Sunday, 3 May 2009

New Zealand Copyright Reform

According the the National Business Review, the New Zealand National government is looking at scrapping our current copyright act bill and rewriting completely. Part of the reason is the changing nature of information technology. This is certainly a positive sign as the government recognises that with the rapid changing technological landscape such acts are simply outdated.

The question remains, when will the copyright act be rewritten and who will its contributors be? Certainly, Creative Freedom hopes to contribute to this but the news article declines to mention the government's stance on this.

While this represents an opportunity for supporters of say creative commons copyright this also represents an opportunity for even more stringent copyright laws to be created.

From what I've learnt in university, historically New Zealand has actually had a history of pioneering legislature. For example, Woman's Sufferage climate change and bio ethics. Part of the reason is that we are a small country, have less levels of bureaucracy and are heavily dependent on international trade. Many of these changes and initiatives have been used as examples by larger countries in a positive light.

Have faith in the democratic process and don't forget to have your say when the dialogue begins!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Dawn of War II Music

If you're a fan of Warhammer 40K, you'll be happy to know that the Dawn of War II music sound track is free from the steam store. Can't beat free music right?

I think it would have been a smart move to release the soundtrack from the previous Dawn of War games and discount all Dawn of War games at the same time. I'm sure the soundtrack is drawing lots of traffic and this would make it perfect from a marketing and consumer perspective!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Pacific Islanders iphone game protest - More Manufactured Game Controversy'?

Game Politics and the NZ herald reports that Pacific Islanders are protesting about a iphone God game that allows you to create and kill people that resemble Pacific Islanders.

As the comments in game politics points out, we have games like Populous, Sim city and the Black and White series where you can create and kill citizens and even level cities. It's much more apparent in the Black and White series where you can actually pluck and fling citizens across the maps or feed them to your creature. We also have games like Galactic Civilizations and Master of Orion which regularly feature military domination and genocide as a possible victory condition. Finally in first person shooters we have games like Blood 2 and Duke Nukem 3D which have had their fair share of controversy but ultimately no one outside of gamers really care about now.

So I think it's a bit of a manufactured game controversy. Like my previous post on Faith Fighter, I wonder who actually directed people's attention to this? Did someone buy it on the iphone and show a family member or friend? Reading the article headlines, you will also notice the strong words of murder and torture to evoke a strong emotional response.

Reading the general game reviews around the net, the game is skewed towards being an evil deity and you get funnier reactions when you do evil things like tossing them into the volcano although maybe the reviewers preferred to be evil. Perhaps it was a bit insensitive to depict 'islanders' in such a way but I'm not sure how much different it is from the other games I've already mentioned above. Maybe they should have added more benevolent actions in the game or make the islanders purple skinned aliens instead?