Trail by battle!

Westeros – Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of the popular indie game Minecraft has received a letter from a Swedish law firm representing Bethesda Softworks. Their beef? Perssons’ next game has ‘Scrolls’ in the title, and Bethesda claims to hold the word as a trademark, since they have the ‘Elder Scrolls’ series of roleplaying games.

Markus wants to settle this the honourable way: By doing a Trial By Battle! On his blog he invited Bethesda to a game of Quake 3, hoping to take Bethesda down a Notch. The winner gets to keep the Scroll.

Remember that scene in Game of Thrones where Tyrion chose a trial by battle in the Eyrie? Well, let’s do that instead!
I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.

If we win, you drop the lawsuit.

If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you’re fine with.

Regardless of the outcome, we could still have a small text somewhere saying our game is not related to your game series in any way, if you wish.

I am serious, by the way.

While it is the modern world and no actual blood will flow, settlements like this may very well be the future. Moving the legal system towards a game-based ludocracy might actually not be that ludicrous as it sounds.

Fighting games and masculism

Somehow, I’m stupidly excited. First of all, I like games. Second of all, I don’t like first person shooters. So, it’s nice that in the last year, there has been a resurgence of fighting games. It used to be one of those things, back then. Street Fighting. Capcom knew it was ‘the thing’ and they brought out a zillion of versions of Street Fighter, up to Super Mega Ultra Street Fighter II Lightspeed Turbo Afterburner. And ruined their own market.

Two years ago, they tried to test the waters for another entry in the series. And suddenly, fighting games where back. The question now is: Will Capcom repeat their mistake with flooding the market with sameish games?

A year ago, at the San Diego  Comic-Con 2010 something happenned.  Yoshinori Ono was giving a presentation on ‘the future of Street Fighter.” Just when he asked the public what they would like to see, in the back of the hall there was some calamity. Katsuhiro Harada, the producer of the Tekken series of fighting games joined in and two new crossover games where announced. The first will be Street Fighter x Tekken.

Now, if you played Street Fighter, you’d probably know that not a lot of the fighting takes place in actual streets. A lot of punching happens in temples, airfields, factories and other distinctively non-street environments.  After the first Street Fighter, Capcom was developing a game called Street Fighter ’98. It had streets and fights, but ultimately it become known as Final Fight. The game still is part of the same universe, and there are some characters from Final Fight that have crossed over to the regular series. And for Street Fighter x Tekken, they are now all in.

And with it, it brings back one of the weird things that happenned during the localisation from a Japanese game to an American game. See, Final Fight asked you to clean the streets of the Mad Gear Gang. Part of this gang where the girls Roxy and Poison.

[caption id="attachment_127" align="alignright" width="145" caption="Roxy, Poison, Sid and Billy"][/caption]

And for some reason, there where complaints that it was not very political correct to beat up women. Capcom had to think quickly how to solve this problem. Beating up women is a bad thing, ofcourse, but violence against men is totally fun and in fact, hilarious entertain

ment.  One astute employe found the solution. What if Poison and Roxy wheren’t in fact women, but men? That would make beating them up completely socially acceptable. Only problem are the sprites. This also was solved quickly.

“They are, uhm, transvestites!” – Beating those up was deemed the perfect solution, and totally socially acceptable and politically correct. This is where it all spiralled out of control. Soon, they became Newhalves. Then, pre- and post-op transexuals. In the Final Fight version for the Super Nintendo in America even replaced them by Sid and Billy, male counterparts. Now Capcom just started taking the piss.

In Capcom’s press kit for the 2010 release of Final Fight: Double Impact, a pink hair spray was included in tribute to the character, with the text describing it as “For men, women, and everything in between.”

In 2007 Yoshinori Ono decided to complicate the issue even more and told Electronic Gaming Monthly:

“In North America, Poison is officially a post-op transsexual. But in Japan, she simply tucks her business away in order to look like a girl.”

And now, with the trailer for the Tekken crossover, she’s back for more confusion. The question remains, now that fighting games feature lots of strong female fighters and it’s just as hilarious to beat up all genders, will they change the backstory again? Will it matter? Are we now allowed to beat up everyone equally?