Readers’ Opinion is a place to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We’ll feature our favorite replies in the next installment.
When NFTs started becoming popular, game publishers tasted blood in the water. In an era where every major video game is monetized to the hilt, a new avenue to squeeze extra juice out of each blockbuster release seems too good for them to be true.
And it should be too good to be true. Because NFTs are annoying.
I’m not going to go into the eco-friendly side of the debate here because, frankly, I don’t know enough about their impact on the environment to say whether or not NFTs’ popularity will send us hurtling to the abyss faster than we already are. I recycle as much as the next person and the planet’s still dying a miserable death, so I’m not afraid to admit that I have no idea how much a purchasable GIF of a monkey will help accelerate its demise. What I do know is that the concept of NFTs and the people who talk about them are insufferable.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens as I am contractually obligated to say until everyone understands their weird purpose, are images created on the blockchain that are technically unique. If you buy one, that’s yours to own; people can right-click and save it, but they won’t own your unique version. It’s been compared to the owning of an original artwork that is then duplicated via prints, etc. For instance, you can own a print of the Mona Lisa, but you can’t own the original. The people who say this are ignoring the fact that a print of the Mona Lisa still looks like a nice piece of art, whereas most NFTs are weird stuff like a JPG of a parrot shitting into a bin.
Still, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda is into it, making the point that in-game items are basically the same things as NFTs except you can move them out of the game and into another one:
? That’s what’s so confusing to me. In game items are basically just NFTs you’re not allowed to sell or move out of the game. What if you could? https://t.co/L319by5daX
— Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) January 8, 2022
Far be it for me to tell a member of Linkin Park how the world works, but the idea that publishers would freely let in-game items be moved from one game to the next seems optimistic at best. Sony has only just got its head around letting owners of other consoles play with PlayStation owners, so the idea of taking an NFT of Mario and shoving it into Call of Duty seems unlikely.
But what do I know? Maybe NFTs could be a great thing for gaming, and I’m just missing a trick. Maybe there’s a way where this actually works out and is beneficial to gaming, rather than being another odd little pursuit from publishers trying to maximize profits from out of video games they barely finish in the first place.
If you support NFTs being in video games, let us know in the comments section below and please, let us know what the rest of us are missing out on. If you think NFTs are a ridiculous invention and don’t belong in games at all, make sure you let us know, too. We’re reaching across the aisle here.