That line is not the zinger you think it is, Baker (pic: Troy Baker via Twitter)
Renowned voice actor Troy Baker has partnered with an NFT company and, unsurprisingly, his fans are not happy.
Baker has announced that he has partnered with Voiceverse NFT, a company that aims to sell voices as NFTs. Clearly aware of the discourse such a reveal would generate, Baker told his fans ‘We all have a story to tell. You can hate. Or you can create. What’ll it be?’
Unsurprisingly, this attempt at pre-empting complaints and getting dissenters to think long and hard about their response didn’t work, with many fans choosing ‘hate,’ as well as rational explanations for why they don’t wish to support NFTs.
Baker’s decision to partner with Voiceverse in particular is especially confusing. What the company wants to do is sell AI-generated voices, ones that can sound exactly like known actors.
‘Imagine being able to create customised audiobooks, YouTube videos, e-learning lectures, or even podcasts with your favourite voice! All without the hassle of additional legal work,’ a Twitter thread reads.
So, basically, you could theoretically buy an AI copy of Baker’s voice for you to use for your own projects. The concept has been met with criticism since it risks making voice actors, like Baker, obsolete. Why hire them if you can just buy their voice?
That’s not even getting into the possibility of someone with less innocent intentions acquiring one of these voice NFTs. What’s to stop someone from using one of these vocal replicas of a real person for porn, without their consent, or using one to read some racist diatribe and pass it off as their own words?
The aforementioned thread doesn’t acknowledge any of this, only saying that any actors who lends their voice to the project will receive royalties and that Voiceverse is working to make their NFTs more environmentally friendly, which is one of the main criticisms against NFTs as a whole.
What they don’t address is that even without the environmental concerns NFTs are little more than a scam, that are based on creating an illusion of rarity and uniqueness for DLC and other digital items.
Baker is probably most famous nowadays as the voice of Joel in both The Last Of Us games, but he has an absolutely mammoth filmography across video games and animation, to the point where it’s almost impossible you haven’t played a game with him in it.
He’s not the only voice actor Voiceverse has managed to partner with either. Its Twitter page confirms that the likes of Adventure Time’s Andy Milonakis and Charlet Chung, the voice of D. Va in Overwatch, have signed on as well.
troy, this isnt just an “i hate NFTs for the sake of having sth to hate” thing, NFTs have such huge consequences. “you can hate or you can create” is so petty and such a middle finger to all the artists who have already been affected negatively by NFTs. you’re better than this.
— 🥭🌈 MANGO | She/They 🌈🥭 (@MangoThey) January 14, 2022
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