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Game Watch January 20, 2023

The $450M Bored Ape Metaverse Collapsed Servers at Launch



The $450M Bored Ape Metaverse Collapsed Servers at Launch

Dookey Dash, a game where players trudge through a messy sewer system in search of a key to a treasure that a monkey excreted, has gone live. The Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC, launched the game on Jan. 18 to a collapsing server.

According to the Bored Ape Yacht Club trailer on Twitter, the game evolves around the story of Jimmy the Monkey, whose “atomic shit or excretion” during a party at the yacht club accidentally opens a spacetime continuum.

Long story short, a mysterious figure appears, presents a box and a key to open it. For some strange reason, Jimmy the Monkey ends up swallowing the key and attempts to excrete without success.

With the key stuck in his alimentary canal, players have to traverse through the sewer that is the human system – well, monkey system really – and navigate the various bends to uncork Jimmy from below.

ApeCoin (APE), the native token of the BAYC metaverse, rose 7% to $4.92 on the news. The asset has plunged more than 81% from its all-time-high of $26.70 on Apr. 28, 2022, according to CoinGecko.

Dookey part of $450M Bored Ape metaverse

Like Temple Run, the popular infinite runner that crossed one billion downloads in 2014, Dookey Dash is another one in the genre. The game will be the first that Yuga Labs, the company behind the popular BAYC, has launched as part of its $450 million metaverse initiative.

It remains to be seen whether the game will be as fun as its storyline. Dookey Dash players will need what is being described by Yuga Labs as a “Sewer Pass” NFT to play. Those who already own a Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFT can automatically play the controversial game.

Also read: Metaverse Creator Stephenson Opens Up On It 30 Years Later

Another option will be through the acquisition of one from someone else who has the Sewer Pass. By surviving the run, collecting “fragments,” and avoiding obstacles, a player can also accumulate points.

In the fashion of Temple Run, Dookey Dash will also have small transactions where players can buy things like boosters with cryptocurrency. In three week’s time, players must attempt to achieve the highest score possible by collecting items and completing quests in the game.

After that, a process of validating sewer passes will commence on Feb. 15, with the highest scorer winning a key to a “mysterious and very important box.” The sewer passes boast of four different tiers. Of these, the higher tiers award players with higher scores due to multipliers and also allows users to purchase power-up packs for 2 APE, or about $10 at prevailing market prices.

“On February 15th, validated Sewer Passes will be eligible to transform into a mysterious new power source,” the official BAYC account tweeted.

‘Too much excitement’ crashes servers

The game’s launch has not been without problems after the server collapsed owing to what the company described as “too much excitement for the server to handle.”

“Server issues have been fixed, Dookey Dash is back online. ApeCoin boosts that expired during the downtime will be refunded its full amount back to the wallet they were purchased from,” the company said in a tweet.

It seems players are having a good time. “First run through Dookey Dash, already addicting af Super clean UI on mobile, even through MetaMask browser! Well done Team Yuga!,” reads a tweet from Chris.

BAYC says it is not joking about monkey turd. “We’re taking this shit seriously and won’t tolerate any monkey business on the leaderboards,” it warned.

“We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled throughout the activation for any cheating and hold the right to remove any suspect scores after our auditing process.”

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney.


Twitch Streamer Controls Elden Ring Video Game With Only Her Thoughts



Twitch Streamer Controls Elden Ring Video Game With Only Her Thoughts
Perri Karyal doing thought control in action.

Twitch streamer Perri Karyal has started playing Elden Ring using only her thoughts and nothing else to control a character in the popular action role-playing game.

To do this, the British-Canadian attached an EEG to her brain, which she uses to monitor her brain functions. She then maps specific types of brain activity to various actions within the game, giving her control of a character without the use of a controller, mouse or keyboard.

Also read: The $450M Bored Ape Metaverse Collapsed Servers at Launch

Tasks such as summoning allies or casting spells, inside Elden Ring, can all be done without using a controller, according to videos on her Twitch account. An electroencephalogram, or EEG, is a device commonly used in the medical industry to measure and record brain waves.

“I’m using an EEG to monitor my brain activity live on screen. It works by picking up electrical activity from my brain on the sensor pads on my head, made conductive with saline solution. I then trained it to recognise certain states and binded it to my attack key!” Karyal said on Twitch.

Elden Ring mind control

Perri Karyal describes herself as a “full-time streamer in my twenties.” She says to have a master’s degree in psychology, with interests in physics, current events, “or real-world need-to-know stuff like how to survive a zombie apocalypse.” She also plays games.

Karyal’s Elden Ring “mind-control” antics went viral after esporting media personality Jake Lucky shared a part of the gameplay on Twitter.

In the video, the streamer is keen to prove that she is playing the game via EEG, and not using some other form of controller like dance pads. She demonstrated an action in which she attacked and killed the Elder Dragon Greyoll using only her EEG-wired brain.

Karyal commands an attack, and the character attacks. While the streamer and psychologist shouts some of the actions, the game is not responding to her voice commands. It responds only to her brain activity as monitored by the electroencephalogram.

“I’ve gotten a lot of stuff online, people being like, ‘Oh, no that’s cap. Are you for real?’ So as a final demonstration, no controller. Even, no foot pads or dance pads or anything. Focusing in…” Karyal averred.

Every time she wants to attack she has to think the right thought to push the brain activity through the EEG, which has a key bind to attack, said Jake Lucky in the video.

Not a first, still some ways to go

Elden Ring is a 2022 action role-playing game developed by Japanese firm FromSoftware. In the game, “players control a customizable player character on a journey to repair the titular Elden Ring and become the new Elden Lord.

The gane is thought to be difficult, according to some gaming experts, but another streamer on Twitch known as “MissMikkaa” reportedly “completed two copies of the game at the same time, one of which was played exclusively on a dance mat.”

Perri Karyal mentioned the use of dance mats by some players to manipulate the game. She also revealed to Jake Lucky the goal is to be able to control all in-game abilities through an EEG, but that will take time. It requires several hours of training to implement every action.

Karyal also admitted in one of her demonstration videos on Twitch that some actions on Elden Ring cannot be executed through mind control just yet. She also said this was not the first that a video game has been played online using an EEG.

In 2020, American neurotech startup Neurable launched Awakening, a virtual reality (VR) experience. In order to play, a user is required to wear a headband with six electrodes that register the brain’s activity.

This allows the player to control “the first-person video game via thoughts, emulating the protagonists’ super powers.” There is an increasing body of research that has converted brain wave sensors meant for research and medical applications in video game control.

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Metaverse Tokens Plunge More than 90% in Value in Industry-Wide Bloodbath

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Metaverse Tokens Plunge More than 90% in Value in Industry-Wide Bloodbath

Metaverse tokens with more than $1 billion in market capitalization plunged more than 90% in value throughout 2022 due to an industry-wide tanking of the crypto and metaverse markets. 

Among them, ApeCoin (APE), Flow (FLOW), The Sandbox (SAND), Decentraland (MANA), Axie Infinity (AXS), Enjin Coin (ENJ), and Internet Computer (ICP) which brought so many gains to sophisticated and unsophisticated traders and investors in 2021 were hit hardest.

Also read: Metaverse Investing: Tokens or Stocks?

APE, the novel token of the ApeCoin ecosystem built on the success of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and its sister project the Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and the Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) shed 90% of its value in 2022. 

APE was launched on March 17, 2022, and reached a peak of $39.40 on the same day. A total of 150 million APE was airdropped from March to mid-June to BAYC and MAYC NFT holders to help promote the coin to millions of traders and investors. 

Ape and Gucci collaborates

Eventually, APE gained the support of major exchanges such as Binance, OKX, BitMart, Coinbase Pro, and Huobi Global among more than 60 crypto trading platforms.

As the primary token which will be overseeing all future activities in the ApeCoin ecosystem which includes the Otherside Metaverse and upcoming blockchain-based games, APE was accepted by fashion brand Gucci in August as a payment option for its products through a partnership with blockchain payment technology BitPay. 

Aside from Gucci, TIME Magazine also accepted ApeCoin as payment for digital subscribers earlier in the year. 

Despite these milestones, the collapse of TerraUSD (UST), an algorithmic stablecoin by Terraform Labs did not help the fortunes of the token in May. FTXs collapse and subsequent bankruptcy in November plunged APE further into deep losses for investors that bought the token during its peak. On Dec.31, APE was exchanging hands for $3.64, ten times below its yearly high. 

Metaverse Tokens Plunge More than 90% in Value in Industry-Wide Bloodbath


The Flow blockchain has been an integral part of the non-fungible token (NFT) industry as well as the transition into the metaverse. Unlike other blockchains such as Ethereum, Algorand, and Avalanche that has multiple use cases, Flow is primarily tailored to the needs of NFTs. 

After opening at $8.80 on Jan. 1, Dapper Labs, the development team behind the protocol finally launched NFL ALL DAY in a partnership with the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) in August. 

NBA Top Shot highlights NFT platform

NFL ALL DAY which is similar to NBA Top Shot is an exclusive digital video highlight NFT platform that allows fans to buy, own, and trade officially licensed digital video highlights NFTs called Moments. These moments feature some of the greatest NFL players and most sought-after plays in the modern game and throughout the sport’s history. 

While NFL ALL DAY added more than $70 million to the total NFT sales on the Flow blockchain in 2022, its sister project in the form of the NBA’s Top Shot failed to impress. Top Shot’s total sales of approximately $211 million throughout 2022 were below February 2021’s $224 million

With decreasing sales due to falling global NFT market sales, traders responded negatively to FLOW. After reaching a peak of $9.44 on Jan. 2, FLOW closed 2022 with a new price of $0.6535, a 93% plunge in market capitalization from $2.9 billion to $677 million. 

Metaverse Tokens Plunge More than 90% in Value in Industry-Wide Bloodbath


Metaverse Token the Sandbox (SAND) Was Not Spared 

The Sandbox began 2022 strong with a trading price of $5.85. During the first month of 2022, the Sandbox announced a $50 million fund for what it called its startup metaverse accelerator program. Projects were allotted $250,000 in investments and additional incentives were given to the top-performing projects and this included The Sandbox (SAND) digital asset and LAND, a digital real estate housed in The Sandbox’s metaverse. 

The Sandbox became a behemoth metaverse platform in 2022 as Warner Music Group partnered with the platform to create music-themed LAND in January. 

Aside from this, the Sandbox partnered with another NFT project called the World of Women to drive the mentorship of females through education in March. 

Within the same month, multinational universal bank and financial services holding company HSBC entered the metaverse via the Sandbox to offer educational finance games to its clients. 

Several new metaverse platforms saw the light

The second half of the year saw new partnerships formed with the latest coming through Playboy. Playboy announced in July that it will be creating a MetaMansion social game inside the Sandbox with NFT collectibles and special experiences for the Playboy community. 

Despite the new milestones other metaverse platforms will be envious of, the damage done by Terra and later FTX which culminated in the search for Do Kwon and the arrest of Sam Bankman-Friend respectively reflected negatively in the value of SAND, the novel token of the Sandbox. 

While the Sandbox brought in more than $90 million in NFT sales in 2022, there was a significant decline of 93% in SAND’s price from a peak of $6.01 on Jan. 1 to $0.383 on Dec. 31. 

Metaverse Tokens Plunge More than 90% in Value in Industry-Wide Bloodbath


Other coins followed along down

Other metaverse coins such as MANA, AXS, ENJ, and ICP also saw double-digit percentage losses throughout 2022.

ICP, the cryptocurrency of Internet Computer, a project which aims to decentralize everything on the internet plunged by 83%.

ENJ, the novel token of Enjin Coin, an ecosystem of interconnected blockchain-based gaming products shed 90% of its value while AXS, the native asset of Axie Infinity, the highest-selling NFT by all-time sales also went down by 93% due to a drop in the average sale value of Axie NFTs.

MANA, the token behind Decentraland, a virtual destination for the buying and selling of virtual land, estate, and avatars also plummeted by 90% due to an industry-wide bloodbath that has wiped more than $2 trillion off the total market capitalization of the entire decentralized finance market.

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Video Gamers File to Stop Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision



Video Gamers File to Stop Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision

Video gamers have sued Microsoft Corp in a bid to stop its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, alleging the $69 billion deal will thwart competition in the gaming industry.

The case was filed in a California court on Tuesday on behalf of 10 video gamers in California, New Mexico and New Jersey. They allege the deal will result in reduced consumer choice, raise prices and frustrate competition.

The $69 billion transaction would be Microsoft’s largest ever and the largest in the video gaming industry, giving the technology company control of video game franchises.

Also read: “Drivechains Have the Potential to Kill Altcoins”

There are concerns Microsoft will have means and motive to harm competition by manipulating Activision’s pricing, degrade game quality or player experience on rival consoles and gaming services. Additionally, Microsoft may change terms and timing access to Activision’s content which will harm consumers.

“As the game video industry continues to grow and evolve, it is critical that we protect the market from monopolistic mergers that will harm consumers in the long run,” said plaintiff’s attorney and top antitrust California lawyer Joseph Saveri in a statement in San Francisco.

Big business for video gamers

The gaming industry is now worth an estimated $300 billion with 2.9 billion active players worldwide. It is projected to continue growing.

Microsoft announced in January this year its ambitious plans to purchase the video gaming company for $69 billion.

Activision is one of the world’s top video game developers for multiple gadgets such as video consoles, personal computers and mobile devices.

It has produced some of the most popular game titles including Call of duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch with millions of active users monthly.

Microsoft has Xbox Game Pass, a leading game content subscription service.

Its Xbox Series S and Series X are one of only two types of high performance video game consoles.

Monopolistic tendencies

However, about two weeks ago, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint to block the transaction alleging it would give Microsoft monopoly over gaming industry.

Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition said: “Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals.

“Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast growing gaming markets.”

According to FTC, Activision offers its games on multiple devices regardless of producer, but this could easily change if Microsoft was allowed to proceed with the transaction.

Following the FTC lawsuit, Microsoft president Brad Smith said: “We have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court.”

The deal also faces antitrust scrutiny in the European Union.

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