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Azure Heroes from Microsoft
Azure Heroes recognises members of the technical community with digital collectable badgers for meaningful acts of impact.
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Microsoft & Enjin Integrate NFTs into Minecraft

In December 2019, Microsoft announced Azure Heroes, a new digital badge rewards program utilizing blockchain technology. Over the following years, the program delivered limited-edition badges to 6,400 unique recipients.

“Enjin’s platform powers innovative projects across the gaming and wider blockchain ecosystem. Our collaboration has allowed Microsoft Azure to integrate cutting-edge technology with educational tools and recognize the contributions of our developer communities around the world,”

Sherry List, Microsoft Azure Developer Engagement Lead

Beyond the metrics, the Microsoft team was thrilled by the deep and sustainable engagement they witnessed in their developer community.

Microsoft Azure community member engaging with her Azure Heroes

Taking this partnership forward, Enjin was delighted to collaborate with Microsoft on the occasion of 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science, with the Azure Space Mystery game—an educational initiative that awards special-edition digital badges powered by the Enjin Platform.

With an active, growing developer community, the Microsoft Azure team was seeking a unique way to meaningfully engage with and recognize Azure practitioners for their contributions.

To do this, they needed the capability to offer something authentic and provably limited.

From these conversations, the idea of Azure Heroes was born—a form of provable social currency that would incentivize learning and encourage positive behaviors in Azure developer communities.

View the Learner Badger on NFT.io
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The core concept of the program was simple: do good work, earn a digital badge.

These badges—style as badgers—are issued as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) via the Enjin Platform.

Azure Heroes collection, as seen on the Microsoft Blockchain Explorer

By creating blockchain-based badges, Microsoft is able to recognize the Azure developer community with verifiably scarce and publicly-visible rewards, giving deeper value to their contributions. The program recognizes achievements across categories such as inclusive leadership, open-source contributions, mentorship, content creation, green development, and more.

Since its initial launch as a pilot program in Western Europe, Azure Heroes has expanded globally, being used by Microsoft for various conferences, meetups, and initiatives, such as Microsoft Ignite, Create: Frontend, Create: Serverless, Hacktoberfest, and GreenConf.

Following on from these successful initiatives, Enjin and Microsoft were proud to collaborate on the next initiative utilizing Azure Heroes: the Azure Space Mystery, an interactive educational game that rewards participants with special-edition NFTs that can also be used in the beloved game Minecraft.

The Azure Space Mystery: An Educational Journey Through Space

Innovation, diversity, and inclusion are core Microsoft values.

To celebrate the 6th International Day of Women & Girls in Science, the Azure Advocates and Community Advocacy teams launched an initiative that combines these values with cutting-edge technology.

The Azure Space Mystery is an interactive, educational space exploration game that challenges participants to test their technical skills and solve code challenges utilizing the Microsoft Learn platform.

Hosted on the Microsoft Learn platform, Space Mystery sends participants on a mission to save the International Space Station (ISS), getting help from prominent European female scientists along the way.

Upon completing the challenge, participants will receive an Enjin Beam QR code that delivers a custom Learner Badger NFT from the Azure Heroes collection.

The Space Mystery Hero, being consumed on tablet, mobile, and PC (Minecraft) simultaneously.

While the Learner NFTs have infinite supply, the tokens received during this event will feature custom art that will never be available again.

This is made possible by a new special-edition token variant feature developed by Enjin, which allows Microsoft to create unique token art within the core Azure Heroes collection, without having to create new tokens for each event.

Not only do the Learner NFTs serve as a reward for completing the mission, they also provide a connection to the beloved world of Minecraft.

Upon completing the Azure Space Mystery, participants can take their Learner badge to the MyMetaverse Minecraft network, where they will have access to a sequel quest and an exclusive Heroes Hangout for Azure Heroes members, joined by famous scientists featured in the Space Mystery.

This cross-game functionality is enabled by EnjinCraft, a Minecraft plugin that enables players to integrate blockchain-based assets into their servers.

Today, the plugin has been upgraded to support both fungible tokens and NFTs, allowing Microsoft's Azure Heroes to be integrated into Minecraft for the first time.

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