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The NES Celebrates 30th Anniversary

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Nintendo’s Famicom Console System celebrated its 30th birthday back in July of 2013, but it was 30 years ago this week that the Nintendo Entertainment System made its debut in the U.S..
On October 18, 1985, Nintendo renamed the Famicom and released it in North America as the NES, Nintendo Entertainment System. Not only did it ensure Nintendo would have a future outside of Japan, but it ensured gamers would have a future playing games in the comfort of their homes.

Back then, gamers were still feeling the aftershocks of the 1983 home console failure, and bad successes of third-party entertainment systems. Scared off by falling stocks and an abundance of low-quality titles, most retailers at the time suspected home video games were nothing more than a fad and stopped production. The glory days of the Atari 2600 and Intellivision came to a surprisingly fast halt. Nintendo faced an uphill battle getting the NES on store shelves, since retailers were skeptical about its success. The company first showed off the system at the Consumer Electronics Show in June 1985, and it quickly ran into skepticism. Retailers were afraid of its complexity and hesitated at promoting another video game console.

The reception convinced Nintendo to delay launching. The company made some changes, including putting games onto noticeable grey  cartridges. It also packaged an accessory called R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy), a small  toy that worked with two games and was meant to make the NES look more sophisticated than past consoles, which is now an icon in Nintendo lore.

So, on this day 30 years ago, Nintendo released the console in limited numbers in New York. Only about 50,000 units were sold through the holidays, but it was just enough to prove to Nintendo that the system had a future. In early 1986, the system was made available in other cities and soon nationally.

Ultimately, it was the NES’s incredible lineup that helped the system find its footing. Launching with 17 games, the NES enjoyed a terrifiic suite of games, such as Duck Hunt, Hogan’s Alley, and, the most well-known, Super Mario Bros. Gamers remembered why they had embraced the hobby in the first place, and the path was set for the industry’s revival.

By the time the console was discontinued in 1995, over 700 NES games had been released and over 30 million systems had been sold in America alone. It is also one of the longest running consoles to date.  And it has become a major influence in the future of gaming.

Happy 30th, NES.

Alexandra Balevre is a creative writing student at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. An admirer of coffee, music, and poetry, her middle name is not Starbucks. However, you could probably find her inside one writing one these articles.

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Xbox One Owners Can Now Play DC Universe Online

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Xbox One Owners Can Now Play DC Universe Online

DC Universe Online is now available for the Xbox One.

Daybreak Game Company has announced that their online superhero title is available right now for download on the Xbox Store. DC Universe Online will require an Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to play. Unlike its PlayStation 4 counterpart, the Xbox One version of the title will not support cross-platform play with PC gamers.

DC Universe Online first released for the PlayStation 3 and PC back in 2011. The game came to the PlayStation 4 in 2013. In DCUO, players create their own hero or villain, choosing their powers and movement mode. The player can then become a member of either the Justice League or The Society depending on whether the chose to be a hero or a villain.

Daybreak Game Company, the game’s developer, was originally known as Sony Online Entertainment. When Sony sold off the studio in 2015, they immediately announced that they would  bring their games to the Xbox platforms. They confirmed that DCUO would come to the Xbox One back in January.

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VIDEO Reddit User Finds Easter Egg in “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” 29 Years After

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VIDEO Reddit User Finds Easter Egg in "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!" 29 Years After

Children born in the 1980s, listen up.

Remember “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” on the orginal Nintendo Entertainment System? Remember how each opponent got increasingly more difficult to defeat as you traversed your way through the rankings as “Little Mac?”

Opportunities to land a blow, be it a simple jab or a power punch, were fewer and farther between as you worked your way up to the ultimate boss — Iron Mike himself. It’s been 29 years since it first came out, but gamers are still fascinated by the title. So much so that a Redditor recently unearthed an Easter egg, a visual clue, that tips you off as to when to throw a knockout punch against two of the game’s tougher foes, Piston Honda and Bald Bull.

Check it out.

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Makers Of ‘NBA 2K16′ Sued for Copyright Infringement Over NBA PLayer’s Tattoos

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Makers Of ‘NBA 2K16′ Sued for Copyright Infringement Over NBA PLayer's Tattoos

The lawsuit, filed Monday, says tattoos found on NBA players within “NBA 2K16” are copyrighted works owned by Solid Oak Sketches and were used without permission by developer Take-Two Interactive.

A new lawsuit addresses an uncertain legal issue that’s been stained in the minds of the public ever since Mike Tyson’s tattoo artist sued in 2011 to stop the release of Hangover 2.

The action was filed on Monday in New York federal court by Solid Oak Sketches, which claims to own copyright to several tattoo designs featured on the bodies of NBA stars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kenyon Martin, DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe. Solid Oak is suing Take-Two Interactive Software and other companies associated with the videogame NBA 2K16 for unauthorized reproductions of those tattoo designs.

The question over whether tattoo designs are copyrightable has never been fully decided by a court, as acknowledged in the new lawsuit. Victor Whitmill’s lawsuit against Warner Bros. over Hangover 2 settled as has other disputes including one by a tattoo artist, Christopher Escobedo, who inked a UFC fighter and later asked a bankruptcy court to determine the value of his tattoo claim against videogame publisher THQ.

On one hand, copyright law protects original works of expression fixed in a tangible medium. In the Whitmill case, before it settled, the judge commented, “Of course tattoos can be copyrighted. I don’t think there is any reasonable dispute about that.” An opinion was never issued, however. In the THQ case, Escobedo was awarded $22,500 for his lion tattoo.

Then again, it could be argued that tattoo appropriation in an expressive work is de minimus.

Solid Oak Sketches argues that the tattoo designs “easily satisfy” a standard for originality. The designs — including a child portrait on LeBron James’ inner left forearm, a crown with butterflies on Kobe Bryant’s right bicep and a script with a scroll on DeAndre Jordan’s right shoulder — were created by tattoo artists Shawn Rome, Justin Wright and Tommy Ray Cornett, who according to the complaint, signed copyright license agreements with the plaintiff. As for fixation, Solid Oak Sketches argues that the designs “are imprinted permanently upon the skin of humans, clearly stable and able to be perceived for much more than a transitory duration.”

The full complaint is below.

The plaintiff, represented by Matthew Spritz and Heitner Legal, also cites scholarly journals and says the United States Register of Copyrights has issued certificates of registration for the tattoo designs.

In a demand letter to Take-Two before the lawsuit was filed, an attorney for the plaintiff took the $22,500 award to Escobedo, and using information about NBA 2K16 sales, calculated that the value for the eight tattoos should be $572,000. But there was also the matter that two of LeBron James tattoos were featured on the cover of the videogame. According to the letter, “Given that those two tattoos are ‘the face’ of the 2014 game, their marketing and promotion value is, conservatively, at least four times the value of the rest of the tattoos.”

Thus, the claimed value of using all of the tattoo designs in question allegedly equals $819,500. That tattoo design company offered a perpetual license for a fee of $1,144,000.

Presumably, Take-Two declined the offer. The company declined to comment about the lawsuit, which demands injunctive relief and monetary damages.

Tattoo Copyright NBA2K

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