In a not altogether surprising move, Mojang has banned NFTs from being used in any way in Minecraft. According to Mojang, the dream for Minecraft has always been a ‘safe and inclusive experience’ and that NFTs go against the ‘spirit of Minecraft.’
Mojang explains its reasoning at length in a blog post published on the official Minecraft website. In short, Mojang recognizes the phenomenon of artificial scarcity that NFTs perpetuate and believes that the core mechanics behind NFTs don’t uphold the game’s guidelines and, with improper use, could undermine the ‘spirit of Minecraft.’
Mojang explains further that it doesn’t want to support an ecosystem wherein Minecraft’s players could get scammed by third-party NFTs that could find their way into the countless custom servers.
For a similar reason, Mojang has also banned blockchain technology. Here, it elaborates that blockchain technology could motivate players to create ‘scarce digital assets’ if they were to be integrated with the game or its servers. Therefore, NFTs and the use of blockchain technology will no longer be tolerated within the Minecraft experience.
This includes the generation or trading of any NFTs based on in-game items ‘including worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods.’ These are, however, the only reasons that Mojang gives. Interestingly enough, the company has avoided any comment on the environmental impact that NFTs and blockchain technology have, despite being a relatively fierce advocate for conservation.
We all remember the astoundingly adorable Axolotl making its way into the game not too long ago in an effort to draw attention to an endangered South American species. Developers even introduced an admirable mechanic whereby the Axolotl doesn’t drop any resources if killed, thereby discouraging players to harm the lovable little lush cave natives.
We’ve seen many game developers and publishers jump aboard the NFT train, which has become a bit of an eye-roll-inducing move now that we understand the implications of the complex machinations behind the movement.
Even independent developers like the creators of Poppy Playtime launched a collection of NFTs behind which they hid critical aspects of the game’s lore. Luckily, this trend in the gaming community seems to be stagnating and turning around as many developers turn their backs on the idea of NFTs.
In lighter news, OpenAI recently taught artificial intelligence to play Minecraft. Spoiler: Apparently AI can play better than some humans.