Why is everything so crazy these days? If that’s the question that bothers you, sit back and hold tight. Changes are happening faster than ever. Society as we know it will never be the same —and the point of no return might be sooner than you think.
Behind the scenes of the recent Miami Art Basel, the largest art event of the year, it is all about crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which exist mostly in the form of digital art. You’ve probably heard that millions of dollars are going to unknown artists supported by the crypto community. According to speakers at NFT BZL
, the NFT rush we are witnessing right now is just the beginning.
Apparently, NFTs will be the building blocks of the emerging Metaverse — a new digital world recently claimed by Facebook. But the social media giant is not the only tech company working on its own universe. The future of social media looks like the Metaverse, and competitors ranging from big-name players like Microsoft to small-scale digital communities all want a piece of the action.
Also, forget everything you know — or anyone else claims they know about Metaverse. It’s not going to be a single virtual platform for our avatars to hang out. The emerging Metaverses are aiming to change not just the way we communicate, make money, or sell art, but even public governance. And new tech trends — AR, GameFi, and play-to-earn — are supporting this innovative experiment.
Although it’s just a “game” for now, some projects are experimenting with unconventional ideas that reimagine leadership in a new light. “The Presidents
,” the largest NFT collection of global leaders (20,000 avatars in total), grants users access to its governance system and allows them to vote on tech upgrade decisions. The collection includes state leaders, as well as heavy hitters from cryptocurrency- and blockchain-enabled organizations, such as Binance, Ethereum, and TRON.
The more Presidents a user has, the more power they stand to gain in the emerging “Presidents” ecosystem. The community recently introduced its new play-to-earn game, dubbed The War of Morale. I’ve spoken with Alena Fares
, the artist behind the project, to understand more about where our world is going.
Why Does “The Presidents” Community Want People to Own and Play with Global Leaders?
This is an opportunity to become a part of something vast and ambitious. Every country has a leader, president, or king. This collection features the most famous ones. People have always been attracted to authority figures. Why not let them approach power through NFTs?
Presidents have control over their countries, their borders, and to a degree, their citizens. Thanks to our project, people can control their leaders, even if it’s just in a game.
What Kinds of Games?
Well, we’re planning to release several different ones, but the first game we’re launching is called The War of Morale. It’s set to launch as soon as the mint is over. It’s based on the play-to-earn model, so users will be able to monetize their time just by participating. As a reward, they’ll receive the game’s governance token, which allows them to vote and make decisions on the future of “The Presidents” ecosystem.
To take part in the game, users create teams of “allies,” each headed by at least three NFT Presidents, because we want to inspire the spirit of collaboration. Two users can play together if they have similar Morale levels, which range from 100 to Unlimited. Players win battles by draining their opponents' Morale and making sure their own Presidents’ Morale stats stay up.
What’s the End Goal of this Project?
We want to create a community where the owners of “The Presidents” or their NFT avatars can make their own decisions, vote, and collaborate. So, yes, we’re creating our own Metaverse, just like many other communities who don’t want to be dominated by any tech company or social network.
What Inspires You as an Artist?
People. The greatest inspiration comes from people. Their personalities, their life stories, their creativity, how they look and show up in the world. “The Presidents” project helped me learn more about the leaders in the collection, about their biographies. I love to draw people of different nationalities—explore and study facial features, appearances, and archetypes. And, just like any artist, I study other artists’ work, listen to eclectic music, and travel a lot to expand my vision of the world.
Could You Describe Your Style?
I use a combination of chaotic lines that look like they’ve been randomly drawn. My portfolio mostly consists of black and white work. I also paint in color, experimenting and mixing bright colors. My pictures look unusual, full of contrasts, and they tend to attract attention. Over the last few years, I’ve been working with digital art, which lets me refine my signature style and improve my technique.
I specialize in portraits, painting musicians, actors, rappers, creative people, and just people who look out of the ordinary. My work features rappers—Lil Jon, BIA, and Raf Camora—and actors like Manny Montan. I focus on famous personalities and, right now, create portraits in a style that makes each image reflect the model’s character and mood. I want my artwork to make my models look unique and exquisite.
For “The Presidents” Project, You Had to Collaborate with AI. What was it Like?
I created 50 main portraits of state leaders and crypto pioneers. AI helped us make the project the biggest collection of global leaders in the world, with 20,000 avatars. AI algorithms enriched my images with “traits” or special features, such as zombie eyes, bandanas, and leather jackets.
Seeing my work transformed by AI was fun. I think, as artists, we should experiment with technology, and I’d certainly do this again. Also, participating in “The Presidents” project let me showcase my work to a much wider audience. I’m glad we had such a great team powered by AI, and I hope this project will help lift people’s spirits and lighten the mood a little.
This article was first published here