Gamers vs their internalized devaluation and cynicism. For someone to say they hate something, that says a lot more about them than the objects or subjects. That's an indication of what's behind their eye lids. I have to admit, I like this piece of art. Its someone's raw hate for "nft people." He sees mindlessness, aberration, death perhaps. All over some art that probably doesn't deserve to be popular, we can admit the apes maybe waybe could be a fad and that there's a heft of hype to nft's, but a lot of it is not misplaced, it started out inspired, lets not forget that. The art is not the tech, but people have that confused, but hence the human capacity for mindlessness, aberration, and the willingness to destroy something before they understand it.
My apologies for covering this, I'm sure many are sick of hearing about nft's meets gaming, but it's a moment in our collective histories and demands documentation, and crypto nation has a voice too.
Here's this still pretty hot and fresh NYTimes article from the 19th, perhaps inappropriately titled, Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Meet Their Match: Angry Gamers. Oh boy here we go. Speaking of nickel and diming, my apologies if it's behind a paywall, it wasn't the first time I pulled it up. Ha. Fitting. Hopefully you can read it, if not, not a big deal (NYT would rather lose your view on ad revenue, no wonder they're desperate for a dollar subscription).
Anyway, article is pretty neutral overall, not really taking sides (except no real crypto people speaking for it). It's just a couple angry gamers vs the hopefully well meaning game execs.
I don't blame gamers feeling burned about microtransactions. There's a right and a wrong way to do that and I think the gaming industry eventually found some equilibrium with it. Personally I never really noticed. Was never interested in collectibles or pay-to-win stuff. That said even services like mmo character transfers and stuff, paid a few those over the years. (Having worked at Blizz back when they implemented it, around the time of Activision merger it was clearly, clearly about money. $25 for quite literally nothing).
That said, there's going to be a right and wrong way to do nft gaming. Players are - rightfully! - skeptical if its just a new iteration of things they hated in the past. Where they are wrong, and where gaming companies so far haven't seemed to do a damn thing, is showing how this stuff will be implemented. For non-coiners, it doesn't make sense to them yet that game gold for example would hypothetically tokenized, and any enjoyment of games would (or should...) largely be "no further purchase necessary." Implemented properly, with vibrant and expanding games that maintain active player bases (the best will be few and far between of course), the game would create an economy by player activity. This model could even go so far as to be completely free, players adding value through their gameplay which would function as "mining." These are abstract concepts for anyone, and they are the non-coined, so, everything is abstract to them haha, aww. Jk.
No doubt some game execs are gonna get this wrong and push out the collectors mints like crazy and it's understandably going to scare the shit out of gamers. And if there's no better virtually trained dormant domestic terrorist pool with pent up wellsprings of entitlement and privilege that you wouldn't want to piss off for real, it's the worst of the gaming community. What they don't understand is that this is for once the technological chance for capitalism to give back, for gaming companies to right the wrongs of microtransaction history. It's all but being handed to them but they are so cynical and angsty that they're turning away the medicine they've been praying for. The caged and cornered animal exploited by predatory capitalism all or most of it's life is perfectly fine with throwing away its money now on other platforms and games, but deep down wishes that part of the history was never written. I don't blame them. But, they're still conflating nft's for microtransactions, which is a fundamental error.
Instead of being in one or two way transactional economy as company and end user, they can add value to the products together in an actual cyclical economy. Sure a lot of games are going to come and go, die right after release, as often happens, but a lot of games would have the chance to have economies larger than a lot of countries, as many already have for some time. When you go from Call of Duty Wonderland to Call o Duty Disney Dystopia, you can transfer your hard earned collectibles and acheivements right along with you. Or when you quit a hypothetical WoW the lastest expansion for Final Fantasy Infinityverse, you can sell your decade of items, gold, achievements, and characters to the players still living in the Blizzard housefire. Everyone's happy. Except hateboy the rageaholic who wants even more something for nothing handed to him on a silver platter so he can not realize it. People used to be angry before video games too, right? Alright, just checking.
Things get really interesting if decentralization ever gets implemented w mainstream games. What if your game gold or game assets meant you owned part of the game or game company, at least a stake and maybe a governance vote? Understand how massive a paradigm shift that is from being an end user low life with nothing but worthless pixels in the end? How many games have had collectible homes and furniture and stuff. Most successful being Animal Crossing I'd imagine, ooo, or maybe Skyrim, ya? What if all those Minecraft hours actually meant something tangible in the end, not just your wasted youth? Now how about you actually own those houses, stuffed them full of 20k game hours worth of dragon crotches and gems. Wouldn't it be nice if you could brag about that amassed wealth, or be able to share it, give it away to charity, or balance the books and sell off all your nirnroot to offset your taxes for the year? It sounds crazy, and people wouldn't necessarily have to play the games like that, what if it could be available to them though and equally non invasive at the same time? What if video games instead of alienating youth and young adults, and lets be honest, aging millennials now too, what if it included them in society as productive members of the economy, since apparently consumers have a role to play in this mess too? If those are the rules we've been playing buy we better make sure we're consistent. We could all go back to literal serfdom, I'd prefer virtual serfdom for Whiterun though, atleast I get Thanitized and a sidekick. What if someone really wants those dragon parts because grandkids are still playing skyrim in 18 years, and then much less goes to waste with your time, your money, the economy, society? It doesn't have to be utopian, but can't it at least be an improvement from wasted game (life) hours for pixels?
You stumble into Skyrim Metaverse Edition (still has the same graphics, don't get any ideas), and after you're dazzled by the sites and sounds, and amazingly fresh and burning spiker husk smells, you frolic into Riverwood past the babbling brook excited by your new found adventure. After getting used to the controls and hitting the wall and breaking some appliances swinging at the evil elves in your head, you sit down at the smith and you're blown away when each worthless starter dagger you craft earns you a fraction of a penny at the inn. Omg, real money, wow. I could just sit here printing pennies! Yes, you could, or you could enjoy your game experience like a normal human being and cash in after 6 months, 2-5 years, or return again after 20. And you were able to be part of something bigger than yourself the entire way, and for your efforts, hey, you earned those daggers, you earned those dragon boners, and the world will never be the same, because hopefully we're all learning lessons and moving forward and making the best of things and making the world a better place for ourselves and our neighbors.
Or we could burn it all down and threaten to quit gaming because we don't want to be forced to buy those stupid apes or Paris Hilton's dog collection or ever be sold anything of mild or mediocre value that someone else might value more than us ever again. Let us in little game executive piggies before we huff and puff and blow your nft houses down!
It's just sad that people have been buying digital pixels of stuff for virtual enjoyment for 30 or 40 years now, technically going on 50 years, even exchanging said goods for about as long, but now it's gone too far, try to put value back and value added into these virtual things and you've gone too far, we prefer our nihilism? Some of this stuff is too much. I worry that GameStop is gonna need police presence on release days.
I hope, I think, some game companies are just gonna do it, and its gonna be a hard medicine to swallow so long as they think it tastes bad, but gamers wont look back as soon as they realize the cherry flavor is real and it goes down like tussin. I miss the early crypto days when gamers and crypto were one in the same. Everyone needs to chill out and learn to think outside of the xbox.