NFTs? No Fucking Thank You

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NFTs? No Fucking Thank You

Illustration from the article titled NFTs?  No fucking thank you

Image: Activision Blizzard / Kotaku

Video games are expensive. They have been expensive for a very long time and they are getting more and more expensive. To some extent, this makes sense: game developers have to eat! But after a certain point, it becomes excessive. Loot boxes, gacha, and now NFTs are signs of this excess. On this week’s split screen, we talk about all of the above and the many other ways video games are trying to take our money.

To kick off the episode, Ash Parrish, Mike Fahey, and I – alongside special guest Luke Plunkett, who called from the Aussie future – talk about the game’s early alliances with microtransactions. Remember when people absolutely despised the horse armor from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion? Looks like it happened at least 433 years ago from Akatosh. After that, we move on to a discussion of the new income generation system in vogue in the art, sports and video game worlds: NFTs or non-fungible tokens. We talk about the way they are ethics and environmental disaster – not to mention a questionable investment– but they’re probably here to stay.

Next, for our final segment, we discuss how all of these different money making systems and markets in and around video games intersect in a way that, to put it mildly, is not ideal for ordinary people. In addition, we discuss recent developments in monetization, including Activision-Blizzard’s recruitment of a Bush-era counterterrorism agent to handle mailboxes. emotional manipulation in games like League of Legends and, more debatable, Genshin impact.

Get the MP3 here, and check out an excerpt below.

Ash: I didn’t know what this whole NFT thing was three weeks ago, but now it’s all anyone can talk about. I know it’s been a while, but what happened to bring it up to date?

Luke: Art sales are astronomical. Art sales went from $ 60,000 to $ 2 million to $ 6 million, to about $ 69 million in the space of two months. I’ve seen reports that cast doubt on some of the things behind this sale because hey, another thing everyone has warned about is that this is a giant scam. But these other things, like NBA Top Shots, have become big news in sports circles. So wherever NFTs have appeared at the same time, they have appeared in different communities, and so it’s also merging – which then leads to bigger media like the BBC saying, ‘Oh what is the NFTs? Let’s write about them.

Ash: So is he, like, the only guy behind NFT that just surfs the shit of this stuff?

Luke: Maybe not the only guy, but the people involved, there is that possibility. Because that’s the other question: who is behind these markets and who are these people? Where is the regulation and legitimacy in this market? If I buy something from eBay, there are different levels of protection and legitimacy. If I buy a token from a store that I didn’t know existed a month ago, do I have the same peace of mind with my ownership and legality and all the other stuff behind it? I do not know that. I’m not saying it’s not legal. I’m just saying these are more questions people should be asking themselves instead of blindly going into this market. It’s a market the planet has never seen before, and people take it for granted that it works. Maybe not.

People who like this crypto stuff will say, “Oh, but what about real money? And these transactions? What about the stock market? And it’s like, well, yeah, but also a lot of real world transactions are backed by real guarantees, and a lot of those real guarantees are tied to real things. They are linked to property, they are linked to buildings, they are linked to businesses that employ people. It’s a completely different set of rules.

Nathan: And there are real consequences, right? I read a track on Gizmodo yesterday on the alleged NFT theft and second-hand sales, and as the platform that did the transaction gave the victim money back, the people running it were like, “Well, he would be unfair for us to take back the art from the owners. ”So basically they decided that theft wasn’t their problem.

Luke: It’s a deeply Silicon Valley way of looking at consumer rights.

Nathan: And lest you worry that this has spilled over into video games directly, it does. There have been a lot of video games rooted in NFTs, and they’ve been around for about as long as NFTs have been around. Cryptokitties, which Luke mentioned earlier, were one of the first big ones. There is another one called Axie Infinity. There Gods Unchained, which is a card game. They’re all built around the same idea, that whatever the primary thing you interact with in the game – be it cards or capturable monsters or whatever – is an NFT. So all you get is a completely unique item that only you own. It was the same for Cryptokitties.

Fahey: I saw one recently that asked you to create your own unique character, evolve that character, and then sell that character.

Nathan: There is also ownership. In a game called Mirandus, someone spent $ 800,000 on a citadel. There is another game that I saw mentioned in VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi newsletter. It’s called The Sandbox, and it’s basically Roblox, but with NFTs so people own their creations as NFTs. It all sounds vaguely convincing if you’re really a homeowner, but there are already so many other mechanics out there for these features built into the games. Like there was this passage in this newsletter where it said, “In a game, I could buy an NFT that commemorates my completion of Red Dead Redemption 2, or captures everything I’ve done in the game and follows my unique path. . I could show it to people maybe in the future and tell it with pride. I would pay for it.

I read this sentence and thought, “I wouldn’t pay for this!” Because it’s something you can already do with Nvidia Shadowplay or the share button on your PlayStation controller.

Luke: You can imagine the number of people at EA, Activision, and Ubisoft at work find ways to reinforce that in FIFA and Call of Duty. It just makes me breathe out deeply every day.

Nathan: One of the biggest events in video game monetization more recently is that Activision-Blizzard brought in a former Bush-era torture apologist to work primarily in the box space. to spoil and consumer privacy. Her name is Frances F. Townsend, and in his wonderful article on all thisEthan described her as “a nominated counterterrorism person during the George W. Bush era and an apologist for torture.” She is Activision-Blizzard’s new chief compliance officer, which means that she is responsible for ensuring that the company does not go against various rules and regulations in all countries when it comes to things like player privacy and loot boxes and things like that.

That’s the problem about it all: Even if companies don’t admit it, by making decisions like this, having these kinds of positions in the first place, what they’re saying is that ‘they often bypass the edge of what is allowed or legal. They know that. I think they especially see the way the wind blows with the loot boxes, and they’re like, “Well if we’re going to keep doing this, we need someone in our business who is watching closely. that and contortion of what we do. so that it is still technically legal.

This seems particularly relevant to me given the explosion of NFTs and what Luke was saying – that there are probably people in the big video game companies who come up with schemes to take advantage of NFTs. Along the same lines, I’m sure compliance officials are thinking, “How can we do this so that we don’t immediately bring down the fury of lawmakers and regulators, so that we can make as much money as possible?”

That’s sort of the crux of it all, right? Whether it’s a market focused on hats and cosmetic items on Steam that now makes Valve tons of money and runs entirely on their platform, or NFTs, loot boxes or whatever, what they all have in common is that they are new. economic systems and markets that can bypass regulations for years just because they are new and outside of traditional regulation. And by the time regulators and lawmakers notice them, they’re already entrenched, or a bunch of wealthy people have already gotten richer, and they can just move on to the next thing. That’s the claw, isn’t it? It’s cyclical. It happens over and over and over again.

For all this and more, check out the episode. New episodes drop every Friday, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to Apple podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher. Also, if you feel so inclined, leave a comment, and you can always message us at splitscreen@kotaku.com if you have any questions or suggest a topic. If you want to yell at us directly, you can reach us on Twitter: Ash is @adashtra, Fahey is @OncleFahey, and Nathan is @ Vahn16. See you next week!

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Illustration from the article titled NFTs?  No fucking thank you

Illustration from the article titled NFTs?  No fucking thank you

Illustration from the article titled NFTs?  No fucking thank you

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Article source https://kotaku.com/nfts-no-fucking-thank-you-1846515215

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