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Posts made in February, 2014

Street Fighter 4: Latest to Marry Two Types of Gaming

Street Fighter 4: Latest to Marry Two Types of Gaming

By on Feb 27, 2014 in News, Videogames | 0 comments

“Gaming,” at least until fairly recently, has meant something very different to the general public than it does to people who play video- or tabletop games. With the explosion of the videogame market in the last decade that’s changing, but the association between the words “gaming” and “gambling.” And what does this have to do with Street Fighter? It was recently announced (Polygon’s brief article being a great introduction to the subject) by Capcom and Virgin Gaming that the two companies would be teaming up to provide a money match service for Street Fighter 4. This idea isn’t new to Virgin Gaming, as its business model is built around facilitating just that sort of exchange between online players, or to videogame players in general (that link explaining what exactly a “money match” is connects to a Super Smash Brothers wiki). If you’re not interested in following a link, money matches are exactly what they sound like; competitive matches in which a wager has been placed on the outcome. And if you’re not asking “wait, is that legal?” you are either already bored with this post or more on top of online gambling regulations that many. The law can be pretty confusing on the issue (and that’s without getting into the Federal Wire Act); many places online will tell you that games of skill are fully protected while games of chances are not, but in August 2013 a judge in the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals held that poker was a game of skill even while agreeing the defendant could be prosecuted under the Illegal Gambling Business Act. And then, just days ago, the Supreme Court refused to hear the defendant’s final appeal. So how are there so many skill-based gaming sites out there? Well, part of that relies on the fact that states have the freedom to legislate various types of events that have entry fees or prizes and to determine if these count as gambli ng. Every state is different, and it’s for this reason that many sites offering things like money matches will explicitly exclude states like Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland and Tennessee (it’s worth noting that the site Skillz also excludes Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, South Carolina,...

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Vampire Creator Returns Via Kindle Worlds

Vampire Creator Returns Via Kindle Worlds

By on Feb 20, 2014 in Fiction, News | 0 comments

LJ Smith was the original writer for the popular series of Vampire Diaries novels, starting back in 1991, but in 2011 was fired by her publisher over a dispute as to what should happen in one of the stories. Considering that she was working the entire time under a somewhat extensive work-for-hire contract, meaning that Alloy Entertainment owned the property and works in their entirety because she was brought on to create the series for them, the series continued on without her even though it still had her name attached. Well, with Amazon dipping its toes into the world of fan fiction by letting people sell stories set in specially approved properties, it turns out that LJ Smith had an interesting opportunity. Yes, for those of you jumping ahead, the original creator and author of the Vampire Diaries novels is now writing and selling Vampire Diaries fanfiction [thanks to The Daily Dot for this one] in addition to her other projects. They’re also in the Top 5 Kindle Worlds sales at the moment, and the top two spots in the Teen section. I know that I’ve seen original authors accused of writing fan fiction in their own worlds before, but finishing the a trilogy as she originally planned instead of the direction the publisher took it (and getting 35%, IIRC, of the money from the sales) after getting fired? That’s new, at least for the Age of eBooks (having been recently reading about the glory days of printing piracy, I would be shocked if similar situations hadn’t popped up during that period). Anyone have additional thoughts or information? !!3 by Jūlija Mazhora on Flickr, available via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY...

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