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LONG BLOG

Explaining the insanity around Gamechangers.

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So as you Might have seen Rockstar commented about Gamechangers, they're also suing the BBC over it. So I think it's worth wading into this mess to see what's going on and talk about the show.

BBC presented Gamerchangers as a factual drama and claimed that some scenes and parts had been changed for increased dramatic effect.

If Rockstar are to be believed they took some pretty huge liberties with events.

So first the actual show itself. It was alright. If you have a relative or some-one who has no idea of Jack Thompson etc you can show them it to give them a vague idea who he is and what went on. It's mildly entertaining (look the BBC's output has far lower points than this). I will say it may have been a bit more Harsh on Sam Houser showing him as a bit coarse and abrasive but ultimately showing him as an artist chasing his vision. The show also seem to show Jack Thompson in a bit more of a sympathetic light and downplayed quite how nuts he went at points and almost entirely ignoring Jack Thompson going after other companies too about the only real show of Thompsons nasty streak were in side mentions and a short scene where he organises a protest outside of Rockstar.

 I don't think there was really anything to be up in arms over as some developers seem to think. It did to game development what the film hackers did to the idea of being a hacker.

 Now plenty of people have been directing a few bits of well disgust at Rockstars reaction to this and as such I think even not knowing Sam Houser and Rockstar I can shed some light over some of the matters and the reason for the lawsuit.

 Firstly as dumb as it sounds Rockstar had to sue the BBC under US law. Sounds dumb right but part of the US copyright system means that any time your Intellectual Property is used without your permission you must defend it or it could set a precedent.

Bethesda most likely didn't want to Sue Mojang over the use of Scrolls but in the US legal system Scrolls being allowed to exist unchallenged would mean that Bethesda were setting a precedent that anyone could use the name scrolls. So if some Greenlight yahoo unity game came out called The Bellder Scrolls then due to the precedent set of Mojang Scrolls going unchalleneged it would give the yahoo a legal defence for his games name. Dumb I know but hey that's the US legal system.

The reason Rockstar is suing the BBC is because the BBC didn't get permission to use the Rockstar name, The Logo and the name of the property Grand Theft Auto. That's most likely part of the present lawsuit and Rockstar had no real choice as to not challenge it would allow someone to set up as Cockstar studios making Band Theft Auto and have legal ammo to then defend against a copyright claim.

The second part is having gone through what it has and the present climate surrounding games and the idea they can cause harm in the real world (now influencing people's views like a shady puppet master than outright programming them) Rockstar are likely on edge. The BBC have been accused of biased reporting in the past such as the infamous Atheism+ blockbot of undesirables, which I'm proud to announce I'm considered a level 1 threat (level 3 being the top) on. Let's just say Rockstar were worried that the corpse of Jack Thompson's campaign might be brought back, a new depending on how this was portrayed. That is if it did present it as Thompson being right and them being monsters.

For them Thompson represented an actual threat to destroy them and they really didn't want something showing his fight as some great righteous fight against a company of pure evil. What we got more in the show was showing the clash between the self righteous Bible thumping Thompson calling for help from God on a Golf Course (pictured above) and the somewhat free creative youth spirit and dedication to art of Sam Houser and Rockstar.

So there we go I've dug into what's gone on or at least what I think has and the far more likely reason Rockstar actually sued the BBC over what amounts to BBC doing to game development what Hackers did to code junkies.

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About Dwarvenhobbleone of us since 8:33 AM on 06.19.2012

A qualified Environmental Chemist who happens to live in a fairly dense city with no real environment or chemistry industry.

I review indie games on another blog and you'll see them pop up here if I think the review is a good or interesting one (along with a shameless bit of self promotion)

I also operate another blog reviewing films and I mean t pick that back up when I can.

I've been gaming since the SNES days. I've been in the pro scene before for tribes 2 but hate the present pro scenes and have no interest in going back into it.

I tend to get into quite a few Betas and love ones without NDA as it means I can write about them. I have even beta tested an xbox 360 game in my time (and no not a normal public Beta one )

In gaming I'm normally the guy looking at the shelf below the AAA titles first to see if there are any great hidden gems.

My gaming drug of choice: Timesplitters in any flavour (Why won't you make Timesplitters 4 Crytek, why ????? I need my fix of insanity )
Xbox LIVE:hobblejp
Steam ID:dwavenhobble


 

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