#1 Edited by Snail (8648 posts) -

Okay so,

This game:

  • Has not been discussed in an editorial capacity by any popular news site;
  • Has not been developed by designers included in the Giant Bomb database (apparently it's the only game that "LOADED studio" published/developed";
  • Infringes a ridiculous amount of copyrights.

And this "studio":

  • Has no other games other than the above listed as published/developed in its wiki page.

Am I missing something here? Three of the five editors involved in making these pages have over 5000 points. I don't understand why so many people with so much experience editing this site would allow these pages to exist.

EDIT: Also delete the Blip and Blop character pages. This is so thorough I'm beginning to wonder if I'm wrong, but it can't be. This is one of the least legit-looking things I've ever found on this site. But then again, editors with tens of thousands of points thought it was okay. So... what?

#2 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -

From the MobyGames page:

Of course, a game based on wholesale slaughter is only as wicked as its antagonists, and here developer LOADED Studio has taken an interesting tack, setting up forty sinister derivative versions of much-loved video game protagonists and other paragons of childhood benevolence -- the Smurfs (aka "Snuffs", presumably for copyright reasons), the Care Bears ("Scare Bears"), Pokémon ("Dorkemon"), Snorks, Rayman, Lara Croft, Lemmings (in a bonus stage reminiscent of Lamers), and so forth across 5 levels (and two bonus stages), both as mooks and bosses. And when you and they meet? You'll demonstrate that you've got balls and they've got guts.

#3 Edited by Snail (8648 posts) -

@LordAndrew: I don't understand whether the point you're trying to make is that you think it successfully avoids copyright infringement or that you find it only accomplishes lame unsuccessful attempts at doing so.

Here's a screenshot of the game, in any case. Not that it matters really, this is an obscure, derivative browser game and does not belong in the wiki database. EDIT: And from 2002, no less.

#4 Posted by KamasamaK (2409 posts) -

I'm not sure what site rule you propose this infringes. Unlike Wikipedia, pages here are not required to have a minimum amount of notability proven. An empty credits page doesn't constitute an argument either -- in fact adding the developers to the database/page would be the more appropriate course of action. I also don't think alleged copyright infringement matters.

#5 Posted by ShaggE (6637 posts) -

@Snail said:

Not that it matters really, this is an obscure, derivative browser game and does not belong in the wiki database. EDIT: And from 2002, no less.

It's not a browser game, and age, fame, and quality are irrelevant. The wiki is a database of games, even bad ones.

#6 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -

I am pointing out the infringement you mentioned so other people don't have to go looking themselves. I haven't seen any of it myself so I can't say whether it's possible to defend it as fair use.

#7 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -

@KamasamaK: I recall Jeff saying something about games that infringe copyright not being allowed, but I'll be damned if I can find it.

#8 Posted by KamasamaK (2409 posts) -

@LordAndrew: I hadn't seen/heard that, but even if true, it seems too subjective unless proven in court -- generally required to assert something as actual copyright infringement. Where does parody/homage (e.g. Retro City Rampage) become actual copyright infringement?

#9 Posted by Snail (8648 posts) -

Hm, why did I assume this was a browser game? So that's what I was missing. Feeling pretty dumb about this. According to this page, the rules that I listed above should definitely mark this game for deletion if it was a browser game.

In any case, I can hardly find any information about this game, or its studio. The MobyGames page for LOADED studio is devoid of information with the exception of a link to the studio's homepage that leads here. Also regarding copyright infringement, feast your eyes. This game doesn't seem to even have an official release date. I'm just wondering if we want to have a shady unofficial release like this on the database, simply because it was available for download instead of being playable on newgrounds.

Finally, regarding the subjectivity of copyright infringement, I strongly believe that had this gotten any more popular or been a paid release it would've been "taken to court". It seems to have amassed less than 400 likes on facebook, so it isn't all that surprising that Nintendo, Ubisoft, Sony, or any other company who had a product "parodied" on this game didn't send the developer(s) a cease and desist.

I think the real subjectivity we should be talking about here is where the real difference between browser games and free desktop games (not free-to-play) is.

#10 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -

Hello, Super Mario World. You're looking very ugly today.

There's so much shitty freeware out there, there has to be some rules in place to limit what ends up on Giant Bomb. And I swear that at one point there were rules for games like this.

#11 Edited by Djungelurban (183 posts) -

As someone who played this game back in the day, this, in my opinion, is if not the best, then atleast the run & gun game with the most character and charm that I've ever played, it's not a cheap half assed mobile game-esque concoction. And as far as copyright infringement goes, it's all satirical in nature and therefore most likely goes under fair use. And if you still doubt its quality, it was listed as a "Top Dog" game back on the classic site "Home of the Underdogs". It's just a shame it's so hard to find these days...

EDIT: Actually, I did find it eventually and uploaded it to mediafire to make sure it doesn't disappear. Here's a link. How about downloading it yourself and see whether you think it's worth anything instead of trying to speculate things based on a few random screenshots. Don't worry, it is, and always has been, freeware. And if you have trouble running it, set it to XP compatibility mode.

#12 Edited by Snail (8648 posts) -

@Djungelurban said:

As someone who played this game back in the day, this, in my opinion, is if not the best, then atleast the run & gun game with the most character and charm that I've ever played, it's not a cheap half assed mobile game-esque concoction. And as far as copyright infringement goes, it's all satirical in nature and therefore most likely goes under fair use. And if you still doubt its quality, it was listed as a "Top Dog" game back on the classic site "Home of the Underdogs". It's just a shame it's so hard to find these days...

EDIT: Actually, I did find it eventually and uploaded it to mediafire to make sure it doesn't disappear. Here's a link. How about downloading it yourself and see whether you think it's worth anything instead of trying to speculate things based on a few random screenshots. Don't worry, it is, and always has been, freeware. And if you have trouble running it, set it to XP compatibility mode.

I don't think this website should have all freeware ever released. This game, regardless of its quality, is a copyright infringing piece of software that wasn't even covered in an editorial capacity, and just isn't relevant.

I think it should go.

#13 Posted by Djungelurban (183 posts) -

Feel free to explain why this should go and things like Retro City Rampage, Great Giana Sisters and of those hundreds of C64 and Amiga games Jeff referred to in recent podcasts. Is it just cause these guys were smart enough to realize that they probably shouldn't charge for the game? That's a terrible precedent honestly, freeware is not any less worthy than commercial games, anything else I find elitist. Besides, most of the graphics, with only a few exceptions, are not lifts from other games but redrawn and all of the soundtrack is original. And also, fair use is a very real thing and allows you to use licensed characters for, among other things, satire, where this certainly applies. Gameplay is solid, it's well regarded among those who played it, I'd goes as far as calling it a freeware classic among the likes of Liero and Soldat so what's really the problem here? And besides, how does this being in the database hurt the database?

#14 Edited by Snail (8648 posts) -

@Djungelurban said:

Feel free to explain why this should go and things like Retro City Rampage, Great Giana Sisters and of those hundreds of C64 and Amiga games Jeff referred to in recent podcasts. Is it just cause these guys were smart enough to realize that they probably shouldn't charge for the game? That's a terrible precedent honestly, freeware is not any less worthy than commercial games, anything else I find elitist. Besides, most of the graphics, with only a few exceptions, are not lifts from other games but redrawn and all of the soundtrack is original. And also, fair use is a very real thing and allows you to use licensed characters for, among other things, satire, where this certainly applies. Gameplay is solid, it's well regarded among those who played it, I'd goes as far as calling it a freeware classic among the likes of Liero and Soldat so what's really the problem here? And besides, how does this being in the database hurt the database?

Pro tip: use either the "Reply" button or "Quote" button so that people get notified in their PM inbox when you reply to them.

The thing is that you need to draw a line somewhere. There are a lot of free games, and we cannot have them all in the website. That's just unrealistic. There are so many free games that are spoofs and parodies of existing games and game franchises that if we had all those free games in the database, whenever you were to search for "Mario" the results would be cluttered with a bunch of newgrounds crap that was made available for download. Including hentai parodies, if you really want all free games ever made to be in this website.

There's a reason why we have the following guidelines for browser games:

Guidelines for Inclusion - it benefits a game if it can meet one or more of these criteria.

  • Games that have been discussed in an editorial capacity
  • Games that have been developed by designers already included in the Giant Bomb database for their work on other, more traditional platforms.
  • Games that have cards giving points/money and/or items.
  • Is legal and not a modification that violates copyright laws.

We just can't have every game ever made by every high-school student ever in this database. Because 1) it's not what this database is for and 2) it wouldn't be practical.

Also, even if "most" of the copyright infringing content was re-drawn as opposed to directly "lifted" from other games, that doesn't necessarily keep it from being copyright infringement. Moreover, if there really is stuff that was directly lifted from other games without licensing then I'm pretty darn sure that's fullblown, unarguable, copyright infringement.

If you think this game is relevant then please support that with evidence. I did a few google searches and didn't come up with much other than some download sites, and a facebook page that had about 300 likes or so.

#15 Edited by Djungelurban (183 posts) -

@Snail said:

@Djungelurban said:

"Reply" button or "Quote" button so that people get notified in their PM inbox when you reply to them.

The thing is that you need to draw a line somewhere. There are a lot of free games, and we cannot have them all in the website. That's just unrealistic. There are so many free games that are spoofs and parodies of existing games and game franchises that if we had all those free games in the database, whenever you were to search for "Mario" the results would be cluttered with a bunch of newgrounds crap that was made available for download. Including hentai parodies, if you really want all free games ever made to be in this website.

There's a reason why we have the following guidelines for browser games:

Guidelines for Inclusion - it benefits a game if it can meet one or more of these criteria.

  • Games that have been discussed in an editorial capacity
  • Games that have been developed by designers already included in the Giant Bomb database for their work on other, more traditional platforms.
  • Games that have cards giving points/money and/or items.
  • Is legal and not a modification that violates copyright laws.

We just can't have every game ever made by every high-school student ever in this database. Because 1) it's not what this database is for and 2) it wouldn't be practical.

Also, even if "most" of the copyright infringing content was re-drawn as opposed to directly "lifted" from other games, that doesn't necessarily keep it from being copyright infringement. Moreover, if there really is stuff that was directly lifted from other games without licensing then I'm pretty darn sure that's fullblown, unarguable, copyright infringement.

If you think this game is relevant then please support that with evidence. I did a few google searches and didn't come up with much other than some download sites, and a facebook page that had about 300 likes or so.

Well, the game has slipped into obscurity along the way, around the time when HotU went belly up. This is a fate it shares with alot of games like this and it's why it's hard to find anymore. Games like Liero and Soldat which I previously mentioned have escaped this fate by being continually upgraded along the way, but this game was done and needed no updates and therefore people moved on.

And as far as copyright infringement goes, liken this to SNL when they remix shows, movies and trailer with their own spliced in footage or just dubs. That's fair use and it's the same principal here...

Also, this is not a browser game, it's a full blown stand alone 116 MB PC title...

And actually, the game was made by one person who has worked in the games business professionally, a guy called Benjamin Karaban. Now, he's not in the database yet but if you really want me to add him I can. And as far as his credits go, he worked on both games in the Act of War series as a programmer, which might not exactly be the most high profile games ever, but full blown retail titles published by Atari none the less. Which does meet one of the criterias in the list you posted... Except it doesn't NEED to meet it since it's not a browser game.

#16 Posted by Snail (8648 posts) -

@Djungelurban said:

Well, the game has slipped into obscurity along the way, around the time when HotU went belly up. This is a fate it shares with alot of games like this and it's why it's hard to find anymore. Games like Liero and Soldat which I previously mentioned have escaped this fate by being continually upgraded along the way, but this game was done and needed no updates and therefore people moved on.

And as far as copyright infringement goes, liken this to SNL when they remix shows, movies and trailer with their own spliced in footage or just dubs. That's fair use and it's the same principal here...

Also, this is not a browser game, it's a full blown stand alone 116 MB PC title...

And actually, the game was made by one person who has worked in the games business professionally, a guy called Benjamin Karaban. Now, he's not in the database yet but if you really want me to add him I can. And as far as his credits go, he worked on both games in the Act of War series as a programmer, which might not exactly be the most high profile games ever, but full blown retail titles published by Atari none the less. Which does meet one of the criterias in the list you posted... Except it doesn't NEED to meet it since it's not a browser game.

This is not akin to SNL skits, where they use trailer footage to make a 2 minute clip or something. This is using resources from other games without license. It's different.

That said, the most compelling argument you made was that it was developed by someone who is a professional in the video-game industry and has developed games published by Activision. He should probably be in the database, but I'm still not convinced this game should be.

I would really like a moderator to step into this discussion and provide an opinion though.

#17 Edited by NuclearWinter (787 posts) -

@Snail said:

I would really like a moderator to step into this discussion and provide an opinion though.

I think this is probably something that could do with staff input due to the potential copyright issues, perhaps they have a bit more insight on what is actually legal in this area. As noted we do have a rule against browser games with copyright infringement, but this isn't a browser game and we have commercial games like Limbo of the Lost which was rife with plagiarism. You could make an argument that LotL is a special case because it received a lot of media attention, but personally I've never felt that obscurity is a good reason to not document something in an encyclopedia. Also the game has had a few reviews on other sites (though mostly foreign) and has a MobyGames entry, so then you arrive at the question of exactly how much coverage is enough?

My gut instinct is that the copyright infringement should probably disqualify it, as with browser games, but I'd welcome input from other mods and clarification from the staff. I'm not entirely convinced of either side.

Moderator
#18 Posted by Snail (8648 posts) -

@NuclearWinter said:

@Snail said:

I would really like a moderator to step into this discussion and provide an opinion though.

I think this is probably something that could do with staff input due to the potential copyright issues, perhaps they have a bit more insight on what is actually legal in this area. As noted we do have a rule against browser games with copyright infringement, but this isn't a browser game and we have commercial games like Limbo of the Lost which was rife with plagiarism. You could make an argument that LotL is a special case because it received a lot of media attention, but personally I've never felt that obscurity is a good reason to not document something in an encyclopedia. Also the game has had a few reviews on other sites (though mostly foreign) and has a MobyGames entry, so then you arrive at the question of exactly how much coverage is enough?

My gut instinct is that the copyright infringement should probably disqualify it, as with browser games, but I'd welcome input from staff and other mods. I'm not convinced of either side.

Staff input on this would be great. I'd also like someone from the staff to comment on my other thread regarding Linux as a platform (or Linux support as a concept) but that's a whole different topic.

Regardless of what the final opinion becomes on this particular game, I have one main question that I'd like a staff member or a moderator to objectively answer: why aren't freeware games forcefully treated with the same guidelines as browser games? What makes the former so different from the latter? These days there are browser games with save files, keeping track of your progress, that can be as lengthy and fun as Snailiad, for example. The only obvious difference between the two is that you don't have to download browser games onto a hard drive. Is that criterion enough to warrant entirely different guidelines for each type of game?

As for this game, I think that one day the wiki will develop into a platform that can harbor this sort of software into its own niche section and make it easily accessible for those who are looking for it. Right now, however, the Giant Bomb wiki database is not that platform, and this game does not belong.

#19 Posted by NuclearWinter (787 posts) -

@Snail said:

Regardless of what the final opinion becomes on this particular game, I have one main question that I'd like a staff member or a moderator to objectively answer: why aren't freeware games forcefully treated with the same guidelines as browser games? What makes the former so different from the latter? These days there are browser games with save files, keeping track of your progress, that can be as lengthy and fun as Snailiad, for example. The only obvious difference between the two is that you don't have to download browser games onto a hard drive. Is that criterion enough to warrant entirely different guidelines for each type of game?

I agree, but what if I extend that further: What makes browser and free download PC games different to free iOS and Android games? And if a developer chooses to charge 5 bucks for his game, should it really fall under different guidelines than it would if he chooses to give it away for free instead?

This is a debate that's been had since the day this site went live. It's something that has changed over time (at one time we didn't allow browser games at all) and I expect it will continue to do so in the future.

Moderator