If you haven’t heard of NFTs then congratulations on not being terminally online and probably leading a healthy life involving sunshine and, I don’t know, a gym membership. Even if you have heard the latest tech buzzword, you may not understand what it means. NFT stands for non-fungible token, but what it means is a way of uniquely identifying a work of digital art. It’s a certificate of authenticity for videos, music, images, and so on. Each one is connected to a blockchain, like the cryptocurrency Ethereum, and that’s the point where your brain tunes out if you have seen the sun even once today.
The point is, artists can use NFTs when they sell their work online because collectors like certificates of authenticity. They can even include a code ensuring when the original is resold a percentage of the sale goes to the artist. Oh, and one other thing: like cryptocurrency, NFTs are wildly energy-inefficient. An analysis of around 18,000 NFTs found each one has an environmental impact roughly equivalent to over a month of power consumption by a typical EU resident, with emissions equal to driving a petrol car for 1,000 kilometres (621 miles).
Also, it’s trivially easy to sell someone else’s art with an NFT. There’s even a Twitter account that automates the process.
For these reasons, the NFT fad has been controversial. Which is presumably why indie developer Far Few Giants is holding an anti-NFT gif sale. If you buy a gif featuring the wintry imagery of Far Few Giants’ forthcoming game Imagined Leviathans, which is about surviving a frozen tundra haunted by strange things in the fog, you do not get an NFT. Instead, via the carbon-offset project Ecologi, trees get planted. Plus, you get a copy of Imagined Leviathans when it comes out. Plus, you get a certificate of authenticity that is an empty txt file called ‘thanks for buying.txt’.
It seems to be going well. The sale page has been updated to say, “Over $250 made so far, and 455 trees, over 7,500kg of CO2 offset!! Minting more gifs now!” If you’re interested in Imagined Leviathans it has a prologue you can play on itch.io, and there’s a Steam page as well.
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