NFT/Blockchain ROMS

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Goose2k
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NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by Goose2k » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:04 pm

There is a lot of discussion around using block-chain tech to distribute "one of a kind" digital artwork. With NFT data, only one person can "own" it at a time, making it behave much more like physical content. However, unlike most game DRM schemes, you actually "own" the content, and are free to sell/transfer it to other people.

There is a lot of concern around the environmental impact of the technology, but I would love to put that aside for a moment.

What I am interested in, is the potential that this technology could be used to release Limited Edition Digital versions of our NES games. Anyone thinking about this, or have thoughts?

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by lidnariq » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:14 pm

This is the Cryptocoin equivalent of a receipt and a nice printed certificate. The only thing it achieves is making it "harder" (in ways that cryptocoin fans like) to falsify, but is overkill for a court of law.

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by rainwarrior » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:35 pm

It's just a "receipt" that says "this data was sold to this specific person".

The data itself is easy to copy, but a person can prove the paid for it. This receipt is also transferrable.

Who is this valuable to?

Have you had a problem in the past where you've made a limited edition NES ROM, sold it to someone, and then found them selling multiple copies of it saying that each was the original they bought from you...? Is this what's stopping you from making such things? I'm not sure I understand the importance of this technique.

Even for art collectors, I have a hard time believing people in 30 years people will be having a bidding war to decide who the blockchain says owns some digital Mona Lisa? Digital art is not like physical art and I don't think it ever will be, in that respect.

There's a scarcity of the object in the physical case. Here there's only the scarcity of getting to say you own it. Is that really equivalent?

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by Goose2k » Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:18 pm

There is actually an additional piece to this that I didn't realize: the original artist can actually get "royalties" every time the piece is sold to a new owner. That's pretty interesting for the used digital-game marketplace! You can imagine that the "certificate" is actually the license to play the game legally, and every time it trades hands you get a little commission, rather than the used game market being completely separate.
lidnariq wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:14 pm
This is the Cryptocoin equivalent of a receipt and a nice printed certificate. The only thing it achieves is making it "harder" (in ways that cryptocoin fans like) to falsify, but is overkill for a court of law.
I think the big change is that right now there is no expectation of ownership when it comes to digital content; it's just a license to use it. You can't for instance, sell the digital game you buy on Steam when you are done with it.

So there is currently no way to buy a "rare" ROM. Once it's on the internet, it's infinite. This is a way to add a piece that is limited (strictly for the sake of collectors). Its kind of a weird thing to create artificial scarcity, but sports cards (etc) have been doing it for generations, so I think there is some precedence that people are into this kind of thing.
rainwarrior wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:35 pm
It's just a "receipt" that says "this data was sold to this specific person".

The data itself is easy to copy, but a person can prove the paid for it. This receipt is also transferrable.

Who is this valuable to?
Really just collectors. It is a way to say that this is a "one of a kind" original, even if the content itself has been copied a million times.

I personally don't totally get the appeal, but obviously its going pretty crazy right now in the art world, so there are people willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for something as simple as a GIF.
rainwarrior wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:35 pm
Have you had a problem in the past where you've made a limited edition NES ROM, sold it to someone, and then found them selling multiple copies of it saying that each was the original they bought from you...? Is this what's stopping you from making such things? I'm not sure I understand the importance of this technique.
No. I've never actually heard of a limited edition digital copy before. Is that something people have done?

The significance is that you are buying something that can't be copied, even if the content can. As mentioned above, it's like buying an autographed baseball card for more than one without the autograph. Just something to collect with no real value beyond it's rarity.

I'm also not sure I totally "get it" either tbh haha.
rainwarrior wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:35 pm
There's a scarcity of the object in the physical case. Here there's only the scarcity of getting to say you own it. Is that really equivalent?
It's hard to say in the long term, but currently it appears the answer is yes. People are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for gifs. The first tweet ever is being sold for millions.

ROMs I would argue have more real life value than either of those, and both of them are "free" without a license.

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by lidnariq » Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:36 pm

Without robust (and invasive and problematic) DRM, it's still just a receipt. Everything is honor system, including the concept of reselling it with royalties.

It's a cryptographically signed receipt, but just like everything else blockchain, it's just a way of trying to decentralize a ledger. Does this have value? I don't personally think so. Blockchains try to solve the problem of "what if you can't trust the organization who holds the centralized ledger" but in the situations where that is a serious problem, blockchain is still vulnerable to so-called 51% attacks. So instead of having one person who you can vet, you instead have to make sure that you can at least sort-of-trust more than half of the people in your cohort.

The important part of the whole article you linked to is:
Sorry, I was busy right-clicking on that Beeple video and downloading the same file the person paid millions of dollars for.
Goose2k wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:18 pm
I think the big change is that right now there is no expectation of ownership when it comes to digital content; it's just a license to use it. You can't for instance, sell the digital game you buy on Steam when you are done with it.
That's a Steam problem, not a scarcity problem. They don't want to support a second-hand market for a bunch of reasons, none of which are on-topic right now.
So there is currently no way to buy a "rare" ROM. Once it's on the internet, it's infinite. This is a way to add a piece that is limited (strictly for the sake of collectors). Its kind of a weird thing to create artificial scarcity, but sports cards (etc) have been doing it for generations, so I think there is some precedence that people are into this kind of thing.
It's still not artificial scarcity, because you can't make the ROM itself "rare" without pervasive DRM. And if you have pervasive DRM you don't need a decentralized ledger.
The significance is that you are buying something that can't be copied, even if the content can. As mentioned above, it's like buying an autographed baseball card for more than one without the autograph. Just something to collect with no real value beyond it's rarity.
It's not even that. It's a baseball card, plus a nice certificate with a signature. There's nothing that inseparably ties the original to the certificate.

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by Goose2k » Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:56 pm

I think maybe we are getting into the question of "would you invest in NFT", but personally I am more curious about the business side of things. Will others continue to invest, and are NES games a good fit.

I think maybe another way of framing the question is:

Is there anything inherently different with selling ROMs as NFT and selling other digital art as NFT?

My thought being that if people generally find NFT a thing worth buying, is there any reason that wouldn't apply to games?

And if they suddenly stopped finding it valuable, with that also apply to games?

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by lidnariq » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:07 pm

Goose2k wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:56 pm
Is there anything inherently different with selling ROMs as NFT and selling other digital art as NFT?

My thought being that if people generally find NFT a thing worth buying, is there any reason that wouldn't apply to games?

And if they suddenly stopped finding it valuable, with that also apply to games?
No, no, yes.

As I said, it's just a fancy receipt. And people paying money for that fancy receipt. There's no artificial scarcity of content; DRM is required to create that scarcity. The only thing that's scarce is receipts.

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by Goose2k » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:15 pm

I'm kind of tempted to just make one and see what happens for fun...

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by rainwarrior » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:24 pm

Goose2k wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:56 pm
Will others continue to invest?
I'd bet heavily on no. This will be a short lived fad. People who bought in will soon have a realization that nobody cares about their NFT and they're not going to hold any value as time goes on.

If you just want to support an artist, you can do that really easily and infinitely more efficiently without NFT.

If you want to take ownership of copyright, which NFT sales are generally not, but if you wanted to do that, there have already been more effective methods for legally transferring that kind of intellectual property since forever ago.
Goose2k wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:56 pm
Is there anything inherently different with selling ROMs as NFT and selling other digital art as NFT?
Mechanically? No, not as far as I can tell. Culturally, maybe? Risk vs. reward, maybe? (What does it take to make a painting vs. an NES game?)
Goose2k wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:56 pm
My thought being that if people generally find NFT a thing worth buying...
I'd stop the sentence right there. Do people generally find them worth buying? Investigate whether this premise is true before proceeding. Yes there's a few articles about people paying ridiculous prices for some celebrity thing. Do you actually believe there is a worthwhile ongoing market, and that you can make enough unique products that will be worth applying it to?

Honestly it's hard enough to make money on an NES game as it is. I doubt that focusing your business on digital exclusivity is going to help.

If you think I'm wrong though I'd be happy to watch from the sidelines. ;)

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by Goose2k » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:31 pm

rainwarrior wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:24 pm
Honestly it's hard enough to make money on an NES game as it is. I doubt that focusing your business on digital exclusivity is going to help.
I think this would likely take the form of an additional revenue stream. So you would sell the ROM for $10ish on itch as you do today, but have, say, 100 NFT versions as well (not unlike uncapped number of grey carts for the physical version, but 100 or some white limited edition shells for a bit more $).

Something I didn't realize was possible, is that you can actually sell "one of a kind" pieces on itch:

https://twitter.com/moonscript/status/1 ... 1539592193

Might be interesting to try out.

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by lidnariq » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:32 pm

You may as well sell customized text in the ROMs too, at that point.

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by Goose2k » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:38 pm

lidnariq wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:32 pm
You may as well sell customized text in the ROMs too, at that point.
I think I would if it was me. Maybe even a palette swap or something. Like the hologram cards back in the day :)

Image

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by lidnariq » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:17 pm

Goose2k wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:31 pm
Something I didn't realize was possible, is that you can actually sell "one of a kind" pieces on itch:
https://twitter.com/moonscript/status/1 ... 1539592193
Something I'm finding entertaining is that the itch account linked there ("farfewgiants") is specifically selling unique items using itch that decry the energy wastage of non-fungible tokens. (For obvious reasons, no NFTs are involved in those sales)

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by tepples » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:14 pm

I understand an NFT as being a representation on the blockchain of credit for being a work's executive producer.

As lidnariq brought up, NFTs on proof-of-work blockchains are also very bad for the climate. See "The Bizarre World of Non-Fungible Tokens" by InvisibleUp.

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Re: NFT/Blockchain ROMS

Post by aquasnake » Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:48 pm

For the manufacturing of industrial products, it is not necessary to seek the permission of all customers who have sold before for each product produced again, because producers always want unlimited production.

If you make a game product with limited distribution, and then use blockchain technology to recalculate the price of each copy, and each copy has a unique digital signature, but also your production has an upper limit. You will find that the cost of each industrial product you produce will be higher and higher, and you have to recalculate all the products that have been sold to determine the future output, and the output will be less and less. Finally, it leads to a decline in productivity.

Blockchain technology prevents anyone from copying and producing for some reason, not only some pirate, but also the original manufacturer

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