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NFTs and the Blockchain - What the hell is all this?


squirtle
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5 minutes ago, Benny said:

 

Why would a publisher possibly want to let you trade their keys outside of their ecosystem?

Because they would own and be able to control that instance of the thing, so every time it was sold on, they'd get a cut, and not Steam? 

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I dunno, isn't that how physical copies work? I didn't think of digital games outside of a specific platform, that actually makes sense. Is that also DRM? Your copy could determine from the blockchain if you own it?

 

But then platforms don't want you outside their platforms, hence everyone shitting the bed that the windows store was going to take over.

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I honestly don't know. The whole thing seems weird because it's new. But if the block chain is just data stored across decentralised servers, then that's just a digital game that checks you have the right to play it by checking your rights the same way. Or something...

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5 minutes ago, TehStu said:

Yeah, I haven't really thought it through but that actually, finally, feels like a use case that isn't otherwise possible (unless Steam lets you sell games, I've barely used it of late).

You can refund games but not sell them on. And if you did Steam would get a cut.

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Anyone can host files, although I suppose there be dragons for unofficial sources. I actually like official stores for this reason. But couldn't the DRM/license be the nft? I've literally no idea what data can be decentralized. If it's always receipts pointing to a source, then only the receipt is decentralized. Which seems stupid to me, but perhaps I've just come full circle.

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6 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

You still need a system to host the files and validate your licence, so not really. 

Do you. Maybe I'm not understanding this but I thought the whole point was that the data was decentralised, and that's all a digital game is, isn't it? Just data stored somewhere. If you were just pulling that data from different parts of the Blockchain, what would prevent that?

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I could be wrong, but I don't think the blockchain is really set up for 120 GB worth of files representing a single game. Of course, with bittorrent and the like, we have other decentralised means of file transfer that could work, but as Stu notes, there's a lot to be said for a trustworthy source existing. It's one thing when you're grabbing stuff on the high seas, but if I'm paying £60 for a game, I want to be convinced that I'm getting the game.

 

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The thing is, it's a bit of a pipe dream to think the blockchain is going to open up a previously impossible era of second hand digital sales. Any publisher right now could allow it, all through their own system. EA, Rockstar and Ubisoft don't support it, despite having full control of their own stores. Right now, the only thing preventing them from doing so is their own lack of interest.

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8 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

The thing is, it's a bit of a pipe dream to think the blockchain is going to open up a previously impossible era of second hand digital sales. Any publisher right now could allow it, all through their own system. EA, Rockstar and Ubisoft don't support it, despite having full control of their own stores. Right now, the only thing preventing them from doing so is their own lack of interest.

 

Which is the point really. This is "A use" for NFTs the same way going down to Tesco is "A use" for a Boeing 747.

 

Technically true but could be done much easier now if there was a will using traditional means. (A car)

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To me, the argument for NFT's in gaming boils down to that it would remove the platform/publisher from the equation...as long as the platform/publisher allowed themselves to removed from the equation.

 

Of course, my math could be wrong.

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25 minutes ago, Jarik said:

To me, the argument for NFT's in gaming boils down to that it would remove the platform/publisher from the equation...as long as the platform/publisher allowed themselves to removed from the equation.

 

Of course, my math could be wrong.

 

Headshot.

 

The obvious point being, if they were OK with that, they would just implement user transferrable goods in their own marketplace, free from ever rising gas fees, and far cheaper to run and easier to monitor on their own centralised system. Cases of fraud and malpractice? Just ban them from the community.

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1 hour ago, Jarik said:

To me, the argument for NFT's in gaming boils down to that it would remove the platform/publisher from the equation...as long as the platform/publisher allowed themselves to removed from the equation.

 

Of course, my math could be wrong.


it removes the platform/publisher from the equation replacing it with another platform (in practice somewhere has to publish which products are available for sale, allow switching cryptocurrencies from one form to another: otherwise the option may as well not exist). Basically you’re swapping one rentier class for another, except the second doesn’t actually have anything to do with creating games.

 

there’s a reason VCs are all over crypto, and it isn’t from a love of not making margin.

 

and besides: games are inherently tied to a platform (good luck playing games on Xbox if Microsoft abandon it), have no scarcity (from a publisher perspective), have a rapidly decreasing value (for digital games - 50% over the first couple of months is common) and an inherent maintenance and distribution cost (patches and bandwidth).

 

it’s a no-brain solution to a problem that doesn’t exist for the seller (and given the rapid depreciation of games, for the buyer: the only point it makes sense is if you resell in the first week, but then you’re directly screwing with the publisher who’d throw a giant margin on top) and which just comes with problems of its own.

 

publishers will always make more money selling you a new copy. It has the same costs to them as a second hand copy, and they don’t need to pay the original “owner” anything.

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And that's before you factor in the convenience of having centralised platforms like Steam being popular precisely because it takes the pain out of keeping games up to date and patched and where everything is easily accessible in one place at no additional effort for the user. There's a reason Steam may have discouraged piracy (allegedly).

 

As soon as you take away the convenience, piracy becomes more attractive to many rather than buying digital "second hand" that could otherwise just be copied I would argue.

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You could NFT-ize games by having a torrent link to a PGP signed download, with just the decryption key in the blockchain. So that almost feels like a use case. But yeah, patches and all.

 

EDIT: Though er... now I think about it for more than 2 seconds... anyone could read that info off the blockchain and download the torrent, lol.

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15 hours ago, yashiro said:

If you ignore the obvious blockchain scams that art NFTs and coins currently are...

 

Publishers/Steam/etc could create NFTs for licensed ownership of games. Essentially it would just be a way to represent a transferable unique product id. We, as individuals, could then sell our unwanted digital games!

 

I don't think they would implement this voluntarily but it would be a practical use of a blockchain.

Yes, I came to the same conclusion recently that games licenses could be one of the few practical uses of Blockchain.

 

If GOG, Epic and other stores got together then you could have a blockchain of games licence ownership. That way if, say, GOG shutdown, you could potentially still have your license and access to your games through other stores, reducing the risk to the end-user from buying from unproven retailers.

 

The blockchain doesn’t contain the games themselves, just the license itself - as with now, you’d go through a third party, such as GOG or EGS, to prove your ownership and download them. Of course, the associated bandwidth cost might mean they attach a small charge to doing this.

 

The actual blockchain itself could be mostly transparent to end-users as it would be dealt with by the various vendors.

 

I don’t think second-hand sales would happen because publishers wouldn’t want it but there’s still value there.

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9 minutes ago, Dudley said:

To be fair, if GOG shuts down you just keep playing your lovely completely non-DRMed games.

 

Of all the people I don't see going for this, GOG are top :D

Sure… if you have them all downloaded and stored somewhere.

 

Given that GOG have allowed you to import games via the Steam API then I don’t think this is that much of a leap.

 

It would require significant take up by many stores to get any traction as a way of competing with the Steam behemoth.

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Or you could just pirate. You have to ask yourself: “what is in it for the stores and publishers”.

 

(also, how many digital pc stores have shut down and not just been taken over: I suspect the answer, for anything you might have bought something from, is none, and the prospect of it happening isn’t something that you as a consumer spend any time worrying over)

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10 hours ago, footle said:

(also, how many digital pc stores have shut down and not just been taken over: I suspect the answer, for anything you might have bought something from, is none

 

Tell me you never owned a Wii without telling me you never owned a Wii ;)

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