The co-Founder of the world’s no. 1 blockchain game of 2021, Sarojini (Saro) McKenna, discusses Alien Worlds, the rise of the metaverse and her tips for aspiring blockchain game creators.
This year has been an eventful one for Sarojini McKenna, the co-Founder of the NFT Metaverse Alien Worlds—a globally-acclaimed blockchain game. From creating an unparalleled community-focused game to growing from 10,000 to five million users within a year—Alien Worlds’ journey has been one for the books.
This rise of blockchain gaming is testament that people want to make the most of their lives online. In fact, McKenna feels that the line between the real and the virtual worlds is blurring to the point of morphing into one. That’s the driving force behind metaverses. She divulges, “I think human beings are naturally ambitious [and] want to meet other people, collaborate and compete. They want to win. Metaverses give people the opportunity to do that.” Through Alien Worlds, she hands you the tools to further your ambition, thus setting the foundation for a new world order where communities take the reins and compete with each other.
At the heart of Alien Worlds: decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)
“We wanted to bring crypto and blockchain concepts to the masses,” asserts McKenna. To do so, she relied on what she dubs the “two big pillars” of Alien Worlds: DAOs and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
DAOs are blockchain entities that bring people together around a token and allow people to track their shared work and ownership of that organization, details McKenna. These DAOs set up their own websites, Discord channels and Telegram channels. They create their own NFTs and drop them on their accounts. Unlike other NFT games, such as Axie Infinity, DAOs are at the helm of Alien Worlds. McKenna shares, “What sets us apart, I think, is this emphasis on competition at the community level. So, groups of people are competing with each other rather than just individuals competing with each other.”
Converging work with leisure
With blockchain gaming, McKenna set out to convince traditional businesses to transform themselves into a DAO. They were reluctant. That’s what inspired her to gamify this transformation, thus making it simple, fun and attractive to businesses. By becoming a gamified DAO, companies would bring a range of people together and work with new technology.
Though the concept is gamified, she believes that the distinction between work and play is difficult to ascertain with blockchain games. She illustrates, “That’s what we’re seeing with play-to-earn [games]. Is that work? Is it play?” Additionally, she points to the prominence of commercial activities in the metaverse. She expounds, “There is a completely separate company that has set up a whole division to independently offer services in Alien Worlds, like NFT Drops and Data and so on.”
While she set out to create an application where business could be a game, McKenna has found that Alien Worlds also enables the contrary. She adds, “The game has become a place where people are actually living their lives and pursuing their ambitions and getting their needs met.”
Moving into the metaverse
The metaverse has ruled the roost when it comes to technological advancements over the past few months. According to McKenna, its popularity can be credited to the possibilities the metaverse represents. She says, for some people, “the breadth of opportunity in online metaverses now is more than the breadth of opportunity in their physical reality.”
But, what really is the metaverse? McKenna defines it as an “environment in which peer-to-peer interactions happen”. It doesn’t involve people sharing data or buying things from a central structure; it is divvied up.
Additionally, for McKenna, it is the blockchain’s immutability that makes the metaverse attractive to people. Its “perpetuity” reassures users that they are not interacting with a centralized company that might change tack or go out of fashion. The metaverse is here to stay. What’s more? Its future relies on people taking its economy and applications, such as messaging and gaming, forward. She says, “Different participants in the system can build those different skins and lenses into the metaverse.” As an example of what we can expect from the future of the metaverse, McKenna declares: one common currency for all.
Thriving in Asian Markets
India is the second-biggest user base for Alien Worlds, with many of their largest geographies located in Southeast Asia. Lack of barriers, access to opportunities and open-mindedness are some factors contributing to this large-scale adoption of blockchain games in Asian markets, feels McKenna. In addition to that, the entrepreneurial mindset characteristic of the region’s youth is bolstering the progress of the metaverse. After all, according to her, metaverses are a global marketplace, and anyone with good ideas and the energy to see them through is going to find success.
A word of advice
“Join the channels of the project that you’re interested in,” suggests McKenna. Networking is integral to growing and succeeding in the blockchain world. So, find your tribe. “Maybe it’s a Twitch stream. Maybe it’s a writing group. Maybe it’s a group that’s creating a mining competition with leaderboards. Maybe it’s some coders and developers.” There’s a range of people adding value in the metaverse, and all you need to do is find a group that will help propel your idea forward. That said, remember that you don’t need to change who you are to fit into a group. McKenna affirms, “If you’re not an extrovert, for example, you don’t have to pretend in the metaverse. There is room for everybody to be involved.”
McKenna confidently announces that “2022 is going to be the year of the DAO”. In keeping with that, she urges people to get involved, become counselors and vote in the planetary elections. In essence, impact the world—even if it is not your physical one.
Header Image by Rik Pennington and Alien Worlds