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Tag: NFT

NFTs can create scarcity and exclusion

When I started playing online, I did it with a pirate version of Diablo. With my 56k modem, I connected to the official server with a cheater character. Re_del_male was his name (King of Evil, in Italian). I joined the clan Apocalypse Knights. I spent hours playing with them, exploring dungeons and stuff.

Next online experience was an Italian shard for Ultima Online. I joined with real life friends, we were orcs. I learnt to use bots to farm and mine while chatting with my friends deciding what to raid next. Also there it was completely free, we just had to purchase the game.

All those experiences were about inclusion and lot of things to do. There were scarcity for some resources, and someone made friends with the game masters in order to get more things, such as land and castles. They had to demonstrate first to them that they were active players. The scarcity frustration was compensated by active participation and will to contribute to the game.

Nowadays, the most similar game to this concept is Minecraft. Mojang stated yesterday that they are not willing to include NFTs, because of the following reasons:

In our Minecraft Usage Guidelines, we outline how a server owner can charge for access, and that all players should have access to the same functionality. We have these rules to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content. NFTs, however, can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft.

When a game designer steps in

There has been a lot of talk lately about the usefulness of video game fairs. This year at the most important fair in Brazil, BIG Festival, game designer Mark Venturelli confirmed their usefulness.

He envisions a show fully sponsored by new brands that have received massive funding to promote their pyramid schemes. Imagine seeing logos of brands that have never created a successful video game or console invade your spaces little by little.

This is where heroes like Mark Venturelli enter the scene. With the excuse of presenting a speech on the future of game design, Mark instead explained why NFTs are a nightmare. Explaining the obvious, but giving a pure game design base, our hero got a standing ovation.

Video here:

Slides in English here:

Superbiased rant on NFT Devs

Digital goods are taking on a great importance in our lives. My LinkedIn profile has value to me. This blog is a digital good. Scarcity and authenticity are two values ​​that can be found in some digital goods. Guilds in video games are composed by a limited number of Players and this scarcity generates a market. On Twitter many want the blue symbol of verified profile, authenticity. Scarcity and authenticity of digital assets are the real potential of NFTs.

Three types of people are making NFT video games: newbies, f2p explorers and the old guard.


Newbies are groups of people who have never made a video game and want to start on the hardest part. Some of them worked in e-sports, so that they have experience in community management. They include game mechanics that bring Players to purchase NFTs. There are huge technological challenges, aside from the normal struggles of making a great game for the right people. 

F2p Explorers

They have spent a period of their lives in the f2p industry. Both SaaS professionals and AAA veterans have joined the movement of free games as a service. They have explored the importance of connecting people in order to create services that can last for years. In NFTs they see the possibility of creating groups of people that stick in a game to be part of the elite. People who, in exchange for a hefty investment, will connect with other wealthy people like themselves. The main value added to the market with the disruption of free-to-play was democratisation of gaming experiences. So that they are most willing to look for the right balance between the two philosophies. 

The Old Guard

Well-respected names, successful game makers. These folks seem to be absolutely fascinated by the potential of NFTs and are using their way of making games to experiment with this new toy. Of the three groups, they are perhaps the ones who have the most chance of getting something interesting out of it. Something that will probably be copied and improved and people after them will get the real economic benefits. Not a problem for them, those people are already wealthy!


NFT are a solution in search of a problem to be solved. I came to this personal conclusion after a careful analysis lasting a few months. Maybe in 10 years we will see something interesting coming out. 

What the sector needs right now, urgently, is to speak the language of Players. All the content I see and hear out there is speaking the language of traders. This is attracting the attention of people interested in an easy way to make money. We should put our focus on goals, experiences, rewards, entertainment, competition, self-expression. Our aim should be the people looking for “gamename tips for doingthat” and not “how to make money with gamename”.

This is my superbiased rant, hope you liked it!

Art explains tech trends today

Is video game art for you? For me it is. What is the result of human creative work and comes to attract the attention of other people can be defined as art.

If the video game is art, it is interesting to study the history of art to understand many of its facets. Part of the history of art is the time when living artists realized that they could have very large profits from a simple certificate of originality of an artistic work.

Which explains a lot of the NFT movement that has fully invested the video game in recent months.

This reporter explains it better than me. Enjoy it.

If a videogame is a piece of art, instead of creating multiple NFTs why not embed your whole masterpiece in a single NFT?

New aesthetics, dinamics and mechanics for blockchain games

The discourse regarding new technologies is very polarized. On the one hand, I see a lot of highly skilled people joining the financial gaming movement, games where you can make money. On the other hand, I see a hatred on the part of some people not only for the question itself, but also towards the creators.

For me, attacking those who are trying to create something new is definitely a mortal sin. The creator is a very often courageous person. She may be attracted to easy money, why not. But no one gives us the right to attack the creator. The creator is always the one who drives our industry forward.

In all the online noise, interesting qualities of the games that base a part of the service on blockchain are starting to be defined. Let’s see some of them using the false line of the MDA framework.


The question of being an investor for me is the natural consequence of the worldwide trend of recent years of being able to leave comments on any detail of anything. If in the future people can also feel like investors in a product, it will be very interesting for a lot of people.

Feeling the real power of helping to start and grow a project is absolutely fun. These hundreds of Discord game channels dedicated to videogames that don’t yet exist prove it. Quite often they have more people talking every day than Discord channels of games that already exist.

The community plays a key role, in the future we will see in companies that these communities will be treated as a separate product.


Understanding how the heck a decentralized gaming system works is complicated. You have to read documents, get information, create virtual wallets and even play a little on the cryptocurrency exchange. This thing is fun!

In fact, the real game is right there. Very often we see games that are bad copies of f2p games. Nonetheless, people go there and play. Obviously the possibility of earning money, but also the fact of fiddling with all these new tools creates fun dynamics that bring people together.

The real game is the marketplace, it is that part that needs to be playfully enhanced.


All data flow is very transparent on these platforms. There is also a very interesting loss of anonymity. It will be possible to prevent some forms of abuse that are committed by malicious players, if they lose their anonymity.

Also very interesting are the mechanics that allow people to be rewarded for contributing to the community. As an f2p game designer that I am, I have heard several times advice from some hardcore gamers on how to improve the economy.

These games will allow players to create their own currencies in the future. This is absolutely sane and interesting from a gameplay standpoint.

Whenever we criticize something, someone can answer us and give us an opportunity to learn.
Every time we attack someone, however, we lose the opportunity to drink from a source.

I sell you this cloud!

I am selling you this cloud. Do you want it? 100 euros, please.

Your for 100 euros

What can you do with it? You can look at it, you can photograph it and maybe use photography to create an image. You could use this image as a desktop background. Or you could choose to use it as a profile picture on your favorite social network.

Fast, now! The opportunity is passing by. Do you want it?

What is it for? Well, obviously a cloud is for the nature to keep working as it should. A cloud could generate water for the world. A cloud is good for the World. And this cloud can be yours.

Then does it disappear? Well, sure, but in the meantime it’s yours and yours alone. You can also sell it to other people. I will only take 5% commission as the issuer of the cloud ownership contract.

Don’t you understand? Come on, but it’s the future! Are you really not able to understand the future? Ok, come on there. But buy it, it’s 100 euros. Then you will understand what it is for. A Filipino lady earned $ 1 million on a cloud last week. What are you doing, are you missing it? You would be the only fool, I can assure you.

Me? I have many. And with that lady I earned 50,000 euros. The lady helped improve the world, that cloud of hers probably generated good drinking water. The lady can now be rich with her family.

And then the cloud disappeared.

(This NFT business story reminds me a lot of the casino business. I remember the words of an old boss I had: The best way to win at the casino? Open a casino!)

An opportunity for role playing video games and NFTs

There is something that I have always missed out while playing role playing video games: interpretation.

Producing a story with many branches and possible endings costs too much, then you have to translate it in many languages. That is simply not viable. Reproducing that feeling of “do whatever you want” that is present in tabletop role playing games is hardly achieved by the videogames of today.

You will also need a human (dungeon master) to adapt the scene and the story to the spontaneity of the moment.

What we have

What is possible right now is to provide tools for the people to connect together in a server. Create and explore virtual worlds, also in real time. 

Having a customized avatar that can interact with things and make gestures is also pretty suitable nowadays.

I was just thinking that maybe those new technologies which promise uniqueness and decentralization may grant tabletop role players being rightly represented inside a virtual community.

The journey

You start playing some designed adventure, just to get in touch with the controls and functionalities from a Player standpoint. Then you can look for your first party. 

When you reach a certain status in the community, playing or mastering stories, the game government (developers) recognize your contribution by issuing NFTs.

If you are a player, the more you play, the higher the value of the Character (PC) represented by the NFT. You can sell it and start with new characters. New players may decide to buy a PC and skip the process of getting noticed, for instance. Developers earn a part of every transaction.

If you are a DM the Worlds and Stories you create will become publicly  visible and free for everyone. You may want to pay for the developers to issue you a World-NFT or Story-NFT. Having one of those you can decide to let parties having an entry fee to your adventures, because you got a name in the community. As a dungeon master you should also create and use NPCs. The more you use those, the more your Players will be able to get in touch with them and enrich their background. Developers may decide to issue you an NFT to the highly recognized NPCs inside of the community, encouraging you to create meaningful NPCs.

Your creativity and interpretation, in that way, can be truly compensated!

Here what I think of all this crypto fever

I think that technology is beautiful and is never neutral. I believe that video games have always been on the front line of tech utilization. Video games have always pushed the boundaries of technology. In the last decade, they started to become a real massive entertainment medium, influenced by movies and streaming platforms.

NFT, cryptocurrencies, tokens and so on are technologies. As technologies, I think that they can really help with some use cases and features for video games. As technologies they are not neutral. Right now, according to the experts, it is a problem for the environment. So that not only are they not neutral, they are at this very moment a dangerous tech. Also, those technologies will never become games themselves.

Play-to-earn games, for instance, are fun. They offer the investor fantasy, but in the long term when Players take them seriously, they are not a game anymore. They become a gamified investor experience, which is way different from a game. A gamified experience is an experience that adopts some element from games to be more enjoyable. Hardcore players of play-to-earn games do everything to earn more money. They actively participate in a community, they share things and make meaningful experiences. But the end game always involves a marketplace. Not beating the final boss, not climbing a leaderboard. Not for now, at least.

Then there is the industry. As I said in previous posts, the industry does not exist to me. People do. My honest fear is that a lot of money and effort will be completely wasted. Why? Because I look for the names of the founders of new startups and cannot avoid noticing that those people before were all-in on another smoky concept: e-sports. They focus on attracting investments and brands and create hype for some metaverse, but they are not fully aware of what it is to really make video games. They ignore the basics. That could never be good.

On the other side, I see veteran game developers lose their time on Twitter speaking against the “cryptobros”. They speak as the owners of the truth, they lived in the industry since its beginnings. And they mostly still have not realized how many surprises this industry brings. I remember greatly the things they said against the free-to-play business model. History proved them wrong. More than 50% of the global video games revenue comes from mobile. The industry grew and conditions for workers improved a lot thanks to the free-to-play. Whoever denies that, does not see the truth. Full stop. They are the people which really can use NFT tech in a useful way, anyway. They know how to create games and great playful experiences. If they could only put their ego aside, I am sure, they will really help shape the future of all of this.

Decentralized finance is not here to destroy the gaming industry

Play-to-earn, the metaverse, NFTs, cryptocurrencies are not here to destroy the gaming industry. I agree that there is a lot of unjustified hype around those new technologies. Early adoption is always like this. 

The main discourse is too centered on two points: technology and money. And this is NOT where there is the real value of all this. Investors are joining in with crazy numbers. Millions invested in companies without a single game published. It’s weird, but believe me: it’s not the end of the gaming industry.

Historically, video games (together with military techs and porn) have always been pioneers for new techs. It is normal, since they offer a pretty safe testing field to try out things. So that it is completely normal to have continuous hypes and fashions.

But I learnt working in free-to-play for years that players generally put their attention and money in something they really enjoy. So don’t worry. The gaming industry is not about to end soon. 

If you are thinking that all those novelties are a disaster for our beloved industry, I kindly suggest you to go deep studying the new trends! Those judgements and fears always come from ignorance.

Two ideas for video games of the future

The approach I see when people talk about NFT and decentralized technologies is about two sides: money and technology.

Money is useful for starting a project and is the result of the value that the game gives to people. 

Technology is the medium that allows us to develop our games.

If we really want to find value though, we have to talk about the base of game design: the experience that we desire to give to our Players. Their emotions and their feelings.

I don’t like the expression “play-to-earn”, I have never liked it. It sounds like work, not like a game. I don’t think the play-to-earn model is the ultimate model that will blow everything else out. I don’t think it will be the dominant model of the next few years in games. Probably I am wrong, I have been wrong many times anyways.

I believe, however, that there is a chance that these technologies will be a very important part of the gaming experiences of the future.

The first idea I believe in is in the strength of assets that can be sold by developers and that represent collective achievements. Imagine finishing an epic mission in a virtual world with a thousand other Players. A mission that changes the history of that virtual world forever. A virtual painting that represents the result of that collective mission could be of great value to the players who participated in it. Being a painting, it could be hung in any room of any other game that accepts it.

The second idea I believe in is the possibility of trading NFTs for other NFTs. Many players collect NFTs and don’t want to sell them. Some of them would trade them for others. Imagine connecting your wallet to a swap service. Imagine being able to list the NFTs you want to trade. So imagine seeing other people’s NFTs and proposing exchanges. You can swap one NFT for another, multiple NFTs for one or maybe add some cryptocurrency to reinforce the proposition.