Cover Image for Hacking Fun with the Engagement Loop

Hacking Fun with the Engagement Loop

The rapid acceleration of technological innovation has touched every industry on Earth. Nokia released the beloved 3310 mobile phone in the year 2000, allowing users to make phone calls, play snake, and even check their emails on their mobile device for an inflation-adjusted price of around $250. Nowadays, you can buy a device with similar functionality for pennies on the dollar. The rise of blockchain and other decentralized financial applications makes sense in the context of this snowballing innovation.

However, while interest in blockchain technology has accelerated in recent years, global adoption has begun to hit a proverbial wall. While the rise of decentralized finance offers a lightning-fast, casino-like investment experience, your average global citizen still scratches their head when asked to explain blockchain. The blockchain industry must face the reality that the total addressable market for decentralized financial applications, while large, remains far smaller than the total global population, all of which will benefit immensely from utilizing this new technology.

This reality begs an important question – what can we learn from other successful technologies’ adoption journeys? The most relevant and insightful technology to examine in this context comes in the form of video games. Horseshoes and cornhole are free and offer an enjoyable outdoor experience. So why does nothing scratch the itch for a good arcade game quite like a few rounds of Galaga or Donkey Kong, even if it costs a quarter per play?

At their core, analog and digital games retain a fundamental difference resulting in this disparity. Video games leverage a psychological phenomenon known as the engagement loop to keep users perpetually engaged with their content. The engagement loop consists of positive gameplay feedback, player motivation to make actionable changes regarding said feedback, and subsequent actionable changes that result in more feedback. This hamster wheel of incentives creates a flow state where the user derives deep satisfaction from incremental improvements in their gameplay over time.

The results of this psychological event are hard to overstate. When Nolan Bushnell and Al Alcorn dropped the first Pong machine off at their friend’s bar in 1972, it quickly stopped working. The machine had become filled to the brim with quarters in mere hours – people were hooked. There exists a deeply ingrained human desire to recognize patterns and receive rewards for exploiting those patterns more efficiently over time. Pong and subsequent video games happened to deliver the perfect concoction of psychological responses to engender these actions, all while having a ton of fun!

So why must we reinvent the wheel when tackling bringing blockchain to the global population? The meteoric rise of NFTs in the public eye shows that the public wants to get involved with blockchain. The concept of digital art “clicks” for almost anyone – copies are finite, and demand drives the price of a given work of art. Unfortunately, most NFTs just sort of sit around as collector’s items. If we interpolate the engagement loop found in video games with the concept of NFTs and other functionality afforded by blockchain, things get interesting.

Cornucopias hit the bullseye of deeply enjoyable interactions with blockchain technology by offering users a virtual world in which they can interact in dynamic ways. While virtual worlds aren’t new, the rich functionality offered by blockchain allows for far greater levels of interactions with other players and in-game environments. So much so that Cornucopias’ play-to-earn mechanics allow users to profit from their playtime, offering equity to the most dedicated players while also rewarding casual engagement over time.

This emerging and rapidly evolving virtual landscape is called the metaverse. To many extents, it mirrors and expands upon the existing blockbuster gameplay fostered by Pong all those years ago. The total addressable market of “people who like to have fun” encompasses just about every human on the planet. With the public signaling an intense interest in getting involved with blockchain, Cornucopias offers the perfect opportunity. With virtually zero barriers to entry, players can enjoy themselves while interacting in the Cornucopias metaverse so seamlessly that they’ll likely forget they’re using a blockchain at all.

Blockchain has grown immensely since its inception over a decade ago. Now, the mass adoption train has begun to leave the station, thanks in no small part to the engagement loop. By utilizing proven psychological phenomenon and learning from other technologies’ journeys to mass market adoption, Cornucopias stands at the forefront of this growing momentum. With Visa having purchased a CryptoPunk NFT, blockchain environments have begun to look a lot less intimidating to a general audience.

We’re still in the first chapters of blockchain’s story, with an amazing narrative taking shape before our eyes. The thoughtful combination of the metaverse, blockchain, and psychological phenomena like the engagement loop will inevitably revolutionize how humans interact digitally. Much like how the engagement loop remains an underexplored aspect of video games, the technical functionality of blockchain and its capabilities require sufficient obfuscation for the public to grasp its revolutionary nature. Cornucopias’ experienced and well-connected team of innovators represents a quantum leap in the general applicability of blockchain technology.