‘Polium One’ Revealed The Big Problem In Games Media
The internet’s most influential voices bashed Polium One and Web3 alike – but they are not one and the same.
In last week’s article on the cringe-inducing embarrassment that is the Polium One, I remarked that the worst thing about projects like this is that they reinforce the stereotype that Web3 and NFTs are a joke, and that you shouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot bargepole.
Polium One has attracted widespread criticism, and quite rightly so for their lazy logo, stolen mock-up designs, lack of transparency and much, much more. However, amongst all the media and influencer backlash, almost nobody has highlighted one simple fact.
Polium are an amateurish bunch of hooligans. They do not represent the best of Web3.
The announcement of the Polium One was equivalent to the launch of a blatantly obvious Kickstarter or Indiegogo scam. To use Polium One as an example to admonish the whole Web3 industry would be like using Digital Homicide as an example to say all video games are terrible.
If the Polium One were a brand-new Web2 console, nobody would’ve cared. The fact it’s caused such a stir is a sign of the demonization of all things Web3 in popular media, regardless of context.
Last week, numerous reaction livestreamers farmed the Polium One for content, with several YouTubers chomping at the bit to admonish it as yet another sign that “everything blockchain is bad”.
As mentioned in my first article, a lot of this content revolved around a surface-level scan of Polium’s most public profiles – the sort of information you can find in 5 minutes – with minimal further investigation.
In a duo of YouTube videos published last week, popular gaming news personality, reviewer and voice actor YongYea repeatedly used the Polium One to lambast Web3 as a whole, to his audience of 1.2mil subscribers.
Asmongold – one of the biggest Twitch streamers and gaming personalities today, and someone I’ve been a big fan of for years – reacted to the first of YongYea’s videos on his livestream last week, and went a step further – using minimal analysis to fuel sweeping generalizations directed at the Web3 community.
“The difference is that most people know this (the Polium One) is bullshit. The difference is that [NFT fans] are stupid. [NFT fans] are generic, boring, skill-less losers. That’s why they’re getting excited about it.”
Those words were spoken by Asmongold on that stream last week.
These inferences are inherently lazy, dangerous and appeal only to the lowest-common denominator of viewer. It doesn’t seek to challenge. It doesn’t seek to find the truth. It seeks to placate. It seeks to pander. To “fuel the meme”.
Even though Asmongold is a character – an enhanced personality of the man behind the name – that doesn’t make it any better. Many viewers, not just of Asmon but of all influencers, inherit the beliefs of the people they follow, and whilst it is not the fault of these influencers that their fans match their opinions, they have to take some responsibility for fuelling these falsehoods with the words they say.
In a strange twist, some influencers may off-camera have a totally different opinion. Asmongold has spoken positively about the potential use cases of NFTs or cryptocurrency within his own community in the past – albeit on his second channel, an out-of-character platform with a smaller reach.
I see the value of blockchain and NFT's as a technology
Am I the only one who finds people scrambling to spend thousands of dollars on a picture of a monkey ridiculous?
Am I out of touch or have people lost their minds?
— Zack (@Asmongold) November 28, 2021
The impression across gaming media at-large is that NFT fans must be idiots to be behind the Polium One.
Trust me – we hate it too.
I get it. Negativity, controversy and conflict generates clicks – but is pursuing clicks in favour of common sense, factual reporting and proper analysis the way to go?
Once you dig a little deeper, media personalities will tell you what we already know: there’s massive potential in blockchain technology, NFTs and Web3 – but that’s not the message they’re sending to their followers.
This culture of “negativity for clicks”, first-impression reactions and book-cover analysis has fuelled the anger-filled, tribalistic, “talk first, ask questions later” wildfire that’s wholly consumed today’s media, politics and society as a whole.
I’m hoping that for a better future, not just for Web3 but the world in general, we start to see a change towards accurate, researched, fact-based reporting – but I fear I’m a fool for entertaining the thought.