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NFT's Are Bullshit

This is not a point that I am willing to debate. The technology is power hungry and unsustainable, the crypto bro culture is cringey at best and disgusting at worst, and the idea of co-opting digital scarcity as a new or significant idea is tired and childish.


But I'm not talking about that.


I want to specifically talk about why NFT's in videogames are bullshit.


Exhibit A - They won't work the way that the NFT crowd thinks they will.


"Imagine if you have a gun that is unique to you, that you paid for, and you can bring into other games."


That is not how game design works, you oversimplifying asshats. Every asset in a game is made for that specific game, with all the coding and programming that goes into that game. Marcus Phoenix's chainsaw gun is made for Gears of War. It works in Gears of War, it shoots bullets according to the physics code written for Gears of War, it's chainsaw revving sounds were designed specifically for Gears of War. You think you can just pick that up and put it in another game? How? Explain it to me. How will the code transfer over? How would it work in Fortnite? Are Fortnite's shooting physics the same as Gears of War. Guess what? They're not.


"But what if it was designed specifically to move across platforms?"


That is not something that exists and you are fundamentally misunderstanding how this all works. They didn't just rip a character model out of Kingdom Hearts to make Sora work in smash. Engineers at Square and Nintendo had to redesign, recode, and reanimate that all from scratch and, from all stories told about this, it sounds like a nightmare. This is not how game design works.


Exhibit B - Video games don't need the blockchain and they shouldn't want it either


Let's discuss Destiny 2 as a use case for this. Say Bungie designed a specific gun and they only wanted 10,000 of them made available to players. They can already do this without unnecessarily using the block chain. This could be achieved with download codes. The first 10,000 players to finish a quest or a raid could be rewarded with a unique item. The players could prance around doing the "look at me" dance that they want, generating the digital scarcity that NFT's supposedly provide.


But let's forget the nonsense argument about how it would be done and focus on why it would be done. Why on earth would a videogame company put digital assets into an environment that they cannot control? Destiny is essentially already a block chain, a series of servers and computers that operate the live service game. But, instead of it being unregulated, it is very regulated. By them. Controlled by them, policed by them, monetized by them. Why would they risk putting assets they've invested time and resources into creating onto the nightmare that is the blockchain? It seems that it would be a monumental undertaking with massive risk and little reward, when instead they could use the environment that they have already spent EIGHT YEARS carefully crafting and designing to accomplish the same goals. Aside from being fundamentally stupid, it's also wholly unnecessary.


Exhibit C - Players don't want it and they never really have.


The Diablo 3 auction house. Remember that? Players selling rare in game items to other players for actual money. It was a disaster. Players didn't want it, it didn't work, and it was shitcanned.


This is not to say that players don't want to trade or even buy rare items from one another. I spent hours getting stacks of linen to sell for gold in the WoW auction house. Rare Pokemon are often traded with real money exchanged between players on third party websites. There was even a weird bells/miles trading economy that spun up in Animal Crossing New Horizons. These situations used already present game mechanics to grow niche communities of players who wanted this.


The key word here is niche. You know how most players want to buy things? In game, from the in game store, from the video game designers. They, we, want this because it is easy and straight forward. The pilot program of Ubisoft Quartz has shown that the overwhelming majority of players don't want to engage with complicated systems assigning fictional value to in game items. To the average player, it doesn't make sense. That's because, as a concept, it is flawed and adds little to no positive experience to the players.


NFT's are bullshit. Don't take my word for it. Do your own research. Look into these things. Look into the power demands, look into the people who are engaging with this culture, look into the get rich quick style of the economy. They don't make sense now, they won't make sense tomorrow, and they will continue to expose the sheer absurdity of what they represent. A toxic subset of economic culture who are only looking to exploit others for money. NFT's are gutpunchingly, shitfuckingly, and asshattingly unnecessary in the video game space.

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