Over the weekend, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park made a few tweets about adding NFTs to video games and learned very quickly that many, many gamers are violently against the idea. It’s because they’ve seen these kinds of schemes come and go, leaving their favorite games much worse.
(Warner Bros published Shadow of War and it was developed by Monolith but that’s not the point)
No. No we do not want NFTs. Lots of reasons to not want NFTs. Happy to lock arms in solidarity with the “EA is the worst company on the planet” people and all of the various console warriors out there to say “no thanks”
While other big companies in the industry are doubling down I’m glad to hear Steam is refusing games with any sort of NFT integration on their storefront.
I imagine in a slightly worse timeline Steam opens the floodgates for it and suddenly this ponzi scheme invades countless releases for about a year before it get out of hand and courts have to step it to stamp it down.
But Steam’s stance will do a lot to dissuade (some) publishers from buying into the trend, since they don’t seem to be listening to seasoned developers saying it’s a terrible idea.
Bitcoin mining should have been regulated/ banned worldwide a long time ago. We’re already seeing it in countries who’s power grid can’t take the strain. Or I should say blockchain generation in exchange for currency, bitcoin is just one of many.
I mean, this isn’t even about the power-consumption aspects of cryptocurrency/blockchain related stuff, that’s sort of a side issue.
NFTs are problematic mostly because of their stated aim (to introduce scarcity to digital assets) which basically just makes digital stuff worse… and because the “solution” they provide to do this is actually mostly a scam (“I have an immutable document that says I own this URL… what do you mean no-one recognises the legitimacy of this document, and the picture at that URL was removed?”) and a means to shift money around in a way that looks suspiciously close to money laundering.
So, sure, “proof of work” blockchains are horrendously power-wasteful, I don’t disagree. However, my argument is more that it’s a distraction to bring that up as your primary issue, since cryptofans will just handwave about how efficient “proof of stake” systems are really just around the corner and will definitely solve the power problem.
The bigger thing is that blockchains in general are just very slow, inefficient solutions to most of the problems they’re thrown at [which could mostly be solved faster and better by other, non-cryptocurrency-involved solutions]… and the underlying philosophical drive to bring scarcity-derived capitalism to places which were far more efficient without it.
Proof of stake brings a number of new problems, including the fact that anyone who owns 51% of the coins for a blockchain effectively owns all of the coins, forever from that point forward. There’s a similar attack possible on proof of work, but it’s temporary.
Just because cryptobros handwave this stuff away, doesn’t mean its not there.
Moxie Marlinspike’s thoughts on Web3 and Bruno Dias’ blockchain primer helped me crystalize my thoughts on the biggest issue with crypto and NFTs. Boosters claim that the best thing about this tech is that it enables “decentralization” and doesn’t require intermediaries. But for them to be at all practical they basically require a centralized authority.
This is most clear in NFT gaming. In theory you could create a bunch of cryptographically unique assets tied to specific users. I still don’t know why you would want to do that but let’s say you did. You still need a centrally owned and operated platform where these assets can be stored and displayed. That platform is what actually determines the worth of the assets and keeps them secure. So all of the computing power and energy to create these NFTs is pointless.
Imagine taking your favorite skin from Valorant, and using it Fortnite. And not paying extra, because you own it. Then using it in CoD, Minecraft, even Twitter, IG.
I will never understand how anyone could ever think this is a thing that could happen when game companies are currently charging $10+ per skin. You really think they’re going to build a system into their product to circumvent paying them more money? Either ignorant or pretending to be ignorant.
As for Steam and Valve not allowing NFT games on it. Y’all do realize they don’t want it because they already have their own version of that on lock right? For awhile you could even use some TF2 hats in Portal 2. Valve is not against NFT’s, they’re against a system they don’t have control over to squeeze more money out transaction fees in their walled garden.
Oh, sure, I’m not saying proof of stake is better… [the more egregious problem is that proof of stake literally bakes “the rich get richer” into the technological infrastructure]… but you’ve kind of illustrated my point by responding like this Now the discussion is about technical solutions to blockchain, rather than the fact that, morally, it’s a howling wasteland.
The probability of a given node being given the right to mint the next block is proportional to the amount of (coins) “staked” by that node, basically. So it encourages people with many coins to make them illiquid by devoting them to stakes to get mining probability.
Apropos of nothing, Howling moral wasteland is a great band name.
You’re entirely right though, as soon as the discussion turns to details, there’s always a part of the brain that lights up and says “maybe this all could be fixed?” instead of thinking of why that is the wrong problem entirely.