Death Mask #006
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"gm" is the pilot episode from NGMI, a dystopian anthology series created by writer Mike Ford.
PREMISE It is now 2022 and writers are still relegated to background noise as NFT Twitter continues its descent into an Orwellian state. Parasitic influencers propel low-effort, doomed PFP projects to the forefront of Twitter feeds under the guise of "gm." The Instagram culture of constant bombardment with pretty pictures that immediately gratify us has all but muted the voices of writers in this burgeoning space. Poets, novelists, and those so unlucky to not yet have a word to describe their avant-garde efforts watch from the sidelines as radioactive dolphins and portraits of naked women in Dubai deserts sell for five figures with predictable cadence.
NGMI In the following years, the NFT community largely abandoned Twitter as its social media nexus in favor of GM, a "decentralized" alternative controlled by NFT influencers. The continued erosion of individual thought and free speech resulted in a platform on which non-influencers were only permitted to express thoughts with "gm," an acronym the founders of the network promoted as "the most versatile form of speech possible."
Those that dared post something beyond "gm" were labeled "writers," the worst possible social standing on GM. If an apologetic "gm" was not immediately posted to shed this writer status, a smart contract would initiate a death bounty, causing other users to compete to kill the writer. Upon the writer's confirmed death came the drop of a PFP of the writer's death mask, an artifact that's historically been reserved for society's most notable figures. Those that attempted to kill the writer received a coveted whitelist position, and displaying a lowly writer's death mask as one's profile picture represented the ultimate way to receive more "gm" replies on posts.
But what PFP would be complete without rarity traits? As part of the smart contract that generated each death mask, each writer's body of work was included as metadata. To prevent the writer's toxic ideologies from being perpetuated, each corpus of text was run through the SHA-256 hashing algorithm. Once even the most thought-provoking piece of writing had been transformed, each unintelligible hash was then assigned to one of nine possible "gm" archetypes. GM's cofounder stated "all written works, from Shakespeare to Hemingway, can be reduced to one of nine gms." Some even argued that all writing can be reduced to only one "gm" archetype, though this was considered too controversial as it would eliminate the ability to milk money from rarities.
For a lucky few users, each death mask drop also provided the ultimate opportunity to acquire a PFP with coveted utility: those that minted extremely rare "legendary" editions of a dead writer could actually create shill posts on GM not limited to "gm." These shill posts even appeared to originate from the dead writer's account to reinforce the founding team's vision that "even death cannot free us from gm."
Attribution This episode depicts fictitious individuals that have been created and rendered with Unreal Engine 5 and MetaHuman. Any likeness to a real person, living or deceased, is purely coincidental. Unreal Engine 5 and MetaHuman are the sole property of Epic Games.