Controlled randomness can be a tool to produce beautiful aesthetic variation; or for subversively rigging a game or economic system.
An NFT collection of generative art slot machines. Owners compete to be first to win jackpots, granting mint passes for a diminishing supply of additional slot machine NFTs with increasingly rare attributes. More detail
A reflection on several themes in the mashup of generative art and (crypto)economic systems: controlled random processes, distribution of value, real and artificial scarceness, competition, gamification, merit, risk and precarity. More
A slot machine game implemented as smart contract and generative code model. Machine state is stored on-chain and uses Chainlink VRF for randomness. Owners submit roll() transaction to gamble, drawing a new random number that determines machine state, and is used to seed generative code model producing an audiovisual output.
The collection begins with a pre-minted set of level 0 machines. Owners submit transactions to gamble. Hitting a jackpot grants a mint pass to the owner, allowing them to mint an additional new machine on the next incremental level. In effect, level X machines spawn machines of level X+1, subject to level dependent supply caps, and with a limit of 2 mint passes rewarded per machine. Higher level machines unlock new generative algorithms and more variation. Jackpot probability decreases with level. There is a decreasing supply cap on each level, akin to game of musical chairs.
Tentative structure, subject to change.
|Supply Cap||Jackpot Probability||Mint Pass Redemption Cost|
|0||26||26||10.00%||n/a, initial lottery|
|9||2||n/a (final level)||4.17 ETH|
Example: You begin by owning a level 0 machine. You spin with chances of 10%, win a jackpot, rewarding you with a mint pass, which you redeem for a cost of 0.05 ETH and receive a level 1 machine. You now have 2 machines total. You can continue playing the level 0 machine to try for another level 1 mint pass at 10% chance. Or play your new level 1 machine with 5% chance of winning a level 2 mint pass.
Each roll() transaction will have an ETH cost + gas. The cost is approximately 0.05 ETH, but is subject to change. 100% of roll fees are donated to charity: deposits are locked in contract, and are only withdrawable to GiveDirectly charity ETH address.
Mint pass redemption costs go to the artist.
In addition, the smart contract requires LINK token to make requests to Chainlink VRF for true randomness. Each roll requires 2 LINK. An initial supply will be deposited. After it's exhausted, owners are collectively responsible for communally replishining LINK.
The only winnable rewards, other than mint passes for higher level machines, are rare combination of traits. Value them as you will.
Roll prices, jackpot probabilities and mint pass redemption cost are subject to change.
Generative art and cryptoeconomics have collided spectacularly. Automation and variation, which are in themselves unique and interesting properties of generative art, serve also as a perfect vehicle for speculation. Automation allows for large collections with a unifying brand, while variation produces a distribution of metrics.
There are many true collectors who value and appreciate generative art for its merits. At the same time, many speculators under the pretense of art appreciation reduce gen art to superficial objects measured purely by brand/metrics, suitable for gambling and various forms of market control. Between lies a spectrum of actors, with varying intent and awareness. Creators run a similar gamut between idealists and pure opportunists.
This work poses a genuine question to creators and collectors about their motives for participating in these new systems, and how those motives are informed by wider existing systems. Does this moment represent: A revolutionary paradigm for digital art patronage? A one-time opportunity to claw for scarce resources? A senseless, frenzied expenditure of time and energy? A rational decision in an age of precarity?