July 26, 2022
By Sharan Kaur Phillora
Less than two weeks into its soft launch, GameStop’s NFT marketplace is already courting controversy. Among the NFTs listed on the platform is an artwork called “Falling Man”. The NFT swaps the victim out for an astronaut, posing them like the unknown man who fell to his death.
Here’s what we know:
In February, videogame retailer/persistent meme GameStop announced it was planning to open an NFT marketplace. Currently, in beta, the GameStop NFT marketplace allows customers to buy and sell NFTs minted by an approved selection of creators.
One of those creators named Jules minted and began selling an NFT called Falling Man, in which a figure resembling an iconic Associated Press photograph of a man falling from the World Trade Center on 9/11 called The Falling Man is dressed like an astronaut and described with a caption, “This one probably fell from the MIR station.”
GameStop’s NFT marketplace currently uses astronauts as mascots in places like the form new creators have to fill out and some downloadable wallpapers. The “Falling Man” listing came under fire from the gaming community, with many labeling its creation “disgusting”, and “beyond appalling”.
Several people had already bought the NFT, of which 25 editions were minted. The GameStopNFT Twitter account explained the decision to one such customer, saying that, “Certain collections violated our terms of service, which resulted in the NFTs being suspended from our marketplace. You will still be able to transfer these NFTs to layer 1 and between wallets, but they cannot be sold on our marketplace.”
In a direct message to one individual, the company said it was taking action against the creator of the NFT. “This NFT will be removed from our marketplace entirely,” the company said. “This user has already had their minting ability removed from their account, and we have already been in direct contact with the creator about these actions.”
About the author
Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.