UN Tells Online Game It Can't Have A Fake United Nations

from the even-if-it-does-good-work? dept

Ed Powell writes “On April 1, the online game NationStates, in which players create their own simulated nations, changed the name of its United Nations feature to World Assembly. It claimed that “The (real) United Nations has demanded NationStates ‘immediately cease and desist from using the United Nations name and emblem,’ as it ‘is unauthorized and in violation of the provisions of international and U.S. laws.'” Having seen the previous April Fools’ gags the site had pulled, I assumed it was a joke. But, time passes, I return to the site to find that it was not a joke. The UN did send an email to creator Max Barry, demanding that he cease and desist. Of course, it’s no wonder the UN wanted to shut the operation down. The NationStates UN passed over 240 resolutions, promoting peace, tolerance, and equality throughout the (simulated) world. Why would the UN want to be associated with that?”

Why indeed? This is pretty strange, as NationStates has been around for many years (I remember seeing it early on and had forgotten that it still existed). Also, calling out the trusty moron in a hurry trademark test, it seems unlikely that anyone would believe that the real United Nations was being represented in an online game. Of course, a few years ago, we wrote about the UN (the real one) getting into the video game business, so perhaps it felt NationStates was a threat.

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Comments on “UN Tells Online Game It Can't Have A Fake United Nations”

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Alimas says:


They don’t administrate the NationStates version. For now the virtual one might be a peacekeeping organization, but that doesn’t mean that can’t change and become a disgusting human rights abusing war mongering power running around the little virtual world with the real one’s logo and name.

I wouldn’t want them using it either.

Nate says:


Uh it seems they are mainly objecting to the use of the logo, which makes perfect sense. If there’s a simulation UN type of thing on the internet passing fake resolutions, and you see the actual UN logo on there, that could be something of concern to them.

I bet if NationStates got rid of the logo and made it more clear that they had no link to the UN, they wouldn’t be objecting like this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Games and Other Fictional Works

Isn’t a game like this a fictional work? If so, then by the same principle in the future I can imagine that other fictional works like books and stories might have to avoid using the names of real countries and other political entities as settings for their stories. Then I wonder, will all the old “infringing” works have to be banned?

Yes, the world is changing.

Shagger says:

I have a deep respect for the United Nations because of the principles it embodies. That makes this pettishness on their behalf much harder to bear. Don’t they have more important things to do such as stopping wars, preventing famine, eliminating drug trade and promoting education in 3rd world countries? Apparently not according to some of their anal bureaucrats.

Shagger Green lasers rulz

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