Celebrities shilling NFT and other less-than-stable investments — fungible or not — is hardly a new thing but one has to take notice when one actually starts making cogent arguments about them online. William Shatner has got Reddit gamers gobsmacked with his endorsement of in-game NFTs and his adept defense of the practice. Another reminder that one should never get into a flame war with the one man who defeated the Kobayashi Maru scenario.
Responding to a now-deleted tweet mocking NFTs as a scam the Star Trek actor noted that, unlike other in-game purchases, NFTs purchased in a game world isn’t any more (or less) exploitive than other in-game monetization and has the advantage of portability.
The Tweet soon met with multiple flaming reactions but Shatner, a longtime veteran of fierce online arguments, negotiated them as deftly as his onscreen alter ego negotiated the Mutara nebula in Wrath of Khan.
Shatner’s arguments were soon drawing admiration from like-minded gamers on Reddit’s Superstonk forum, many of whom were flabbergasted by the Boston Legal star’s grasp of the economics of gaming and its currencies.
It probably should come as no surprise that the former Starship Captain’s defense of NFTs was lapped up by many Redditors, but the community wasn’t 100 percent in agreement by any means. One user quickly pointed out that introducing real cash into a game’s experience can lead to financial shenanigans and “pay to-win” scenarios.
Shatner is far from a stranger to the NFT marketplace. In April a set of official Star Trek NFTs from RECUR and Paramount that Shatner championed sold out in a jaw-dropping five minutes. the 1:1 algorithmically generative starships all sold for $250 a pop. However, even following this staggering success Shatner did admit that the world of NFTs on the whole is unpredictable. “The NFT space is a whole horizon that is edging up,” Shatner tole The Hollywood Reporter. “People presume knowledge, but we really don’t have it because things are changing so rapidly in the metaverse world. I’ve tried to keep up. There is no question it is going to be a world unto its own.”