During Brazil’s International Games Festival last week, developer Mark Venturelli (Chroma Squad) was scheduled to give a talk called “The Future Of Game Design.” A few seconds in, he flipped and revealed the presentation’s real title—“Why NFTs are a nightmare”—to a room full of applause.
The talk absolutely rails on the idea of implementing NFTs and “play to earn” in video games, attacking the environmental cost, predatory practices, and the fact that they’ll turn games into salt mines and sweatshops, rather than creative works people can simply enjoy. All things we already knew, but it’s always lovely seeing a developer reinforce the point in a forum among their peers. Even better to an audience featuring perpetrators of such practices.
A video of the talk has been uploaded to YouTube, but since it’s all in Portuguese it won’t be of much use to most of you. It should, however, autoplay below to the moment that Venturelli pauses, laughs and makes the switch, a universal moment we can all enjoy.
As PC Gamer reports, an important thing to note here is that he pulled the stunt with the blessing of the event’s organisers. The Brazil International Games Festival had among its main sponsors a number of crypto, NFT and blockchain companies, some of whom were furious at the content of Venturelli’s talk.
“These people are outsiders here, they’re not important,” he said of the scam peddlers when talking to PC Gamer. “They’re just trying to buy their relevance, because they have no actual influence over the future of our industry. If you just give them this space uncontested, you’re just giving them exactly what they want, and buying their narrative that they’re relevant.”
Venturelli added, “I’ve heard that the sponsors got really mad. They tried to break into the talk while I was talking, but the organization would not let them...There was never any kind of intention on [the organizer’s] side to shut me up or anything like that.”
While the video of the talk was in Portugese, Venturelli has since uploaded a translated set of the slides accompanying the presentation, which you can check out here.