Sunday, May 28

A journalist’s test with Axie Infinity and life inside the Web 3 | Bitcoin Portal

Have you ever tried playing an arcade game only to see the machine swallow your coin? This is how Daniel Roberts of Decrypt, felt when he tried to play the popular Web 3 game Axie Infinity — but instead of losing just $0.25, he lost over $100.

In November, he decided to test out Axie, a metaverse game that’s valued at billions of dollars and hailed as a pioneer in what’s known as “play-to-earn.”

Although his gameplay days are in the past (having spent sleepless nights playing “Halo” during his graduation), Roberts realized it couldn’t be that hard to dive into Axie.

He was wrong.

To interact with the game, you need to download software from Sky Mavis, the game’s parent company, and a separate Axie Infinity app. Then everything gets complicated. You cannot play without acquiring Axie characters, which cost money in the form of ether (ETH).

He thought he needed to access his MetaMask wallet and transfer 0.05 ETH, but Axie does not interact with the wallet. It is necessary to create and send money to another wallet called Ronin.

OK everything is fine. Roberts transferred the funds using Ronin Bridge, which cost $75(!) in fees and he was finally ready to go shopping on another site called Axie Masterpiece.

Oops, calm down. It is necessary to buy not one, but three little critters to play with, and the cheapest cost $90, so three of them were more than he could spend at about $200, not including transaction fees.

After waiting a few weeks to see if the price of the little monsters would go down (it didn’t), Roberts gave up and reduced his loss.

It was time to withdraw your ethers from your Ronin wallet and send them to MetaMak. This time, the fees were “only” $36, but MetaMask reported that the transaction failed, even though Ronin Wallet reported that the request was a “success.”

Roberts tried again and this time MetaMask showed that the transaction was “confirmed” but showed a transaction value of 0 ETH, reporting only gas rates.

At the time, Roberts didn’t know where his funds were – Axie assured him he returned the ETH and the problem is with MetaMask – but he’s not sure he cares.

The experience made him reluctant to try playing one of these non-fungible token games (or NFTs) again.

There is a high cost of entry and a high learning curve. Obviously, I would not recommend this game to my friends. In fact, I wouldn’t even recommend it to my enemies. And be that as it may, the Axie game experience isn’t even that much fun.

Jeff Zirlin, co-founder of Axie, acknowledges that the first steps are “very difficult”.

In a private message on Twitter, Zirlin told Roberts that it will be possible to play for free later this year and highlighted: “We have 2.5 million [de usuários diários] despite the current difficulty and we are excited to see our strength increase as UX progresses [experiência de usuário] and technology unlock the next generation of Web explorers 3”.

My bad experience wasn’t just Axie’s fault. Zirlimn is not to blame for Ethereum’s gas fees and Web 3 technology as a whole is still quite new.

The game also offers discounted Axies (as a “bag”) to those who cannot afford them, including legions of teenagers in the Philippines whose livelihood comes from the game. But that doesn’t stop the experience from looking like a scheme.

This is a problem, particularly since Axie is one of the top names in Web 3, the crypto toolset that critics call a scam and advocates claim is more democratic than the current internet.

Web 3 is real, but the user experience needs to improve dramatically – and fast. Moxie Marlingspike, the programming genius who started the Signal privacy app, made the same comment in a enlightening article.

As highlighted by Marlingspike, people don’t want to deal with obstacles in the service of pretentious ideas. They just want the damn technology to work (Sam Bankman-Fried e Vitalik Buterin offered reflective responses).

I have faith that Web 3 will get better – there are too many talented people working on it to say otherwise. The question is when.

Now, many of the best minds on the Web 3 are developing very exotic financial applications that 99.9% of the population will never use instead of helping the rest of us discover the technology’s potential.

If Web 3 is to become popular, it needs applications that people need. They need to be easy-to-use video, music and social networking services – and yes, video games. Roberts continues to keep an eye on Axie Infinity.

*Translated and edited by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with permission from