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.