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Church Mad About Virtual Church

Jun
10

According to BBC NEWS , the Church of England has taken exception to the use of the interior of one of its churches in the PlayStation 3 game, “Resistance: Fall of Man”.

Fair enough, they don’t like the idea of space aliens getting their brains blown out in a church.

To my mind, what bares further investigation is this quote in the  story:

“Sony described the game as being set ‘in an alternate and mythical version of Europe in the 1950’s, in which the enemy are strange looking alien invaders seeking to destroy humanity’. Earlier, David Wilson, a Sony spokesman, told The Times newspaper: “It is game-created footage, it is not video or photograph’.”

This raises all kinds of questions about the rights to material, organization, sense of place and imagination. Consider, would the Church have the same issue if they would have simply altered the geometry to make the game church different from the real church? What if they pained the stone to give it an “alternate reality” veneer? Or, what if the fighting occurred on the streets, but never entered the church?

What kinds of rights can a person or entity hold with regards to images and represenations of a place? Does anyone know?

UPDATE

The Wardman Wire » Video Game Battle between Sony and Manchester Cathedral: The Legal Angle

There
have been some efforts to make copyright of “Building Designs” stick.
Mainly to prevent iconic architects’ designs being copied. In practice,
plans are copyright but external views can be photographed.

This site has some good coverage of the issue.

Again, the issue here that interests me is the legal protection of an image of a place. This is a two-part question–because the protection is not just of the image, in the way that I can certainly copyright a picture I take of the Eiffel Tower, but of the picture AND the place.

The Welsh Myst

Jun
09

The Welsh Myst

Barry Atkins offered this image on his blog SHUSH along with this bit of descriptions:

“I took this last time I actually got out to see some of the beautiful countryside we live in. Phone camera picture, unfortunately, it really struck me that it was an arrangement of features that shouted ‘game’ to me. As far as I could work out the thing that looks like a huge overflow plug hole is… a huge overflow plug hole. Better than a Narnia wardrobe or a great big glowing gate to signal a possibility of an imminent somewhere else. Nice rickety steel gangway right over the top of the plug hole to the austere tower where something waits.”

Whether you read this image as showing that real life is more like Myst than you thought, that environments can be always be viewed as fundamentally lugological or whether game designers should just try harder, it’s an interesting image. And it would make a cool Tony Hawk level too.

Videogames — One Word or Two

Jun
08

As I mentioned, we completed the “Videogame Style Guide and Reference Manual” and have the eBook version available.

In the next few days, I plan on posting up an in-depth FAQ on the International Game Journalists  Association site explaining  a lot of the rationale behind the guide and answer questons such as: “How can you dare to issue this style guide when it has errors in it?

But the big one i want to address is why we chose videogame as one word rather than two.

I’ll get to that rational on the IGJA site. For now, I’m curious–why should it be 2 words, like so many people seem to want?

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