PleasrDAO to Launch Game Show Featuring Snowden and Ellsberg
Legendary Whistleblowers Make NFT Debut in January
By: Owen Fernau •NFT News
PleasrDAO, an organization which spontaneously spawned to collectively buy a coveted NFT in 2021, is getting into show business.
The new offering, called PleasrHouse, is billed as a “live interactive art auction show,” and the first guests on the show are an illustrious pair of whistleblowers — Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency, and Daniel Ellsberg, known for revealing the equally explosive Pentagon Papers in 1971, which contained previously secret and incriminating information about the Vietnam War.
Snowden’s “Stay Free”
Set to air on Jan. 12, the show will culminate in the auction of an NFT called “Wouldn’t You Go To Prison To Help End This War?” The name comes from Ellsberg’s response to a reporter’s question about whether the former military analyst was concerned that he would be imprisoned for exposing the true intentions the Johnson Administration had for involving itself in the Vietnam War.
Half of the money raised from the NFT will go to the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the other half to the Daniel Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy. Snowden will join the show from Moscow, and Ellsberg from Berkeley, California.
Jamis Johnson, PleasrDAO’s chief “pleasing” officer, told The Defiant that PleasrHouse would borrow elements from other shows like Saturday Night Live and Adult Swim while also mixing in the intimacy of a podcast.
PleasrDAO has built a platform specifically for the show, which Johnson described as “Twitch meets Sotheby’s meets the Tonight Show.”
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NFTs have generally stuttered beyond the collecting phase. There’s a certain “now-what” feeling once an organization or individual buys an NFT. With projects like BasedAF by The Defiant’s former head of video, Robin Schmidt, gaining steam and now PleasrHouse venturing deeper into creating experiences around NFTs, the tokens may be unlocking some of the cultural relevance their supporters have espoused.
“I think the beginning of PleasrDAO was more focused on collecting, but we have long wanted to basically explore some Willy Wonka ideas that are built on-chain and be more of an entity that gives back and creates some fun things,” Johnson said.
Uniswap V3 NFT
Still image from pplpleasr’s Uniswap V3 video
PleasrDAO then acquired Snowden’s “Stay Free” NFT in April 2021 for $5.5M. Proceeds went to the Freedom of the Press Foundation and essentially doubled the non-profit’s budget overnight, Johnson said.
Johnson said he sees Ellsberg’s “Wouldn’t You Go To Prison To Help End This War?” as a spiritual successor to Snowden’s “Stay Free.”
Looking ahead, Johnson declined to share details of PleasrDAO’s future plans but did seem excited about the future of PleasrHouse.
“We have some really good potential episodes lined up,” he said. “But nothing that I’m at liberty to speak about today.”
For now, Johnson is anticipating an interesting Thursday night. “It’s gonna be a really fun opportunity to ask Edward Snowden some questions that otherwise probably wouldn’t be asked,” he said.