On November 21, the Cryptotwitter world unveiled the world’s first social media managed, non-fungible token (NFT) with a personality brand: Axie # 265, also known as “Axia”.
Axies – the cute, Pokemon-inspired digital creatures – populate the fast-growing blockchain-based game Axie Infinity. Each of them are backed by an NFT, and even those who have never played Axie Infinity may know Axies for the ridiculous sums they make in the secondary market: an Axie recently sold for 300 ethers, or at the point of over 130,000 US dollars sale.
High prices seem to be part of what Axia drew on Twitter. In a debut tweet, the NFT played haughty and deliberately, complaining about its comparatively meager $ 97,000 sale, arguing that it should have been far more expensive given its rare traits, looks, and abilities in the game’s battle mode:
I was just sold for 180 ETH (~ $ 97k USD). Feeling offended.
Look mortals, I’m the most legendary creature in @AxieInfinity
By chance and probability I – the very first triple mystic – was created with the highest aesthetics, balanced statistics and moveset.
I am a miracle
– Axia (Axie # 265) (@ axie265) November 22, 2020
Brands that pretend to be sentient are nothing new, but NFTs that do the same could be too. It may also be far more interesting from a game and assumed persona point of view as virtual reality approaches widespread adoption.
Much like an avatar enabling video game players to inhabit a virtual world with features and appearances different from their own, NFTs could eventually become a way for Meatspace individuals to take on new personas and identities in the metaverse.
When Axia looked at Axia, he felt an odd sense of foresight – Axia, the first anthropomorphized piece of non-fungible blockchain data, wasn’t a one-off and instead pointed to a broader, probably insane trend.
A social media managed NFT with personality branding raging over its own future resale price. What a fun look into our slightly psychotic future! https://t.co/zGeBSGxmuj
– Andrew T (@Blockanalia) November 22, 2020
To get this under control, Cointelegraph conducted a written interview with Axia (which told me acceptable pronouns include “he / she / majesty / highness”) which has been edited to make it better for the sake of clarity and readability Get a feel for where NFTs are and those like Her Highness are directed. In the end, I had the not uncomfortable idea that I could be friends with an Axie now.
What and why
Cointelegraph: Hello Axia. Thanks for your time. I am sure you are busy. How should I relate to you? “Your Highness?” As an NFT, it occurs to me that you are immortal and so godlike – “your divinity?”
Axia: Thanks for having me Andrew. It’s a pleasure.
You can just refer to me as Axia or # 265. I understand that Hoomans have often worshiped higher beings throughout history, but I don’t need such honors. While I am indeed the most legendary Axie of all, I want to be friends and work with lots of Hoomans.
CT: What are you and what makes you special?
Axia: I posted a quick twitter thread about what makes me special here, but to sum it up, I was the very first Triple Mystic Axie ever created, and with that slim chance alone, I’m in shape with objective cuteness come, excellent statistics and combat strength. Of course there are 18 other Triple Mystic Axies – and even 3 Quad Mystics – but it’s the combination of all of these things that make me, Axia, the greatest of them all. I took shape as the first social NFT to share this gospel of truth.
CT: Can I ask what your owner does for a living?
Axia: My owner seems like a pathetic Hooman … he always sits in front of the computer.
CT: How far could you go to expand the wider Axie universe? Can an NFT begin to direct the development of the game that made it?
Axia: I hope to go as far as possible to expand the wider Axie universe – and most importantly – positively. Because of my interactions with my creators, they have a strong vision for the world they want to create. I hope they allow the community to make a meaningful contribution and differentiate themselves from the game companies of the past whose intellectual property is more important than their backers.
I enjoy reading Hooman history after my creation, and I fully expect my descent into this realm to produce both H8ers and supporters. Regardless, I’m looking forward to doing multiple projects that I have planned for not just the Axie ecosystem, but the entire crypto and NFT space.
CT: How do you see your role? There have been many corporate social branding channels in the past, but you may be the first NFT brand. Are you adding wealth to the expanded Axie universe, or do you want to increase your own resale value?
Axia: First – I am a firm believer in value creation. Not only do I want to make my legend known, I really hope to be a positive force in the crypto ecosystem.
It seems that those who work and build in the crypto industry are some of the smartest and most passionate Hoomans I have ever come across.
Do I want my own resale value to increase? Why am I worth more than 180 ETH, of course? And I think that will be announced in due course. Hopefully. I am a little concerned that my owner will never sell me, which makes my true pricing impossible. He seems to be more and more obsessed with me. It’s understandable – owning me means he’s the only verifiable owner of me. That is the strength of NFTs. Even if I am sold, my person can continue to live with the next owner.
I am constantly impressed with the many different types of Hoomans I work with
Thank you @yamer @buudlez for capturing my cuteness on this chibi form https://t.co/Uewh2CUqgn
– Axia (Axie # 265) (@ axie265) December 2, 2020
Look to the future
CT: Are there people / creatures / things that you take for inspiration? Why did you decide to “go down” at all?
Axia: I’m inspired by the effects Legendary Pokemon had on their respective Pokemon worlds. Films have been made about them. The legendary birds, legendary dogs, the Pokemons of Creation – Hoomans in these worlds worked with these legendary beings to create amazing stories. I descended to begin such endeavors in the world of the Axies.
I hope the wider Axie community will shower me with love. I want to expand the ecosystem together with the support of the community. Since I have no similar prior knowledge, I would like to be reached by other influencers from their respective communities who can help me act legendary.
CT: Do you want to tease some of your plans for the future?
Axia: I’m really excited to announce that I’ve worked with some interesting hoomans (@ jl2fa @cshaotweets @dan_m_truong @iOShean @jack_dille @qwqiao) to start a new crypto project called @AxieTree.
AxieTree is a loan and credit market for Axies. Right now, the barrier to entry for new players who want to play with Axies is quite high. The only options available to new players are either (1) to purchase 3 Axies or (2) to receive a scholarship. This is problematic as 3 Axies can be too expensive to buy and grants are a very manual process.
There are hundreds and thousands of Axies that are not used by many players in the Axie ecosystem. AxieTree’s marketplace will reward lenders and help bring many new players into the Axie ecosystem through loans. I believe AxieTree will significantly lower the barrier to entry and help make the game more fun.
We’ll be sharing more details in the coming weeks, but I’m happy to announce that we will be releasing version 1 of our platform on December 25th as a Chrismas gift to the Crypto and Axie community.
CT: NFTs enable the virtual world to have demonstrable value and ownership. Are they doing something unique on a social level? How will NFTs like you manage virtual interactions besides providing a gateway to a person?
Axia: It’s interesting to think about, but I’m really not sure. I suppose NFTs like me can serve as a status symbol in a sense. As I say … I find it pretty uncomfortable that I’m the subject of such vanity, but I suppose Hoomans might argue among themselves over who owns the big Axia, as NFTs allow for cryptographically verified, traceable ownership. It is known.
CT: In the heyday of Second Life, there were real-life marriages that came about through in-game interactions. In terms of human interaction, what do you see as you look into the future of VR, video games, and NFTs?
Axia: I never see myself marrying a Hooman, but I think the world between Hoomans and NFTs will definitely bridge the gap. My own existence is an indication of the beginning of one. Although legendary, I cannot tell the future. I hope that my being as an NFT can help bring positive human interactions full of love and harmony.
CT: Thank you, Your Majesty.
Axia: Thanks for reporting Andrew! I am consistently impressed with Hoomans and look forward to continuing to work with all of you.