Fri. Nov 25th, 2022

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The financial system broke down in 2008:

resulting in mass unemployment. Our current reality and YouTube creator Dan “Folding Ideas” Olson’s latest video essay, Line Goes Up — The Problem with NFTs, are introduced in this prologue. Crypto and non-fungible tokens are thoroughly examined in this lengthy video. And in a sane world, it would put an end to the advancement of technology.

Of course:

the financial crisis of 2008 made it abundantly clear that we do not live in a rational society. There’s some evidence that Olson omits. Paying bonuses to executives using taxpayer money, for example, is an example of this. Another possibility is that no one was prosecuted for knowingly selling toxic assets to pension funds by the government. Toxic Asset Relief Program funds returned by the Obama White House instead of being used to halt home foreclosures are my favourite example (there were millions).

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This has nothing to do with NFTs, of course. Well, it’s the same thing as the GameStop meme stock rally from January 2021. No matter who is in charge, the United States government has repeatedly made it clear that we are on our own. Banks and billionaires will be saved, but if you want yours, you’ll have to rob someone else of it first. Nihilism or apathy are the only responses to such an environment as a defence mechanism. But the apathetic create a space for the nihilistic to take what they want using new, mutant grifts. Because if there are no consequences for the rich, then you can justify anything in the pursuit of riches.

WEBINAR \sThree top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.

  • This is where NFTs come in, and in response, this is where Olson begins his critique of the technology.

Line Goes Up performs a detailed examination of NFTs, the blockchain, and cryptocurrency.

You should watch the entire film, but it has some key criticisms that pop the hype bubble surrounding the tech in the gaming space. For every futuristic promise, NFTs have a litany of issues intrinsic to its functionality. People pitch crypto as a means for conducting private transactions, but everything is public on the blockchain to anyone who knows how to parse the data. The tech’s evangelists also present its decentralised nature as inherently more secure, but it’s actually trivial to launch attacks against an individual’s personal crypto wallet. Even the idea that original artists can get a cut of every future sale of their work isn’t guaranteed and is not inherent to the tech.

Recently, we’ve heard more claims about the potential for “play to earn” to empower people in the developing world to make money by playing games.

But that model requires a sustainable, growing in-game economy — and it is notoriously challenging to balance a video game economy. That is a frightening proposition when digital items have real-world value, and if people are playing to earn money in a game, that kind of drain on currency will force a studio to make changes. This is already happening with NFT-based game Axie Infinity. Its studio is tying to prevent a collapse of its NFTs, and that has caused what players earn each day to drop below the poverty line.

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Olson goes into all of these problems and so much more, and the crypto communities defence is still that the haters don’t get it. In the face of such a dense work, it would be absurd to continue arguing that. NFTs and crypto are about finding the next sucker, and it’s easy to feel justified doing that in a world where the economy collapsed in 2008 and left so many of us to fend for ourselves. But this will only make video games worse.

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By Adam

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