In what is arguably the biggest proverbial middle finger in a long time, a developer named Mark Venturelli (of Chroma Squad fame) gave a half-hour sermon against NFTs at an event where he was a guest speaker. The clapper? Sponsors of the Brazil International Games Festival included blockchain and NFT companies as well as ” Web3 and the New Generations of Games ”.
So you can imagine they did not have fun when the planned ” Future of Game Design ” was literally crossed out on one of the slides on the presentation and was replaced by ” Why NFT is a Nightmare. ” laughter and applause from the developers present.
Who was not surprised by the lure and shift was the organization, Verturelli tells PCGamer. He had followed the right path and duly informed the organization of his plans. They not only allowed it without complaining, but even defended it when sponsors tried to stop it.
“I heard the sponsors got really angry,” the developer explains. “They tried to interrupt the speech while I was speaking, but the organization would not allow it. That does not surprise me, because the organization never censored me at any point, did not prevent me from posting my content on slides. I gave them slides to the panel. There was never any intention on their part to silence me or anything like that.
Following this, PCGamer conducted a follow-up interview referring to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint’s NFTs and Ubisoft’s position that “the endgame is about giving players the chance to sell their items when they’s done or finished. the game itself. “
“It’s such a naive proposal,” he replies. “The expectation versus reality is so bizarrely far apart here because what has happened is that organized groups are starting to run and scale down with ever smaller margins to push everyone out. For that was what happened. If you play EVE Online or Runescape or any other game that simulates an economy, this is what happens. Organized groups are going to destroy you. What actually happens is that if you naively play a game and have fun (imagine it!) And then want to sell your stuff, those things will not be worth anything. It’s going to be worth a fraction of a cent, but what you’re giving in exchange for that fraction of a cent is that you’re now completely powerless. Your imagination, your ability to influence this world is gone because it is now controlled by these guys. “
A little later in the interview, Mark goes a little further by removing not only the NFT, but the blockchain as a whole, especially cryptocurrencies. The argument crypto bros often puts forward is that crypto is not regulated by the government (already not entirely true anymore) and that it is therefore free of their influence. In addition, the blockchain infinitely monitors each transaction. Venturelli sees it as a problem.
“Logically, in real life, if you do not trust the people you work with, you will have to spend a lot of extra energy getting things done. If I live with you in the same house and I do not trust you, every time I leave the house I have to store my valuables, make an inventory of my belongings and maybe install cameras and locks.When I get home again I have to check if everything is still there and if anything has been tampered with and make sure you do not enter my room when I sleep and shit like that.
It’s so much energy I need to live in a room with you because I do not trust you. It is, in my opinion, a very good metaphor for how blockchain works technically and what the underlying philosophical idea is. It is ‘we want a world without a central authority because we do not trust them.’ In my view, it is the opposite of what we as a society should want. “
Given Venturelli’s anti-blockchain stance, you would think it’s strange that he’s attending this event at all. Especially since the involvement of the crypto companies was already revealed before the event by journalist Rique Sampaio. However, he meant something else.
“If we boycott it and just do not go, we will largely admit our loss. We say we will give up. We must not do that. We must do the opposite. In fact, I do not think the event itself is pro- crypto and pro-NFT I know them personally and I am an advisor to the board of Abragames (part of the organization) My opinion on crypto and NFT is not the majority of Abragames but it is important that I represent that opinion Similarly, it’s important that we go and take the space offered to us. Not just for me, but for the many indie developers in Brazil. I was on the side that was like, ‘Hey, let’s go. “Let’s move on with this and use the space. Let’s say our opinion against it. Otherwise, the block companies will hold a monologue there.”
What Venturelli is referring to here are sponsored panels that were held occasionally on the big stage, and which all corresponded to the fact that cryptocurrencies are the next big thing, that we do not understand it yet, and that current games and all their bad sides is not representative. By squeezing in between them, he can at least turn the monologue into a small-scale dialogue. And the organization is not bothered by that.
“I do not feel hurt by talking about NFT. Because BIG does not need these guys. It is inverted. If we do not use this space and we let people like this use it, they will suddenly dictate the future. Suddenly, they seize the investment opportunities so they build the big new projects. That is when it becomes dangerous, because in my opinion it can endanger our future as an industry. I do not feel that they have a long term, so even if they succeed in the short term, they still fail in the long term. “
The developer concludes his interview with one last bit of wisdom. Not about blockchain, but humanity. “We are currently living in a crisis of confidence in Western society. Trust in each other, in institutions and even our future is in decline. We should build systems that build trust and help people connect. We should not distance ourselves from culture, entertainment and storytelling in favor of economic activity. We should not ruin the last refuges in a capitalist society. “