NFT Art Will Never Be Mass-Market — NFT Licenses May Be 1

The art in many video games is essentially decorative, and thus in the same category as wallpaper. It looks good in screenshots, but in motion it’s just flickering pixels. Can these kinds of video game art be made interactive?

The answer is yes, but not by turning them into NFTs. art will always be limited to a small audience because it is expensive to get hold of. NFTs are inherently limited editions. The same goes for any kind of artwork that depends on the artist’s original files for its meaning. art can be infinitely reproduced, but only at the cost of losing what makes it valuable in the first place.

The kind of artists that I expect to find working in art will never be famous “commercial” artists. art is just too risky for that.

The kind of people who make commercial art are, by definition, good at fitting into other people’s preconceptions of what is beautiful. And since they are good at fitting into other people’s ideas, they are more likely to be able to make a living selling their work.

NFT art instead will be made by the kind of people who are good at surprising other people. If you’re really good at surprising people, you may end up famous; but if you’re really not good at surprising people, you’ll never be rich.

I don’t mean this as a criticism of commercial artists or as praise for NFT artists. I suspect that there will always be both kinds around, and probably always room for both kinds to make a living–although it is hard to see how the same person could do both kinds of art well. I’m just saying that if you want to create surprises, you won’t get paid for it — not directly, anyway.

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