5 Top Things Lawyers Should Know About Video Games and the Law
If you haven't noticed, the world has been invaded by Pokemon -- or at least, Pokemon Go. The new "augmented reality" game has millions of users wandering the streets, chasing after Pikachus and Squirtles. And, of course, it has legal implications, from its connection to armed robberies and dead bodies to concerns over data privacy.
In that way, Pokemon Go is a pretty typical video game, for such games often connect to the law in some shape or form. To help you keep on top of your gaming trends, then, here are our top posts about video games and the law, from the FindLaw archives.
Pokémon Go is a strange, fun game. In just a week, it has gained as many users as Twitter. It's turned the nation's capitol into a Pokémon battleground. But it's also raised significant privacy concerns, after users realized that Pokémon Go's terms of service gave it full access to many of their Google accounts and allowed the company to collect and distribute user's private information.
Speaking of terms of service, it's not just Pokémon Go's TOS that has made readers scratch their heads. In February, Amazon released a free game engine and snuck into its terms of service clauses relating to zombie attacks and the gamification of nuclear reactors. And Amazon isn't alone. Plenty of gaming companies include unconventional "Easter eggs" in their often-unread user policies.
You don't see a lot of Pac Man or Space Invaders on today's gaming platforms, but that doesn't mean early gaming intellectual property isn't still playing a role in today's industry. Just look at Atari, the legendary game developer that apparently still exists -- at least enough to assert its IP rights against today's gamers.
Who says video games rot your brain? Plenty of games have been made to educate, as well as entertain -- and that apparently includes games about courtroom behavior. An online video game developed by law school professors is being used to walk the self-represented through the basics of courtroom procedures.
Oh, and next to learning, games can also be used for testing. That's exactly how the Dutch law firm of Houthoff Buruma is using them, pitting 800 potential new lawyers against a specially created video game, to see who has to skills needed to join their team.
- Pokémon Go: Who Owns the Virtual Space Around Your Home? (The Guardian)
- Sanctions Against Iran Take Out World of Warcraft (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Google Invents Unspeakable, Cuddly Terror (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Tron Meets Justice: Virtual Reality in the Courtroom (FindLaw's Technologist)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.