When digital storefronts like Steam were becoming more of a thing, I remember seeing ideas passed around about being able to trade in and sell old copies of games like one could do with physical ones, but with entitlements to the digital ones instead. However they’d manage to keep track of that, especially if people wanted to sell copies to other people, seems like a mess to figure out, plus if a digital copy can be sold for effectively as long as the store is up, it doesn’t really seem practical to have the system in place. It would make more sense now since it’s apparent digital games can and do get pulled for arbitrary reasons, usually licensing. If someone could sell a digital copy of a game to someone wanting it and not having to resort to piracy to play something no longer sold, that’s mainly where this idea would come in. It would be a response to scarcity that was artificially generated. However a number of people are fine with just finding a download of a pulled or abandoned game at no cost since whatever publisher isn’t selling it anymore, if they even still exist. Of course this archival sense of mind has also helped keep games only sold physically from falling completely out of existence since those can usually be copied somehow.

Of course, selling a digital copy of a game on any storefront is pretty much assigning a key to an account. So there would need to be support for account-to-account transactions if this system were to be fully implemented. This is probably where an idea like a blockchain and similar to an NFT would come in. I’m wondering if the idea in mind when things like those came about was closer to this game exchange idea rather than this absurd overpriced monkey image trade. They always champion this “utility” thing when talking about NFTs yet it just links to an image on a server. And now that digital game trade idea sounds like a worse one since these would likely end up being just software keys that would just register on certain storefronts instead of being the whole game data like trading around a disc copy. Even as long as Steam’s been around, it seems like a weird thing to consider reselling. Then again that G2A site exists which has been noted for scams being ever-present, much like the NFT marketplace has. For all I know they’ve tried to get into that market because it’s a buzzword.

Something that’s come up is essentially tying the ideas of NFTs and DLC together, even for games that have yet to be developed as far as I can tell. Holding some marker that indicates assets in a game means… something. There’s also this other idea behind it called “play-to-earn” as I’ve mentioned before, where somehow holding a bunch of NFTs tied to a game will somehow make money. And with the increasing number of upcoming games claiming they’ll have tie-ins or be based entirely around NFTs, and then some deciding to cancel those plans because people are pretty vocal about how unnecessary it all seems, there is also the consideration to get excluded from Steam, a particularly popular storefront that could make a lot of sales with the right advertising, due to the anti-NFT stance taken due to all the scams involved. Long story short, if a PC game wants to be deeply involved with that, they might either have to hope the whole crypto thing stays in the public eye in a popular sense or that a certain other store that turned around to say that crypto and NFTs are fine might give an epic up-front payout to be on that store. Said store is barely in the public eye given by people not even being aware games launched on PC until they released later on Steam and really only subsists on an apparently undying meme as well. That’s not very epic of them. I’m just wondering how soon they’ll try to shove in NFTs in their own meme game. I was going to give it about two months before they announce NFT plans and watch for the reactions claiming exploiting children to steal credit cards once again. Though I wonder if the consoles will be a roadblock in that, as the whole lawsuit over store cuts totally avoided them as if they didn’t want to lose that market, we’ll just have to see if a console company decides to allow it first. At least the Xbox part of Microsoft seems to not be going for it, Nintendo probably doesn’t know much about what it is and hasn’t been the most cutting-edge in raw tech, that could leave Sony as the most likely candidate if it’s even a possibility, but who knows.

I think people just get the idea that cryptocurrency is a money factory because people have managed to treat it like stocks and come out on top. Looking more into that slot machine NFT thing which has already sold things way ahead of actually setting up the systems needed to fulfill the apparent promise of getting a cut of casino profits, it’s really appropriate for how much of a gamble this thing is, represented as slot machines. There even seems to be intent to be able to gamble NFTs themselves, much like underground gambling rings where people will bet watches or shoes or even organs if they’re on a particularly bad streak. The difference being someone can probably live without an NFT just fine, meanwhile not knowing the time or having sore feet or being dead are more inconvenient.

The core “utility” that seems to be tied to NFTs really does look like claiming elitism above anything practical. Apparently the infamous monkey pushers held some actual get-together in some place that supposedly required proving holding an NFT, or rather some wristband obtained at a previous thing, yet someone managed to get in despite those to experience an awkward setup of apparently mostly dudebros trying to sell internet images to other dudebros while waiting to get to the toilet. Maybe a step or two above Dashcon since there were a few celebrities performing, but could probably do better to keep up the “yacht club” appearance. I mean, at least they didn’t pay 20 grand to be stranded on a stormy beach, but they did probably pay way more than that for the monkey. Also considering the whole “frat party” mentality accusations that are popping up a lot in workplaces run by extremely rich guys, having a literal frat party run by and populated with apparently rich guys isn’t helping that.

All the ideas about decentralizing money and assets for the people really don’t seem to be working out that way, it’s just another copy of existing systems where at best it’s people paying exorbitant amounts for a club card to get into some random party somewhere and worst is losing badly at stocks. And of course once again considering anything outside of environmental cost, from a purely human-centric viewpoint it’s a mess as it is. For all that anti-DRM mentality held in the tech space before, people invested in this sure get antsy around anyone with a mouse with more than one button. And that’s really done out of spite, a lot of people against the idea of NFTs as they are don’t seem to find the actual image appealing in any form, and I totally get that. I’ve mentioned before, commissions are far cheaper, even the ones with big price tags, and are pretty much made to spec than by an auto-generating bot.

Also, taking a look at any place where NFTs are meant to be discussed seems to just become a wall of WOW FREE GIVEAWAYS OF THIS THING I MADE UP JUST GIVE ME YOUR WALLET FIRST and other things that could either be shitposts or actual attempts. And sometimes actual artists showing up with actual art that’s just arbitrarily become an NFT because that’s the hot new thing and so on. There’s also the possibility of having a bunch of wallet address things and selling to one’s self to drive up apparent value because that produces a record of a sale price, which apparently sets the initial value for anyone speculating. The whole thing is so open to scams and such that it’s practically begging for regulation, and governments will probably want in on that, if not just taxing these transactions on top of the “gas fee” thing. As much as I like the idea of governments not intervening with anything in general, the “cryptomafias” are really playing with fire here. If anything they might try to make their own government to cut down on scams in an emergency situation, which would mean centralizing the system in some way, which goes against that whole decentralization thing. For now though they seem fine with playing the crowd and themselves while acting like gatekeepers for any kind of fun with technology. I really don’t want to play that game. Too much money and rules. I’ll stick to bargain bin deals when I’m not playing my existing library.

So, yes, my stance hasn’t changed in any way toward being in favor of the whole idea or even any part of it really, given how people will just take some random tech idea and try to make it into immediate profit at nobody’s convenience. It’s just even more in the public view as more of a buzzword than anything. Remember when a publisher for a Cooking Mama game claimed they’d have blockchain DRM, and after getting pulled ended up being accused of being a crypto miner because of that, then it turned out that it was just unoptimized and possibly violated some contract? That’s mostly how I see this going in games, claiming a thing will do something and then not. So no wonder 22Cans got in on this NFT idea as well, knowing who and what history is involved there. I don’t even remember the name of the game they’re planning to wreck with it. Also, some trend-chasing horror game makers who put out a short “chapter” of a game decided to just throw their lore behind NFT paywalls because it’s trendy. Chances are they also regularly perform random trends on that one app a minimum of five days late if they’re not busy being jerks or something. Honestly too many examples I can pull from.