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‘The Next Generation’ – how Star Trek NFTs divided the Treker community

Written by Fri 22 Apr 2022

On April 6th, Paramount’s Star Trek franchise and Recur, (the portal for ‘immersive NFT experiences’) launched an inevitable new venture – Star Trek Non Fungible Tokens.

 

This came in the same week that Facebook owner, Meta, began to monetise the metaverse. For many, Star Trek’s move from science fiction into the market for blockchain receipt-art may seem like an obvious step, allowing the franchise to ‘seek out new life and civilisations,’ and increase their audience and revenue-base.

However, for many devoted fans, this incentivising is directly at odds with the philosophy of Star Trek’s fictional narrative and brand.

Dedicated fan-influencers such as Jess Gender, took to YouTube and Twitter to share emotive responses and reviews – in a YouTube video that has garnered approx. 15,000 views, Gender says: ‘Star Trek is not about a society where everything is commodified, but where everyone is able to share and take part in the future together.’

She states: ‘Star Trek is an anti-capitalist franchise.’ The irony in this  cannot be lost – Star Trek being one of the most recognisable global brands of twentieth century entertainment. Yet the conflict between the philosophy of Star Trek’s narrative and its producer’s choice to make Non Fungible Tokens, has prompted dissent among fans across platforms.

 

On Twitter, both NFT and Star Trek fans have disputed the value for money or rarity of the ‘Star Trek Continuum NFT packs’ –

In her YouTube thesis, Gender unpacks the incompatibility between the community/franchise’s values and NFTs – ‘To my mind it is a scam…You could argue about how Star Trek is post scarcity society.’

Fans particularly expressed skepticism with the ‘Admiral pack,’ questioning its value, although scooping up this pack, as opposed to ‘The Captain pack,’ guarantees a ‘good’ ship – one of the many that has been algorithmically generated. Gender says: ‘People are getting emotionally invested in it as it is very much a scam.’

In a recent press release, Pam Kauffman, President of Consumer Products and Experiences at Paramount enthused:

‘Paramount will offer one seamless digital collectable experience for fans across our key franchises, starting with Star Trek™, an iconic franchise that is forward-thinking, innovative, and multi-generational. We are thrilled to have a space that is accessible to everyone and allows another expression of fandom.’

Whether this particular ‘expression of fandom’ will endure in the Galaxy of Star Trek is a question of semantics.

Written by Fri 22 Apr 2022

Tags:

Blockchain FinTech NFTs Star Trek
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