new world of NFTs and Web 3.0 where game developers can experiment with futuristic economies, one movement we see emerging is play-to-earn.

NFTs have made virtual items in games tradable for actual real-world cash, allowing players to more easily make a living out of playing games. Here in the Philippines, we've actually seen this happening.

Play-to-earn is a subset of the Passion Economy, the new Silicon Valley buzzword after the Gig and Sharing Economy.

While it's a promising opportunity for creators, we should strive to hold ideas lightly. We don't have to look very far back in history to see possible parallels with the Gig Economy's dark side.

The Social Dilemma and the Way Forward

And as dark sides go, sooner or later they will come into the light. This year, The Social Dilemma has helped in illuminating how Big Tech and social networks have monetized our attention.

Social Dilemma

I remember when social networks were a force for creating positive change. As they've morphed to focus more on corporate interests, we should realize that both the current games industry and the developing Web 3.0 economies are similarly susceptible.

As the new year starts, I look forward to reflecting on these and once again learning with the most knowledgeable people in Web 3.0.

Paul Gadi

🙏 Thanks for reading! You can reach me on Twitter, or see some of my work on the links below.