High-profile streamer Turner "Tfue" Tenney is looking to cash in on the craze for things that don’t actually exist in the real world with his very own collection of NFTs (opens in new tab). Entitled "NFTfue King of Gaming Collection," the full set will include three animations, a trio of bobbleheads, and a unique "King of Gaming Showdown" NFT that "combines all three iconic Tfue characters into a singular piece of art."
That silence you hear is the sound of my wallet staying resolutely shut.
"I heard about [NFTs] from a few friends of mine—mainly DJs, artists, and celebrities," Tenney, who is friends with DJs, artists, and celebrities, told The Washington Post. "They said, 'Yo, no one has done a gaming one yet. You should do one.' So a few months back we started working on this project and now we’ve come to a point where we’re ready to release it, and I’m pretty excited."
Introducing the NFTfue King of Gaming Collection - my own personal NFT series bringing me to life through special edition game characters! RT for your chance to win a Tfue NFT Bobblehead! Visit https://t.co/gm72oFIlY1 for more information about my NFTs and how to buy! #NFT pic.twitter.com/TsH9K9DLNWApril 6, 2021
NFT stands for "non-fungible token." NFTs are sort of like cryptocurrency coins, except they represent "ownership" of a digital file. Anyone can look at or download the "Tfue King of Gaming Showdown" animation, for instance, but the NFT—a blockchain ledger entry which represents ownership of that digital image—is the only one of its kind. It's basically the digital equivalent of the difference between the Mona Lisa and a photograph of the Mona Lisa, but in reverse: Massive amounts of computing resources are spent to make an easily-reproducible digital asset into a one-of-a-kind thing.
That's one of the chief criticisms of NFTs—that making them eats up huge amounts of processing power, which gives them a grossly outsized impact on the environment. According to this Wired article, the creation of six NFTs by French artist Joanie Lemercier required the equivalent of two years' worth of normal energy usage in his studio. NFTs are typically purchased with cryptocurrencies, which jacks their carbon footprint even higher. In a February blog post, Lemercier detailed his decision to cancel two further NFT releases, saying that the environmental impact of current blockchain technology "is a DISASTER."
Still, their uniqueness makes NFTs desirable to certain collectors, and thus people with too much money on their hands are willing to throw around massive piles of it in order to claim ownership of them—and there are plenty of others standing by to profit from their profligacy.
In case there’s any doubt, consider the Rob Gronkowski Championship Series NFT Collection, a set of virtual trading cards "digitally hand signed and numbered" by the NFL star that drew more than $2 million in sales when it was released in March. Medium Rare, a sports and entertainment branding company that helped create Gronkowski’s NFTs, is also working on Tenney’s.
“I told [Tenney] the same thing I said to Rob [Gronkowski]: This could be a $10,000 idea or a $10 million one,” Medium Rare founder Adam Richman told the Post.
Interestingly, while Tenney is best known for streaming games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone, his NFT collection bears no actual references to any of them. They're obviously "inspired" by Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Minecraft, but Medium Rare took great care to remove any direct connections to specific games. Even the names of the NFTs are generic: The Fortnite NFT is called "Tfue Pickaxe," for example, while Minecraft is "Tfue Blocks."
"Even though [the pickaxe] was invented in probably the year 1100, or who knows when, Fortnite had somehow trademarked it," Richman explained. "We didn’t use any direct characters or worlds ... obviously it can be inferred a bit, but on our side ... we had our legal team look into it, since the last thing we want is Turner to wind up in a lawsuit over some NFTs he created."
"We didn’t want to get, like, sued or anything," Tenney said.
The Sniper NFT does feature one unnamed but very specific element that might be familiar to Fortnite players, however:
Tenney's NFTfue King of Gaming Collection and King of Gaming Showdown card will be sold via auction, which will begin at 7 pm ET on April 8. NFTfue Bobbleheads will go on sale at 6 pm ET on April 10—pricing on those has not been revealed, but you can bet they won’t be cheap. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend blowing real money on this sort of digital ephemera (I mean, seriously, just take a screenshot) but if you insist on contributing to the madness, you’ll need a MetaMask Wallet and OpenSea account to take part. Also note that credit cards will not be accepted: If you want to purchase or bid on anything, you must use Ethereum.