Ethernomicon is a Cthulhu collectable card game that’ll be launching on Kickstarter in over a month. It’s a familiar model, players build decks with common and some rare cards and do battle and Ethernomicon promise to manage the odds so that you can’t buy your way to victory with lots of rare cards. The game supports a few different ways to play.
The website looks great and has a Chaosium logo on the bottom. The Call of Cthulhu company is supporting the project, running the mailing list and even introduced the game at PAX Aus last year, but Ethernomicon PTY LTD is an independent company.
It’s hard to spot amongst all the great Lovecraftian art but tucked away between information on how to play, and the news of the forthcoming Kickstarter for decks of cards is a reference to an online game. The computer version of Ethernomicon is being developed alongside the physical one. If the Kickstarter for the cards is successful, then the online game will also be finished.
An announcement from Chaosium today sheds new light on the online game and even the Ethernomicon game. This card game appears to be a portmanteau of the Necronomicon and the crypto-currency Etherium.
Furthermore, Chaosium says that it’ll be possible to play Ethernomicon on the Etherium Blockchain.
A blockchain is a distributed record of events. Blockchains were invented by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto who then went on to develop Bitcoin. In fact, it’s the Blockchain that makes the crypto-currency possible.
The decentralised model of blockchains means that everyone taking part in Bitcoin or Etherium trading has a record of what’s happening in the marketplace. Their computer has a copy of the ledger. There’s no central server to hack. If one ledger is incorrectly adjusted, then it’s out of alignment with the rest of the ecosystem and can be fixed.
At this stage, we’re still waiting for the great reveal to see what exactly Chaosium means by;
Ethernomicon is one of the world’s most advanced blockchain games. In a blockchain first, players will be able to build decks with their trading cards and battle other players on the Blockchain to experience the Cosmic Horror of the Cthulhu Mythos like never before.
Could it be that the Ethernomicon app, the site or software used to play the online version of the game, is also a cryptocurrency miner? That would be controversial as the software has become increasingly synonymous with hackers and bad actors. Also, who earns the Etherium mined? The players or Ethernomicon PTY LTD? Or do we get to play for free because, as we play, our computers are mining Etherium for Ethernomicon PTY LTD?
Alternatively, it might just be the case that the Etherium blockchain is (somehow) being used a ledger to keep track of who in the online game actually has the rare cards. This would stop cheaters hacking the game to give themselves the best cards in the same way the Blockchain makes it very hard to hack a cryptocurrency.
The Blockchain could also be used to keep track of card trading and the value of those trades. If there is integration with Etherium, then it’s possible the in-app currency in which players buy and sell Ethernomicon cards.
eSports have been somewhat successfully been experimenting with the use of cryptocurrencies with native in-game tokens with platforms like OpenSea acting as a platform for trading.
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