Gotham: City of Heroes – And Villains, Too

by lavinia on 07/09/08 at 2:48 pm

by Lavinia Carver


Just randomly browsing round the metaverse can actually prove useful. I found that out a little while ago, when I stumbled upon Gotham. I had first seen Gotham when it was mid-construction, so it didn’t look too good. It also took forever to build, so I personally thought it would take FOREVER to open.

I am not in any way fascinated by the whole superhero or super-villain thing. I’ve never read a single comic, DC or otherwise. Really the whole appeal was that this was as close to a modern day, realistic RP that I could get without having the mafia, magic, etc. involved.

Arkham Asylum, where many a villain has resided at some point of time

For those of you who have never heard of Gotham, (who hasn’t? Even I knew Batman!) it is the city of residence for one of the world’s most famed superheroes: Batman. Of course, the sim is not restricted to Batman only, it involves the whole DC universe and anything else you can make up! (if it doesn’t suck)

The Iceberg lounge, Gotham’s largest lounge and club

If you’re interested in rping, just search Gothamand it should pop up. Now, DON’T FORGET TO READ THE RULES. The owners and managers of the sim expect you to read them, and give almost no leeway on violations of those rules. If you’re just looking to go and pretend to be Batman for a while, forget it, two people already ARE Batman.

Wayne Manor, residence of Bruce Wayne, billionaire

I was unable to get an interview with any of the managers or owners due to a communication issue that cannot be fixed at the moment, but I can give new players a couple hints. First of all, this sim uses DCS2, so I suggest you find $75L and buy a DCS HUD and the free fist fighter at least. You can’t just go in and pretend to be a superhero or villain, you need to contact one of the managers to start talking about an audition. I have no idea how it works, because I’m happy with my civilian role. You’ll have to start as a civilian, but don’t let that discourage you. You can still go rob the bank or help stop a robbery in progress, just don’t do it until you join the group and have made yourself known to the city rp-wise. I actually would suggest starting as a freelance reporter at the Gotham Gazette or an officer at the Gotham City Police Department. You can just go to those and apply, but there is no audition for those, just fill out the form and follow the directions. That way you can learn the ropes of Gotham and really get in the swing before you shoot for the big stuff.

Overall, Gotham is a great sim, and the people on it are great too. Every one of them will be willing to help you out if you’re in a fix, or at least all of the ones I’ve come across. Lavinia, over and out.

18 Responses to “Gotham: City of Heroes – And Villains, Too”

  1. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Sep 7th, 2008

    Of course be prepared for JLU trying to shove their dicks down your mouth.

  2. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 7th, 2008

    You would think this sort of thing Time Warner would try to stop, especially in light of DC Online.

    And it also seems like you can’t be Black Canary either. Or it didn’t when I came by once or twice while it was under construction.

  3. Neo Citizen

    Sep 9th, 2008

    (Alyx must not like being held accountable for having been a PN scripter, me thinks. If you want to contribute something to the conversation, then fine – otherwise, sit down in the back of the room, Alyx, and mind your manners.)

    Jessica: Yes, yes, you WOULD think so, and the concerns that Time Warner and other media companies would try to climb into SL and attempt to police the content have been discussed quite widely amongst various in-world content creators. What it all comes down to, though, is money. Unless there’s a huge trail of greenbacks a mile wide leading straight to the door of some one real-world-identifiable person, say, to the tune of tens of thousands of U.S. dollars, it just won’t attract their attention. Remember that Time Warner, even under its current debt load of $24 billion, still has a net worth of about $77 billion US dollars. That’s “Billion” with a “B”. It’s not that they don’t care about people making money on their trademarks and copyrights – it’s that at that level, it takes picking their pockets for a HUGE amount of money before they even notice.

    Beyond that, there’s nothing to go after. Trademark infringement can really only be prosecuted if you can show substantial damages, and Gotham City doesn’t reach that bar – and if THEY don’t, then nobody else in SL even comes close. Copyright infringement is another matter, but so long as nobody’s actually publishing their own comic books or selling real world merchandise or branded computer games with DC characters, there isn’t enough to go after. It’s similar to the argument the griefers use when people whine “I’m going to call the FBI!” The FBI doesn’t care about Second Life (well, mostly – they care about money laundering and fraud, and they’ve taken one or two people out of SL who were doing that). And likewise, DC doesn’t care about online services, as long as the services themselves don’t advertise using their intellectual property.

    Back in 2005, after four years of legal entanglement, Marvel Comics had to back out of a suit they’d filed against NCSoft for pretty much exactly what you’re talking about. Now, they screwed up their case by faking evidence, but the whole thing left a bad taste in the mouths of comic book publishers with respect to ever trying that trick again:

    Further, many states have anti-SLAPP laws (“Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation”) which protect individuals and organizations from being threatened or otherwise muscled out of countersuits, making it much more dangerous for publishers to step into the fray unless there’s a clear business reason to do so.

    The other thing stopping them is that they wouldn’t be allowed to just take somebody’s word for it on a complaint – they’d have to go in and look for themselves. There’s no way they could effectively patrol the tens of thousands of sims that now make up SL, and the legal basis for going after a digital image infringement in what looks very much like an online gaming service is so thin that there’s little chance they’d spend the time on it even if they suspected that something might be going on that they didn’t care for.

    So yes, Jessica, I agree – you WOULD think so, especially in light of DC Online. Time Warner does know about the various morsels of content on SL, and it’s not just comic books, it’s about a dozen or so television properties, but from what I’ve gathered in various conversations, they simply have no interest and feel that a lot of this is so close to Fair Usage that it’s not worth the expense of taking a closer look at it.

  4. Nikola Shirakawa

    Sep 9th, 2008

    Gotham is an open place for all good comics fans. If you feel you have been banned for an illegitimate reason, I urge you to talk to the owners about it. They are very good and understanding, and if a mistake has been made, they do fix it. Of course, that only works if you really are a good resident.

  5. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Sep 10th, 2008

    @Neo Citizen: “Alyx must not like being held accountable for having been a PN scripter, me thinks.”

    I admit having been a PN Member and scripter freely.

    If I gave a shit about it, do you think I’d distribute Captcha’s Gift under the same name, with my profile pic on it, with me listed as the creator for it and all of the bullets inside it?

    Do you think I would have written an article for the Herald and deliberately outed myself as a former member?

    I love being ‘held accountable’. It makes fucking with people’s heads so much easier.

  6. Neon Denizen

    Sep 10th, 2008

    Neo Citizen-”Alyx must not like being held accountable for having been a PN scripter, me thinks. If you want to contribute something to the conversation, then fine – otherwise, sit down in the back of the room, Alyx, and mind your manners.”

    Hay-hay, yo this isn’t the 1950′s and under, okay dog? Alyx doesn’t have to sit in the back of anything if he don’t straight up feel like it, ya’ rude-racist byatch! How about y’all just bit-a-bobbin sit on the back of my back? An’ while y’all be back thar yan can kiss my back’s back, and that just so happens to be my ass! Shi-man, and of course be prepared for my homeboys in the JLU trying to shove their dicks down your mouth, and then ejaculate in yo gran-canyon-flabber-jabber with the fo-jizzle-pressure of a heavy-duty-fire-hose. Instead of getting sprayed with H20 like my gran-daddy, you gonna’ get sprayed with humility, know what I’m sayin?

    Word up; Way down! Harvord represent!

  7. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 10th, 2008

    @Neo Citizen,

    I would say Marvel v. NCSoft is a little different than this only because NCSoft was sued because they couldn’t prevent Marvel characters or characters similar to Marvel characters from being created. Which is different than this instance in both senses because if I wanted to be Black Canary, I might be limited here, but could do it on DC Online.

    And I guess I am a little jaded by the RIAA when it comes to big companies suing for copyright infringment.

  8. Nikola Shirakawa

    Sep 10th, 2008

    Actually, the Marvel v NCSoft was in another realm entirely from this build. If it could have been proven NCSoft was using the Marvel stuff as core concept, then it would basically have stopped Marvel from using thier own property to make thier own MMO. DC Universe online is a City of Heroes type MMORPG. THis build as well as virtually anything in SL, is nothing mroe than glorified fanfiction. I mean, come on, DCS is a clod of dirt compared to a fullly developed gmae around a system as you could find in any actual RPG. The onyl reason people do that sort of thing in SL is for the freedom that comes from SL’s open engine. By it’s very nature, nothing made in SL can serve as direct competition for more focused and full featured products.

  9. Neo Citizen

    Sep 10th, 2008

    (Apparently Alyx and friends are having their own separate butthurt conversation .. *sigh*. Teenagers. Oh, and thanks for reinforcing what I’ve been saying all along, that IntLibber Brautigan hires hooligans to run his sims – that really helps IntLibber’s bottom line, doncha know? I’m sure he’ll be thrilled with your outing yourself in print – again. Honestly, for a bunch of “megatrolls”, you’re pretty easily manipulated.

    Of course, there’s always the possibility that that last post wasn’t really Alyx but somebody trying to sockpuppet him. The real Alyx isn’t really quite that feckless. I don’t think.)

    That’s true, really, Jessica, you have a point. Marvel did first look at going after individuals, but the financial realities of filing such a lawsuit pretty much demanded that they go after somebody from whom they stood a chance of actually getting some satisfaction from, i.e., NCSoft. The simple mathematics of going after individual users of a service would have been like playing whack-a-mole. They might go through the complex and expensive dance of legal action against each individual, only to have to repeat it again in a month with the next person.

    So basically, Marvel went for the big target. Time Warner will be disinclined to sue Linden Lab, because there’s no legal precedent of anyone ever winning a case like this against an MMO – and that’s really the only target big enough to warrant their attention. Everybody else is too small to gamble the legal expenses on the chance of winning what would be little more than a symbolic victory. Before the lawyers get the green light to sue, the accounting department gets a vote. If they don’t see piles of money waiting for them on the other side, the whole idea gets tossed.

    I share your sentiments regarding the RIAA – Jonathan Coulton wrote a “Podsafe Christmas Song” which sums up the sentiment nicely:

  10. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 10th, 2008

    Sorry, not enough caffeine before I commented.

    What I meant to say was that Marvel sued NCSoft because City of Heroes “could” have characters that resembled Marvel comic characters. And Marvel tried to prove that by creating Marvel comic characters using the NCSoft program.

    Which is different than saying here’s a sim where you could act out your Gotham fantasies when you are trying to have a pay service for that. I would say that would be slightly different because you are theoretically losing a sale if someone uses the Gotham City sim instead of your own online service.

    On the other side, if I can’t be Black Canary in Gotham because a sim founder already filled that role, then I might be willing to pay in order to play that character in a simulation of Gotham City somewhere else.

  11. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Sep 10th, 2008

    On another note, have you Justicefags even found the present I left you in your sim yet?

  12. Stephie

    Sep 10th, 2008

    “Honestly, for a bunch of “megatrolls”, you’re pretty easily manipulated.”

    I lol’d.

  13. A is for Anonymous

    Sep 10th, 2008

    Wow, neo citizen reeks of arrogance. I often find that arrogant people tend to be morons.

    First, like a true tard, he assumes because one lawsuit failed, that the sl comic book “fandom” is safe. This is a common myth. Most fandoms think they’re immune to lawsuits and will get as ballsy as selling copywritten content because “they’re fans” or using someone else’s creation.

    Marvel, DC, and any other company dont even have to sue to get rid of a chunk of you asshats. They just have to send a DMCA complaint to Linden Labs, and I know you know that LL folds under pressure very quickly. You AR the shit out of people and pressure the lindens into responding to your abuse and doing what you want. or they fold when the media puts pressure on them.

    Also, assuming everyone’s a teenager that you dont like or acts in a way you dont like is arrogant as hell.

  14. Neo Citizen

    Sep 11th, 2008

    Not sure who “A” for whatever “A” really stands for is, (or who he thinks he’s talking to? Seems really confused. ) but if Marvel or DC were going to file any DMCA’s, they’d have done it years ago. It’s not that a lawsuit or a DMCA isn’t technically possible – it’s that for that to happen it would have to register as some sort of financial risk if they didn’t. So, yes, correct, “A”, still possible from a legal mechanics standpoint, but no, not likely at all from a corporate motivation standpoint. The motivation for them to take that kind of action just isn’t there, and frankly their attention is focused intensely elsewhere on other media that actually makes them money.

  15. A is for Anonymous

    Sep 11th, 2008

    So based on the fact they havent done it yet you claim that any comic fanboys are immune and safe.

    OH OKAY.

    Just because they havent done it yet or did it years ago doesnt mean they wont ever do it. It’s just not on their plate atm.

    once dc comics online picks up, they will probably go after anyone eho may be cutting into their market share. SL isnt that much of a threat now, but in the future it may be. Then there’s the offchance that they may not realise it.

  16. Neo Citizen

    Sep 12th, 2008

    I can’t disagree with you there – they’ll definitely go after somebody whom they think is cutting into their market share. I’m just saying that it’ll have to be more than a few thousand dollars here or there to get them to even notice. Remember again that Time Warner is a $77B company, so nobody in SL is going to be attracting their attention. Also, I don’t seriously expect that SL will be suddenly getting a reputation for cutting into DC’s market share for their MMO unless Linden Lab itself decides to start funding those activities directly and going out of their way to point that out. I don’t think anybody really expects them to do that. Where would the profit be in it?

    You’ve pointed out the bigger threat, though, which is the issue of Fair Use under U.S. copyright law. On the one hand, you have the intellectual property companies like Time Warner, Paramount, Sony and others, whose content is being used in SL, often without their permission. On the other hand, the expense and confusion of policing something like Second Life for these kinds of violations could very likely far exceed any potential value to the owners of that intellectual content. Speaking from the perspective of somebody who deals with the security of IP on a daily basis (I work for one of these IP holders, but I can’t say for which one here), these companies tend to only choose battles they think not only that they can win, but that are worth winning.

    Before Sony bought Paramount Pictures, Paramount was waging a legal campaign against Star Trek fan sites for nearly a decade. The resulting fandom backlash created so much of a public image problem for Paramount that they had to drop it – and all they were really doing was playing “whack a mole” with the fan sites anyway. I think the IP industry has matured in that respect to some degree – they’re not quite so willing to bite the hand that feeds them as they once were.

    To address your last comment, “SL isn’t that much of a threat now, but in the future it may be.” The thing that makes SL cool is its user-created content, but that’s also what makes the run-time engine so crappy and slow compared to other services. Anyone can make anything, or change anything in real time, so you can’t pre-bake the rendered environment. That makes most of the cheats and speedups used in modern games useless, so SL looks ten years old. Apart from the social phenomenon SL represents, I don’t see it climbing any further up the food chain than it already is, relatively speaking. I certainly don’t see it becoming a sharp enough focal point to draw business away from DC comics unless the whole platform underwent a paradigm shift so that it could focus just on that, and even then…

  17. Neo Citizen

    Sep 12th, 2008

    To Jessica: as I understand the case, Marvel was saying not only that the platform allowed their heroes to be recreated on the service, but that it was actually being done. Then they provided “proof” that it was, by doing it themselves and then taking screenshots of their efforts in-game, claiming that it was the work of actual users. Essentially they were faking evidence, and that’s what got the whole thing thrown out. Well, that and the fact that they couldn’t prove they were actually being damaged by this in any material, measurable sense, that was the rest of it.

  18. Ebak Naglo

    Nov 29th, 2008

    I am a current resident and role-player in Gotham city and if anyone of the Herald would like an inteview, I’d be glad to oblige.

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