“Be Curious, Not Judgmental”

By Bryan A Westfall

Judging by the vitriol that permeates most social media, it should come as no surprise that the above quote (which Ted Lasso misattributed to Walt Whitman) would be so apt for an announcement from a new gaming studio which included a particularly polarizing tech.

The pseudo-anonymity of social media coupled with that place in all of our brains which becomes inflamed when we come across tech we don’t yet understand, has turned into a bit of a two headed beast in response to the newly formed Midnight Society gaming studio’s announcement of their “Founders Pass“.

The origin story of this particular beast lies within three letters which regularly elicits rage-full reactions in some (normally the most vocal), simply because of a lack of understanding of what it means. I’ll go ahead and spell it out:

NFT

If you’re still here, it means you either have at least a basic understanding of the technology, don’t understand & don’t care if you don’t understand, or are actually curious to learn when faced with something you don’t yet understand.

When it comes to NFT’s, I fell into the latter…then I took ten whole minutes to do two things:

  1. Googled “NFT” and watched a few videos to gain a basic understanding.
  2. Researched how Midnight Society was incorporating them into their “Founders Pass“.

Much sweat was broken. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Essentially, an NFT is a one of a kind (or one of a limited run) item you can own…only digital instead of physical. So, instead of owning that original physical painting, you’d own a piece of original digital art. The encoding of the digital item acts as sort of a certificate of authenticity, similar to what might come with owning a one of a kind physical work of art.

That’s just one example using my very basic understanding, and it’s enough for me to move on to how Midnight Society is using them in their “Founders Pass“.

People saw “NFT” on twitter in regards to the Midnight Society announcement, and because they’ve decided (in life) to rage at what they don’t understand, they decided to (obviously without research) throw around accusations of their upcoming game being an “NFT game” etc.

A few minutes into their site, their Discord, and their twitter it was clear how this technology was going to be used in the “Founders Pass“.

Studio co-founder Dr. Disrespect went on to state outright in his day-of-announcement stream that anyone will be able to play the (free to play) game without ever utilizing NFT tech if they so desired.

As for NFT inclusion in the “Founders Pass“, 10,000 applicants (of nearly 400,000 so far) will be chosen as “Variants“. I’ll let Midnight Society take the mic for a sec (with a little bolding by yours truly for emphasis):

“Founders Access Pass holders gain Early Access builds to playtest the game, early access to Industry Guilds when they open, voting rights in dev round tables, invites to in-person community events, exclusive merch drops with Founder’s only designs, and finally a one of a kind VisorCortex design as part of your unique Variant.

There it is. If you’re one of the 10,000 chosen, you get one of these one-of-a-kind bad boys (example courtesy of one of Doc’s Warzone partners, ZLaner):

A one-of-a-kind masterpiece of a gaming PFP, which is an NFT. That’s it. That’s how NFT’s are currently being used in relation to this project.

If among the 10,000 chosen, there is a $50 fee to “mint” the “Founders Pass“. The inclusion of the PFP NFT is clearly an attempt by Midnight Society to include some additional, unique value to the pass, a point of view sadly missed by too many.

The amazing (and most important) thing I found when doing this small bit of research is how solid and engaged the community surrounding Midnight Society already is, as are the folks running the show.

UPDATE 3/28/22: A great example of the community and developers involved in Midnight Society can be found in their first developer AMA that took place on 3/16. Over an hour of Q&A between the community of players and developers:

They’ve made it clear that they’re looking for a diverse and passionate group of people to be the 10,000 involved in game development, and it’s very clear they will have plenty to choose from.

Those not chosen to be founders are a few years out at least from seeing what “Project Moon” will be (the code name for the studios first game), but if you’ve followed Dr. Disrespect for any amount of time we at least know there will be some insanely high quality audio.

Wait…can you hear footsteps on the moon? BRB GOTTA GOOGLE.