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October 14th, 2015

GameCredits: A Digital Currency for Gamers

GameCredits LogoOn September 3, Bitcoin Magazine’s Joseph Young reported on GameCredits, or GMC, one of the first crypto currencies specifically designed for use in games. The secure open source currency will be supported on multiple platforms, including Linux, Windows, MAC, Android, iOS and Windows Mobile. The goal is to eventually replace the current model of in-game purchases.

According to GameCredits’ developer team:

“Our major target market are gamers that are already accustomed to spending real money for in-game goods. With major features being implemented such as GMC sharing among supported gaming titles, we believe the gamers will realise these benefits, and flock to engage in all the goodies that will have to offer.

Rather than dealing with clumsy, limiting and restrictive in-game payment system, Gamers will have utmost flexibility and will be able to focus on what really matter ‘Gaming’!”

GMC is currently valued at $0.0123 per unit, with the initial cap set at 84 million, giving the currency a total value of $1,574,294. Although this is generally considered a low amount, the developers believe that it will be sufficient for their games.

GameCredits can be mined, exchanged, or bought in-game. Another way to accumulate coins is through the fair monetization system. The system encourages people to play their favorite titles and earn the digital currency for doing so. This system has been used before by Leet.gg for games such as Minecraft, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Team Fortress 2. It allows players to earn by skill and might be one of the most amusing ways to mine. Any GameCredits acquired can be used to purchase actual goods, just like with other credits.

Gamers like myself should be excited about the idea of a cross platform currency. In-game purchases aren’t often transferable between consoles or even different game launchers. For example, if a user were to spend money while playing on a console, any remaining amount would be useless if that person primarily plays on Steam. With GameCredits, it’s possible to save money and avoid the hassle of buying from multiple sources every time.

GameCredits, being an innovative Bitcoin-like currency, might also come with its share of pitfalls. Theoretically, there are still ways to exploit or attack it. In the past there have been security threats and exploits, but those fears can be laid aside for the most part because exploitation is mostly impractical. Like other bitcoins and altcoins (alternative cryptocurrencies to bitcoin), it is possible to lose all of the currency physically as there is no bank backing it up. Finally, there is the legal standing of cryptocurrency by region. Bitcoin is illegial in some regions of South and Central America, Vietnam, and Russia, for example. These aren’t absolute deal breakers but definitely something to keep in mind.

As of September 2, the first game to have GameCredits implemented is Turbocharged, a multiplayer racing game. Although this game currently only runs on Windows, the developers say it will eventually also run on Linux and “mobile platforms.”

Turbocharged will act as the initial testing stage for GMC, with the developers planning updates and additional features for the in-game purchase platform based on community feedback. There are also plans to implement GMC in two other games, EON: The Omega Event and Ring 13: The Curse of Nakamoto. All three will soon be available on Linux and other operating systems.

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Hunter Banks has been a part of the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) Family for the past 13 years. When not writing about open source gaming, he's working on creating his own games. Follow him on Twitter @SilvrChariot

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