Gaming on Macs that will suck less

Is Apple’s reign as the worst gaming platform coming to an end?

Amidst all the hype surrounding their long-rumored VR/AR headsets, which are slated for an early 2024 release (the queue outside Apple Stores starts in October), this isn’t the only sign that Apple might finally be tidying up its subpar gaming offering. It also releases software to make it easier to play Windows games on a Mac.

Mac gaming really sucks. A lot of games – especially indies and early releases – are not compatible. Keyboard mapping can be fun. To date, I have not been able to attach a special tackle to my fishing rod (no, that’s not a pun) on the Mac edition of Stardew Valley.

It’s even worse with VR games. If you want to spend hours watching YouTube videos, you can make most VR headsets work with a Mac. But at the moment it seems that the only one that is actually officially compatible is the HTC Vive.

Are headsets the future of web browsing? (Apple)

The downside to the original Apple product is that it comes with an Apple price tag: a hefty $3,499. It’s hard to justify spending that much money exploring an empty, delayed meta when you can spend months traveling and see some of the best places in the real world for the same price.

Endless legal wrangling over virtual in-game assets

Sandbox, Decentraland and Axie Infinity tokens – SAND, MANA and AXS – were featured in a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint against crypto exchange Binance that was filed on June 5.

The complaint against the crypto exchange contains 13 charges, including that Binance sold unregistered securities. The SEC has counted SAND, MANA, and AXS among these securities – meaning it considers them to be types of investments, not currencies.

At the Non Fungible Conference (NFC) in Lisbon, Portugal on June 7, Sandbox COO Sebastien Borget said that his team is aware of the lawsuit, but that he himself is not the subject of any dispute.

“We don’t necessarily agree with the characterization that has been made in this lawsuit, including the characterization of SAND as a security,” he said, adding that it would not change the company’s day-to-day business.

Since the announcement, eToro has said it will remove several tokensincluding MANA, for US-based customers.

In-game currency securitization is a new twist on the mess that bridges the gap between virtual in-game currencies and real money.

It’s nothing new. The debate over the legal status of in-game currencies even predates the invention of Bitcoin. Second Life got its due the first millionaire in 2006 and the question of who owes what to whom has continued, exacerbated by the fact that many developers and creators already feel that they are paying large “taxes” to the platforms.

Still, previous conversations have mostly focused on ensuring that those selling virtual assets or developing games on the platforms are properly taxed, not on investment, and probably because Web2 virtual currencies behave more like currencies.

At last check, the US IRS doesn’t seem to care too much about virtual currencies as long as they don’t leave the game.

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Avalanche wants to help Web2 gaming leaders move to Web3

Blockchain’s push to bring gaming companies to the dark side continues with the launch of Arcad3, Ava Labs’ program to help Web2 gaming giants “launch powerful blockchain deployments.”

Ava Labs, which has supported game companies in building more than ten game subnets on Avalanche and more than 100 Web3 games, will work with the game monetization, marketing, user acquisition and risk management teams.

Tokyo-based firms Gumi and GREE (not to be confused with Chinese air-conditioning giant GREE Electrics), as well as Shrapnel, DeFi Kingdoms and Gunz Chain by Gunzilla, are among the first participating companies.

The team behind Shrapnel is among those participating in the program. (Shrapnel/Avalanche)

GREE Board of Directors and Vice President, Metaverse, Eiji Araki said he believes the program will help the company stay at the forefront of Web3 gaming and develop relationships with studios that are experimenting and building in this space. He is currently working on his first Web3 game, Project INCURSION.

“I can’t share any details beyond the project code yet, but it will be a groundbreaking title that successfully combines our nearly 20 years of mobile game development expertise with the new essence of Web3,” he added in a statement.

GameStop’s CEO has been replaced by a memestock trading billionaire

So long, Matt Furlong.

The GameStop CEO and former Amazon executive was fired on June 7 following the end of his 24-month contract with the gaming retailer. During this time, he oversaw GameStop’s transition from a primarily brick-and-mortar retailer to a more Internet-focused business.

Ryan Cohen replaces Furlong. Cohen made his fortune founding the online pet retailer Chewy, but is perhaps better known for his involvement in memestocks. He successfully rallied people to invest in companies like Bed, Bath and Beyond and GameStop, causing prices to skyrocket. Critics say it pumps and dumps.

He joined GameStop’s board of directors in January 2021, became chairman the same year, and owns approximately 12% of the company.

Ryan Cohen is the new CEO of GameStop (Ryan Cohen/Twitter)

Much of GameStop’s subsequent foray into cryptocurrency appears to have come from Cohen. This February it signed the agreement with Immutable to build GameStop’s NFT marketplace. The debut should be at the end of this year.

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Krypto, meet Fiat. You should have coffee sometime

Hot take: Crypto-themed games on Steam

Given the lack of interesting Web3 games that have landed on my desk in recent weeks, let’s talk about non-blockchain games that are about cryptocurrencies.

Steam may not allow crypto games, but it can do little about trading simulators and bitcoin mining tycoon RPGs. None are hits. Most seem tongue in cheek.

Take Coin Invaders, for example, which tells players they have to save Bitcoin by destroying altcoins. It’s basically Space Invaders with extra steps, notes one reviewer.

Coin Invaders promo image on Steam.
Coin Invaders is one of several crypto-themed games on Steam. (Steam)

Or maybe you’ll enjoy Crypto is Dead, in which an attack crippled the world economy and physical currency made a comeback. It is up to you to determine which bills are genuine and which are fake. Thrilling stuff.

Then you can choose from half a dozen odd mining tycoon simulators that require you to build mining rigs and businesses to earn cryptocurrencies of varying degrees of complexity. One version even has a simplified edition for children.

But perhaps the award for funniest crypto-themed non-crypto game goes to CryptoZoo, which came out this past February. I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no: Logan Paul has yet to live up to his promise revival of the zombie project which earned him an entire series on crypto sleuth Coffeezilla’s YouTube channel.

Instead, Rye Bread Games, which describes itself on Steam as a business that makes games for fun, took on the task of creating CryptoZoo.

CryptoZoo promotional image
Trolling Logan Paul on Steam is an adage of the old saying “if you want something done, do it yourself”. (Steam)

According to its package, CryptoZoo is “…the best CryptoZoo on the market… the best of its kind… the best it will ever be…”

It may not include NFTs, but at least players get the long-awaited chance to breed animals in scientifically impossible pairings.

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Other things

– Heroes of Mavia will release the first phase of its beta game for Land NFT owners on June 30th. The larger community will be able to play the game in a second phase from September 1st to October 31st.

– Amazon Prime Gaming’s partnership with Web3 companies continues. Another deal is in the works with Mythical Games’ Blankos Block Party, where Prime members will be able to claim exclusive packs for use in the game.

– Ahead of the expected launch of Otherside: Legends of the Mara this summer, Yuga Labs is expanding the KodaPendants vending machine for holders of Otherside Kodas and Vessels. The pendants are the first “relics” in the Otherside Relics by Gucci collection.

Callan Quinn

Callan Quinn is a British freelance crypto and technology journalist. She has worked as a business journalist in China, the United Kingdom, Somaliland and Georgia. She was also previously the NFT, gaming and metaverse reporter at The Block.

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