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Sunday Q&As

  • MMOs in China
    Joystiq interviews Hoyt Ma of The9 talking about bringing the MMORPG World of Warcraft to the massive Chinese audience: "Korean-style games were dominating in China before WoW -- games with 2D graphics that require a lot of clicking like Diablo. WoW is one of the first western-style MMORPG games with 3D graphics, so there was that 2D mindset to overcome. But there were other barriers. WoW requires middle to high-end PC configurations, as well as a broadband Internet connection, and cost is a major barrier to Chinese gamers. Another issue was the perceived complexity with the interface input - Chinese gamers were used to the Korean games where you just click the mouse. However, during game testing, we discovered that newbies could pick up WoW within 5-10 minutes, so user friendliness was a very important consideration."
  • Red Cross
    Shacknews' Q&A with David Pratt of the Canadian Red Cross discusses the stink they are raising over the illegal use of the Red Cross logo in games. "Yeah, we're in touch with certainly the American Red Cross and others. Hoewver [sic], I want to emphasize this as strongly as possible, this involves people in the pdocution [sic] of toy kits, people in the medical profession, doctors and dentists who are appropriating the symbol for their own prupose [sic], people who repair computers who use the red cross as their symbol. There are literally countless examples. Any any given time within the Canadian Red Cross, we're dealing with over 100 cases. It doesn't involve just the games industry, it is cross-cutting, and even actually some governmental and non governmental organizations. "

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24. WOW: China Feb 13, 2006, 15:22 Kxmode
 
I'm all for it as long as they have their OWN servers and can't touch European and US servers. Farmers have single handedly destroyed my server's economy... and I'm sure most would agree the problem is server-wide. Blue items now average around 300 gold, and epic stuff around 800 gold (some have gone as high as 3,000 gold). They are INFLATING the market to the point where if you want to buy anything of value you have to spend real cash-money to obtain enough gold. If Blizzard doesn't stop this I think this will be WOW's undoing.

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23. Red Cross Alternative Feb 13, 2006, 14:29 UnderLord
 
As I alluded to, a white cross on a red background is a Swiss flag.
It seems this has all been done before in the real world, in Australia our med kits have a green cross, presumably this has been found acceptable to everybody
Might as well stick to a standard, it might even help someone recognise a medkit in the real world when they need one!

 
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22. Re: What to use instead of red crosses Feb 13, 2006, 12:09  CrushBug 
 
#19

http://www.yourdictionary.com/images/ahd/jpg/A4caduce.jpg

Quake 4 used them.

http://www.shacknews.com/images/image-o-matic.x?quake4/051605_quake4.jpg

http://www.shacknews.com/screens.x/quake4/Quake+4/2/thumbs/091605_q4_mp_1.jpg

http://www.shacknews.com/screens.x/quake4/Quake+4/2/thumbs/091605_q4_mp_3.jpg

And I didn't even notice that they WEREN'T red crosses and I knew they were medics.

Derek French
Technical Producer, Live Team
BioWare Corp.
 
Derek French
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BioWare
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21. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 09:38 nin
 
So go to a white cross on a red background. Looks just as good.

Maybe, if you're color blind...

Sounds damn ugly to me...

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20. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 08:22 Beady
 
So go to a white cross on a red background. Looks just as good.

 
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19. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 06:29 Zetler
 
Jesus, what the hell are we suppose to replace all those health packs and medics with now that developers can't use the red cross to represeent health and healing? Maybe a heart?.I can't wait for my medic in BF2 to run around with a heart on his head. How totally ghey.

 
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18. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 05:09 Raven
 
Pardon me for being so bold, Mr. French, but did Neverwinter Nights used to have Red Cross symbols on the healing kits? Was this taken out in a later patch?

 
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17. Neutrality Feb 13, 2006, 00:32 Zorianarki
 
I think most of you are missing the point. It's not about how red cross wants to monopolize their symbol, it's about trying to keep the organization as neutral as possible.

I think it is perfectly logical for them to try and keep the symbol out of non-documentairy war movies, war games ect. And the two screenshots the guy links to, are exellent examples of why another symbol should be used. (Blue cross for instance). Since red cross obviously do not want to be associated with militia style gun wielding medics (I know it's a bit far fetched but you get the point).

I really don't see the huge problem with inventing some other symbol that would be nearly, perhaps not exactly, as recognisable as the red cross, for medpacks, medics ect.

Excuse my spelling I'm just a simple dane.

 
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16. Re: re:MMOs in China Feb 12, 2006, 23:40 Charlie_Six
 
I know what you're trying to say, but you should know that Chinese MMO gamers would probably laugh at you for thinking they live in a "jack-booted thug reality".  
Adventures of a video game mercenary
http://virtualmerc.blogspot.com
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15. Re: No subject Feb 12, 2006, 22:47 A51Abductee
 
CrushBug,

Could have sworn the little red crosses on the Neverwinter Nights med packs disappeared after one of the patches.. ;-) Good on you guys for making that change, willingly or otherwise.

That change was probably the first time I conscienciously began to notice the appearance of Red Crosses in games.

This comment was edited on Feb 12, 22:48.
 
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14. No subject Feb 12, 2006, 22:35 Tarrant
 
Couldn't games just change the colour of the cross? A blue cross perhaps?

Although, couldn't this become an issue for a lor of other things represented in games? I mean, as many games seek to represent things in the real world, there are potentially a lot of things in games that are trademarked. What about the uses of the red-cross in television and movies? What happens when you have a character in a movie who is a member of the red cross? Would this be a legitimate use of the trademark, or would permission need to be sought?

 
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13. Re: red cross logo? Feb 12, 2006, 21:47 skyguy
 
Dude, we're not talking about nationalism here.

ummm... I don't think nationalism is the reason that burning the US flag is perfectly legal in the US. The reason why burning the US flag is legal is because it is unconstitutional to ban the burning of the flag, under the first amendment. My point was that at least part of "TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 33" is unconstitutional, therefore other parts of it may be unconstitutional (and invalid) as well.


 
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12. No subject Feb 12, 2006, 21:35  CrushBug 
 
If you think that this is the first time in the last 2 years that a video game has been asked to stop using the Red Cross symbol, you would be mistaken.

Derek French
Technical Producer, Live Team
BioWare Corp.
 
Derek French
Technical Producer
BioWare
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11. Red Cross Feb 12, 2006, 20:53 UnderLord
 
(andsweed? wish I could edit MY OWN posts, hint)
I thought maybe the logo was derived from the cross of St George, so I googled: "history of the red cross".
The first hit is a bit of an eye opener about the U.S version!
http://www.counterpunch.org/allen10202005.html
The founder of the original Red Cross would doubtless be rather displeased by the modern time wasters.
http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList288/E4986214B3F2CF1DC1256B66005B0ED2
They are also known elsewhere as Red Crescent and Red Lion (Sun was dropped in 1980) Good luck changing the name of hundreds of pubs in England!
The flag question is answered here:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Cross_%28symbol%29
It's a reverse Swedish flag, to symbolise neutrality, what a good concept, they should try it!


 
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10. Red Cross Feb 12, 2006, 20:52 UnderLord
 
I thought maybe the logo was derived from the cross of St George, so I googled: "history of the red cross".
The first hit is a bit of an eye opener about the U.S version!
http://www.counterpunch.org/allen10202005.html
The founder of the original Red Cross would doubtless be rather displeased by the modern time wasters.
http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList288/E4986214B3F2CF1DC1256B66005B0ED2
They are also known elsewhere as Red Crescent and Red Lion (Sun was dropped in 1980) Good luck changing the name of hundreds of pubs in England!
The flag question is andsweed here:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Cross_%28symbol%29
It's a reverse Swedish flag, to symbolise neutrality, what a good concept, they should try it!


 
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9. Re: red cross logo? Feb 12, 2006, 20:02 Masa
 
Just another way the once respected red cross is ruining their own name. It's really just absurd. I think the idea is they will get a judge to say everyone who uses the cross will have to pay them some fee so some executive can pocket it.


No...the emblem is owned by various world governments and can't be trademarked, and is reserved for specific purpose of the Red Cross. The RC is responsible for enforcing this.



First time I have ever seen any organization complain about free, positive advertising. Would the red cross be so famous and successful over the years if their symbol wasn't used in nearly every war movie, game, toy, etc.? They need to be happy and just shut up, and stop wasting the money thats supposed to be helping people on legal fees.


No, you need to actually read the article. They more or less have to enforce this. They're not targeting gaming companies with hostile intentions.


Isn't the red cross (ie, not the Red Cross, but the red cross) an internationally recognized symbol and not trademarked?


Yes, in fact it can't be trademarked.



Why now, though? Wolfenstein 3d had health packs (off the top of my head) and I'd be surprised if it was the first game to do so...

Why upwards of 15 years later is someone crying foul?



Well, see, that's the thing. The RC had better things to do than to track the progress of trends in video games; well, until now anyway. Games getting as much recognition as they are noawadays, it's kind of hard to ignor it.


I just don't understand how the use of a red cross affects the Red Cross in any way. It seems like a complete waste of effort.


The Red Cross is obligated to enforce the proper use of the red cross emblem.



TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 33, 706

Ummm.... at least part of "TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 33" is unconstitutional, and has been invalidated by the Supreme Court:

From http://www.lii.warwick.ac.uk/uscode/18/700.html

Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.



Dude, we're not talking about nationalism here.

This comment was edited on Feb 12, 20:22.
 
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8. Re: No subject Feb 12, 2006, 17:13 skyguy
 
TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 33, 706

Ummm.... at least part of "TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 33" is unconstitutional, and has been invalidated by the Supreme Court:

From http://www.lii.warwick.ac.uk/uscode/18/700.html

Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.


 
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7. Re: No subject Feb 12, 2006, 17:09 Squirmer
 
I just don't understand how the use of a red cross affects the Red Cross in any way. It seems like a complete waste of effort.

 
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6. Re: No subject Feb 12, 2006, 17:01 nin
 
The Red Cross has a solid case AND I credit the guy for talking about it first, not just tossing lawyers around and filing lawsuits.

Why now, though? Wolfenstein 3d had health packs (off the top of my head) and I'd be surprised if it was the first game to do so...

Why upwards of 15 years later is someone crying foul?



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5. No subject Feb 12, 2006, 16:46  CrushBug 
 
http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/5KZE8S?OpenDocument

Its covered under international law and this has nothing to do with Trademarks or Copyright. The Red Cross has a solid case AND I credit the guy for talking about it first, not just tossing lawyers around and filing lawsuits.

In the US, its a Federal crime to use the Red Cross logo except for the use that was spelled out in the above link.

TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 33, 706

Derek French
Technical Producer, Live Team
BioWare Corp.
 
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