I hope CoG NEVER goes into that dreadful n-f-t nonsense

I think people are still upset because the added

Makes people afraid to sign away a game they have spent years making, or even using an engine that they don’t know the future of.


As the topic is in slow mode I can only answer you here @jasonstevanhill

Readers and authors, the ones I’ve seen on Tumblr, don’t want to take part in a company that uses NFTs. And because the future suddenly is shaky about NFTs, authors feel uncomfortable writing for CoG.

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I really don’t understand. Sign away what game? And what does the CS engine have to do with NFTs?

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Just something to think about with crypto - it’s expensive and involves having savings you can afford to lose. I don’t know about anyone else but I simply could never afford to risk my funds to buy crypto, and to buy an NFT which… I mean. I can’t even tangibly own. I mean. It’s unrealistic. We are willing to save to put our hard earned cash into stories we love, authors we love. But asking us to put money into crypto so we can support the artists? I’m not even touching what they do for the planet. I’m just talking about the practicality of expecting fans of this very niche interest to have crypto to spend is a bit… Ridiculous. If I had some savings, I’d had a good couple of months and there was a mug, or a t shirt, or a tote bag I could buy with art from some of my favourite books on here. Then yeah, I’d consider buying it if I knew that the author and artist were getting a fair share of the profits.

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Sorry - a customer expressed what they value about your product, the reasoning behind why they consider your product ‘fun’ and a ‘delight,’ in response they got an explanation why the positive feelings they associate with the brand are wrong and inaccurate?

I keep writing and rewriting a longer post, but I’m at a loss, here. My argument from the start has been that this will damage CoG’s reputation. You could ‘win’ an internet debate (although I personally find the arguments against NFT more compelling than the ones in favor) and still lose this community. If that doesn’t matter, I don’t know what to say.

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I’d no idea crypto had become this much of a shibboleth issue. Very eye-opening.

At the end of the day-- setting to one side Daniel’s warnings about hostile/fearful regulation, which I’m in no place to evaluate-- the reason given that I think you should take most seriously is probably:

That’s answerable, obviously… as with any industry with a terrible track record and debatable social utility, you can argue over whether small, early attempts at a cleaned-up version should be treated as a wedge of positive change or a bit of whitewash on an industry that should ideally be regulated out of existence.

But people who want to see gratuitous new energy-hogging industries shut down have picked the strategy of stigmatizing the words “crypto” and “NFT” without nuance or exception. This thread suggests how successful that strategy has been among CoG’s target demographic.

So as much as it may be reasonable in theory to argue for:

that’s not where the activists are, including a surprisingly unanimous chunk of your customer and author community. They’re not interested in trying to steer the NFT market toward eco-friendly alternatives; and they might well be right that it would risk just being a figleaf for the continued dominance of big PoW operators in a market that would be best to just shut down as part of getting to net zero.

I do think it’s ironic that so many don’t see anything problematic about CoG just producing physical bumf instead, as if that’s not also wasteful of carbon, water, and biodiversity.

This a hundred times. Genuinely ethical clothes are freaking expensive, and ethical cotton in particular is hard to come by. Any company selling you on their totally organic, totally fair-trade North Indian cotton fields is papering over some deeply problematic stuff.

I don’t think anything said in this thread gives any grounds to speculate that CoG is considering this out of financial desperation.

That’s of course a different kettle of fish than trying to sell NFTs to your customer base… which based on this thread, I’ve gotta say, is unlikely to be receptive enough for the new income to be a game-changer for either artists or company. (I know the total player base is different to the forum community, but on this one, I’d not bet the farm on the assumption that they’re going to have substantially different reactions.)

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I’m not trying to convince you that we should do NFTs. I’ve already conceded three times (now four!) that we’re not going to get into NFTs anytime soon. I don’t think you need to say anything more about it.

What I’m asking for is, what factual arguments do you have against NFTs? Because no one has answered that question.

EDIT: Thanks Joel.

This is a factual argument very much worth considering. Give me a bit to cogitate.

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Jason, I’d just like to state that by all means your stance here has already lost you about 2-3 years worth of content. Not to mention the players absolutely not okay with this.

I don’t know if you see ‘gratz, you lost your consumer and contributor base’ is the argument you are looking for, but… I doubt it.

edit: know what? Have post

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As an aside to the topic, something just jumped out at me about something jason said… It takes EIGHT DAYS for a piece of mail to be delivered nationally in the US? EIGHT DAYS? Like, eight? DAYS? As in, the period of time that takes the Earth to revolve around itself? Eight of those? I thought you people had done away with the literal Pony Express?

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personally i am nowhere near educated enough about all the ins and outs of crypto and economics to make a long and eloquent rebuttal to thing whole thing. i am aware that some people believe in crypto as something that will be a good thing in the long term, and i do not claim to be an expert with the knowledge to explain up and down why all of those people are wrong

however. the thing is that it’s so UNCERTAIN. the newness and server-dependency and constant flux of value of crypto makes me very apprehensive. and that’s not even mentioning the sheer dystopian absurdism of NFT ownership. i wouldn’t personally want to touch any of it with a ten foot pole

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I must be missing the hype on the basic concept of NFTs - I can’t imagine why anyone would fork out any amount of money for a digital certificate which says you ‘own’ some digital art. Especially because you don’t own it.

I mean, I get it - you ‘own the original’, or whatever that means. I just read a website that likened it to the idea that anyone can own a Monet print, but only only one person can own the original - which is completely true. The crucial difference being that you do actually own the original, that was actually painted by Monet. With a NFT for the title screen for the latest CoG game, you have the exact same png file for switching some flashing lights to a certain colour as the one I can get by right clicking and downloading the image myself. And hey, if my monitor is better than yours, I might even have a better picture.

Yeah, you could own the NFT for a bespoke piece of art that isn’t in general circulation - which is also known as commissioning an artist to send you a png of whatever you want. The bonus in that scenario is that you usually get a picture you have some input into.

The bottom line is, NFTs sound like complete worthless junk to me - literally only good for bragging rights. And I can assure you that almost no-one is going to care that you have an NFT for some CoG art.

All the ethnical and whatnot concerns aside - I just don’t see people buying them to begin with.


If this is about another revenue stream, a way to funnel money back to artists and give the customer base some cool art, then just do that. Make some digital art packs or whatever - that’s probably as low eco-impact as you can get in this day and age. You can probably more easily add it to your existing store too (versus physical merchandise with all the pain that brings).

@Havenstone +100 points for using bumf in conversation.

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The problem to my mind with NFTs as a concept, moving past the environmental issue of it, is that the consumer has no understanding of what an NFT is. They are putting lots of money (usually hundreds) towards something that is easily replicable, has no real value already, and that they have no ownership or control of even when they do purchase the NFT.

Now, the people who are producing NFTs swear that their business practices are legitimate and that the buyer is getting what they are paying for, which technically they are, but the practice is incredibly sketchy at best, and a scam at worst. They are charging people hundreds of dollars so that they can say they paid lots of money for something, without actually getting that something.

Now, COG has earned a large community through its progressive values and beliefs. But, supporting cryptocurrency and NFTs or even producing these yourself, would likely damage confidence and support of the COG brand. And this forum is where you’d get people interested enough in the games to even consider purchasing NFTs. People who bought a couple of games on Steam won’t care, but your dedicated consumer base would have passion for them.

Anyway, I highly doubt many authors would want to publish through HG, so that would dry up, it’s likely that sales on all platforms would take a hit, and forum activity as a whole would drop significantly.

Regardless of whether NFTs are factually right or wrong, whatever that means, this would be a very risky business maneuver just to “prey on the whales” to use that phrasing.

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I hadn’t heard of Ripple and XRP before.

After researching it, it seems it’s not a traditional cryptocurrency at all. Instead of using mining as a way to incentivize people to verify transactions in a decentralized way, it’s all kept on privately-held servers.

Essentially, it’s a currency issued and tracked by a company. It’s like a bank that’s not ensured by FDIC.

In the 1800s it was a common practice for banks to issue their own currency, and it was called ‘wildcatting’ if it was not backed by assets (I haven’t checked to see if XRP has backing assets). The banks worked fine, until there was a sudden crash in public confidence in 1837 and a lot of the banks were shuttered.

It definitely wouldn’t have the same environmental impact as actual blockchain currencies. Its main benefit (from reading the earlier thread) seems to be circumventing the current US banking system, which is likely why the SEC is currently investigating it as an undeclared security. Paypal and Venmo also circumvent the system in similar ways, as well as other systems, which is why some have accused the SEC of playing favorites.

An NFT using this coin would essentially just be having a document from a company saying that a person owns the art that comprises the NFT, since there is no blockchain with XRP.

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I do not know much of anything about crypto-currency to say much on that but I will say this. Jason and the cog staff have always tried to ensure that CoG is mindful in its business practices. So if this is the way Jason wants to take CoG and the CoG staff goes with it, then perhaps we should give them the benefit of the the doubt.

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Um, no. As someone who has been around on the forums for a while and brought a embarrassing amount of games, I do not owe a business my benefit of the doubt and I especially do not owe it to a man who has either dismissed or ignored the concerns of the community because none have been ‘factual’ or ‘correct’ enough.

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When you care so much about protecting the revenue of writers and artists working for CoG or HG that you…go on various social media stirring people up against the company that publishes their stuff? Kinda feels like y’all are more concerned about a cause than actual people here. If you want to go, go. If not, stay. But good grief, spare us all the dramatics.

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The only argument I’ve ever made is that the way this discussion is and has been handled is damaging the CoG brand. I gather you feel differently. I’m not trying to have an internet debate about NFTs. I understood why this thread was initially locked by a mod.

My biggest concern at this point is whether the company can gracefully handle controversy and conflict going forward, which will inevitably crop up again on other topics even when the NFT question is settled. Many HG titles are multi-year commitments from authors, particularly if sequels are involved. I don’t know what to make of the fact that there was never even a token effort at damage control in this thread. A little ‘of course we value our community first and foremost and will always take the time to consider future decisions that will impact them, etc etc’ at the start of this thread would have gone a long way.

I’ve been playing these games since 2011 and I would like this company to continue to be successful, as I’ve already said. I don’t think it benefits anyone to be hostile to me, or anyone else in this thread who has had positive things to say about CoG. ‘I don’t think you need to say anything more’ is a hell of a thing to say to someone who has only ever made the case that other people’s livelihoods depend on CoG maintaining its positive reputation. I figured we have that shared value in common, and that it would be a worthwhile point to bring up.

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The Hornet’s nest really has been startled by this one, huh? Who’s in charge of PR here at Choice of Games, anyway? Is it Jason? Please, for the love of God, not be Jason, because this whole thing caused by your stunt here might be quite detrimental to the future content from Cog. I mean quite a lot of authors who are on this forum are very, very opposed to even just the consideration of NFT use. In fact, this whole thing has damaged Author and User Trust with the company.

It doesn’t matter if you think you’re in the right or whatever, but in the first place you shouldn’t have commented on such a controversial topic. This topic and with the comments here has only quickened and even enhanced the bleeding away attrition of Cog Authors to Twine and other programs. Even with apologies and so on. . . I find it doubtful how Cog can retain its talent.

In the end, this is a mess and you people need to fix it before this leaking attrition becomes a flood. As a small company, you shouldn’t be trying to do NFTs or any other unnecessary stupid actions that I don’t know could maybe prove catastrophic to your bottom line? I wonder if you people at Cog don’t have anything to do? Do you not have more pressing issues besides triggering the community?

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Unfortunately, yes. It used to take 3 days to get a check to someone, but if that was over a weekend, then that became five days. Due to Trump’s interference in an attempt to sway the 2020 election, the base rate is now four-five days. As of this past week, the Postmaster General has intentionally slowed the delivery of mail further, in order to benefit private carrier services like UPS and FedEx, as well as to give Trump and his minions ideological ammunition in future elections. So, yeah, eight-ish days for me to get a check to someone.

Meeps made a dramatic statement for attention. I said, actually, that’s an interesting business proposition. A lot of people freaked out because they didn’t read my post and have no coherent objection to the business proposition that I floated. I replied, trying to explain why their concerns were misplaced. People didn’t read what I wrote, intentionally misconstrued what I wrote, and/or disagreed with what I didn’t write, and replied with the same talking points that I preemptively rebutted in my opening post.

I can’t help it if the Tumblr groupthink is going to have a kneejerk reaction to me floating a way to better compensate my artists. And I’m not going to apologize for trying to figure out a way to do so.

Prior to this post, your request was for us to not do NFTs. I acknowledged multiple times that we’re not doing NFTs. You said “I’m at a loss for words.” I’d already conceded the point about NFTs at least four times. If you’ve succeeded at your goal (getting us to not do NFTs) then what do you need to say?

These two statements contradict one another. Either the consumer knows what NFTs are, or they don’t.

If they don’t, then how could it damage my brand?

If they do, then they’re either interested in them or they’re not.

If they’re interested in them, great.

If they’re not interested in them, then no problem. No one’s going to force them to buy one.

If they have conflated Ethereum NFTs with XRPL NFTs, then apparently they’ll freak out and rend their hair and never buy another one of our games…because they don’t know the difference and are unwilling to consider the possibility that there is one.

You could be entirely right. In fact, based upon the reception here, it’s likely that you are. But that’s unfortunately, because we have a lot of great art, and I’d like to think that someone would want to “own” some of these pieces.

When we’ve tried have art IAPs, the consumer has rejected it as “money-grubbing.” So, while I appreciate the suggestion, my experience tells me that wouldn’t work.

Buying an NFT wouldn’t expose you to the price fluctuations of crypto.

To get to the meat of the matter, I don’t think digital currencies are going away. The SEC has said to Congress, point-blank, they’re not going to ban cryptos like China has.

The issue, then, is whether the future is one where PoW currencies are in vogue, or some other method.

As some may be aware, Ethereum is ostensibly moving to a Proof-of-Stake model—Ethereum 2.0—which would cut down on energy consumption. However, the energy cost for PoS transactions would still be substantially more than Proof of Consensus transactions, like XRP.

The question posed was, doesn’t making use of NFTs support cryptos as a whole? The problem is, digital currencies are going to exist whether we like it or not. There is no world in which they’re strangled in the proverbial crib; that would have needed to happen eight years ago.

Right now, the question is, what do Central Bank Digital Currencies look like? Are they PoS or PoC?

To put on my tin foil hat, I think that the SEC lawsuit was a way of distracting the US from pursuing the XRPL for its CBDC. France, for example, has said that the XRPL is the leading contender for its CBDC. Bhutan, the only carbon-neutral country in the world, has already announced that they’re going to use the XRPL for their CBDC. But by dropping this lawsuit the day he left office, Jay Clayton titled the scales of the US CBDC towards Ethereum and PoS.

And that scares me, because PoS is still too energy-hungry.

So, I don’t know. By encouraging the use of XRPL NFTs, am I encouraging the use of cryptos generally, or trying to tilt the scales back towards an authentication method that might not doom us? I’d like to think the latter.

(Should carbon-lite digital currencies be regulated out of existence is a different question, and I think my answer would be no, for all the reasons about transferring money I’ve previously listed. Our “current” banking system is thirty to forty years old at this point. If we don’t adopt a responsible solution now, someone will come up with something like PoW to solve the problems in the future.)

And yet, no one can articulate why. (Other than @KZV.)

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You might notice that I distinguished NFT consumers, from COG consumers. It is somewhat naive to think that the only people with an opinion are those who are invested in the NFT economy. I don’t buy them, nor do I make or sell them. Their existence does not directly affect me in any capacity. And yet, I still consider them a scam that is dressed up in tech-bro terms to appeal to the easily gullible crypto-currency consumer base. And as such, even though I am not an NFT consumer, I could not in good conscience support a company that produces/sells/supports NFTs. And based on the response on social media to NFTs as a concept, again looking past the environmental impact of some of them, and the response from this forum, I am not the only one who thinks this way.

@jasonstevanhill

Buying digital wallpapers? Depends on if the person you are buying it from is the legal artist. If yes, and the money for that art is going straight to the artist (minus maybe a handling fee, I don’t know how Etsy runs it) then it is not a scam since that can be justified as supporting the artist. I can get music from someone I like for free, they allow it to be downloaded freely, but occasionally I purchase it as a form of donation. Now, as I understand, there is no manufactured scarcity or such to inflate prices or perceived value, and they don’t claim that you now “own the art”. All those say is “I will now let you have access to the art”. NFTs sell a receipt of ownership for a product that you don’t control but they make you think you do by saying you “own the original”, which means that there is a unique identifier that belongs only to you. And that is what you own. Not a huge difference on the surface, but the way they are marketed towards a consumer is about as different as can be.

Art print shops also provide a physical copy of what you are paying for. That exact physical copy 100% belongs to you and only you. No one can break into your home, adjust it, remove it, or anything. NFTs are stored digitally and the right to change the data covered by the NFT has no such protection.

Allow me to respond to the next series of questions @jasonstevanhill

That shop? I am semi conflicted but leaning more towards it being in the same vein as an NFT. Although the consumer is getting a physical copy, they are purchasing art that even the person selling it has no ownership of. And it isn’t like they are painting those reproductions themselves. On the other hand, it doesn’t say you now own the original, just the reproduction. So aside from the physical aspect, that shop would be in the same category as what NFTs are based on the business practices.

Patreon is an easy answer. Patreon is a form of donation. That’s it. Sometimes you get access to things like Discord benefits or poll access. But the focus isn’t the stuff you get for your support. Patreon is about supporting the creator with a recurring donation, even if you don’t get anything for doing so. I know one youtuber who has all the perks available at the first $1 tier. Everything else is just if people want to give him more support. So, given all this, Patreon is still not similar to NFTs.

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Again, as I said twenty posts ago:

Please answer these questions, @Jay_Tarrant. You can edit your post to answer.

Ok, I have another question for you, @Jay_Tarrant, before I reply more fully.

What do you think of this business: MODERN NOW GALLERY | eBay Stores

They produce limited edition print runs of classic art. The artists are dead and their works are out of copyright, so they don’t have to compensate them. They’re limited editions, so there’s artificial scarcity to help support the price.

What do you make of that?

I would also ask, what’s your position on Patreon? Is that a scam? You’re giving money to someone, on a recurring basis, with no guarantee of getting anything for it. And the things you do get, you have to share with other people, and will likely soon become publicly available anyway.

How is Patreon not a scam by NFTs are?

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