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The Game That Never Ends: How Lawyers Shape the Videogame Industry (Game Histories)

The Game That Never Ends: How Lawyers Shape the Videogame Industry (Game Histories)

Current price: $50.00
Publication Date: August 27th, 2024
The MIT Press


A guide to the fascinating legal history of the videogame industry, written for nonlawyers.

Why did a judge recall FIFA 15, a nonviolent soccer game, from French shelves in 2014? Why was Vodka Drunkenski, a character in Nintendo-Japan’s Punch-Out!, renamed Soda Popinski in the US and then in Western Europe, where the pun made no sense? Why was a Dutch-American company barred by US courts from distributing a clone of Pac-Man? Julien Mailland answers all these questions and more in The Game That Never Ends, an inside look at the legal history that undergirds our favorite videogames. Drawing on a series of case studies as vignettes of the human comedy, Mailland sheds light on why and how the role of lawyers is key for understanding the videogame industry.

Each chapter in The Game That Never Ends is a mini-puzzle that pieces together how an important legal issue arose, was resolved, and impacted the industry and the experience of gamers in real time. These chapters are interspersed with shorter chapters called “The Lawyer’s Corner,” opportunities to dive deeper into individual cases. Lightly footnoted, these interludes connect the previous chapters together by providing a conceptual meta-analysis. Offering a comprehensive overview of the global legal history of videogames, The Game That Never Ends will leave readers with a nuanced, in-depth, and more global understanding of the videogame industry.

About the Author

Julien Mailland is a technology industry attorney. He is also Associate Professor of Media Management, Law & Policy at the Indiana University Media School and Adjunct Associate Professor of Informatics at the Indiana University Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. He is coauthor of Minitel: Welcome to the Internet.