Upcoming NFT Broadside is a unique new project that aims to build a complex and engaging “story world,” and it just might make it onto the New York bestseller list. Like all good NFT projects, if you’re one of the 7,290 unsung heroes in this story, you could be part of a new bestseller.
We’ve been talking about NFTs for a while, and my guide “What are NFTs?” goes into detail, but essentially non-fungible tokens are a way to record digital files on a blockchain and create scarcity.
This isn’t the first time Broadsiders co-creator Vector Meldrew has put together a list of the best NFT games for Creative Bloq. The VJ and artist have sold out collections with Bonhams, Nifty Gateway and Foundation to name just a few successes. Co-creator Matt Mason aka Charlie Stratford-Rex, the pen name of the writer behind Broadside’s story.
One of the benefits of NFTs is that buyers can own an artwork and its use, and Broadside NFTs come with either cc0 (license-free) or full commercial rights – check out the Broadside website (opens in a new tab) for more details. If you get a Broadside NFT you can develop your own fiction, decide how your character will be used and more. You can really start telling your own stories. But also, maybe others can (which we’ll get into a bit more later).
An upcoming NFT year in the making
11 episodes of NFTs and items will be sent to each owner of a Broadside, telling a deep and involved story of a decentralized future. The story took creators Mason and Meldrew 10 years to develop and became an NFT because traditional media failed to understand how this story could be told.
Stratford-Rex tells me that he has had many meetings with DreamWorks to develop the script, but the animation studio had cold feet about a film with an anonymous hero and could not make the project work.
“I wanted to make this really fun, fictional book. And we wanted the main character to be anonymous and kind of decentralized, so it was in development at DreamWorks for a while, but they didn’t really understand what a decentralized anonymous hero is,” explains Mason.
“I had this story about these kids in the future playing this weird AR game and they decided to pirate it and hack it,” says the author of Broadside. “It all goes terribly wrong, of course, and they’re forced to think about abundance and scarcity in decentralization and centralization, but in a very personal journey, a hero’s journey, [with an] action movie story arc.”
NFT Broadside could be a bestseller
This story is told as an NFT ‘book’ published in chapters that have an owner’s specific character, both in the text and on the cover. Once all 11 “episodes” are dropped, owners can burn those chapters into a 1/1 book NFT with their Broadside character on the cover. Owners can print and sell this book, and each will have an ISBN number so you can sell it on Amazon, which is where Broadside gets ambitious.
“All 7,290 possible versions of Broadside will have different ISBNs. We can hack the New York Times bestseller list if we get everyone to start selling these on the same day. With that many, it will look more like a DDoS attack,” Mason jokes.
He continues: “Let’s take this into the most old-school publishing possible with the community growing around Broadside. And let’s do something crazy to put this story of decentralization into a completely different context, a completely different medium at the end of the phase one.”
Who actually owns a Broadside?
There is a playful approach to Broadside that can be found when Mason discusses the underlying themes of the project that plague NFTs in general. The reason for offering both cc0 (effectively creative commons, license-free art) and commercial licenses for Broadside is to create debate and focus attention on how NFTs are used.
“There’s been a big debate in NF T about full commercial rights versus cc0,” Mason begins, explaining that Meldrew brought some big names to the Broadside project, including XCOPY, Cryptopunk #5046, and Rektguy.
Some Broadside NFTs will feature art from these major NFT artists, but they will be on cc0 contracts. “It means you can go and open a restaurant and make a movie or do whatever you want with it,” the writer adds. “Anybody else can, it’s just not exclusively yours.”
The broadside story will delve into a future of decentralization, but NFT itself, right now, is asking questions about how far decentralization can go, what communities can do and create around these unique ownership and copyright models.
There’s a “thrill” to owning a Broadside, Mason says, as the models ensure you can do whatever you want with your Broadside, and those already involved are developing video games and new fiction, but it’s a battle between ccO and full advertising . licensing, with various Broadside NFTs having one or both licensing models.
Mason clarifies, “The only tension we had to play with was that you can do anything, as much as you can, with your Broadsider, without affecting what anyone else can do with theirs.”
Broadside shows ambitions
It’s been a while since I’ve seen an NFT project quite as ambitious as Broadside. In some ways, the current decline in the value of NFTs and the “crypto winter” the scene is suffering means that creative NFTs like Broadside looking at new ways to use non-fungible tokens may have gone under the radar a year ago. interested people flipped NFTs and did not collect.
Artist Vector Meldrew has his take: “We saw the crazy low-stakes stuff, people just getting stuff out just because they knew the market was hot, and people who were ready to flip. And it just led to a craze. […] We felt that many of the things that were missing from there started with a story, which we feel is the root of all good projects or all good IP. So we definitely wanted to be led by the story, and then we wanted to take our time on the sheet.”
Tellingly, Meldrew says: “Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t really have made the mark in the period known for that kind of work [NFTs such as Pixelmon] because I just want it to be right, and that’s why it’s taken so long.”
Broadside has been years in the making, the Rex-Meldrew duo have been working together since school. And it shows in their passion for what Broadside represents. “Hopefully it changes people’s minds about what NFT is,” Meldrew says thoughtfully.
Broadside is now being printed, and you can find the project on the NFT marketplace OpenSea (opens in a new tab)and follow the community on Broadside Twitter (opens in a new tab).