Happy New Year! And Now, The Best Of Game Front In 2013
The last year saw lots of troubling news about the rights of consumers and gamers. While the eventually-modified Xbox One console was the most famous, three stories in particular stood out as especially interesting.
The Arrest of Justin Carter
Perhaps the most disturbing of all was that of the Kafkaesque nightmare endured by League of Legends player Justin Carter. After making an intemperate joke during a Facebook argument that an unrelated observer chose to take as a completely serious terrorist threat, Carter was arrested and held for months in the Texas penal system without trial or effective representation. The still-ongoing court battle has potentially serious implications for free speech online, and last summer we dug into it at length, talking to Carter’s attorney about the whole mess.
CISPA, The Zombie SOPA
We’ve also been paying attention to repeated attempts by Congress and certain copyright holders to drastically curtail rights online. Most notorious was CISPA, the cousin of SOPA and PIPA (two bills which failed to pass in late 2011) that in some ways went even further than its predecessors did. Fortunately, CISPA legislation ultimately died in the Senate in late April, but not before it passed the House of Representatives handily, demonstrating that there remains widespread support for break-the-internet legislation. After the law passed the House, we delved into the matter, discussing the need for vigilance by gamers and other tech savvy citizens interested in preserving an open Internet.
Read it here: CISPA Passes House – Is it Time For Gamers To Panic?
Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc.
But it wasn’t all bad or scary news. We also saw a rare victory when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the first sale doctrine in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc. The whole complicated mess is worth digging into, but the long story short of it is that SCOTUS could have ruled in a way that destroyed the legality of buying and selling used games, among many, many other terrible outcomes, but it didn’t.
Read it here: Gamers Rejoice: SCOTUS Upholds First Sale Doctrine
Graphics. You like ‘em. We like ‘em. So we made more than a few of them throughout the year. Here are a few of our favorites, from lamenting the end of “Breaking Bad” to mocking failed Kickstarters.
The Very First Steam Machine Ad (GRAPHIC)
This steampunk mockery of Valve’s upcoming game console should have been real, but it wasn’t. Still, we encourage you to wear a top hat when you get your own Steam Machine.
If Grand Theft Auto: Breaking Bad Existed (Graphic)
The title says it all: we took inspiration from a joke made earlier this year and mocked up pages from the GTA: Breaking Bad strategy guide.
If Game Kickstarters Were Honest
In the wake of spectacular Kickstarter flameouts, most notably the news that Broken Age would be released incomplete despite Double Fine’s having received nearly triple the money it said was necessary to finish the game, we made parody a Kickstarter pitch. The sad thing is that it’s probably more likely to get made than 50 percent of real Kickstarters.