💖 Crypto The Game... Stress Island

drama, betrayal, and expert-level coordination games

Happy weekend friends 💖 

Welcome to Create Your Rainbow - a newsletter created to understand the role of community, culture, and meaning at the edges of technology. 🌈

I bring you insights, teachings, and inspiration for your adventures.

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We’ll feature speakers Crystal Street, Kiana Pirouz, Lori Baldwin, myself, and a group of Community Strategy folks exploring the forefront of marketing, community building, and identity.

All onchain, all on Base. I’ll be playing some 90’s & early 2000’s disco beats an hour before the show starts, so come early!

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This week I did pretty much nothing but plan The State of People and play coordination games with mostly strangers online. Read below for my thoughts on Crypto: The Game Season 2. If you haven’t played either season so far, you absolutely MUST get in Season 3!

On that note, yes, I am in so much sleep debt from the last 7 days and yes, it is a big time/energy commitment so do with that what you will.

Disclaimer: This issue is not sponsored, and I will not be giving away any cabals or secrets, so, you know, sorry, not sorry. 😗✌🏻

Crypto The Game: Survivor, But Onchain

This week, I participated in admittedly the most anxiety-inducing event I’ve had the pleasure of being part of, Crypto: The Game, Anon Island. Season 2, now on day 8 of 10, has had its fair share of twists and turns, drama, betrayal, and some of the most extreme coordination games. More to come, that’s for sure 👿 

Survivor, the 00’s sensation now in its 46th season, is undeniably the most cutthroat, vicious, eyes-glued-to-the-screen type gameshows of the past two decades. And now there’s a version of the show onchain, thanks to a few very smart game theorists.

Somehow, Dylan Abruscato and the Crypto: The Game team have managed to create the most highly engaged coordination experience I think crypto has seen in a very long time.

But that’s no surprise when there’s 72ETH ($272,000) on the line.

I didn’t play in Season 1, but here I’d like to offer my personal analysis of this season so far and some thoughts on what it’s been like in the trenches.

Who, What, When, and How Much

For all those not playing and not sure what’s going on, here’s the rundown on the game, how it’s been played, and how you got in. With a shakeup on Day 6 called The Convergence bringing the 10 tribes together into 5 elemental tribes, creating a sort of Avatar moment, it’s been a wild ride of deception, puzzle sleuthing (with the help of ChatGPT), last-second voting, and an all-out war against inactive or anonymous players. Here’s all the details:

Price: 0.1ETH ($326) minted on 4/2

Dates: 4/8-4/17


Pre-Convergence: Green, Pink, Purple, Blue, Gold, Yellow, Red, Orange, Aqua, Silver

Post-Convergence: Earth, Sky, Sun, Fire, Ice


Day 1: Tribes assigned
Day 2: Puzzle/Lens, Orb app & Bonsai token
Day 3: Worm Game (aka Snake game)/Wormhole
Day 4: Auction/Adidas
Day 5: Puzzle/ft. The Everything Token book
Day 6: Convergence, no challenge
Day 7: Brick Breaker/POAP

Official Companion Podcast: Natasha and Deana from Boys Club host nightly recaps of the day over at the pod. Stay up to date here (I had a few meme roundup appearances)

Holders of a Jury NFT vote for a final winner. When a player gets voted out, their dynamic NFT switches to a Jury NFT, giving them a single vote for the final night. This new onchain dynamic means that anyone with enough cash (or ETH) can gather jury votes up for sale and control the final night. Will it work out for this supposed whale who has been accumulating…we shall see.

The Feelings of It All

I can literally track heart rate spike moments from the game all week long. Each one tells a new story, and later I’ll get into just how special that is to the game’s success. From immunity challenge announcement excitement at noon every day to very last-second (yes, literally) voting, it’s been a wild ride every single day.

So much of this game has come down to a few key elements: active/inactive players, and anonymous players. This season, players were given the choice to connect their Twitter/X account to display their profile photo and name to the NFT they hold or choose not to and play with no identity attached.

The anonymous element came into play on multiple occasions since you could play anon but then essentially dox yourself in the tribe group chat or stay completely anon and build a brand new character for yourself.

Personally, I’d love to see more unique character players next season. It’s so much fun to see how creative people can get, especially with all the dramatic theater kids in crypto. We did have one anon player on Earth tribe playing as Sailor Jupiter from the anime Sailor Moon, which I thought was super cute since she was one of my favorite Sailor Scouts as a kid. Don’t come at me, they’re already voted out.

Crypto: The Game is fully about who has the time, patience, and social skills to outwit, outshine, and out-maneuver until the very end. However, one of my least favorite parts of the game so far, at no fault of the builders, has been inactive players. Like, why would you spend $300+ on a game piece only not to play, not be active in the group chats, and just ghost the whole time? It makes no sense to me, but then again, I don’t exactly have money to just throw down the toilet, so I chose to use the time for entertainment purposes (and to hopefully win a ton of money).

I wasn’t even sure I would be able to play since the entry point was fairly steep. However, I casted about it on Farcaster and received a generous $DEGEN tip from Cameron, who said I should go for it and write about the experience.

My reasoning with games like this is I use what I call The Movie Theater or Video Game method. A movie ticket is around $15-20 for 2-3 hours of entertainment. A video game is around $60 for around 30+ hours of entertainment. Crypto: The Game has offered nearly 160 hours of social time, resulting in new friends, quite a few new potential partners I’d love to work with, and more exposure to apps I already use and love.

I also made around $12 from folks collecting my memes on the Lens protocol Orb app this past week so, hey, not bad. Follow me there for more silly posts.

For me, Crypto: The Game has been a priceless experience as a community builder, gamer, content creator, and user of this onchain world we’re all building together.

And it’s not just me. The rave reviews have been coming in all week long.

I have been fascinated by what Dylan and the team have pulled off this season. The success is really no surprise since Dylan comes from growing a live audience of 2.4M during his time as Marketing and Director of Partnerships at HQ Trivia, where he helped bring in the likes of Ready Player One and Nike to the trivia game.

Having proven the offchain success last season, this season’s onchain sleuths have been hard at work connecting the dots between wallets with tools like Dune and onceupon.gg making the financialization of the game so much more interesting, for better or worse.

Beyond this season’s major partnerships with Adidas, Lens, POAP, and Wormhole, the lore of Crypto: The Game keeps players attentive and creative. With the help of AI and artists on various teams, many tribes have created memes specific to their symbols, colors, and vibes for social sharing.

Sky Tribe member and Senior Product Designer at Polygon, Pratyush, even created a small PFP collection for their players called Skywalkers. That’s something to remember. That’s how you bring people together. And the best part is that the CTG team didn’t have to lift a finger to do organic community building and marketing. Check out the Skywalkers collection here!

Now that there are three more days to go, it’ll get way more chaotic. Chaos isn’t so bad; I think it is and should be an essential element of most onchain projects, especially games like this.

I wish everyone still in play good luck this week. You’ll need it 🫡 

Hunting and Gathering 🔗 

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