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2020 Rekindled The Obsession Of Collectables

It’s hard to reminisce about 2020 in a positive light. The world-shattering Covid-19 and deep political division are the first to come to mind. It was a year of social distancing, great uncertainty, anti-mask shaming and toilet paper insecurity. You’d be hard-pressed to find a household that managed to escape its grip. 2020, however, was also a year that offered introspection. After all, what else would one do while holed up in a household with three out of class toddlers? Given the opportunity to spend more time with them allowed me to revisit aspects of my own youth with rekindled interest. Personally, that interest came in the form of my sports card collection. 

It could have been a random article that touched on another record breaking Michael Jordan rookie sale, the passing of the late great Kobe Bryant, or just lockdown fatigue. Whatever the case, a trip to the attic was in order… along with it, fragments of my youth. I became obsessed with the value of my collection. Set up a Twitter account specifically for following other card collectors, and quickly abandoned personal accounts. Soon my feed was peppered with card collectors catching the early bull wave of NBA Top Shot. “NBA Top Shot??? What the heck is this? Cubes that spin and produce a highlight? Why would someone pay money for this when I can watch ESPN?!” … Yeah, this was the initial mindset. However the seed was planted, and before I knew it, I was in queue for my first stress test drop.

Memories unfold of watching that timer countdown… staring blankly at the screen waiting for my number to produce felt like a Las Vegas slot machine. Close to 200k in the queue with 10k packs available. Call it rookie luck, but the pack was secured and ripped as soon as it hit the account. There they were… 3 cubes that likely put me where I am today. The first revealed was an Anthony Davis dunk with a market value of $400. Next was a Chris Paul assist… $120. Last was an unfamiliar player, and even that was valued well over the pack barrier of entry. Needless to say… the hooks were sunk deep.

Suddenly the lockdown didn’t feel as isolating. Days were filled consuming NFT content. Stumbled upon Crypto Punks, and their floor at the time blew me away! “They are bought using Eth, and 1 Eth is how much?!” Somehow it all began to make a lot of sense. Perhaps it was sports card collecting, but I was convinced that this was the future of collecting assets… and somehow I found myself positioned at the bottom of the 1st. 

Bored Ape Yacht Club drop was the next Twitter onslaught to hit my timeline. I had been on vacation launch weekend and had not heard of the collection until it had sold out. Some of my followers, however, managed to mint and loved the community they found themselves in. It was clear that a large portion of the NFT community had found themselves priced out of Punks, and were hungry to be a part of something similar. The Apes, in my opinion, hit it out of the park and gave the space a new avatar community to gravitate towards. FOMO hit in a real way. When the Ape floor hit .3-.4 I became very serious about entering. Set up a wallet and purchased Eth directly whenever I could, only to watch the floor rise faster than my wallet could catch it. It was around .8 Eth when the realisation hit that my Ape had sailed away… however, during this time my preferred Twitter follows became the Ape community. It was comments from a group of Apes discussing “I’m an Ape that wants to own some cats … wtf” that lead me to Gutter Cat Gang’s Twitter.

Gutter Cat Gang was exactly my flavour. Beyond sports cards, my youth could be associated with video games and 90’s hip hop. Instantly joined their Discord and became active on that platform for the first time. Welcoming new members and answering the same three questions became a daily routine. The Gutter became my home on the internet… I was taking on the personality of a cat I didn’t own yet. Roleplaying as a blunt smoking vet who had been through it all. Made memes to answer the same questions previously mentioned. Became familiar with some other community members… having some of the best fun I had in a long time. Gutter Cat’s momentum continued to grow daily. Shortly before launch, I was pulled into a room with the development team. There they asked if I wanted to be a part of their mod team. I was shocked and excited at the same time. Discord was still fairly new to me, but I figured I was up for the challenge. I knew my heart was with the community and I’d do what I could for the betterment of the gang. 

Though I was not well versed in building server bots, I found my niece in writing backstories for my Gutter Cat avatars. Those stories caught the eye of the development team. They reached out and said they like my style, and asked if I had an interest in being a part of the upcoming comic book’s story core team. This community has sparked my imagination and curiosity in ways untouched for some time. I am not sure where this NFT journey will take me… but I am thrilled to have a community to grow with. 

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GWP - Gutter Cat Gang Discord Mod and OG. Basketball fan. Collector of things.
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