Graphic Gore, Blockchain Style

A new digital horse racing technology powered by the blockchain opens up a world of intriguingly gruesome possibilities.

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God’s earth is here to serve

So that each may prosper off the fruits of the lord’s creation, God instructed Noah to carry animals to safety from the flood to be monetized by future generations. Images of animals like Simba (Disney’s ‘The Lion King’), Babar, and Babe the pig exist to transpose the animal world onto ageless, sexless, consequenceless universes where puritanical life lessons abound. Live animals serve as attractions to be gawked at in zoos and stock shows, and competitors to pit against one another in competitions of physical superiority. Animated, voice-actored, violent or placid, animals make good money.

Pictured: “Noah’s Ark on the Mount Ararat” by Simone de Myle, 1570. Not a bible guy, but no way Noah built this ship without the help of hundreds of slaves.  

Feels good to be bad

It’s the violence we’re focusing on this week. Animals have served their purpose as genderless proxies for human moralism, and things to be looked upon in captivity--I propose doubling down on the violence. I’d like to know if two well-bred pitbulls could defeat a lion. How many people using their bare hands does it take to defeat an alligator? Is there a number of rats who could vanquish a hyena in battle? Thanks to THE BLOCKCHAIN there’s an exciting way to find out, and even more excitement to be had by betting on finding out.

There’s major appeal in animals fighting each other: cockfights, dogfighting, bullfighting, hog-dog fighting, UFC, football and others I probably haven’t heard of exist because transgression, in this case violence, is titillating. Viewing violence, we get to tap into carnal impulses without actually embarking into violence. What makes most animal fighting illegal, and dissuades most from partaking, is the cruelty and violence the participants are subjected to. The lack of agency on the part of the animals makes it even harder to stomach. 

Virtually a good idea

In 2019, Virtually Human, a digital studio in Australia, released their game entitled Zed Run.  Zed Run is a universe unto itself, albeit one oriented around horse racing: players are able to purchase, breed, and race digital horses. 

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Verification of horse ownership and transfers of ownership rely on NFT technology. NFT technology is powered by blockchain technology. To purchase and breed, you need to pay in Ethereum, a digital currency also powered by blockchain technology. This is all to say, there’s a lot of technology behind Zed Run’s ensuring races are fair and ownership is protected. If you want to learn more about NFT, Ethereum, or the blockchain, go to an Andrew Yang rally or visit the Tesla subreddit.

About horse racing, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has to say:

“Behind the romanticized façade of Thoroughbred horse racing is a world of injuries, drug abuse, gruesome breakdowns, and slaughter. While spectators show off their fancy outfits and sip mint juleps, horses are running for their lives.”

In the five years leading up to 2019, 5,000 racehorses suffered racing-related deaths. Spectator descriptions aside, it feels like PETA might be right, horse racing is inhumane. Zed Run is an alternative to not just bet on horses without subjecting them to inhumane conditions, it’s also great for people who would otherwise be left out of purchasing a horse to breed and race--the average cost of a racehorse is $76,612--to get in on the action.

According to the Zed Run website, all races are fair:

The core reason for building ZED on the blockchain is to ensure a provably fair racing system for users within the community. All race outcomes are determined by a dynamic algorithm to ensure races are exciting, fair and of course, unpredictable.

What makes the horses valuable are their bloodlines, the better the bloodline, the stronger the horse for racing and breeding. Mixing bloodlines through breeding augments strengths like short-track speed, power, and distance ability. To account for these strengths, like real races, the ones in Zed Run are also handicapped:

ZED’s dynamic algorithm will automatically be applied and weighted to all races to balance the field and to ensure a level of unpredictability, fairness and excitement to all racehorse owners.  

The combination of fair and handicapped competition amongst tradable digital assets opens up a range of gruesome possibilities. There’s already existing scientific data on which animals are fastest and strongest. The most recent generations of gaming engines combined with state of the art computer generated imagery would make for harmlessly blood-soaked entertainment. Lay whatever algorithm makes the horse racing fair and handicappable over these violent, more enjoyable ends, and all of a sudden animal fighting becomes both socially acceptable and economically inclusive.

Pictured: Who would win??

And, to ensure the platform doesn’t get overrun by eugenicists keen to play out race-war fantasies, there would only be one genderless made-up race of humans. 

With the aid of the blockchain, we can transport ourselves sideways in time to a medieval future where animals and humans masticate, and fornicate, all of the sake of our entertainment. Along the way, we’ll cultivate new digital addictions that by way of being economically inclusive, allow for greater ownership and participation on the part of bettors. And far more interesting.


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