NFTs can and should be an excellent way to tell stories, so is it better to create “top-down” led by the project, or to co-create “bottom-up” with people? The author introduces and compares the two in the text; and gives many interesting examples.
A good story can make you feel something. If the story is yours, those emotions are all the more intense. Whether the stories are old or new, NFTs can be a great way to tell them.
Several projects have been exploring this crossover field over the past few months. However, some projects prefer to use a “top-down” approach to storytelling, and as a new medium, NFT can and should explore a “bottom-up” narrative approach.
“Top down” is when someone tells us a story, like you go to the cinema to watch Star Wars, or play a new role-playing game from Bethesda. “Bottom-Up” is about inventing our own stories around an imaginary world: running around the yard with a purchased lightsaber, making a vague swish with your mouth, and using a force field at your dog Throwing tennis balls; also role-playing in the tavern outside Stormwind in World of Warcraft.
In this post, I want to share with you what storytelling with NFTs will look like, and how I think it will evolve in the future.
“Top-Down” NFT Fantasy Literature Project
The main purpose of the following examples is to use the media to tell a story to an audience. Some of these do contain contributions and interactions from fans, but the backbone of the story is still dominated by the person, group, DAO or business that created it.
“Top-down” fantasy literature can be told in a form created directly around NFTs.
Excerpt from Gridlock (December 2020)
This is my own attempt to directly create NFT literature. Below is an excerpt from my debut book, Hope Runners of Gridlock. You can also see more of my original thoughts on the NFT Writer Collection.
Few Understand (2021)
Few Understand （2021）
From the “Few Understand” series by Kalen Iwamoto.
Poetry with added verbal and visual elements is also booming!
Wild One (2021)
A colloquial poem with visual elements, by Artemis Wylde.
However, a new crop of projects has emerged that aims to tell stories that happen outside of NFTs. In these instances, the NFT itself becomes an object, element or character within the story. In a sense, these projects treat NFTs as salable goods. This is a new form of crowdfunding (pre-sale or post-sale). Because these projects have the property of letting you play or contribute, it’s more of a cross between “top-down” and purely “bottom-up”.
Stoner Cats (2021)
The Stoner Cats project sold over $8 million in Stoner Cats NFTs. In addition, there will be an animated series about the adventures of these cats, some of which can be voted on or created by NFT holders.
Glue Factory (2021)
Similar to Stoner Cats, fans can purchase horses from the upcoming animated series. They’re also trying to build a community writer workshop and talent fund (which you can profit from if your variety is featured in an episode).
Similar idea. Animated episodes + some story-affecting abilities + 3D collections.
Aku tells the story of a young black boy who wants to be an astronaut. His space helmet allows him to explore many worlds. It’s being released in chapters, with actual video clips as NFTs. It has been selected to be made into a feature film.
Untitled Frontier (2021)
I’ll also pitch my own project here. Untitled Frontier produces free science fiction and sells digital goods in stories as NFTs. We do plan to inspire more “bottom-up” storytelling over time.
Pills is a narrative around Ethereum that adds some color to projects and people related to Ethereum. Pills owners can contribute to content by voting. They’ve also explored doing “quests” in some cases, an experience that’s unique, where fans actually engage with Ethereum to add to the story and narrative.
An amazing project where fans create stories and music together.
“Bottom-Up” Fantasy Literature Project
While the above “top-down” projects are intended to promote interaction and contribution, they are mainly “approved” or “enclosed” by the project party. When fans take the initiative to take control of the NFT in an uninvited way and instill the stories they create into it, the “bottom-up” storytelling method comes into being. It’s no longer just about getting fans to vote or contribute content.
This is the novelty and fun of embedding NFTs into fantasy literature. Unlike other mediums before it, it more directly allows fans to not only emotionally build fictional worlds, but also expect corresponding financial rewards from them. Fan fiction is nothing new. In the past, we have seen some successful precedents: “Fifty Shades of Grey” was originally a fan fiction of “Twilight”; “The Redemption of Time” was originally written by Liu Cixin The fanfiction of his best-selling trilogy, The Three-Body Problem: Once Upon a Time on Earth, eventually became a classic. However, this is, after all, something that can be met but not sought after. Whether it’s publishing or kids creating their own characters in their backyard, fan fiction has a huge tail, whether you like it or not.
The ability that NFTs bring about is to add origins and stories to NFTs as part of a fictional world. If successful, it can bring real value to the writer. Analogy: A Star Wars fan bought a lightsaber from the store, modified it, and wrote a story about it. Assuming the fanfiction became famous, as a symbol of creating a story for the world, this modified lightsaber could be sold as a deluxe item. But as you can see: in the real world this idea struggles.
NFT can more effectively empower the combination of “ownership + origin”, it can incorporate fan fiction into the core, and merge with it to become a new media. This is a new medium between merchandise + fan fiction + investment + ownership. Just imagine, you’ll be able to buy or own Obi-Wan, and even add new storylines to him… The prototype of these promises is that social media users flock to their NFTs Make an avatar. The new cryptopunk gimmick comes from Jay-Z “wearing” it on Twitter. While it hasn’t sparked any fan creation yet, the event itself is partly the result of meta-interactions. Just because Jay-Z has cypherpunks, it adds value.
Here are some early examples of “bottom-up” storytelling, where fans take over NFTs and create new stories outside of the original project.
Punks Comic (2021)
A fun experiment in storytelling with cypherpunk. To read this comic, you must be one of the 10,000 NFT holders. It also has an additional mechanism that gives fans access to the DAO if they choose to “burn” their comics.
Jenkins The Valet (2021)
This example is probably my favorite. A team selected a boring ape from all the stories set in the “yache club” (annotation, yache club, the developers of the boring ape), he is a “parking ape”. Fans can purchase Writer’s Workshop NFTs to contribute to this “Parking Ape” story. The final created story itself will also become a 1/1 NFT. It sounds complicated, but the most interesting part is that people have created a wealth of origins and stories for the “parking ape.”
Citizen 2890 (2021)
The new story has yet to be clarified, but an alien cypherpunk purchased by FlamingoDAO has been tweeting quite a bit on his Twitter account. This idea coincides with fuckintrolls.
BREAKING: Keep an eye on Alethea. Users can add a GTP-3 engine to their own NFTs and embed native short stories for their own NFTs, thus making it easier to enter the world of fantasy literature. (Annotation: GTP-3 is short for Autoregressive Language Model, which is able to generate human-comprehensible natural language)
Rush is right!
There may be more examples of “bottom-up” storytelling other than Twitter users using NFTs as avatars, but it’s still not very common. There are many things that can be done. Fans can buy a ready-made NFT together, create a story and polish it. If it is successful, they can either continue to buy other NFTs and play like this again, or they can sell it again and invest their time. and energy realization. If you are interested, you can go to PartyBids to see how to get started.
Figuring out how to facilitate bottom-up storytelling is not easy. This field has just appeared, it is still very chaotic, and there may be some pits. Contributed content may be of poor quality or even rotten. There are many spoof memes in the current crypto market that are unfriendly to all members of society. That being said, before the advent of NFTs, there were successful projects co-creating fantasy literature. These questions are commonplace. This is covered in more detail in my other related article, “Talking about Finite and Infinite Narratives in general.”
Another big question about these projects is intellectual property (IP), and what to do with it. Some “top-down” projects may still try to preserve IP, now or in the future. However, I think this is a long-term mistake. An NFT can accumulate value precisely because it can be embedded in new contexts and inspire storytelling around it. If you restrict access, you just close the door. Most of the value added can only rely on NFT itself, not IP. Still, some projects will find ways to effectively manage this middle ground. However, it is true that the road will be harder to follow.
As Jay Springett answered on Twitter – what we need is free IP and a strong fandom. We’re facing a new era of fiction and narrative, and it’s great to see it all unfold! Feel free to share good examples not mentioned in this article!
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/top-down-or-bottom-up-which-way-is-better-for-nft-storytelling/
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