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Day 24 of 365: Using Video Games As Protest

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][custom_headline type=”center” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″ accent=”true”]Using Video Games As Protest[/custom_headline][text_output]I rarely get involved in anything like protests.  In the modern era, a loose group of people protesting has very little effect on overall situations, and often just creates a group of people (themselves) that become vilified by the group they are protesting, who usually tends to be more powerful.  They turn around and use that power to convince other people to take side against the protesters.  For example, look at Occupy:  they protested against the largest companies in the world.  Those guys managed to get press to cover Occupy as “unemployed scum” who had nothing better to do, and didn’t represent the real world.

In the end, neither side really won anything – Occupy still continues, and the issues brought up with banking still continue.

Now, that’s not to say all modern physical protests have no effect.  In the last couple of years, we’ve seen governments topple because of protests that sparked all out rebellion.  But, in general, it’s a great deal less effective then people hope it would be.

That’s not the only form of protest.  There’s everything from art, to writing articles, to organizing calls to your Congressman.  And it seems like some of those forms of protest see better results sometimes.

This is one of those times I’m sufficiently ticked off enough to join in on a protest.  But, it’s in the virtual marketplace, and it’s using video games.  Lemmie explain the background on this:

Trademark law is a piece of crap.  It has been for quite a while.  And, from time to time, some jerk comes up with the idea of trademarking generic words (keep in mind, trademarks are for unique service marks, and on rare occasion, unique combinations of words.)  Trademarks do serve a purpose, and oddly, the original purpose wasn’t to protect business alone, it was to protect the consumer, too.  For instance, if I trademarked “Jim Dandy’s All Purpose Sniffing Ales”, no one else can use it in the marketplace.  When someone is looking for a sniffing ale, and they see Jim Dandy’s brand, they know exactly which manufacturer it came from.  It protects them from a knock-off product that may or may not be of inferior quality.

Now, what happens if someone creates, say, “Jim Dany’s All Purpose Sniffing Ales”?  There’s a “test” for trademarks, called “Moron In A Hurry” – basically, if two products are side by side, will a moron in a hurry grab the wrong one?  If so, kiss your butt goodbye, Jim Dany.   That’s trademark infringement.

So, I explain all this crud for a reason.  Someone has now trademarked the word Candy.  And the word Saga.  Yes, a old norse word, they trademarked it after ages of use.  Anyway, now they’re using that as a way of attacking other game developers, despite the fact that the word Candy has been used in a number of other games before.  And, well, Saga.

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Someone started a cool little thing: The Candy Jam.  Game Jams are where a bunch of authors put together games along a single theme, or, within a certain timeframe (or, other various qualifications.)  I dislike trademark abusers, and I dislike patent trolls.  So, I’m taking a stand in my own little, financially rewarding way.

Candy Apple Snake Saga
Candy Apple Snake Saga – prototype version. I’ll be throwing out real details of it in the next couple of days.

Let me show you a prototype screenshot from Candy Apple Snake Saga… 🙂

I’ve had a very stylized version of snake laying around for a while, with nothing particularly interesting to do with it.  Now, however, it serves as my own little form of protest.  Instead of loafing, writing, or working at lunch for the last couple of days, I’ve been doing up graphics for the game.  Just a couple bits and pieces here, a couple there.  I’m about five pieces from being done.  Then, import ’em all in to the engine, and do levels.  Boom, done.  And it’s a really, really simple game style 🙂

And, yes, my protest comes with a pricetag.  $.99 for iOS, Android, and Ouya, and probably versions for Mac OS X and Windows.  I’ve already got all the tech laying around to ship ’em, so why not 🙂

Sure, it’s not a big protest, and it’s not going to individually do a whole lot.  But, sometimes, we work with what we have 🙂

My opinion of King, and their new trademarks...
My opinion of King, and their new trademarks…
[/text_output][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][line][custom_headline type=”center” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h2″ accent=”true”]Today’s Stats[/custom_headline][text_output]
  • Workouts: 0 Points
  • Cigarettes Smoked:  20 Points – Still Not Smoking 🙂
  • Healthy Eating:  2 Points (had a burger for lunch, and a highly unhealthy snack.)

Projects Worked on:

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