To coincide with “International Day of Women and Girls in Science”, Microsoft collaborated with blockchain games platform Enjin in launching Azure Space Mystery, an extension of the Azure Heroes program. The characters generated can even be used in Minecraft.
In December of 2019, Microsoft launched the original Azure Heroes rewards program targeted at Microsoft developers. The initiative aimed to recognize and reward meaningful contributions, incentivize learning and encourage constructive behavior.
Developers are awarded digital badges in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT) on Ethereum by using Enjin’s gaming platform. The digital badges are scarce and publicly-visible to the whole Azure community.
The Program was launched as a pilot in Western Europe but Microsoft has expanded its use to various conferences and meetups. Over 32,000 badges have been created.
The new Azure Space Mystery also rewards participants with NFTs. However the initiative is very much educational-based. The platform models an interactive learning experience where participants must solve code challenges using Microsoft’s Learn platform to save the International Space Station. To address the special occasion, learners get help from renowned European female scientists along the journey. After completing the challenges, participants receive an Enjin Beam, a QR code powered by blockchain, that delivers a learner badger NFT from the Azure collection. That’s not a typo, the token is an image of a badger.
The badgers can be used as an asset within Minecraft. This aspect is possible through EnjinCraft, a plugin that enables Minecraft players to use NFTs in the game.
There is an unlimited supply of Enjin’ learner badgers but the ones presented at the Women and Girls in Science celebration feature custom art that will not be available after the event.
Enjin’s NFTs can be stored on the Enjin Wallet app and shared on participants’ social media such as Linkedin and Twitter. And these NFTs can be exchanged for physical rewards such as tickets and merchandise at Microsoft events.
Furthermore, Enjin claims to be working on a “full-service stack” that will enable its clients to use NFT technology efficiently. The gaming platform is part of the Blockchain Game Alliance.