Last night, I hit level 50 on City of Heroes with Wild Phoenix as did Brian’s Black Cniht.
Two things hit me really hard when I hit the top level:
- I did not get the same sense of accomplishment I have from other games.
- My love for the Character made me start wondering about the current state of intellectual property laws.
Sense of Accomplishment
While I love City of Heroes, my attachment is more to the character than too the game. The amount of detail I was allowed to build into my toon connected me to the imagery and back story I associated with the character separate from the storyline and setting of the game.
At first, I thought this was a byproduct of the games setting. It is not based on any of the major comic series that I was in love with an wanted to explore. I never really fell in love with the setting.
What City of Heroes offers is an elaborate character that is continually customizable. When I reached 50, I did not run around testing my toon, I quit the game to create another character… I am not sure if this is a weakness or strength in the game and only time will tell.
Now the writer in me is faced by with a dilemma. I have fallen in love with character, and am tempted to write about him, but then the question arose: Who Owns the Intellectual Property?
I understand that they would own the exact image of the toon, because they own that IP, but what about the general appearance. Since I chose the colors and general motif so as long as I do not copy the toon, then I should be ok.
What about the powers? I chose the power sets, and in any story, they would not be limited to the set available in the game, but their would be similarities. This is the point that I think is blurriest.
Cryptic would have no rights over the back story I created for the character, it does not tie into their story at all.
I am going to continue by obsession with the character, and may work on it as my NaNo project this year. It just gave me pause and made me think. I am curious if you think I am overly paranoid or if there is actually an issue here.
My name is C.E. Dorsett, and I am a scifi/fantasy writer. I have written the books Shine Like Thunder and The Chain, just to name a couple. I am really a builder of worlds from the wuxia inspired, scifi setting Our Solemn Hour to the dark fantasy of Dragons of Night. My writing is influenced by writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Charlaine Harris, Alice Hoffman, Armistead Maupin, Frank Herbert, E E Doc Smith and Robert E Howard. I love to tell stories and talk with my readers.