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Crypto Terms:  Letter G
Jun 19, 2023 |
updated Apr 07, 2024

What are Game Channels?

Game Channels Meaning:
Game Channels - allow blockchain games to run in near real-time by minimizing block confirmation time.
3 minutes

Let's find out Game Channels meaning, definition in crypto, what are Game Channels, and all other detailed facts.

Before we start explaining what exactly game channels are, let’s outline the basic working principles of blockchain games. Blockchain games guarantee fair play due to being accessible only through fully decentralized and trustless environments. 

It’s still important to note that blockchain games are not without faults and still experience some technical difficulties. Some of them arise as a consequence of scalability issues.

Let’s take a look at multiplayer games with a massive player base as an example. These types of games require a lot of file and data storage for the number of players it accumulates. This data is stored within the underlying blockchain network.

Moreover, blockchain games have to create a transaction for each move. This is a time-consuming process that greatly depends on network congestion. It makes these types of games struggle with speed. In the case of blockchain multiplayer and player-vs-player (PvP) games, quick actions are key to winning so the delay should be as minimal as possible.

This is where Game channels come into play. Game channels allow building scalability within any blockchain network without slowing down the transaction speeds. For instance, this way blockchains can integrate lots of dApps and support a wide range of blockchain games. 

By using game channels, blockchain games enable secure off-chain transactions between the players. Therefore, game channels enable the option to build off-chain private channels that run near real-time and parallel to the main chain. 

In the case of game channels, disputes can be resolved without a third-party or central authority. In some sense, game channels are payment channels for every single game.

We’ve established that the game channels' general purpose is to speed up real-time PvP gameplay.

How do Game Channels Work?

The majority of blockchain game players experience delays between moves. These delays happen because blockchain games usually add transactions per each move, then mine them into blocks, and activate them. However, there is a way to minimize the waiting time using game channels.

This is done by moving the gameplay itself to a secure off-chain network where the players are able to play in close to real-time

For example, let's say two players want to compete for coins. Together, they establish the game rules, chip in for the prize money, open the game channel, and start playing. Cheating without getting caught is virtually impossible since each player is connected to the public blockchain network, and any actions done against the rules are easily provable due to the trustless element. When there is a clear winner between the players, the prize money is released to the winning player’s account through the smart contract. Then, the game channel is closed.