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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2008 @ 11:55am

    Any entity that passes resolutions promoting peace, tolerance, and equality throughout the (simulated) world is a threat to the UN.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alimas, 10 Apr 2008 @ 11:56am

    Well...

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ATA, 10 Apr 2008 @ 12:12pm

    Uh oh... here come the Smurfs!!!!!

    Great. It seems like the only effective thing the UN can do is protect its own trademark from a group that's actually doing something positive with it.

    Reading this reminds me to watch "No Man's Land" again...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nate, 10 Apr 2008 @ 12:20pm

    Logo

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    WarOtter (profile), 10 Apr 2008 @ 12:33pm

    Hah!

    They should not only leave the UN in the game, they should change the entire game name to UN. What would the UN do? Bitch about it for a couple months, use stinging rhetoric to suggest harsh action, then have the entire measure deflate as the European states argue over sausage imports while the US and Russia attempt to out-veto each other.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2008 @ 1:21pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GHynson, 10 Apr 2008 @ 2:59pm

    The Real Purpose

    The only thing the REAL UN passes in real life, is
    money from one government to another.
    They've never helped the people in need since the UN was founded.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2008 @ 10:35pm

    UN Unmasked?

    I've heard people claim that the UN was anti-freedom but never really knew what to think about those claims. This story leads me to start believing those claims.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shagger, 10 Apr 2008 @ 11:14pm

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nasch, 11 Apr 2008 @ 7:55am

    ...it seems unlikely that anyone would believe that the real United Nations was being represented in an online game.

    I think you might be underestimating the stupidity and gullibility of the public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Roma, 10 Jun 2009 @ 12:00am

    Proposal for your site

    We invite you for our three-way link exchange program.

    This exchange of links would be mutually beneficial in promoting our websites on search terms…
    We would be happy to share the site details upon your email response.

    Hope to hear from you soon and have a great day.


    Thanks
    Roma,

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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