tl;dr Summary: LootLARP is embedding physical objects with NFTs for a celebration of magic and fantasy at the NFT.NYC 2022 conference in June for the first ever Live Action Role-Playing Game based on Loot.
The Loot project discussed in last week’s article is a text-only NFT inspired by fantasy RPGs like Runescape or World of Warcraft. While the Loot NFTs themselves have dwindled in popularity over the last 6 months, the project’s bottoms-up approach to storytelling has inspired an offshoot of various derivative projects to build on top of it with the common goal of building one cohesive universe where the story of Loot takes place. One such derivative project called LootLARP plans on connecting the items from the Loot NFTs to items in the physical world that players can use to go on quests in real life and earn NFT rewards.
What is LootLARP?
The fantastical worlds of treasure, magical powers and dragons have captivated the imaginations of fans since the late-19th century. The fantasy genre has served as a form of escapism from the often stressful reality of the physical world. Books like J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring exploded in popularity during the mid-20th century ushering the fantasy genre into the mainstream and influencing countless writers, storytellers and even game developers. The popular table-top game Dungeons & Dragons allowed players to recreate these imaginative worlds in their living rooms and go on imaginary quests with their friends. Fans of the fantasy genre then started organizing live-action role-playing games where they would venture out into parks and open fields, fully portraying their characters including foam weapons and costumes. This live-action role playing game is commonly referred to by its abbreviation: LARP.
LootLARP takes the same principles that made LARPing popular but is adding a Web3 twist. Each physical item in the real world is embedded with a semiconductor chip coupled with a smart contract, linking the item to the blockchain. Players can interact with the chips using an app on their smartphone to progress through quests, level up their character, and unlock achievements and prizes in the form of NFTs.
LootLARP first debuted their technology at the ETH Denver conference on March 12, 2022. Here they displayed their foam warhammers and katanas which are embedded with a computer chip called a SiLo. SiLos are Silicon Locked Contracts which link to an app on a smartphone application via Near Field Communication (NFC). Tapping the chip with your smartphone opens an app which is linked to a smart contract on the blockchain. The smart contract will automatically verify that the user holds the Loot NFT containing that particular item in their Ethereum wallet (e.g. MetaMask).
The project plans on creating even more of what they call, “digi-physical NFT gear” including maces, wands and divine robes for use at the first ever live action role-playing game event based on the Loot ecosystem. The event will be hosted at a yet to be announced venue in Manhattan during the NFT.NYC 2022 conference in June.
In order to redeem the physical items based on their Loot NFTs to participate at the event, players will need to purchase LootLARP’s Redemption NFTs which will serve as a ticket to the in-person event at NFT.NYC. However, only one of the eight items from a player’s Loot NFT is allowed to be “forged” into a physical item. If they’d like more than one item, they’ll need to purchase more Redemption NFTs. At the event users will be able to create their own characters and quests and all game-related data will be stored on the blockchain. The public mint date for the Redemption NFTs is yet to be announced, but the hype around LootLARP is slowly starting to build amongst the Web3 community while they continue to develop the physical items, the smartphone application and the game details over the next few months.
Another Web3 project called BlockbusterDAO is developing a documentary on LootLARP to shine a light on how they are bringing Web3 and the Metaverse into the physical world. BlockbusterDAO is a community of NFT holders planning on acquiring funds for buying the Blockbuster brand back from Dish Network to create a decentralized streaming platform that will rival Netflix. This documentary will be one of their first major projects as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). In a community call on Twitter, LootLARP founders and members of the BlockbusterDAO discussed the event in detail. On the call, the team teased that LootLARP will be taking over an important and recognizable venue in New York City.
In the interview, the team described LootLARP as a product offering by their company—XRL Labs—which is building an immersive world where people can let their guards down, get silly, get into costume and pick up swords and weapons that allow them to play an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) in real life together. The team went on to call the project, “an excuse to get together with friends and throw the most epic celebration of magic and fantasy.”
While LootLARP may seem like just a fun game, the merging of physical items with blockchain technology has the potential to have massive implications. Blockchain technology allows users to quickly and transparently validate the ownership and value of a physical item. This has a plethora of use cases including real estate, collectables, clothing, and even tying cryptocurrency assets to physical credit cards and cash. Physical crypto assets could enable wider audiences to benefit from blockchain technology without the perfect technical sophistication required to use most of the current Web3 applications.