A Bitter Splinter Moon

7 Min Read
1498 words

A couple of days ago, I played my first ever round of Splinterlands and have since played about 90 rounds, losing half. That is okay, I am learning and still have no idea what I am actually doing, but I have a little support to help me, as I am in contact with a handful of Splinterland obsessives and long-term players and investors who are helping me out, although they are giving me a lot of information and using jargon I am yet to understand.

This kind of gaming is completely different to anything I have done before and I figure that dabbling a little might be good for my brain. Literally. I haven't actually gamed really at all for over a decade, but when I did, I was exclusively an FPS'er and at the time had the speed and hand-eye coordination to run and gun with the best of them. Those days are over.


I bought some UNTAMED packs a few weeks ago and they are up an incredible 200% since then and I bought some DICE packs too, which are also up about 20% since when I bought a few days ago. However, I keep getting reminded that I could have been up far more, as I have had the opportunity to play for 4 years, but never took it.

From an investment perspective, this might be seen as a bad move by not playing, as I would have likely been one of the early in to buy and would have benefited from the growth it is seeing, which has effectively been "immune to the bear market" - another thing that I am often reminded of.


I was thinking about this last night and while I do feel like I have missed out on the Splinterlands run, I also know that everything has an opportunity cost. Last night, I played SL for about three hours while watching TV, which sounds like a pretty decent way to multitask - except there is a far greater cost involved.

I am a content producer and most of my crypto holding have been enabled through content production. My ability to buy a few hundred UNTAMED and DIE packs is because I have been creating content that has earned me the chance to do so. Nothing is free and I have always been very aware of the Op-Cost of what I do, foregoing a lot of the entertainment opportunities in order to explore the potential of writing and earning digital income through my experience. I have written about this often.

What this means is that while in the last four years I could have been playing Splinterlands and earning, possibly getting some decent card pulls and maybe buying in also, doing so would have limited my ability to create and produce content on Hive to the level and on the topics that have seen me earn. This raises the investment question as to whether I would have earned more from playing or from creating? Yes, I could have also created Splinterlands content, but would that have earned me similarly?

It is an interesting thing to consider and from a business perspective, it brings in the idea of core competencies and specialization. While I don't doubt that I can learn to play Splinterlands to an okay level with time, I don't see myself getting to the point where I am competing with the best of the players, making me a run-of-the-mill user. I wouldn't have the skill diversification to make me stand out from the pack, so to speak.

On top of this, there is of course the personal value of playing versus writing, as I highly value my opportunity to write, making the cost of not doing it very, very high. Would what I have earned from playing and investing into Splinterlands have been worth more than the cost of not writing? I will never know, as this is a counterfactual question with no answer, but my relatively well-informed intuition in this area tells me that it wouldn't. Plus, it would have likely fundamentally changed my experience on Hive and with the Hive community as a whole.

This isn't about better or worse, but all of these things have to be considered in order to evaluate the value of investments, as there is more at stake than the money itself. But looking from the money alone perspective, I am quite confident that I have earned more as a content producer than I would have as a Splinterlands investor - but this isn't going to be the same experience for everyone as again, skill diversification comes into play.

Play is important for me and I see all of Hive as a very complex game and have often factored Splinterlands into the profile for consideration. It is a brilliant space where all kinds of skills are able to have the space to try and thrive and there are many ways for people to combine their personal strengths with an opportunity to earn. But, there are only so many hours available in a day to play the game, so each of us make decisions on how we are going to approach it. Resource scarcity is definitely a thing and none of us have an endless supply of time or energy.

What would have been a wise decision for me would have been to buy some Splinterlands cards and benefit from the growth of the game, rather than some of the other shitcoins I have done over the years, but some of those shitcoins have also gone 100x too, so again, op-cost comes into play. One of the reasons I didn't buy SL cards originally though was because I didn't play it, so never understood why some people are so attracted to it. Having played a little now, I can see the appeal, but I can also see that I could easily get drawn into it too heavily and end up not producing content.

Often in our chase for the latest gain, we drop the things that are actually working for us already, forgetting that taking the new opportunity can cost us the old. While change is definitely a good thing to bring into play, giving up core competencies is not something to be done lightly, especially if it is lucrative.

Splinterlands investments have been very lucrative for many people which is absolutely fantastic and it is a funny thing that no one seems to mind when people are successful there, even if they have used their Hive earnings to be so. Yet, if someone invests into and plays the Hive content game well, it comes with some kind of stigma from many people, as if it isn't deserved. Again, there is a skill difference and just like the draw from a Splinterlands pack, luck involved too.

But, it is because of all of these things as even though I do feel like I have missed out at times, I also have enough awareness that I haven't, I just took a different path through Hive and one that not many others have successfully navigated as far or for as long. This means that while my friends have significant Splinterlands holdings (also significant HIVE holdings), I do not need to be bitter or feel left out of the Hive game.

A lot of people seem to get bitter when the path that they took doesn't lead them to where they wanted to be and then are upset at those who successfully took other paths. But, while people consider the result of for example, what is in the HIVE wallet, they don't often deeply consider whether they could have done the same, whether they have the skill, personality or experience.

In the case of Splinterlands, I am quite confident that I would never have been a top player and would have likely lost interest relatively fast, meaning that I would have very likely lessened my interaction for a period on Hive, fundamentally changing my approach and outcomes. I find it incredible that people are so enthusiastic about Splinterlands, wish them the best of luck and hope they crush it, as it all adds value to the different splinters of Hive.

Hive is much like Splinterlands, with different people, with different attributes, all plying in the same game. Some are more effective than others, some are more useful than others, some hardly make an impact on the game at all and are barely interacted with. The difference is that a person is not a card, they have agency to learn about the game and change themselves as they see fit.

No one is stuck being what they were printed to be.

[ Gen1: Hive ]

And thank you to my Splinterfriends who themselves are all different and have take very different approaches to Hive, but have still taken the time to help me out in many ways :)

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