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Hidden Treasure in the Arcade: A Star Chosen Story

Hidden Treasure in the Arcade - A Star Chosen Story by Joe Chiappetta
Hidden Treasure in the Arcade is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta available on MakersPlace. It's also a short story from the Star Chosen science fiction universe.

Hidden Treasure in the Arcade

A Star Chosen short story by Joe Chiappetta

It was the day before all the books in the world were destroyed. Historians would be discussing this day for ages to come. Yet most people had little regard for the day before all the books were destroyed. How could they? History had been literally erased in a diabolical plot. With technology too complex and stealth-patented to explain, the old order of things had effectively vaporized.

Nevertheless, for one particular old man, the day before all the books were destroyed just happened to be a day he was inspired to try something grand. While no one knew it yet, half the people would come to love the old man for what he was about to do. The other half would hate him for it.

The man had converted his small garage into a video arcade game center. The curious would trickle in to play for a bit, more as something new to do rather than for love of the games. In a roped-off corner of this cluttered garage, the old man, as a skilled programmer (at least in the old languages), took to the task of repairing one of these old video arcade game consoles. The game was old; he was old: two relics nurturing each other.

In the process of replacing corroded wires, springs, and computer chips, the old man wondered what would happen if he hid a digital copy of his favorite book at the tail end of the final level of the video game he was repairing. They used to call such hidden treasures "Easter Eggs." But the old man just called it common sense. With the ever-expanding presence of virtual and augmented reality tech, people were not reading books anymore--in any format. Moreover, all ancient paper copies of books had long since been burned, recycled (for building materials), or disintegrated into scraps of discarded dust. Any digital book, audio book, or article was regarded by the majority as wasted data. Literacy was an endangered species; yet no one seemed to care. 

Therefore the old man figured that perhaps someone will read a book if it were a reward incorporated into a video game. It was a novel idea. He wondered how many novel ideas he had left. He wanted this one to matter. So he silently voiced the briefest of prayers; "Please God, make my work matter... for something big... something good."

The old man knew that coding a book into a game made by another company was not lawful: it was an intellectual property violation. But who could stop him? Physical arcade games of a bygone age were not connected to the Internet, so his project was entirely off the grid. 

Then who would ever discover this secret? Who could find the hidden gem he cunningly planted? Only those who would play and win the very game he repaired. Such a person would be rewarded for their time, effort, skill, and respect for "ancient" arcade games. It was his gift to humanity, if humanity would accept it.

The old man wanted to leave behind a legacy of... something great: something worthy of preserving and discovering. He pondered, "Isn't that a normal response to this life?" Little could the man dream that his geeky, quiet, yet bold actions would become a beacon of hope, inspiring generations to come. 

At first he thought repairing and restoring old arcade games would be respected and appreciated by the rest of society: one dinosaur preserving another. Sadly, he was wrong. The addictive nature of virtual reality and its derivative products made all other activities appear boring... at least boring to those addicted... and that accounted for the vast majority of the population: but not the old man. Virtual reality gave him intense headaches and vertigo. The rest of the world saw it as a curse. He knew it to be a blessing. 

So without fanfare, or epic background music, or slow motion coolness, the old man completed his technical work. Any player bold enough to make it past level 12 of the old man's renovated arcade game was in for a surprisingly spiritual experience. Some would find it odd and walk away with indifference. Yet some would come back for more. A pixelated book cover popped up on screen. Just below this, a yellow dialog box scrolled slowly along the bottom of the screen:
"Press flashing red button to turn the living and active pages of... The Holy Bible."

The Art-Arcade Atmosphere on Blockchain

The Art-Arcade Atmosphere on Blockchain by Joe Chiappetta, crypto artist
The Art-Arcade Atmosphere on Blockchain is rare digital art available on MakersPlace.

The Art-Arcade Atmosphere on Blockchain:
Commending Good Crypto Galleries and Gaming Projects

No one really needs to know what a good crypto gallery is, or a good crypto gaming project is... but once you do know, such tech innovations sure do open up a whole new world of opportunities! Both for entertainment purposes as well as for collecting digital art, an impressive amount of development is happening. Short for "cryptocurrency," crypto-galleries and crypto-gaming platforms are part of a growing international ecosystem that uses cryptocurrency to quickly pay for things like digital art or game items. Indeed, it's not that you need to know this, but many are already having fun with it as well as building unique businesses around it. Perhaps you should too.

Every complex ecosystem comes with many diverse and rapidly operating parts. It is a fragile balance. Think of one button in a video game arcade. Remove that button from the game, and game play is ruined. Besides, not many could wire that button back into the game effectively. Now add such sensitivity to the complexity of all the games in an arcade. On top of that, add a diversity of players, with all the unpredictability that comes with human nature. It's a whole universe of intricate pieces in a delicate balance, yet producing an unforgettable (and usually pretty cool) atmosphere.

Such balance of ecosystem parts is also the case with art and gaming on the blockchain. Many of today's collectors want their collection to be mobile, rare, transferable, valuable, auction-able, visible, highly promoted, secure... and the list goes on. Blockchains like Counterparty, Ethereum, and EOS provide key features for such an ecosystem. The cryptocurrencies that fuel these networks add to the mystique of "Hey look at me; I'm using weird, futuristic internet money." Yet beyond this gut-level appeal, there is a depth of true innovation going on underneath the hood.

Developing a cryptocurrency application that serves as a marketplace for rare digital art and gaming items is one thing--and a significant thing it is. Designing this marketplace to also be user-friendly, fast, respectable, compliant, and secure is quite another thing. Attracting engaged community members and customers is yet another thing: as is forging great partnerships, and of course, funding the project until it becomes self-sustaining.

The list of essential project components that lead to success is no small ensemble. There's also retaining customers and partners, moderating those who violate the project's terms of service, scheduling public events, managing team members and bounty programs, building cross-blockchain payment systems as well as payment systems for those wanting to pay in traditional currency, educating new customers, maintaining government compliance as laws change... and the list keeps going on and on.

Reflecting upon these moving parts, I must commend a number of projects for tackling these elements with perseverance. While there are more than these 3 that are worthy of attention, I focus on these because I have the most personal experience with their products, team members, and community.
  • EverdreamSoft Crystal Suite: operates Spells of Genesis, one of the oldest (and still great) blockchain games, as well as a diverse rare digital art gallery with wide gamer appeal
  • MakersPlace: a most user-friendly and versatile rare digital art gallery, also doing innovative things to gamify the collecting of art
  • pixEOS: operates 7 active blockchain games, with a rare digital art gallery in the works

Has each project mastered every aspect of the points I highlighted? No... not yet. However, each project listed here does have real working products now. They also have a vision aligned with those above-mentioned points, as well as implementation and/or plans to back it up. As alluded to earlier, I can say these things with confidence since I am active in all of these communities, and a grateful user/artist/collector on each of their respective platforms.

So keep "blockchainizing" the arcades of today. Keep building in a delicate balance where none have built before. Keep creating a future that those who come later will thank you for.

Joe Chiappetta

Once Upon a Time in Pasadena

Once Upon a Time in Pasadena is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta
Once Upon a Time in Pasadena is rare digital art available on MakersPlace.

Once upon a time in Pasadena, I found an American bridge to Mediterranean delights.
I found that every street can be more amazing than the next.
I found that a mountain backdrop makes everything wonderful.

Once upon a time in Pasadena, I found whales of fortune riding waves of home pricing.
I found all that glitters is not gold... it's also wildfire, sushi and real estate.
I found that fancy cars--both old and new--are as common as palm trees.

Once upon a time in Pasadena, I found the earth quake under my feet, and life goes on.
I found that people freak out more over a little rain than they probably should.
I found that persistently pleasant weather is not the best character-builder.

Once upon a time in Pasadena, I found a history of America I never knew.
I found the lure of fame and Hollywood appear to be just a stone's throw away.
I found talented people to be a dime-a-dozen, singing sadder songs than they should be singing.

Once upon a time in Pasadena, I found that rich cities still desperately need God.
I found more homeless people than there should be.
I found humanity.

Once upon a time in Pasadena, I found a man, and his wife, desperately needing God.
I found humility.
I found the real me.

Joe Chiappetta

Beach Perspective

Beach Perspective is rare digital art by Joe Chiappetta
Beach Perspective by Joe Chiappetta is available as rare digital art on MakersPlace.

"Beach Perspective" is crypto art that takes the concept of disguise to deep and dizzy levels! Welcome to some very experimental artwork. It is my favorite kind to make. It is art that says, "Go to the beach," in the same breath as it also declares, "Make digital art," while also promoting a powerful message through the reading of comics!

This is what happens when I combine more than a few of my favorite things. Hopefully I gave birth to something wonderful, or at least pretty cool. It is rare digital art with a simple lesson about changing your perspective to change your life. I have written whole books about such topics in the past, and I suppose I am overdue to visualize the concept of perspective change here in this artwork.

As I recall all the times I have grown in my life, one of the main elements that was the trigger to growth was changing my perspective. Once I could see things clearer, or from a more comprehensive perspective, change would almost naturally follow. Similar to how knowing a superhero's secret identity changes your whole perspective about that character, removing the disguises we wear and being real helps us come to grips with the deeper truths of this life, in all their glory and sorrow.

Like the shifting sands, it is with a fleeting yet flashy glory that this art has come together. Drawing on sand, do-it-yourself collage mentality, animation, generative art, fake high-tech gadgets, found objects, superhero secret identities, cryptocurrency logos, inspirational phrases, and comics are all highly favorite topics of mine. Rarely do I employ every one of these themes into one loaded piece of art. Indeed, before now I was not sure if such a thing could (or should) be done. Yet here I have combined them all for my enjoyment--and I hope--yours too.

Speaking of enjoyment, the character drawn on the sand (at Long Beach, California) is very loosely based on the pixEOS logo. Of course, the real pixEOS logo does not have ocean shells for teeth or plastic Easter eggs for eyeballs. Regarding pixEOS, that crypto project has a highly entertaining blockchain game center with something for everyone. My favorite game so far is called pixEOS Paint Arcade. It can be found in pixEOS Game Center. In that retro-style arcade game, you move around colored shapes until they fit just right. I suppose I appreciate the game so much because that's exactly what I do when I make art: move shapes around in pursuit of a victory.

Joe Chiappetta

Silly Daddy Costs Money

Silly Daddy Costs Money is a rare digital art comic on MakersPlace by Joe Chiappetta
Silly Daddy Costs Money is available on MakersPlace as rare digital art.

I love my children. That's what parents do. In the course of that love, money (much money) will be spent on them, providing for their needs and getting them extra gifts. This also is a typical fact of parenting.

Yet since no parent is made entirely of money, we need to be frugal about when to spend money on our kids, and when to get things done without spending money. Such is the context of a recurring conversation that I've had with one of my dear children. We would be talking about what we wanted to do together for quality time. I would suggest free things (like a hike) while she would suggest costly things (like going shopping).

With such a conversation fresh in mind, the following Silly Daddy comic strip came to life. It's the fabric of my personal story. This is my life. Yet for many a parent, it is probably your life too.

Joe Chiappetta