Epic Games is suing me, says Caleb Rogers

Via Boing Boing: “Epic Games is suing a 14 year old for making a cheat tutorial and his brilliant mother is PISSED“:

Epic Games makes the wildly successful multiplayer free-to-play game Fortnite, which is the locus of a pitched battle between players and publisher over game-mods, especially cheat-hacks that give unfair advantage to some players.

A 14 year old boy named Caleb “Sky Orbit” Rogers made a video in which he demonstrated the use of one of these hacks. In response, the company sent Youtube a heavy-handed copyright takedown, claiming that capturing incidental footage of gameplay was a copyright violation, and that demonstrating the functionality of one of these aftermarket add-ons is also a copyright violation.

Then Caleb Rogers correctly asserted that there was no copyright infringement here….

When Caleb Rogers filed a put-back notice with Youtube that reinstated his video, Epic responded by filing a lawsuit against him, repeating the incorrect claim that Rogers’ video was a copyright infringing derivative work, and claiming that Rogers had formed, and then breached, a contract with Epic by playing their game and then talking about how to cheat in it.

In response, Rogers’ mother, Lauren Rogers, has filed an outstanding memo with the court explaining some of the problems with Epic’s suit….

Epic has claimed that after Caleb Rogers filed his put-back notice on Youtube, they were obliged to sue him, or they’d lose the right to sue other people who did the same thing. This is wrong….

Caleb Rogers did some obnoxious things: cheating, boasting about cheating, then making a video about his takedown in which he said intemperate things about companies.

But you know what’s more obnoxious that 14 year old cheaters? Corporations staffed by grown-ass humans who file lawsuits against 14 year olds that advance absurd theories about copyright, infringement, fair use, contracts, and EULAs. If Epic wins its suit, the precedent it sets will not be limited to corporations who are upset about obnoxious teens — it will establish that capturing incidental footage of games (the heart of Let’s Play videos and innumerable other forms of online communication, criticism and analysis) is a copyright infringement if you hurt some corporate overlord’s feelings in the process.

Caleb’s video: “Epic Games is Suing Me”:

Design Ah!

Design Ah! is a Japanese children’s educational television program.

In 2011, Japan’s NHK television network began broadcasting Design Ah!, a Peabody award-winning children’s educational program that explores different types of creative thinking for viewers of all ages. With an “Ah” that stands for that Ah! moment, as well as for あ, the first character of the Japanese alphabet, the program is full of minimal, rhythmic, well-crafted short clips that don’t shy away from sophistication.

[Source: The Kids Should See This]

http://www.nhk.or.jp/design-ah/

Via Boing Boing: Fun videos teach design concepts to kids.

This may be inspirational for game designers, or fun for their kids, or fun for game designers, or fun for game designers and their kids.

Electronic Arts sues Zynga over game design

The game design industry makes so much money that it must be a prime hunting ground for attack lawyers:

The video game publisher Electronic Arts sued Zynga on Friday, accusing the social gaming company of copying crucial elements of its Sims Social game for Zynga’s own title, The Ville. The lawsuit is the latest in a series of copycat accusations leveled against Zynga, a company that shrugged off similar litigation in the past as it grew into the dominant publisher of games on Facebook.

[New York Times]

Game Design with Kids: An Interview with Charley Miller

Charley Miller is a game designer and producer based in New York City.

Avi Solomon recently interviewed Miller for Boing Boing:
Charley Miller

Avi: What surprised you the most in your work with the kids?

Charley: Kids are typically naturals when it comes to game design and it’s easy to understand why: they know what’s fun and all they want to do is playtest. But what might surprise adults is to know that most children these days are able to wrap their minds around complex systems. That might be thanks to the amount of gaming kids are able to enjoy these days.

Avi: What is the best place to start learning about game design?

Charley: To be a designer, you have to be a player first. Start by playing a variety of games and try to deconstruct the experiences. Start asking yourself questions about why the designer choose certain elements and thinking about how systems are working together to create the dynamics of the game. That should get anyone nice and confused but hopefully stirred to know more.

Game Design with Kids: An Interview with Charley Miller

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