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5 Top Things Lawyers Should Know About Video Games and the Law

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on July 13, 2016 12:58 PM

If you haven't noticed, the world has been invaded by Pokemon -- or at least, Pokemon Go. The new "augmented reality" game has millions of users wandering the streets, chasing after Pikachus and Squirtles. And, of course, it has legal implications, from its connection to armed robberies and dead bodies to concerns over data privacy.

In that way, Pokemon Go is a pretty typical video game, for such games often connect to the law in some shape or form. To help you keep on top of your gaming trends, then, here are our top posts about video games and the law, from the FindLaw archives.

1. Pokémon Go's Terms of Service Are Scarier Than a 350CP Cubone

Pokémon Go is a strange, fun game. In just a week, it has gained as many users as Twitter. It's turned the nation's capitol into a Pokémon battleground. But it's also raised significant privacy concerns, after users realized that Pokémon Go's terms of service gave it full access to many of their Google accounts and allowed the company to collect and distribute user's private information.

2. Amazon Waives Terms of Service in Case of Zombie Apocalypse

Speaking of terms of service, it's not just Pokémon Go's TOS that has made readers scratch their heads. In February, Amazon released a free game engine and snuck into its terms of service clauses relating to zombie attacks and the gamification of nuclear reactors. And Amazon isn't alone. Plenty of gaming companies include unconventional "Easter eggs" in their often-unread user policies.

3. Atari Is Still Around to Haunt Independent Game Developers

You don't see a lot of Pac Man or Space Invaders on today's gaming platforms, but that doesn't mean early gaming intellectual property isn't still playing a role in today's industry. Just look at Atari, the legendary game developer that apparently still exists -- at least enough to assert its IP rights against today's gamers.

4. Video Game Teaches Pro Se Litigants How to Act in Court

Who says video games rot your brain? Plenty of games have been made to educate, as well as entertain -- and that apparently includes games about courtroom behavior. An online video game developed by law school professors is being used to walk the self-represented through the basics of courtroom procedures.

5. Dutch Law Firm Uses Video Game to Evaluate Law Graduates' Talent

Oh, and next to learning, games can also be used for testing. That's exactly how the Dutch law firm of Houthoff Buruma is using them, pitting 800 potential new lawyers against a specially created video game, to see who has to skills needed to join their team.

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