Game developer criticizes NFTs at event sponsored by blockchain companies
A game developer surprised attendees at an event sponsored by blockchain companies by criticizing NFTs.
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) have become one of the blockchain industry’s favorite use cases. The technology is mainly associated with artistic projects; with buyers able to prove their ownership through immutable records on blockchains.
Arguably the most infamous NFT project is Bored Ape Yacht Club, which even recently featured in an Eminem and Snoop Dogg music video. However, NFTs have started to expand into other areas that have more utility.
The more utilitarian NFTs come in the form of early access to new platforms or even access to VIP areas in places like restaurants. In the long term, NFTs even have the potential to modernize things like land deeds.
NFTs are being actively explored by the gaming industry. Gaming titans like Ubisoft, EA, Square Enix, Konami, and others have all expressed interest in the technology.
During this year’s BIG Festival in Brazil, Mark Venturelli – best known for developing Chroma Squad – gave his take.
Venturelli spoke at a session called “Future of Game Design” and started by talking about new trends in gaming. However, he later scribbled down the title during the presentation and titled it “Why NFTs are a nightmare”.
It should be noted that the event was sponsored by blockchain and NFT companies including Ripio and Lakea.
“I heard the sponsors were really angry,” Venturelli told PCGamer. “They tried to intrude on the conversation while I was talking, but the organization wouldn’t let them.”
Venturelli praised the event’s organizers for allowing his speech to go ahead despite potential wrath from his sponsors.
“The organization, at no time did they censor me, they stopped me from putting what I wanted on the slides. I gave them access to the slides before the conference. There was never the slightest intent on their part to shut me up or something like that.
A full video of Venturelli’s presentation is available on YouTube, but he has two central critiques of NFTs: the game model for winning in gambling and the wider societal implications of lack of trust.
On play to earn, Venturelli asserts that “everything Play to Earn can do…has already existed for more than a decade in other (but more effective) games”.
Blockchain, decentralization and the whole idea of web3 is to take power away from big tech companies and authoritarian governments. However, Venturelli believes that blockchain technology can sow a sense of distrust in society rather than building trust.
“If I live with you in the same house and we don’t trust each other, I must, every time before leaving my house, hide my valuables. I need to take inventory of things I own, and maybe put cameras or locks inside things. When I get home I have to check everything and see if you messed with my stuff and make sure you don’t come into my room while I’m sleeping and all that shit,” Venturelli says.
“It’s so much energy that I have to use just to exist in a room with you, because I don’t trust you. I think that’s a really good metaphor for how blockchain computing works and the philosophical idea behind it, which is, “We want a world without any sort of centralized authority, because we can never make them trust”. And that’s the opposite of what we want as a society, in my opinion.
Related: Web3 projects lost over $2 billion to hacks in the first half of 2022
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