#287: 3 Days of Immunity Challenges from Crypto: The Game

🧠 What can we learn from each of these sponsored challenges?

Before we jump into today’s piece, I want to let you know that I’ll be going on my (belated) honeymoon soon! I know, I know, you’ll miss me sooooo much!

I’ve gathered a lineup of guest writers to keep the lights on and provide refreshing takes and insights from the space. I’m excited for you to read what they have to share starting next week 🙂

3 days of partnered immunity challenges from Crypto: The Game

We’re on day 4 of Crypto: The Game, and I’m happy to report that I’m still alive and well. By “alive and well”, I mean something like this:

TBH, this isn’t too far off from reality

My fellow CTG players and I have gone through 3 different immunity challenges, all of which were made in partnership with a sponsor. It’s been interesting to compare and contrast each of these partnered immunity challenges.

Day 2 immunity challenge: Lens Protocol

The first challenge was sponsored by Lens Protocol, a decentralized social graph built on Polygon, powering a variety of social apps.

Tribes went through a multi-step puzzle that went something like this:

  • Each player received a unique string of characters on the CTG website that was a clue. There were a total of 22 different character strings.

  • Each of the 22 clues had 3 components: the order of the clue, the letter ‘s’ that acted as a space, and the clue itself

    • !s O = position 1, clue is ‘O’

    • @@s - = position 22, clue is ‘-’

  • Once ordered correctly, tribes used a Dvorak keyboard to translate the corresponding characters and reveal the secret phrase: “OG POST WITH LENS”

  • Once decoded, tribes rushed to the @Lens account’s first post for clues

Lens’ first post
  • Tribes were confused at this point and CTG helped with the post “/u/@_ _”. Some tribes thought this was related to a 4-letter handle, but in fact was a 4-word handle: “What will you build”, or @whatwillyoubuild

  • This eventually led to a wallet that held @whatwillyoubuild and @mrmiyagi, which was the answer to the challenge

This sounds straightforward in hindsight, but I promise you this was a chaotic (and fun!) experience that involved a lot of head-scratching, trial and error, and roller coaster emotions.

Takeaways from the Lens immunity challenge

This was a challenge that incorporated the usage of the products from the sponsor in an engaging way. As players worked to solve the puzzle, they used different apps built on top of the Lens protocol (particularly Orb on mobile and Hey on desktop), used various features on the apps, and created accounts if they hadn’t used Lens before.

The next morning, Lens had a little surprise for those who returned to the Orb app, airdropping 1000 $BONSAI (~$60) as a token of gratitude for participating in the challenge. $BONSAI is the Lens ecosystem community token that can be used to mint content on Lens, and has similarities to $DEGEN on Farcaster and $ENJOY on Zora.

This airdrop was a hook that brought players back to the app and allowed them to engage more deeply with the ecosystem by minting Lens content.

Great collaboration between CTG and Lens!

Day 3 immunity challenge: Wormhole

This challenge was sponsored by Wormhole, a cross-chain connectivity platform. After the Lens challenge, I was expecting to go on some sort of cross-chain scavenger hunt. Instead, this challenge focused on a classic game with a sponsored twist: Worm.

Worm was Snake with a reskinned twist, eg: the dots were logos of the various blockchains Wormhole supported.

Teams with the highest average score won immunity for that day. Simple and straightforward.

Takeaways from the Wormhole immunity challenge

Although it was still early in the CTG experience, it was clear that these sponsored challenges varied in how their products would be integrated into the challenges. Lens incorporated their products as part of the challenge. In order to win, you had to use the products.

Wormhole’s challenge was more of a ‘branded’ challenge. This isn’t necessarily bad, but I do wonder if there was a way to incorporate the product more effectively. For example, what if players had to use a Wormhole ecosystem app in order to unlock the next batch of 10 Worm attempts?

Day 4 immunity challenge: adidas

This sponsored challenge came as a surprise for everyone since this partner wasn’t announced before the game started. More importantly, adidas is one of a handful of large brands still involved in web3! The news even got some media love, not bad.

Many players speculated that the challenge would be fitness-related, but it ended up being something completely different:

  • 10 1/1 NFTs were created in partnership with adidas, 1 for each tribe in their respective color

  • These NFTs were put up for auction

  • The tribe with the highest final bid will secure an advantage (I’m assuming immunity, but could be something else) for the whole tribe

  • If the winning bidder of the NFT is in that respective tribe (eg: Blue player is the winning bidder of the blue NFT), the bidder will receive an individual advantage

I can only speak for my tribe (go blue! 🔵), but folks were initially confused. Is this a test to see what lengths we would go to secure immunity? Would all the bids be returned after the challenge? Would each bid be a transaction that would transfer that amount out of the bidder’s wallet? Was this a way for CTG and adidas to make money from a challenge?

We may never know the answers to those questions because players began to publicly express their disappointment around the challenge. Many interpreted it as a ‘pay to play’ situation — the deepest pockets wins.

The CTG team heard the concerns loud and clear and responded quickly, a hallmark trait of a strong team.

Takeaways from the adidas immunity challenge

Part of me wishes the challenge continued, as it would have been fascinating to see the social and capital coordination needed in addition to all the possible ways the challenge could have concluded.

However, Dylan (CTG founder) saw the sentiment souring and acted quickly (~1 hour end to end). Big shoutout to him for addressing the issue and nipping it in the bud, even if it meant canceling a challenge.

If this challenge was also meant to be a revenue-generating opportunity (eg: CTG would keep the winning bids and have a rev share split with adidas), how could this have been done in a way that was more aligned with the players, if at all?

These types of situations happen in reality TV, and with much higher stakes. At what point do the producers intervene?

In addition to the palpable negative sentiment, I imagine another reason for canceling the challenge is that CTG is only in its second season and has a promising future. A unique aspect of this show is its heavily community-oriented nature, like many other parts of web3. If the player community sours too early in CTG’s life, it’ll impact the long-term potential and reputation.

That’s not to say that this type of challenge doesn’t have a place. Perhaps it only needed a tweak or two to work properly and even become a revenue-generating opportunity.

As for the adidas partnership, I hope that continues and they give it another shot, because CTG deserves it.

On to the next challenge!

See you soon and enjoy the upcoming guest pieces 😉

Collect this post to permanently own it.
Web3 with TPan logo
Subscribe to Web3 with TPan and never miss a post.