I’ll preface this with how I don’t believe I still entirely know what a non-fungible token, which is shortened to NFT instead of many other better alternatives for that acronym, is or how it really works. Even as much as I’ve looked at how they apparently work, I still don’t get the whole picture, and if something meant as a tool to make money doesn’t make sense all the way through then it often ends up being a scam. If there’s some remote chance where it’s not a scam nor a front for money laundering then I haven’t found it yet. Even cryptocurrency itself makes more sense, and that’s more founded on how currency in general is frequently digitally transacted and holds some arbitrary set value. And I’m still not a fan of cryptocurrency, and that’s coming from someone who has little faith in any government.
From my understanding, an NFT at its core is some piece of data that’s been assigned some kind of crypto-backed certificate and that somehow gives it value possibly separate from cryptocurrency itself. Maybe like intending to make a piece of art and have it appreciate but forcibly blowing up the price quickly like what happens usually in cryptocurrency itself, instead of a consideration for “natural” appreciation which comes with value assigned by society or connoisseurs. Of course the data the certificate is tied to can be freely copied but that somehow doesn’t mean someone “owns” it in the increasingly complicated world of DRM and such.
Of course the quality of data tied to the NFTs has been of questionable quality, because a lot just seems to be randomly generated templates, so essentially buying a certificate to a “make-your-own whatever” screencap from an activity that can be found on many legitimate and questionable kids game websites. Weirdly enough, apparently Neopets, one of many corporate entities wanting to get into this new hot buzzword, did exactly that sort of thing in a weirdly convoluted way that involved buying some sort of token to then buy NFTs within some specific window of time, and those tokens had to be bought with a specific cryptocurrency as well. I don’t know that there’s usually that many steps in blowing cash like that but for all I know it’s not far from the norm.
For whatever reason these weird monkey ones keep showing up too. I almost feel like someone took the “return to monke” thing too literally and decided to trade in dress up monkeys. Also lions for some reason, similar aspect and look even somehow. Then some monkey pushers tried to give them additional value by making a cartoon about it that apparently ended up having attempted jokes not landing and was more of a blatant ad for NFTs overall. They naturally also plan to sell any episodes made as NFTs because why not I guess. Also leading to the usual tools used to download videos from certain sites being used here more out of spite most likely. I think at one point “Me at the zoo” was offered as an NFT, but now that video page just describes how stupid YouTube is for being YouTube and also being stupid such as removing dislike counts which makes it harder to find stupid videos. It’s probably another step on the way to locking YouTube into a streaming service instead of a community video site.
“Metaverse” is a buzzword like “NFT” and “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” and whatever else, according to anyone who runs a business and wants to act relevant. So of course some enterprising types want to bring NFTs and such into anything that might resemble a metaverse idea. Only time will tell how much Epic’s one and only game thinks itself as such before they get kids to steal parents’ credit cards to buy NFT skins or whatever it is they do in that. While NeosVR has a cryptocurrency built in, that they make clear isn’t an NFT, and that I don’t know does much and for now doesn’t seem accessible in the client until they have a version working outside of Steam, there’s these avatar NFTs that have shown up advertising in places like VRChat shopping expo maps, where they have a booth that has both broken and non-existent floor collision without even looking like it has a way in.
They’re not the only ones trying to offload NFTs in a virtual space, as I’ve seen others since, but these apparently are at least partially based on “open-source” avatars, which I did manage to find the GitHub page containing some of the base files, or at least an exported model and texture each. Naturally there are monkey avatars in the mix, and of course a money bag with legs running off because why not. Given the open source nature of at least a number of these avatars, one could make their own monkey money bag without much trouble depending on their experience with whatever 3D programs. I also wonder if these NFT people are going to start dealing with real monkeys being a currency somehow also backed with NFTs. In any case, one could just spend far less on a site selling premium avatar assets ready for use, even if those prices might reach many tens of thousands of yen, as opposed to the tens of thousands of USD an NFT gets priced at.
However much any of these NFT things sell for, or at least get priced at, someone could actually commission an artist for a fraction of that price while the market is really high for some reason. And get something actually custom from it. Even if they still want art on a template like those “your character here” things artists do it’s far more affordable and sensible. And even if they want a Pokémon with a gigantic ass. Someone who’s been online long enough probably knows about the wealth of giant-assed monster art available, and could probably find an artist eager to add to it for the usual price. Meanwhile I don’t see much of a trace of the former “Thicc Pokémon” NFTs aside from the articles talking about how weird of an idea it is and, perhaps you’ve guessed this, the screenshots, and even the actual JPEGs of the cards. Sure, they may have apparently closed up shop and socials but someone could get a bootleg real-world card with the same art on it. Not sure if this was legal action or taking the money and running with it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was both. And this isn’t even considering the implications of the phrase “juicy thicc infant” found on one of the cards. I also know with certainty that someone can commission a much fatter ass than on those NFT cards. And have it be a monkey, too. It’s the internet after all.
Aside from the environmental concerns with the creation of the tokens as well as some aspect of trading, the cycle of crypto and NFTs is only breeding more rich jerks to be jerks with all the money to rub in everyone’s face. It almost formats itself like a group of organized crime that’s mostly loopholed outside of criminal activity, without any of the subtlety and finesse that a real legitimate business operation knows how to use. I feel like a true legitimate business could mop the floor with one of these so-called cryptomafias. They haven’t learned what to do with their money and so just constantly talk about making money, and anyone not doing the exact thing they do is just scum on the sidewalk to them, and they don’t even use the sidewalk because they might have some supposed hovercar that’s also an NFT.
NFTs at this point are just status symbols for the stupidly rich or at least spendy types, like that time someone sold some thrown-together app of a picture of a gem for $1000 on iPhones, except they think this is going to do something, and even they might not be sure what but they expect benefits. That kind of “I am rich” app only came back at a much lower price, though still absurdly high for what it does, and yet still does more because they had to throw in a calculator or something. And then there’s even free ones now, so maybe the people who really believed that was a loss of status flaunting moved on to these. I don’t see much benefit in the foreseeable future to nearly anyone for these, especially anyone after any form of raytracing hardware, which is tightly controlled by the so-called cryptomafias. The last thing anyone needs is a scorched earth full of rich jerks and nobody able to play any games because of some weird gambling that too place prior. I’d take real gambling over any of that, and not one of those weird NFT-spitting slot machines which are due to show up in places. Even those loot box things games keep finding loopholes for would be preferable.
Speaking of arbitrary microtransactions, Ubisoft is another corporate interest in this whole NFT thing. That company that just happens to make dance routines annually as the one thing that interests me, and that I can pick up secondhand when they’re cheap by the time the next one is out, has a whole host of problems inside and out, and not alone in having those chronic corporate publisher problems either. Those have been covered extensively and we’ve yet to see a major solution to any of it, but it doesn’t mean they can’t tack on more issues, like deciding that their “innovative” way of shoving NFTs into one of their games is to add helmets with small numbers on them. As in the numbers printed on these cosmetics are in a tiny font.
It’s entirely something that could be done without crypto tech behind it, and is only usable in one game so far which defies that whole “metaverse” idea. Maybe they’ll get up to two if this lasts long enough, but it’s also a similar issue to all the toys-to-life stuff that isn’t Amiibo since those can at least be used across many games, even to some limited extent if a game just accepts a generic scan. They also claim some “energy-efficient” method to transactions, as in they have to make transactions not waste power in the first place, and claim it’s equivalent to streaming a short video. I feel like someone could be more productive watching a short porn clip. One could say to screw NFTs and watch people screw instead. And I just knew without even searching that some porn industry types are getting in on the NFT action too. Porn just gets into everything.
Of course games are also saying they’re now “play-to-earn”. I guess through assigning NFTs that might be sold for some currency, crypto or not, playing some game just generates free money somehow. I don’t know that taking a government approach and printing more money is a long-term viability, especially for a market that’s meant to not be like a government anything. One of the apparent rules in crypto is to have some cutoff for making things, but if a whole ton of things are being made anyway, even with their cutoffs, then it’s just normal rule-bending. Then all the things are just automatically bought by scripted bots anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised if there really is no sentient-friendly interface for initial purchases.
All I can say for the moment is while I don’t entirely get what’s going on here, and until someone can actually use this crypto tech to make something actually viable and useful and justify the use of the whole blockchain thing, and not just forge another status symbol including some elite club membership thingy, I don’t want anything to do with NFTs. I might not even want to directly transact even standard cash business with anyone involved in NFT production, which honestly isn’t changing my non-existent drive to buy any brand new Ubisoft games. I won’t want to hold any NFTs either, since it really means nothing to me at this point as I can find cooler art elsewhere. Anyone who wants to send me any crypto things of any kind can just take the raw funds and put them into a charity directly to save several steps.
Maybe later I’ll act less like some old man screaming about the devil’s rock music the kids listen to these days, but it’ll take convincing, particularly in utility and energy. For now I’ll just get back to actually complaining about certain aspects of modern music. I actually do enjoy some modern music though. And rock and metal, with or without Satanic elements.
Also it somehow took several days to dump out all these words in the order I wanted them in, and there may be weird stuff to them. I’ve looked up a bunch of things in the process and it’s sort of a blur that hasn’t really changed my stance. Might follow up on things as needed whenever I feel like it or if something really absurd happens.