Thesis 2 – Presentation 3 Self Reflection

Cryptonopoly had received various comments from the critics during the midterm presentation. I organized the comments into three categories, design, context, and impact, which I will go over the current state of the project in each of the categories, what the critics think, and how am I planing to change them.

First, the design of Cryptonopoly is heavily influenced by Monopoly because of the game structures in Monopoly is highly similar to the current state of crypto-economy. However, the critics argued that Monopoly has negative connotation of having game balancing problems like the runaway leader problem, which is a game balancing issue when the player who advances further on the board game during the early stage of the game play has higher possibility of gaining more resources, thus, wining the game. In my opinion, this is exactly how the Crypto-economy functions, in fact it is how every unsaturated economy functions. Early adopters start accumulating resources in an unsaturated market, and when the majority of the public join the market, they will have to acquire resources from the early adopters in the market for higher prices, thus making early adopters winners of the market. This game balancing issues can be used as an important factor in Cryptonopoly to teach people how the market is structured and what advantages can early adopters have. In the future I will still be using Monopoly as my reference for Cryptonopoly, and for the potential copyright issue associated with Monopoly being a popular game released by Hasbro, I am thinking about restructuring Cryptonopoly into an “unofficial” add-on of Monopoly, which rather than printing out the entire board set for Cryptonopoly, I will create sticky elements for Cryptonopoly and have players buy an official release of Monopoly from HasBro and then stick my game play onto the Monopoly game set, like the board game Socialism, so that I am neither copying nor modifying any content of HasBro’s Monopoly to create my own release of  board game.

The second main issue I received from the critics was that Cryptocurrency is not equal to blockchain technology and thus using the idea of Crypto-economy to teach the technology of blockchain is inappropriate. Yes, I agree that cryptocurrency is not equal to blockchain technology, but I still think this is currently the best way to teach people how blockchain technology work. I can explain from the Internet’s point of view. The Internet was a hard topic to teach people when it first came out, it is a infrastructure, but most importantly a development tool for programmers to make world wide communications. Many aspects of the Internet are abstracted and deep programming topics that the general public won’t even have interest to understand, so people usually refers to poplar products on the Internet like Google, Facebook, Amazon, when describing the Internet as those are more related to the general public. This concept also applies on blockchain, the general idea of blockchain is basically a complex database running on a distributed structure that is constantly backing up and the backups are linked together by hashes generated from the previous backup. It is a new tool for developers to create a stronger database that historical datas save on a blockchain are nearly impossible to be modified by anyone. I am 100% confident no one will ever find the idea of blockchain interesting as it is as boring as how the code behind sending an email works, except if you are a developer like me that reads Hackernoon articles for fun than you may find the technology behind blockchain interesting. The only well known product or working prototype of blockchain are cryptocurrencies, they are built upon the technology of blockchain and used by a mass portion of the general public, thus, I think it is the most relatable item that can introduce people to blockchain technology. I am still going to heavily associate my game with cryptocurrencies and use that as an entry point to introduce blockchain technology to the general public unless I can find a better and more well know option that is also built upon blockchain technology, which I think won’t even exist for at least another 5 to 8 years.

The last category is impact, which in this section the critics argued that Trivia questions test, but not teach. I strongly agree with the critics that I do not have a teaching mechanism in Cryptonopoly that teaches people about blockchain, but only the question card deck, which contains trivia questions on blockchain for people to answer. To implement the teaching mechanism into Cryptonopoly, I will create another card deck called the information cards, which each player will have to draw one after roll the dices and moving the player token. The deck will contain answers to all the trivia questions in the Question card deck, which I am planning to have this function to force teach players about blockchain, and each time a player moves, he or she will learn one new thing from the information card deck and that new knowledge will eventually pop up as a question in the question card deck, which the player will eventually know the answer to the trivia question.


Production Timeline:

Six weeks left:

week 1 – produce information card deck (mention in the last paragraph above)

week2 – reform game board into HasBro’s Monopoly sticky add on (mention in the second paragraph) or finish creating remaining elements like the player tokens, crypto price board if choose not to go the monopoly add on direction.

week3 – send in for professional production of the game set. I have found several vendors on Alibaba that can produce my game set professional for cheap price, however, it will take them around two to three weeks to send me the product from China.

week4 – finishing writing components for my thesis show, and finalized how I want my thesis set up in the gallery

week5 – game board should be here this week, if so I can conduct a final check and touch up on the final product.

week6 – run through the check again with the final product in gallery display setting, fix anything that need to be fixed for thesis show.

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