Games Are Not Coffee Mugs: Games and the Right of Publicity

By Ford, William K.; Liebler, Raizel | Santa Clara Computer & High Technology Law Journal, November 2012 | Go to article overview

Games Are Not Coffee Mugs: Games and the Right of Publicity


Ford, William K., Liebler, Raizel, Santa Clara Computer & High Technology Law Journal


While there are variations, traditional board wargames are characterized by the use of maps overlaid with hexagons, numerous cardboard counter playing pieces, assorted charts, and complex rules. (312) They are designed to represent actual or fictional battles or wars, with combat resolved through dice rolls and combat results tables. (313) Tactics II includes an instruction book with sixteen pages of rules (some optional), a 28 by 22 inch mapboard (with squares rather than hexes), and 88 counters total (44 for each side). (314) At the other end of the spectrum, War in the Pacific includes an 88 page rulebook, seven 22 by 34 inch strategic maps, several tactical maps, and approximately 9000 counters. (315) Playing times for these games are often longer than typical mass-market games. (316) Some games that are closely related to traditional wargames depart from the standard formula in various ways, such as dropping the hex grid, (317) substituting generic plastic pieces for the more detailed cardboard counters, (318) or departing from the emphasis on combat between military units. (319) Wargames can have any sort of theme, whether tied to hypothetical events, (320) science fiction, (321) fantasy, (322) horror, (323) or other genres, but the largest category of wargames is based on historical events.

Avalon Hill's sales were good in the early 1960s. (324) The company received good publicity from a variety of media sources, including Life (325) and Playboy. (326) Some of its games appeared in mass market stores (327) and catalogs. (328) But Avalon Hill was still nurturing a hobby in its infancy. From 1967 to 1969, it published only one new wargame title per year. (329) Things changed in the 1970s.

For years, Avalon Hill faced little competition, (330) but in 1969 James Dunnigan founded a competing wargame publisher, Simulations Publications, Inc. (SPI). (331) With Avalon Hill and SPI leading the way, many smaller companies entered the market. Figure 1 illustrates the growth in wargame publishing from 1958 to 2008 using data from four different sources. These sources show that hobby wargaming established itself after the courts decided the three classic right of publicity game cases. (332) And while it is a small industry, (333) they show that it is prolific for its size. The total number of published wargames is in the thousands. Wargaming is not a footnote to what should really be a discussion of Monopoly and other childhood games. (334)

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED] (335)

2. Role-Playing Games

While the 1970s saw the maturation of commercial wargames, it also saw the creation of tabletop role-playing games. Role-playing games debuted in 1974 with the publication of Gary Gygax's and Dave Arneson's Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), the game that created the commercial role-playing game industry. (336) Richard Garfield, the creator of the first collectable card game, Magic: The Gathering, claims it is "not a stretch to call D&D the most innovative game ever." (337) D&D in its various forms, including Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D), was also among the most controversial games of all time due to its supernatural content. D&D products were accused of promoting the occult and even causing suicides, torture, rape, and murder. (338) D&D of course survived, as did the role-playing genre it created.

D&D grew out of miniature wargaming, (339) but it departed from traditional miniature wargames in several important ways. In D&D, players control individual characters rather than entire units. D&D also emphasizes a narrative that goes beyond a battle or even a sequence of battles. While solo play is possible in D&D and other role-playing games, (340) multiple players ordinarily work together cooperatively. A referee or judge, called a "dungeon master" in D&D and a "game master" in many other role-playing games, describes the environment and controls the enemy characters. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Games Are Not Coffee Mugs: Games and the Right of Publicity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.