Jump to content

So, NFTs?


Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, Relic Finder said:

So, What is everyone’s opinion on the matter of chaosium releasing NFTs? It’s caused quite a stir apparently. Since it’s related to call of Cthulhu, I’d like to ask you guys.

I have moved this thread to Alastor's Inn as it is not related to the Call of Cthulhu RPG itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Relic Finder said:

So, What is everyone’s opinion on the matter of chaosium releasing NFTs? It’s caused quite a stir apparently. Since it’s related to call of Cthulhu, I’d like to ask you guys.

 

Basically:

  • Some people see NFT's as fundamentally a scam, are disappointed in Chaosium... up to and including "will never do business with any company selling NFT's."
  • Other people see it as "perhaps regretable, but so long as  I personally  don't buy their NFT's, I still feel able to buy their other products."
  • Yet others seem to feel "meh.  tempest in a teacup.  don't even care enuf to hit the caps-key, or spel ryt."

===

Personally, I feel that Chaosium are (more or less) Good People (e.g. when the MD crew came in, one of the things they did was spread the word to freelancers who previously hadn't been paid, to please contact "nuChaosium" who wanted to make things right.  They could have just kept quiet on the topic; they could have just denied old claims as "that was the old management, we can't be liable for all their mistakes;" they could have just oiled the few squeaky wheels that wouldn't shut up, as the unpaid-freelancer issue was AFAIK dying down already when the MD team came aboard.  Instead, they stepped up and  actively sought out  the people who hadn't got money owed. ) .

Therefore (even IF the people saying  "NFTs are a scam"  are 100% right) my feeling is that Chaosium is probably just another innocent(ish) victim of the scam, fooled by the tech-bro's peddling the snake-oil.

If nothing else, I think they are too business-savvy to knowingly join in on a scam:  the downside risk to their reputation is too large.

===


So, ARE they (NFTs) a scam (specifically, a "greater fool" scam, maybe with a touch of Ponzi and/or pump&dump)?  I'm a bit on the fence, honestly.  It seems to me that large amounts of high-priced "collectibles" and "art" &c have wildly-inflated and "scammy" pricing; to that extent, NFTs are completely the same... but possibly no worse, really.

OTOH, some people I'm inclined to trust are pretty-firmly in the "yep, scam" camp, and I am insufficiently educated to feel myself qualified to dispute those people.

I hope Chaosium will take a good hard -- and very open-minded -- look at the question.  It's all too easy to get defensive, to double-down and "circle the wagons" and etc.  Maybe they really  should  get out of that market (although, it's also possible that they are contractually-bound for "X" amount of participation).
 

Edited by g33k
divvil. details.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chaosium trading in NFTs is, at best, like that time you were at a party and that middle-aged guy turned up wearing leather pants.  At worst, it's like that party where the middle-aged guy turned up and did a bunch of molly.  Either way, it didn't impress the 20-Nothings the way he thought it would.

!i!

  • Haha 5

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Chaosium trading in NFTs is, at best, like that time you were at a party and that middle-aged guy turned up wearing leather pants.  At worst, it's like that party where the middle-aged guy turned up and did a bunch of molly.  Either way, it didn't impress the 20-Nothings the way he thought it would.

!i!

This has the be the biggest truth in this matter.

Søren A. Hjorth
- Freelancer Writer, Cultural Distributer, Font of Less Than Useless Knowledge
https://thenarrativeexploration.wordpress.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know what they are and have no interest in purchasing them myself.

However, I have no objection to Chaosium selling them.

Blockchains are the next cool thing, like XML was before people realised that it was nothing great after all.

Hopefully the bubble will burst eventually.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"How sweet — now artists can become little capitalist a**holes as well."

...

"The idea that Ayn Rand, that Nietzsche-for-Teenagers toxin, should have her whacky ideas enshrined in a philosophy about money is what is terrifying to me."

— Brian Eno on Libertarian tech bros and the commoditisation of art via NFTs
https://the-crypto-syllabus.com/brian-eno-on-nfts-and-automatism/

Edited by Ian Absentia
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, soltakss said:

I know what they are and have no interest in purchasing them myself.

However, I have no objection to Chaosium selling them.

Blockchains are the next cool thing, like XML was before people realised that it was nothing great after all.

Hopefully the bubble will burst eventually.

The big ass difference is that 

A) XML does not need you to have people be suckered into a small ponzi scheme to be useable.

B) XML actually has a use besides being tokens with a proprietary link to a image; where you don't even own the image.

C) Only uses a fraction of the processing power needed to sustain the ecosystem that NFT and Crypto needs to have. 

Why does a Roleplaying Game company need to go into a Casino business? Especially one that seems *this* shady?

Do what you want, but until there's a at least some sort of address whether or not this company is going to continue invest in questionable businesses, i really have to keep banging this drum, even if i LIKE most of the staff here, and i really don't attribute malice to anyone here.

 

Edited by KungFuFenris
  • Like 2

Søren A. Hjorth
- Freelancer Writer, Cultural Distributer, Font of Less Than Useless Knowledge
https://thenarrativeexploration.wordpress.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MOB said:

We have heard your concerns about the licensed NFTs created for Veve using Chaosium IP. Today we are announcing that we are suspending production. Read the statement from Chaosium President Rick Meints here:

https://www.chaosium.com/blogchaosium-suspends-plans-for-future-nfts

Thank you for this.

Søren A. Hjorth
- Freelancer Writer, Cultural Distributer, Font of Less Than Useless Knowledge
https://thenarrativeexploration.wordpress.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gotta say, I'm relieved as well. Just looking at the responses to the announcement makes it clear that the NFT people have no idea what Chaosium actually produces or any desire to engage with the roleplaying world at large.

The amount of people talking about 'gargoyle statues,' 'unlocking future game pieces' or 'looking forward to playing Chaosium in the metaverse' tells me everything I need to know.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not so fast.

“While we address the concerns of the tabletop gaming community we have halted our plans for future NFT releases.”

That's not a "we're done with NFTs and never doing NFTs ever again in the future". The above is corporate speak for maybe we will, maybe we won't but either way we're waiting for the bad press to die down.

I'm not buying books from Chaosium until they explicitly say they're done with the NFT ponzi scheme for good.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Berwyn said:

Not so fast.

“While we address the concerns of the tabletop gaming community we have halted our plans for future NFT releases.”

That's not a "we're done with NFTs and never doing NFTs ever again in the future". The above is corporate speak for maybe we will, maybe we won't but either way we're waiting for the bad press to die down.

I'm not buying books from Chaosium until they explicitly say they're done with the NFT ponzi scheme for good.

That may be a bit strong (though you do you).

Nothing about the core NFT concept is inherently tied to blockchain and crypto-currency foolishness. If VeVe closed down tomorrow and re-opened a week later using regular money & payment systems and let publishers release limited edition tchotchkes that users could buy and sell amongst themselves (with a cut going back to VeVe, the publishers, and the creators) I wouldn't object to Chaosium or anyone else participating. If transactions for limited-run items get (public key) cryptographically signed by the participants in a publicly viewable registry, that still would be fine, and wouldn't require any more resource overhead than all the HTTPS, VPN, SSH type stuff that we use every day. The registry could even expose info to other systems via federated identity tools to allow owners to use their items in compatible environments. All that could happen without shackling everything to a blockchain. If someone still called the unique item IDs in that registry "non-fungible tokens," would there be a problem?

Edited by JonL
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, JonL said:

If someone still called the unique item IDs in that registry "non-fungible tokens," would there be a problem?

No, but the entire point of NFTs is for people to cash out cryptocurrencies into actual money. It's not about whatever the NFT is pointing to, it's about speculating on suckering more people into the scheme so that you can sell the NFT on and get out. The whole thing is laid out well in the video posted in the other thread.

Without the cryptocurrency element, there wouldn't be NFTs. There would be a few collectors buying actual things.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, jenh said:

No, but the entire point of NFTs is for people to cash out cryptocurrencies into actual money. It's not about whatever the NFT is pointing to, it's about speculating on suckering more people into the scheme so that you can sell the NFT on and get out. The whole thing is laid out well in the video posted in the other thread.

Without the cryptocurrency element, there wouldn't be NFTs. There would be a few collectors buying actual things.

Yeah, that video is a masterpiece. The Atlantic published an essay last April by Anil Dash, one of the people who came up with the NFT concept some years back, that could be summarized as, "This dumpster fire is not what we were trying to enable. Please, just stop." 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, jenh said:

... it's about speculating on suckering more people into the scheme so that you can sell the NFT on and get out ...

I mean... from my own POV, this is largely indistinguishable from... say, Andrew Pollock paintings.  Offer me me an original Pollock to hang on my wall, or a good $30 print of a Van Gogh, and I'll choose Starry Night every time!   AND YET Pollock paintings continually sell for prices greater than my entire net worth.  Obviously, there are a bunch of  "speculators / suckers"  buying canvas ruined with dried-on paint!  

Unlike the classic pyramid scam, NFTs don't seem to require an ever-widening pool of customer/victims, just a "greater fool" who will buy *your* particular token (preferrably at a higher price (hence a "greater fool"); but hopefully at least not any substantial loss).

In this, I find NFTs much like any other speculation where the "market price" is far above the "utility" value.

( I remain open to being educated otherwise; am watching the linked video (in the other thread) a bit at a time... 2+ hours!??!! )

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, g33k said:

I mean... from my own POV, this is largely indistinguishable from... say, Andrew Pollock paintings.  Offer me me an original Pollock to hang on my wall, or a good $30 print of a Van Gogh, and I'll choose Starry Night every time!   AND YET Pollock paintings continually sell for prices greater than my entire net worth.  Obviously, there are a bunch of  "speculators / suckers"  buying canvas ruined with dried-on paint!  

Unlike the classic pyramid scam, NFTs don't seem to require an ever-widening pool of customer/victims, just a "greater fool" who will buy *your* particular token (preferrably at a higher price (hence a "greater fool"); but hopefully at least not any substantial loss).

In this, I find NFTs much like any other speculation where the "market price" is far above the "utility" value.

( I remain open to being educated otherwise; am watching the linked video (in the other thread) a bit at a time... 2+ hours!??!! )

 

This difference being you end up with a thing to hang on your wall. NFTs are a unique link to a jpeg. The same jpeg can have dozens of other “unique” links to it. It’s not a scam like speculating on actual paintings (modern art and all that), it’s a scam in the sense that it’s a literal Ponzi scheme. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Berwyn said:

... it’s a scam in the sense that it’s a literal Ponzi scheme. 

Isn't it fundamental to the NFT's that each is unique, and non-severable?
You cannot split your NFT in half, and sell 2 X "NFT/2"'s (I mean, you could set up a contractual shareholder's situation, and do it that way).

(but note that the "Ponzi" scheme is something else entirely -- that's where you get more and more people to invest in a fraudulent asset, so you have their cash; and you use some of that cash to reward the early-buyers, encouraging them to buy-in further and recruit their friends/etc while siphoning a bunch of the cashflow out)
(n.b. at least some NFT's (but afaik not all) are credibly accused of getting "pump&dump" operations, which is... I dunno, "Ponzi-adjacent"?)

But yes, the Pollock buyer ends up with an actual Pollock for his wall... if he wants to downgrade his wallpaper, that is.  😉

 

Edited by g33k
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, g33k said:

Isn't it fundamental to the NFT's that each is unique, and non-severable?
You cannot split your NFT in have, and sell 2 "half-NFT"'s (I mean, you could set up a contractual shareholder's situation, and do it that way).

(but note that the "Ponzi" scheme is something else entirely -- that's where you get more and more people to invest in a fraudulent asset, so you have their cash; and you use some of that cash to reward the early-buyers, encouraging them to buy-in further and recruit their friends/etc while siphoning a bunch of the cashflow out)

But yes, the Pollock buyer ends up with an actual Pollock for his wall.
If he wants to downgrade his wallpaper, that is.  😉

 

I'm pretty sure you couldn't split the NFT, yeah. Depends on VeVe's solution though.

Søren A. Hjorth
- Freelancer Writer, Cultural Distributer, Font of Less Than Useless Knowledge
https://thenarrativeexploration.wordpress.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, g33k said:

(but note that the "Ponzi" scheme is something else entirely -- that's where you get more and more people to invest in a fraudulent asset, so you have their cash; and you use some of that cash to reward the early-buyers, encouraging them to buy-in further and recruit their friends/etc while siphoning a bunch of the cashflow out)

In order to buy the NFT, you have to buy into the cryptocurrency. In order to mint the NFT, you have to buy into the cryptocurrency. Both of these bump up the value of the cryptocurrency. So people with cryptocurrency want more and more people to make NFTs and buy NFTs, so that they can sell the cryptocurrency that they have for a lot more than they bought it for. Now a whole bunch of new people have cryptocurrency, because they want to sell it when the price goes up. That requires that other people buy cryptocurrencies. Your profit depends on more and more people buying into the scheme.

It is a scam. It is not merely speculating, it is an environmentally disastrous scam predicated entirely on greed where whatever the NFT points to is absolutely meaningless. You can argue that a Pollock painting and speculation around that is predicated entirely on greed, but NFTs are vastly worse in multiple ways.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, g33k said:

Isn't it fundamental to the NFT's that each is unique, and non-severable?
You cannot split your NFT in half, and sell 2 X "NFT/2"'s (I mean, you could set up a contractual shareholder's situation, and do it that way).

The tokens themselves are unique (barring a forked blockchain) and cannot be divided. However what Bernwyn was getting at is that there is no guarantee that there aren't any number of other NFTs containing links to identical files, or even to the exact same file. If disclosed this can be entirely legitimate, like having a run of signed and numbered prints. Or it can not be, as the marketplace is infested with bad actors and there is no meaningful oversight.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...