Storytelling plus technology equals freedom: author Jason Primrose

More than almost any industry before it, Web3 owes its existence to science fiction and storytellers who created digital worlds that developers are now attempting to recreate. At Camp Decrypt, a group of Web3 creators and futurists – including Jason Michael Primrose, Amanda Terry, Artemysia-X and Kas Vegas – sat down with moderator Shira Lazar to discuss storytelling in Web3.

“[205Z] was my anchor in Web3,” said Primrose, author of 205Z: Time and Salvation and co-host of LorePlay on Rug Radio. “Taking a futuristic sci-fi world and turning it into a collectible experience.”

For Primrose, storytelling means freedom, and being able to use his imagination allowed him to do anything.

“By engaging my writing and storytelling powers, it opened up freedom for me in terms of technology, lifestyle and relationships,” Primrose said.

Web3 stands on the shoulders of giants. Science fiction has played a large but underappreciated role in the development of digital currencies, art, and the growing number of projects calling themselves Web3. From the artificial intelligence of Isaac Asimov, William Gibson’s Cyberspace and Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse.

Like Primrose, digital nomad Artemysia-X began her storytelling journey before engaging with Web3.

“When Web3 came out,” she said, “I realized it was a much better model for writers [intellectual property] that they own and control, with the possibility of abundance.”

In June 2021, Artemysia-X started the joint storytelling project “The Book of Worlds”.

“I’m really excited about multiplayer media first coined by Tim Shel,” stated Artemysia-X. “Immersive, participatory experiences, that’s how I started creating rewards programs for Rug Radio.”

Artemysia-X says what fascinates her most about storytelling in Web3 is the blockchain, and she has used multiple chains to produce digital content. Besides creating programs, Artemysia-X is the author behind the Saiba Gang Manga that uses the Solana blockchain and is the Loremaster for several projects including Broccoli DAO’s Cybervillainz NFT collection, and co-hosts the LorePlay podcast on Rug Radio.

“In Web3, community is what drives the value of a project,” said Artemysia-X. “When a participant creates value, it is only right that they also receive something in return.”

Artemysia-X says that the people who come to these projects and give their attention are giving something of incredible value, as attention is called the new oil.

“Literature as a medium often falls by the wayside,” said Primrose. “When we think about what’s fundamental to everything from music to script, everything is written first.”

Primrose says there is an opportunity to champion literature and literacy and put them in the technology field first, rather than last.

“Literature may not be as sexy as film or music,” he said. “But it’s still powerful; we should be pioneers and empower people to create stories connected to technology.”

“Technology needs to move in parallel with the creative side,” added Kas Vegas, community leader at Feature, the company behind “Huxley,” an Ethereum NFT comic book series by artist Ben Mauro dedicated to non-fungible tokens and the future of intellectual ones property rights. “While most focus on how lucrative NFTs are, I’m drawn to the problems of the world.”

She said one of the problems was the lack of diversity and representation in the space.

“So for Feature and Huxley, we brought in a big Web2 artist, Ben Morrow, who did Call of Duty and Halo Infinite,” Vegas said. “We brought him into this crazy world where we promised him this whole community that we would have to build from scratch even though he comes to the community from a big web.”

“No one has been running IP and licensing on-chain,” Vegas said. “If you think of the blockchain as a public ledger for transactions, that’s great, but what else can we make transparent on the blockchain? Can we make deals, licenses and intellectual property transparent? It’s this intricate balance of technology and creativity that comes together, meeting each other halfway and pushing the envelope.”

“Basically, in terms of storytelling and the creatives involved in our community, we literally grew out of our community, our karma collection,” added On-Chain Monkey COO Amanda Terry. “We created wealth for our community and social good,” Terry said, noting an on-chain auction of an on-chain monkey NFT that raised 12.5 ETH. The proceeds from the auction went to UNICEF’s Giga Connect project, which brings internet to schools around the world.

“Another example of storytelling,” continued Terry, “Last Saturday Julia Landauer was the only female driver at a NASCAR race and we have a chain monkey on her car, we designed racing jackets that Fred Segal sells 95% of the Proceeds go to Julia and 5% to a non-profit STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) organization that wants to support her.”

Primrose describes his book series The Lost Children of Andromeda as a path to freedom through literature. And while having millions of followers is something, having a dedicated community of readers is more important and attainable.

“[Having] A thousand to two thousand people who want to read and consume my stories, that’s a livelihood,” he said. “People can do that.”

Primrose says the plan for the Lost Children ecosystem is to create a community that can continuously write stories and that invests in the growth of the world because they are a part of it. Primrose envisions this community as a tokenized read-to-earn system where readers can earn collectibles from their favorite books by reading their stories.

The goal of Artemysia-X is to democratize storytelling and not hide it in corporate units. “Culture is a story,” added Artemysia-X, “everything we interact with is based on a matrix of stories; the people who tell the stories are the ones who create our concepts of reality and self.”

Looking at the current crop of standalone “metaverses” being developed today, Primrose said the idea behind Web3 is about freedom. Nevertheless, Primrose asks how free we can be when we lock ourselves into digital worlds.

According to Primrose, the goal should be to create a place where people can explore virtual worlds, connect with others, and thrive.

“The philosophy behind Web3 is interesting and a bit utopian,” said Primrose. “But when we’re trapped in our own mind, it doesn’t matter what freedoms are accessible outside of us.”

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