Monday, August 04, 2008

FFXI =/= illegal

Please stop e-mailing me.


Pretty please.

Yes, yes. I know you read that news story.

I read it, too.

Unfortunately, it seems far too many people didn't read it PROPERLY.

For those of you who either have not read the story or are afraid that the above link leads to a video of Rick Astley, here is the basic gist of the situation:

- boy buys FFXI
- boy plays FFXI
- boy decides to quit FFXI
- boy fails to read section in manual about canceling account
- boy fails
- boy's parents try to cancel account via phone
- boy's parents fail
- boy's parents take problem to state government
- state passes law pertaining to online games
- state fails

And that's basically the matter at hand.

Oh, wait...

- entire internet implodes

There we go. Almost left that one out.

See, this story started making the rounds of all the major gaming news outlets with flashy titles like "FFXI made illegal in Illinois".

That's a catchy title. It's quick. It's edgy.

It's not even remotely true.

The law as passed requires ANY online gaming service to have an online process by which to cancel one's account.

Gee, that would have been a great idea. We should have totally included that in the Playonline client program.

Oh... We did that. We already included an online process by which one could cancel their account.


Well, we should probably have explained the process in the manual.

We did that, too? Really? Right in the manual?

Oh... Okay...

Maybe we could have included a message when you create a content ID that explains that you have to cancel all content IDs in order to close your account and avoid being billed.

That's a good ide... Shit, we did that, too?


You'd think we'd have foreseen this problem.

And then created a solution.

And then wrote down that solution.

Several times.

Yeah, but now there's a law.

In Illinois.

That we haven't actually ever broken.

My head hurts.

To further expedite the process, I have come up with a number of alternate solutions.

Solution 1) Cancel all accounts for people in Illinois

I like this one. It solves the entire problem and saves the residents of Illinois from our nefarious explained-in-depth-readily-available cancellation program.

Win, win.

Besides what the hell are all these people from Illinois doing playing FFXI anyway? Shouldn't you people be
watching John Hughes movies or something?

Solution 2) Deluxe Package

Items needed:

- nuclear weapon
- box slightly larger than nuclear weapon
- postage to Illinois

Problem solved


Dear God! Did anyone do their homework on this before they passed the law?


Did you even read the manual?

I'm being silly. Actually reading pertinent information and understanding the situation would get in the way of passing laws.

We can't have that, now can we?

Did I mention that the boy's father happens to be a government official? That seems important.

Honestly, the whole situation just pisses me off. It's a stupid situation that lead to an even more stupid "solution".

And the worst part is that I'm sure there are intelligent people in Illinois.

Lots of them.

This kind of crap is going to give them a bad rap. A bad rap they don't deserve.

Okay, we're going to sort out the good people of Illinois from the bad people of Illinois. This will involve two simple questions.


Question 1) Are you from Illinois?

Question 2) Have you ever gotten a law passed because you failed to read a game manual?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, guess which group you're in.

Damn, I hate people.


At 7:53 PM, Blogger cobalt60 said...

Sorry, there are no intelligent people in Illinois. Just look into the stands at a Cubs game

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Leut said...

I think they should write a law that makes it legal to preemtively charge retards double the rate of non retards and donate the extra earnings to charity.....such as one that teachs GMs how to order strippers for bachelor parties.....just an example.

At 7:57 PM, Blogger KingOfZeal said...

It also raises the question: how is the State of Illinois going to enforce a law which has no jurisdiction over companies in, oh, Japan?

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Kenny said...

@kingofzeal That's like saying if I goto California to buy something, how can the state of California force me to pay sales tax on something if I'm an Ohio resident? They're offering a service in Illinois, they have to respect the laws of that state.

This is just like members of congress trying to get laws passed to create a rating system for video games to make sure parents are informed as to which games they should and should not be played by their children.

I know, they should call it the Entertainment Software Rating Board. It should have a tiered rating system ranging from Early Childhood to Adults Only. I think I'm onto something awesome here.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger KingOfZeal said...

I'm not sure if I agree they're the same thing... or at least, my mind can't see how they are. It's one thing to talk about physical items in different physical locations (tax in two different states), it's another to talk about something which has no physical bearing, offered in many, many different locations simultaneously (in this case, FFXI).

You could certainly say something about lowest common denominator with regard to legality, but then that raises issues of forcing a multinational, billion dollar corporation to conform to a very, very small part of the area they serve or face some ambiguous legal judgment, in which case just stop serving that area.

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Chris said...

@ Kenny - The ESRB is an industry controlled system not mandated by law. Same as the Comics Code Authority used to be (back when anyone gave a flying fuck).

This society repeatedly proves that if people don't like something trivial, they either A. Start saying it's illegal because it has inconvenienced them and they are totally ignorant of the laws, or B. say that 'there oughtta be a law against that'. Because they're ignorant of...everything in general.

At 10:18 PM, Blogger David said...

Only person to vote against the measure was Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D).

Voting records:

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Allison said...

April came late this year

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Sousuke said...

It's so ridiculous. Got forbid people actually read the manual. I'm sorry, but if you can't even be bothered to read the manual, then you don't need to be playing the game. More gil and NMs for the rest of us.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger jaeyde said...

who reads manuals preemptively? not i. skim the eula? not really that either. they're all basically the same. (does anyone actually read all that crap?)

who reads manuals before calling tech support? yeah... sometimes.

but really... if you're gonna take it to the government and pass a law about it... rtfm.

At 2:01 AM, Blogger Fireball said...

Yeah well that reminds me of the fact that we in Germany find it funny anyway, how the US ..well.. allows people to go to court for everything they can't handle alone. Like not drying cats in microwaves or cancel an account for a game all by themselves.

Oh wait, wasn't there a blogg entry where you suggested to read the manual before ? Seems that kid obviously didn't learn from your blogg ><

Oh yeah and: great blogg ! I so wish to cross your way in Vana'diel, even if it includes being eaten by one or more dragons. =oÞ

At 4:53 AM, Blogger Ben said...

To be fair, the cancellation process for FFXI isn't exactly intuitive.

Good to know we're getting useful laws passed in the mean time, though...

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Welcome to the United States of America.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Bufuman said...

Dave, are you HONESTLY surprised that a State Government can be this retarded? Not to mention that, even if there WERE online gaming companies that didn't have online cancellation options, they'd still be going on about their business because no one's going to bother enforcing this shit. So anyone that's freaking out about this, I have four words for you: Enjoy your deluxe package. Give 'em hell, Dave!

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Mr. Jeff said...

Gotta love them thar elected officialates! Here's a poster for em!

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Iris Caldor said...

Here's obviously what happened: Kid gets tired of playing FFXI, and uninstalls it and the PlayOnline Viewer, then tries to go to the PlayOnline website, and lo and behold, there is no account cancellation process on the World Wide Web! Of course the parents can't cancel the account over the phone, that's what the account cancellation option in PlayOnline is there for. Parents BAWWWWWW to their government, and they pass a law more likely against games that don't have a cancellation option on the World Wide Web, which I believe FFXI falls under. Still stupid, though.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Kahsha said...

Some people are just to ignorant to read instructions. Granted, the cancellation process is not printed out step-by-step for a juvenile.
Some people need to be taken out of the gene pool.

I have 4 words for these people:


At 11:04 AM, Blogger m said...

I don't play FFXI (I know, I should die now), but my ex did. And, me being the wonderful, supportive gal I am, I let him put his account on my card (see, I'm not all bad). Then we broke up. A couple months later, I realize I'm still playing for his gaming. I call, I tell them to cancel, my account stops getting charged. Gee, that was easier than getting rid of him...
Maybe they should make a law that no idiots can participate in MMORPGs?

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Linoth said...

See, they already beat you to that one. I believe the law had wording that states that if the company offers their product to residents of the state of Illinois, they have to provide a secure method of managing their account and cancelling their services online.

Counterpoint: POLViewer is online.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I hate it when people from my state do stupid shit. Makes those of us who are literate completely annoyed.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Penn said...

@ Allison. Agreed.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Music-chan said...

The thing that gets me is how all these online articles about the thing AGREE with the law. I mean...WTF?

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

On your comment about "intelligent people in Illinois" Like myself, we moved.

At 12:48 AM, Blogger tom said...

I've quit FFXI 3 times so far. It's not that hard to figure it out. My problem is not coming back though...

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Jakk Frost said...

Oh please, we're talking about a society (North American, not specifying either the US or Canada) where some complete imbecilic klutz can buy coffee from McDonald's drive-thru, spill it on herself, then sue McD's for the coffee being too hot, and WIN!

"Dammit, how dare that restaurant sell me what I ordered and take my money for it when they should psychically damn well know I'm a coordinationally-impaired retard, this is all their fault!"

We live in a society where nobody is to blame except "the other guy".

And what did she get, I forget, either $2 million or $4 million...

Umm, anyways, gotta run, forgot I need to go to McDonald's for lunch.


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