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Blockchain, Art and Gaming: A New Culture?

November 13, 2021 at 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm GMT

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In this salon, Dominic Duffin will lead an exploration of how blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs, gaming and digital art come together to create a new culture, and how significant a break this will be.

The internet revolutionized and democratized how we think about information, moving us away from a topdown paradigm where information was produced by a few and consumed by the many, to a network paradigm where information is both consumed and produced by the masses. The global nature of the internet broke information out of nation-state based silos. Blockchain and cryptocurrency may do the same for money. Gaming is doing the same for entertainment. How might the internet, blockchain, gaming, digital art and cryptocurrency come together to create a paradigm shift in how we think about culture and society?

While our cultures are being actively created by the masses like never before, will we also see the end of mass culture? In the topdown paradigm, culture was directed by media organizations, galleries and museums, national history and tradition, all institutions often rooted in nation states and consumed by most citizens. In the network paradigm, culture can be directed by institutions that are both small and niche and global, where citizens within nation states could splinter into innumerable cultural groups without national boundaries.

Many of the technologies of the network paradigm come out of countercultural influences. How might these influences change our cultures and societies as these technologies become dominant forces in the economic and cultural spheres? What will the art and aesthetics of global networked culture look like? To what extent will regional and national cultural identities survive in a globalized, network culture?

Multiplayer games have been developing increasingly sophisticated internal economies in recent years, but typically with only limited interactions with the wider economy. What does it look like as these virtual economies adopt real money on the blockchain, if virtual goods become real world tradeable and game worlds become economically interconnected.

In the topdown paradigm, national governments have traditionally performed considerable management and guiding roles in both culture and the economy. In the network paradigm, if there are millions of small, closed but open and interconnected, cultures and economies with no tangible connection to nation states, national governments may not be able to continue that function. What does cultural and economic management look like in this paradigm, or does it return to laissez-faire?

Reading list:

Bitcoin’s Cultural History Economist – Samantha Radocchia (in Part 3 of this free e-book)

The New Creator Economy – DAOs, Community Ownership, and Cryptoeconomics

How Gaming Will Change Humanity as We Know It

Artainment | a new trend in museums and visitor attractions



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November 13, 2021
4:30 pm - 7:00 pm GMT
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