Troy Baker, a prolific video game voice actor who played Joel Miller in The Last of Us and Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite, recently tweeted about his next collaboration
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The crypto industry keeps throwing NFT-shaped rocks at the hornet’s nest that is the gaming industry’s audience. It would seem that the nest has finally been breached, and the hornets aren’t happy about it. Troy Baker, a prolific video game voice actor who played Joel Miller in The Last of Us and Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite, recently tweeted about his collaboration with an NFT (non-fungible token) project named VoiceverseNFT. Not only that, but the voice actor seems to have anticipated the backlash his tweet would bring, and he wasn’t wrong.
You can check out Troy Baker’s tweet below:
Troy Baker’s provocative “You can hate. Or you can create” rubbed some people the wrong way, and according to Kotaku, The Last Of Us fans were quick to reply to Baker’s tweet regarding his partnership with VoiceverseNFT. Baker, who later admitted that he’s largely unfamiliar with how NFTs work and tried to dial the situation down a bit. In a follow-up thread, he stated that the “hate/create” part might’ve been a bit antagonistic but he hasn’t mentioned whether he’s backing out of the project. Jacob Geller, a YouTube video game essayist, responded to Baker’s tweet, saying: “You’ve still got the choice to either back out of this now, rather than being deeply, truly humiliated when you think about it in a couple years. It’s a f*cking bad call man.”
Troy Baker spoke about his involvement in the new NFT project on the Play, Watch, Listen podcast, revealing that the road to hell is truly paved with good intentions. He explained that attaching his picture with the tweet led people to equate what he’s doing with more generative NFT art projects, which have a significantly negative impact on the environment. The Last of Us star then admitted that he’s not actually familiar with how NFTs work and that he joined the project believing that it’s beneficial for content creation. But what exactly is he talking about?
Well, according to Voiceverse, their NFTs aren’t just glorified JPEGs and GIFs. Instead of attaching the technology to the aforementioned file formats, Voiceverse attaches it to an AI-powered voice based on a person — in this case, The Last of Us’ Troy Baker. The owner of the NFT can then use the voice for in-game chats, Zoom calls, and content creation. Baker stated that the latter is of the most significant interest to him, as it would allow content creators that can’t afford him to still feature some of his voice work in their content. However, it’s unclear how the NFT technology plays a role in this when it could’ve been achieved with more traditional software solutions.
Suppose you’re a content creator, and you bought an NFT of Troy Baker’s voice work. You’ll get the public proof of ownership over an AI-powered voice work, and hold rights over it, perpetually. How does that make you any different than the large gaming company that hired him to do the voice work, like in The Last of Us, and holds all rights for the content of their game? Well, there’s basically no difference between the two, questioning whether the involvement of NFT technologies was ever necessary. We suppose that purchasing Baker’s NFT one-liner for content creation purposes is more affordable than hiring the actor himself, but is it worth destroying the planet for? This is a controversial and major question as this technology roles out. The voices on the subject are varied, with everyone from Lindsey Lohan getting involved.