In case you need another reason to stop crypto playing, a new Rest of the World article chronicles an NFT scheme in Minecraft which enlisted Filipino children to earn money for their parent company alongside open speculation about how people might be conscripted into menial services in online games.
The article in question examined the rise of cryptocurrency farming in Minecraft before the decision taken last summer by Microsoft to stop this noise. Ahead of the move, one digital entrepreneur took advantage of the rise of NFT to make a quick buck: “An American gamer, who goes by the name ‘Big Chief’, described how his team, largely made up of young in the Philippines, gathered to build materials for him. He then paid professional Minecraft builders around $10,000 in crypto to turn these materials into a lavish casino.
An NFT consultant interviewed for the article speculated about other digital job opportunities suggesting that developers and gamers are “exploiting the wealth gap”: “With the cheap labor of a developing country development, you could use people in the Philippines as NPCs, actual NPCs in your game. They could just populate the world, maybe do some random job or just come and go, fish, tell stories, trader, whatever is really possible. It really is as scary as it sounds.
” According [consultant Mikhai] Kossar, NFT rental mechanics in play-to-earn games are important to keep them accessible to poorer players. “You have people who have money but don’t have time to play the game, and on the other hand you have people who don’t have money but have time” , did he declare. He sees a future, however, where the ownership and management of guilds could upend the model of wealthy Western players managing those in low-income countries. “Filipinos could come together to buy assets and then rent them out to themselves and earn money that way,” he said. But he also envisions NFT games that could exploit the wealth gap between players to provide a different experience. “With cheap labor in a developing country, you could use people in the Philippines as NPCs (non-playable characters), real-life NPCs in your game,” Kossar said. They could ‘just populate the world, maybe do some random work or just come and go, fish, tell stories, trader, really anything is possible’.
Whereas Minecraft expressly banned such schemes, they naturally provoked negative reactions from commentators and players alike.
Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett called the consultant an “NFT gaming psychopath” who “became completely disconnected from the human experience.”
“Not only would I quit my job at a company that did this, but I would do everything humanly possible up to and including erasing all source code repositories I had access to, to ensure that this type of video game slavery will ever be implemented”, MMO dev Scott Jennings tweeted.
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NFT game consultant offers to recruit poor players as MMO NPCs
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