For some, it is a utopian vision. For a thousand others, it is unquestionably a dystopia. But it’s really fair a speculative LinkedIn post about the potential future of the “blockchain” game, which went viral on multiple social media platforms when people started mocking what they see as its offensively absurd predictions.
The main character of the day is Nicolas Vereecke, investor at Bitkraft Companiesa venture capital firm that counts Discord, Epic Games, and a number of blockchain-based studios among his wallet. Last week, Vereecke released a vision of what gaming could look like in almost ten years, if all the promises announced by blockchain proponents come true.
“The year is 2030,” he begins. “It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon. You have just completed mining 30 Obsidian Ores while playing Crypto Crush Saga, a match-3 mobile game. The post then goes on to describe how you theoretically take this obsidian ore and bring it through multiple games, using it to forge a weapon in a game called Elden Channels Online and upgrade a building in a game called Clash of the Guilds. Later, you raid with your guildmates, who have been grinding their weapons for two weeks, for a 5% chance of acquiring an Orb of Immaculate Shine (“of which there are currently only four”). The orb will supposedly “give your guild a big advantage” in an upcoming space sim. (None of the games listed here exist, by the way; all are purely hypothetical.)
Much like everything else in the Venn diagram of crypto and gaming, whether it’s Square Enix sell beloved developers to fund blockchain efforts or GameStop reseller jump into NFTs just when the market crashes—Vereecke’s post was widely criticized on social media.
“Absolutely Dying”, Indie Game Developer Devon Wiersma tweeted next to a screenshot of Vereecke’s post. Wiersma’s tweet instantly went viral; it has since been “liked” nearly 40,000 times. The quote-retweets are particularly ruthless. Many first assumed it was a parody before reaching the end and realizing, no, it’s sincere. Some have teased that this grand vision of the future of gaming just looks like… an MMO. On Reddit, a person shared a screenshot of Vereecke’s post, describing it as “enabling the worst gaming experience I’ve ever heard of”.
Others described joke (?) hypotheticals, including one in which you would run out of ammo in the middle of a Halo firefight, jump in Skyrim to gather materials, then start Minecraft forge these materials in Halo ammunition… only to crash your servers. Womp, womp. Where there is this scenario: “You are attacked by a Dark Beleiber who transforms your obsidian ore into a penis. Your friend cannot forge your weapon now, because Chains of elders prohibits penises. You complain, but no one manages resources beyond transaction logging. All hail penis crypto.
The vision that Vereecke described, according to critics, comes with a number of logistical hurdles. Even if you could create an item in one game and transfer it to other games, and even if you could only do that with blockchain technology, you still need developers to code it, which feels like a lot of extra work piled on already overworked employees. And then there’s the fun factor, you know, the whole point of playing video games. It all feels like drudgery, like turning your hobby into a chore that spans hours a week over months or potentially years. (It’s unclear if the players would be paid for these efforts. Vereecke declined to comment. Kotaku.)
The message, however, is sort of a microcosm of those digital bubbles you sometimes hear about on CNN and your extended family’s Facebook pages. Yeah, it’s getting blown up on Twitter and Reddit. But on LinkedIn, Vereecke’s post was received more positively, racking up several hundred “heart” and “thumbs up” reactions. One person shared this meme from FuturamaFry, actually in the future, holds some (unencrypted) currency and yells “Take my money”. Another called it “ridiculous”, but only because, according to them, there is no way it will take eight years for the game to reach this point.
For posterity, here is Vereecke’s original post in full:
We are in 2030. It is a rainy Saturday afternoon. You have just completed mining 30 Obsidian Ores while playing Crypto Crush Sagaa match-3 mobile game.
You open The Elder Chains online and feel a burst of excitement. Your school buddy has spent the last 2 years becoming a master blacksmith, and he’s agreed to craft 10 obsidian ores into an obsidian battle staff, a huge improvement over the mass of mithril you wield since weeks.
It will take him about an hour. In the meantime, you jump in Clash of the Guilds, and use the remaining obsidian to upgrade your town hall to the next level. This should keep your village safe for now.
You wish you could fast forward to tonight. Your guild is intent on venturing deep into the wilderness in Old School Rune Chains, and your prospects for success (and loot) have never been better.
All members have spent the last 2 weeks researching better weapons, and you have agreed (by vote) to use the guild treasury to buy everyone a new full set of red dragonhide armor.
Tonight’s objective is to kill the level 128 Frost Giant hiding in the Cave of Sorrow. It has a 5% chance to drop an Orb of Pristine Shine, of which there are currently only 4.
The Orb can be used as a power source in an upcoming space exploration game and should give your guild a big advantage in reaching distant galaxies first. A 5% dropout rate is low, but you feel optimistic.
In the distance, you hear a faint “BloCkChain brings nothing new to games”. You shrug and join your friends on the Discord voice channel.
Life is Beautiful
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