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Category — Humour

Pointeless Waste of Time: Games Manifesto

Categories: Featured ArticlesHumourStartup Game Developer Issues

This is a terrific article that I had to pass on. It outlines many of the pet-peeves that us gamers have with game developers – the many cheats used by developers to save time, artificially expand game play etc. Gamers hate these things. Game developers should take a serious look at this list.

I most relate to:

  • Item 6 – Save Points: Since all consoles in this generation have hard drives, there is no excuse not to have user-selectable save points. I am an adult. If I found it fun and challenging to play an entire levels without saving, I could choose to do that. But I submit that the increasingly aging gamer demographic does not find it fun to play the same thing over and over due to deficient save point planning by game developers. The lack of decent autosave points or user selectable save-points is the primary reason I abandon otherwise good games.
  • Item 12, para 7 – Unnecessarily Difficult End Levels: I thoroughly enjoyed Gears of War and had EVERY intention of playing the entire game again on the harder level until I had to fight RAAM (the final boss) over and over and over. It took me hours to figure out what was necessary to kill this guy. The arbitrariness of this fight is silly in the extreme. The game gives you no indication as to what is required to kill him and how much effort, of which type, it will take to kill him. This final boss fight was so off-putting that I no longer intend to play the game through on the harder level because the last thing I want is to finish the game and find I can’t kill the final boss on the harder level. Cliffy! Watch the end of Halo 1 for an example of a perfect ending level! Back to EB goes Gears for trade-in!

I would also add:

  • Escort Missions Should be Outlawed: If the character being escorted would actually accept orders from the player to hide somewhere, stay behind until beckoned, shoot at the enemy etc. it wouldn’t be so bad. But too many games require the gamer to escort a hapless character that will not take direction and repeatedly gets himself/herself killed for no fault of the gamer.

I can’t complain about the “Short-sighted Business Bull***” mentioned in item 15. If this were solved there would be almost no raison d’etre for this blog. :) And, as for me, wooden crates really don’t bother me all that much!

Warning!: The author uses both humorous and explicit language in this manifesto.

Source: PointlessWasteofTime

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ESRB Sues Kotaku over Link to ESRB Parody T-Shirt

Categories: Cease & DesistHumourTrademark Cases

The ESRB is apparently demanding that Kotaku remove a post on their website describing and depicting a T-Shirt that parodies the ESRB logo (see the offending logo on the t-shirt depicted to the left). Despite being notified by Kotaku that the post is editorial content and not an advertisement for the sale of a T-shirt, the ESRB continues to demand the removal of the post. The ESRB demand letter states, in part:

We believe that this t-shirt ad will result in consumer confusion, and a substantial likelihood that the ESRB certification marks will face tarnishment and dilution.

Dale’s Comment: I personally don’t get the parody joke. Unfortunately the current state of trademark law is such that the trademark owner must fiercely protect its mark or face loosing it. This is an area of IP law that I believe is ripe for reform. The recent spat of “pod” related lawsuits brought by Apple against any company or service including ‘pod’ in their corporate, product or service name is another example of this silliness. Chris Bennet at the law firm of Davis & Company wrote this interesting blog entry on the topic. While the ESRB may have a case against the t-shirt manufacturer (and even that, I believe, is a tenuous case), they would have a much tougher time in any legal action brought against Kotaku based on this editorial post because Kotaku is not using the parodied logo in commerce. It merely comments on the existence of the shirt in a blog post. Trademark law is designed to keep others from using the trademark holder’s marks in commerce – not to keep editorialists from commenting on the existence of items that possibly infringe another’s trademarks.

[Update:] TheBBPS, a one man blog, apparently also received a cease and desist order from the ESRB for a similar blog post and took down the post. Destructoid, still another gaming blog, has seemingly decided to keep its post on the t-shirt up despite also receiving an ESRB cease and desist letter.

Sources: Kotaku | GamePolitics.com | Davis & Company | MMORPG Blog

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Jack Thompson Misfires with Mortal Kombat Cease & Desist Letter

Categories: Cease & DesistCharacter License CasesCopyright CasesHumourJack ThompsonTrademark Cases

The new Mortal Kombat Armageddon game has a built-in character editor. Gamers can mix and match clothing, body types, hairstyles and facial characteristics to create original characters to be played/fought in the game. The enterprising e-zeen Gaming Target posted this story providing character editor formulas for gamers to use to create famous, and infamous, characters including a formula for creating anti-game-violence crusader Jack Thompson.

Jack Thompson, apparently not quite understanding the character editor distinction, sent off a cease and desist letter to Midway, the game’s publisher, with the following contained therein:

“It has today come to my attention that the newly recently Mortal Kombat: Armageddon contains an unauthorized commercial exploitation of my name, photograph, image, and likeness within the game.”

“You are commanded to cease and desist immediately from the distribution of this game because of this unauthorized, illegal content…”

“It would appear that your company has done this at least in part because I sued you all in the Paducah school massacre case and further because I appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 when your company came out with your profane, violent, and idiotic Blitz: The League.”

To be clear, there is no crusading Florida lawyer character that is shipped with the game. On the presumption that Jack Thompson is aware of the Marvel v. NCSoft decision (see linked posts below) which is on point, this demand will likely just fade away once Mr. Thompson realizes what has happened here. The mere inclusion of a character editor does not, in itself, infringe anyone’s IP or personality rights any more than the manufacture and sale of Etch-a-Sketches does.

Sources: GamePolitics.com| Gaming Target | Gamasutra | joystiq | The Inquirer | GameSpot | EuroGamer | GWN | Pro-G | igniq.com

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Congressman Joe Pitts Claims his Video Game Comments were Misportrayed in Daily Show Lampoon

Categories: Game RatingsHumourLegal ReformPolicy AnalysisViolent Game Laws

After raising many eyebrows with his comments, Congressman Joe Pitts claims his statements on the affects of violent video games on children aired in a June 22 Daily Show segment were misportrayed.

Sources: DailyLocal.com | GamePolitics | Joystiq | YouTube Video (snippet)

Click here to view YouTube video.

Dale’s Comment: It’s hard to understand how Congressman’s Pitt’s comments could have been misportrayed. They were aired uncut. This is simply another example of a (probably) well intentioned, aging, out of touch Senator speaking on a subject he does not understand. Sounds like Washington as usual to me.

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Jon Stewart on Congressional Debate over Video Games

Categories: Game RatingsHumourLegal ReformPolicy AnalysisViolent Game Laws

In this Daily Show clip, Jon Stewart lampoons Congressman Joe Pitts’ Lack of understanding of the video game industry, affects of violence on children and the ESRB rating system.

Sources: YouTube Video (snippet) | joystiq | GamePolitics | Gamasutra | GameIndustry.biz

Click here to view YouTube video.

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New Face of Laura Croft – Karima Adebibe

Categories: HumourPersonality Rights Cases

OK, OK, I acknowledge that this is not a legal news story – but can you blame me for covering it :) ?

Sources: Team Xbox  |  Joystiq  |  SPoNG  |  Kotaku  |  EuroGamer  |  Tomb Raider Chronicles  |  Sydney Morning Herold  |  Pocket-Lint  |  CVG  |  1Up.com
Note: Angelina, you’ll be missed!

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