Do you enjoy the feeling of having pins hammered into your head? Then allow me to introduce you to: our modern reality.
Today's pin to the brow is that you can now buy NFTs based on Dead By Daylight's in-game models of Hellraiser's Pinhead. I can tell the difference between pleasure and pain, and this is pain.
The Dead By Daylight Twitter account announced the news yesterday:
Behaviour worked with Boss Protocol over several months to adapt in-game models for use as NFTs and approved them prior to the release of Pinhead in DbD. The NFTs have a chance to grant access to the #Hellraiser chapter of DbD. pic.twitter.com/3ZZKq3uPYN— Dead by Daylight (@DeadByBHVR) October 18, 2021
You know something has gone over well with a community when an announcement tweets gets 486 retweets but 7207 quote tweets. To quote one example tweet, former Dead By Daylight gameplay programmer wrote that he is "strongly opposed to the spread of NFTs and extremely disappointed to see the game that I love associated with them."
The NFTs have a somewhat convoluted route towards existence. According to their own FAQ, a company called Boss Protocol worked with another called Boss Team Games, "who controls certain interactive rights to Hellraiser from Park Avenue Entertainment", in order to turn the 3D models made by DbD developers Behaviour Interactive into NFTs. The Hellraiser NFT is apparently the first of many licensed NFTs Boss Protocol hope to produce.
This convoluted path does mean that it's difficult to decide how to portion out blame. On October 14th, Dead By Daylight's devs did tweet to say that when they work with licensing partners, they provide them with in-game models as well as Chapter keys. "They are free to use these however they see fit as the rightful owners of these characters." That might mean Behaviour had very little real involvement or choice in the production of this NFT, and it's quite a different tone than the tweet four days later, which refers to Boss Protocol as "great partners".
Much has already been written about how NFTs are dumb, bad for the environment, and often linked to scams. Not enough has been written about how tacky they are. I already associate Hellraiser with absurdly priced figurines found either in mail-order adverts from old issues of SFX magazine, or inside fluorescent-lit display cases in unclean Forbidden Planets. NFTs are the digital equivalent. Not an ideal set of connotations on the verge of a reboot movie.