Kudos to Fox

Fox gets a lot of flack for a company that's not particularly more evil than  Disney,  or Comcast. Because while Disney might straight up rip off a Holocaust Victim's story and Comcast might make you lose faith in Capitalism,  what really makes people mad here is when you get Street Fighter wrong.
I'd expect the people who came up with "Fox Kids" to know better.

But lately they've done a great thing for me. Remember my article about the ways I would ruin your franchise? Well, let me refresh your memory a bit.
Ew. The tears taste like sweaty, salty Mountain Dew.

Get it? It's funny because it's the kind of dumb thing movie makers would do! Take a fantastical character that has endured decades  and reduce him to just some guy, some businessman or something like that! You know, like when Shredder was gonna be Col. Shrader, or when Galactus was a cloud.
"This place will become your grave, after you die from the heartbreak over displacement my oil company will do to your tribe."

Well, Toby Kebell, who will be playing Doom, says that it's gonna be sort of like that.

 
Good play, Fox! Just in case anyone still thought this was the movie that "rectifies" Fantastic 4 after the previous ones, especially Dr Doom, who was every villain except Dr Doom and Bluto from Popeye,  you sweep in with something like that. Dr Doom, the angry blogger? What's the Silver Surfer do, browse 9gag?
 
"And check out this sweet Half Life 2 Map Doom made!"
And we know you. You don't back out of terrible movie ideas on a good day, and this is more of a "keep Galactus from reverting back to Disney" day. You know that Disney would put that shit onscreen and make it awesome and faithful and make all the money. You wouldn't. You don't even care. You don't even care that you don't care.

And yet, somehow, I suspect screwing up this beloved silver age superheroes by making a crappy ass, found footage movie about 4 superheroes fighting a blogger  like it's 1996 or some shit will bring you money in the long run. You are despicable and devious. My hat is off to you.

Bloody Mario! 5 realities of Mario going public domain



Mario, about to kick a fire

The time of my public domain themed gamejam is ever aproaching. As such, it's time to think about our futures again.

Mario goes into the Public Domain, according to my expert calculations, in 2078 And, much like with Batman, it is something we are utterly unprepared for.  Many people don't understand the temporary nature of copyright, which is understandable, because a few people are up there, mucking up the works.

Let's get into a serious discussion of what could happens to gaming's most popular character in 2078

5) Not much
Princess Who?


If you think Mario's gonna be just as popular in 50 years as it was 30/20 years ago, you don't understand how pop culture works. What are the tv shows that where popular in 1985? Look upon those works, ye mighty, and despair.

Don't ask me, I was 2 years old.

By the time Mario gets around to being public domain, Mario might very well be more obscure than even the Golden Girls. Who knows what will happen to Nintendo  between here and there?

4) We can finally get that Mario movie done right

Mario should never have been bald, you cretins!
But for those of us already reaching the Godly Age Limit,  we'll be able to right the wrongs of our fathers, in making a Mario Movie that doesn't suck-a-balls-ah.

I mean, some people like Super Mario Brothers: The Movie.  But the general consensus is that it's hot garbage and should have been good.

17 years old Max Landis(of Chronicle fame) wrote an enormous, mammoth script for a Super Mario movie.  I'm sure we've all dreamed of adapting our childhood heroes for a modern age. It's probably too much to expect Max Landis to reach 2078 alive and lucid enough to get this script to filming with enough budget to get it to make sense. But those are the breaks. Somebody else, surely will, and hopefully they will.

3) More LEGAL Mario
THIS TITLE MAKE ME ANGRY.

















Now, mind you, there's not a lack of Mario out there. In fact, I think I kind of called on all of you to fucking quit it with the Mario already.

But those are fanworks. They're not official, and they're only in existence because Nintendo is merciful/tired and doesn't want to take them down. If Mario where legal to remake now, you'd see the XBLAs and PSNs and Steams just be bursting with Mario all over the place.

Not only that, but Mario would consistently be showing up in other videogames as well. But remember...


2) Somebody would Legally make Mario Horrible
Art by José Emroca Flores...please don't sue me! I have kids to feed!!
This is one of the concerns of people out there when we talk about shorter copyright: That  somebody could make a mockery of the authors intent. or, as it was put to me:

That Captain America: The Winter Soldier DVD was just asking for it.


You don't have to go very far to see that. Mario's  been possesed by the Satsui No Hadou, Princess Peach has been made to fuck her way through the Mushroom Kingdom and some people apparently think Waluigi is sexy.

Apologies to those of you that got here expecting sexy Princess Peach pics.
Invariably somebody's going to make a game where Mario is a serial killer, and it's going to be legal as shit. They'll be selling it on gamestop.

But this is a good thing, in the same way  American McGee's Alice is a good thing: By being able to do a dark take officially, we can get "Dark and Gritty Mario" to be something compelling, instead of something made to be just for kicks.


1) Nintendo would benefit most of all.

We're-ah all about the money!
 Yes, Nintendo will not be the only game in town with Mario game's anymore. But that's perhaps for the best.You see, Nintendo's sphere of influence it pretty much limited to Nintendo consoles, officially. They don't do PC, Mac, or cellphones(unless they started doing that and I never found out). What has happened is that, what, with the Internet and all, those of us who won't buy Nintendo's machines anymore can still play a game of Mario, only, say, one that happens to also have Megaman and Simon Belmont. The fans filled the void.

Nintendo's influence would spread ever farther if you could legally buy Super Mario Bros for the Xbox 1. People would play it, like it, love it, and then look for Nintendo to provide more. Sure, technically they didn't make money on the one sale, but "official" New Marios would still be available exclusively in Nintendo's machines.






5 ways in which Cyborg will suck as bad as Steel





I don't envy you, kid. Except your charming good looks and your money and that you get to play a superhero, and you're a shoe in for an Obama Biopic.


Ah, yes, once again DC/WB had announced  a bunch of movies, and like a kid saying he'll be a rockstar one day, you have to humor the idea that, even if you know in your heart you've heard the same flights of fancy from others, who are currently flipping burgers. You just don't have the heart to tell DC it's more likely to end up sweeping floors than it is to make a Wonder Woman movie.

If I know my DC it'll be back to just Batman in no time (and occasionally Supes getting a reboot), but let's play their game. Sure, you plan to have  2 DC films a year ,yeah, whatever. Green Lantern and everything.

But most baffling of all of those is Cyborg. Dc HAS been trying to push the character to the forefront as of this last few years. He's on the new 52 Justice League, and also features in a big way on recent DVD and game based affairs.

And he was also in a pretty popular cartoon over 10 years ago. But you all knew that.




It's not the first time DC has tried to get hype for a black tech based superheroe. Years ago, shortly after Superman did his little tango with death, a character rose from the ashes of synergy. Steel. He was my favorite. When I read Steel had a movie coming out, I thought it was great. But I had THIS guy in mind.
I always wondered how he managed to move the face, though.

Instead, I ran across THIS in my local Blockbuster.
His helmet was like the movie...they both flopped.

Now, I know it was a different time, where DC movies where slightly more likely to be supershitty and slightly more likely to exist(but not too much, either). But I feel Cyborg is gonna end up being closer to Steel than it will be to The Dark Knight. It's not just because they both star a black Superhero. Buuut...

5)  A Black Superhero
No movie for you!

Well, it's not that making a movie about a black superhero is harder than anything. There's some good black superheroes out there, who just need their story told right.

 It's just that, historically, they've never been done right. But right as in "anyone would watch it, even if they didn't have some kind of ban against White People stuff".
 





Or maybe you have some counter-examples?



Sadly, Steel had to rely on being a "Black" movie, with gangbanger enemies, a chika-chicka 70s soundtrack , and an obvious blaxploitation feel. This is gonna be one of the challenges of Cyborg because...

4) The character's worth depends on other characters.
Seriously, Cyborg's not even the most interesting Titan


So let's say I'm not heavilly invested in DC comics of today. In fact, I'm not. All I know from Cyborg is what I know from the Teen Titans the cartoon(he's a cyborg and likes yelling Booyah!)

Sell me Cyborg. What are his enemies? What makes him special? What makes him likable?

I suspect Cyborg is at his peak in the Teen Titans. He's got attachments,  there, relations, stories. Just like Steel.

Steel's very origins where related to Superman. That's where he was at his most interesting. Otherwise he was just a black Ironman.

Which is one of the things where the movie goes wrong. Shaquille O'neil as a low ass budget Tony Stark? Come on!

Again, Cy-Hards, let me know if Cyborg has some great villains and stories waiting to be  brought to screen. Otherwise, he, too might just end up saving the 'hood from a gun dealer operating out of  an arcade.

3) The Tone is compromised
Not even Michael Jordan could have saved this tripe.



Steel the movie could never be like Steel the comic. No way with a budget like it had. The changes to it's source are mostly traceable to "not enough money." Even if it had had intentions of being the best possible movie starring the (other) Man of Steel...money wasn't enough for Flying.

Cyborg faces similar problems, but money's no object this time. For you see, Cyborg is being set up in next year's Batman V Superman.
For the record, here's Smallville's low budget Cyborg.

Whatever they're gonna do in 2020 depends heavilly on what the character is set up as in Batman vs Superman and in the Justice League movie. If that movie has Cyborg as a wise ass clown, or boring and generic the solo movie's director won't be able to turn him into the next Wolverine.

And what exactly will be set up, with Wonder Woman, The Suicide Squad, and Flash and Aquaman all also being set up? Is it like when they set up Hawkeye is a human who shoots arrows in Thor?

2) DC is bad at cinematic universe building, Solo movies.
"In my planet, liking fried chicken is totally a white people stereotype."


DC's terrible record at making movies that aren't Batman and Superman is well earned. But a large part of that comes from spinning of secondary and tertiary characters into their own movies. Because as long as we're not leaving our comfort zones(Gotham and Metropolis), we might as well dredge up some of the unexplored characters from there.

This is how we ended up with Catwoman, Supergirl, and yes, Steel.  All these characters suffer from #4, and their movies are a testimony to that.

It might take some universe building, Marvel style, to get people into  Cyborg. Or rather, the opposite of Marvel: try to use a team up to promote a single character. Their attempts to initiate a united universe have gone straight to hell so far, unless the Justice League movie they have coming up is called Justice League : Mortal and The Suicide Squad's Amanda Waller is played by Angela Basset.

If you're a betting man right now, money's good on them screwing up  something that's both of the things they can't  ever do right.

1) You can't do the Marvel, DC
We don't roll our eyes when Marvel announces their Captain Marvel movie, DC.

Franchises everywhere want in on the Marvel thing, from Universal Monsters to Robin Hood. As always, Hollywood studio heads completely misunderstand the very basics of what makes something a success.

Marvel's first couple of movies only had little hints at a larger universe. They also happened to be mostly good-to-great  movies about characters  who where not as popular as the X-MENs and Spider-Mans of the world.

A Mediocre Batman movie is already a half won battle. Millions of people in the world who only know what movies say through Subtitles, millions who'd never Wiki-binge the Dc pages or pick up a comic, know Batman and are willing to give him money.

Getting people to shell out a Bunch of money for Guardians of the Galaxy takes something WB  didn't sure as hell put into Jonah Hex.

WB didn't put any heart into Steel. If they successfully put as much heart into Cyborg  as much as they did Steel, and history so far says that's likely, then obviously it's poised to be the next Steel.

If it ever gets off the ground, that is. If you can actually go through with a plan to make a movie in 5 years, I'll eat my hat. That I'll have in 5 years

All wrongs deserved

Reminder: Public Domain GameJam coming soon!

Open letter to Steve Gaynor



This is the guy I'm talking to, Google Image Search


Greetings, MR Gaynor. I would like to say I'm a big fan, but alas, I'm barely aware of your work. As of late my finances keep me from enjoying most modern games. I did see the ad for your game, Gone Home. It looks intriguing and well done.

I read your piece regarding John Walker's article on the public domain, and how games should become public domain after 20 years. And I want to reply to that, because the public domain is a subject that highly interests me as of late.

One day your game, Gone Home, will be public domain. That won't be within most our lifetimes, in modern law.  Your characters, your stories, they are yours, until after 75 years after you die(if you, as a person, own the IP. If Fullbright owns it, and it does, make that 95 years starting with this one).

But let's examine exactly what would happen if Gone Home went public domain in 20 years.

Everyone would be able to duplicate your game. Admitedly, having everyone be able to make their own Gone Homes would cut into your profits from selling the game. It is interesting, because games, unlike Music or Movies, have to essentially be remade for each platform they are on. In the 2030s, who knows what platforms will exist?  Will people start porting the Game to Super IPhone 25, Nintendo WaHoo and Game Implant? Possibly.

However, this will not stop Steve Gaynor from also doing so. What's more, as the original creator you should have priority if your game still piques people's interest 20 years down the line. As someone who is presumably still a force in the games industry, Steve Gaynor would have the advantage over most people in this. Batzarro's Gone Home would obviously hold less interest than Steve Gaynor presents: Gone Home: Game of the Decade edition.

Somebody could improve or ruin upon your work. Somebody could absolutely make a new version of Gone Home that will make people forget your version. This is less likely if Gone Home is still hot enough to be selling in two decades, but it certainly happened to Corman's Little Shop of Horror. While most of us know the the musical movie with Rick Moranis, it was once a black and white horror comedy made and never re-registered. They took something from the past and said "let's give this another angle."

On the other hand somebody could just make the a worster version of gome home. Somebody could make Gone Home into the exact opposite of what you intended.

While this could potentially make you sad, it would not (and should not) stop you from producing your own remake, sequel, or reboot of Gone Home.

Roger Corman did not crawl into a hole and die because his ideas where profiting other people and neither did Romero after his zombie movie went public domain, which, I don't need to tell you has resulted in plenty of people utilizing zombies in their work. Romero still works today. Corman still works today. Steve Gaynor can continue to work today.
 
You also point out that the industry itself needs this. That the people who pay for making a game would need the sales from the old game to fuel their publishing of new games. If we take that income from them by allowing ANYONE to make their own version, well, that's just bad for the industry.
 
Games are indeed an investment, and nobody invests hoping that their product will be feeding people decades after their death. If that seems exaggerated, well this is current copyright law.  Life of the Author(that would be you) plus 75, and years for corporate owned works(i.e. The Fullbright Company owns the right to Gone Home, regardless of if Steve Gaynor is alive or part of it or if Disney buys it)  
 
Vidoeogames are far too recent to be part of the public domain. The entirety of the medium is enshrouded in copyright laws designed to achieve maximum profits for IP owners, and minimum wiggle room for those wanting to use those without paying.  Many works are already being lost to this law, and I expect  the effect would be doubly harsh on the medium, if not for our ability and knack to duplicate the works ourselves.
 
 
 
In 20 years Gone Home will still be under copyright. The Fullbright Company will still be able to duplicate and resell it at a whim, or not, if it still owns it(and regardless of Steve Gaynor). Maybe it doesn't. In 20 years Gone Home could be a curiosity from this decade. Something we talk about infrequently, rather than revisit constantly. Maybe it's become like Ninja Baseball Batman, something you literally can't play unless you break the law. Maybe, like the Valis series and other games from  the defunct Telnet, it'll be something we talk about someday selling, rather than something we can actually play legally.
 
It would be sad for future generations NOT to be able to enjoy Gone Home because of some odd expectations of continual profit from the works of 2 decades ago, which, I may add, are not necessarily invalidated by someone else making their own Gone Home. But the law has spoken, and copyright hoarding is, apparently, good for creativity, besides being  good for the business. Mind you, I'm sure the business would appreciate other people's works being available to re-sell, reuse, and remix, and characters to rework.
 
Look at movies. As much as certain firms(Disney, most of all) have pushed for copyright to last until the heat death of the universe, they don't mind that they can use zombies, Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster, and the Hunchback of Notre Dam. They don't mind that anyone can make a movie about Noah, Jesus, The Little Mermaid, Snow White(Disney, most of all). "Now owning the work wholesale" is not equal to "Not being able t, haha)to profit from it." In fact, a games distribution/development company like the Fullbright company  if game characters and concepts  and games had lapsed into the public domain, would themselves be able to work off other people's ideas.
 
 
 It would be indeed rare and special if Gone Home is still profitable in itself after 20 years as a stand alone product. But realistically most works aren't even profitable within the first DECADE of their existence.  Is it a fair trade that the majority of works that won't be profitable  should stay behind a lawsuit shaped wall of fear, just so the few products that are profitable can enjoy the continual legal protection?
 
So you say game companies having exclusive rights to resell their own work  will "encourage them" to make NEW product, based on the profits from old games? Won't that just encourage them to drag out their old games constantly? I mean, Capcom's profits from Street Fighter 2 on XBLA aren't telling Capcom to make Darkstalkers 4, or even (New Franchise). They are telling Capcom selling Street Fighter 2 is good, and they should do it on every new console, Phone, Tablet and anything else. Videogames are not "bands", and game publishers aren't looking for "fresh new talent".
 
So yes, I disagree with you on this, but, alas, to your fortune, copyright already lasts as much as 175 years, if the author where to die 100 years old. That's almost the whole of time America has existed. Corporate works at least have copyright for 95 years. That's what, half the time America has existed?
 
If copyright had always been like this , Oliver Twist would still be under copyright.  Sherlock Holmes would still be under copyright,  and basically most of the works in American History would only a few decades ago begin trickling into the public domain. But maybe publishers could use the windfall of those profits from works 150 years old to publish new, unproven writers, huh?
 
So I disagree, obviously. I think that copyright is doing to games the opposite of what it was expected it would do to the "sciences and the useful arts" in the constitution. But that's not your fault, Steve Gaynor. I am, though, trying to get more people to know about the perils of excessive copyright. In this sense, I thank you, for bringing this topic to light, so that we may discuss it.
 
 

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