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SLFFVII Mentions in the Media.
Here is a collection of our mentions in media/blog publications, for better or for worse.
With the constant threat of fanfic lawsuits and DMCA takedown notices, it’s a wonder anybody dares show appreciation for anything anymore. Still, there are those among us who remember one of the best RPGs ever created, Final Fantasy VII (by Square Co Ltd), and dare to dream about it.
In February a group of SL residents opened a sim inspired by the spirit of a great RPG, and in an extremely rare moment of fan appreciation, the original company gave their blessing. At least… that’s what everybody seems to think.
This is the story of Midgar.
Diehard Final Fantasy VII fans have recreated Midgar in virtual worldSecond Life. To make things even sweeter, they’ve even created an RPG sim in SL so that residents can fight and upgrade their way to notoriety. Weapons and materia (gems used for magic in the FFVII universe) can be bought for Linden bucks, which converts to real world money at a rate of approximately US $1 for every 270 Linden dollars.
According to New World Notes writer Onder Skall, the game has around 300 players. Our experience with the world proved it to be expansive; upon teleporting to the start of the sim, we stepped out of the overlooking portal room and had an exhilirating view of the massive city on our equally massive fall.
In February, a group Second Life Residents banded together to recreate the dysatopian city of Midgar from Final Fantasy VII. Players can go to Midgar for a Final Fantasy VII simulation with a scripted combat system. Journey to the famed Shin-Ra controlled city, where players can either become a Shin-Ra soldier or an Avalanche rebel. Apparently Squaresoft gave their approval of the game, considering that they haven’t had the virtual island crushed under the hand of copyright lawsuits and corporate greed. The operators take their positions seriously as if they worked for Square. They do not share info about pirating Final Fantasy merchandise of any kind.
This serves as some great brand awareness for Square Enix inSecond Life. There have been so many large companies coming to Second Life to promote their products. They see the game as a huge virtual billboard. I say Square Enix lucked out with this venture. Midgar represents their game franchise, and Squeenix didn’t have to fit the bill. Nicely done
While the idea of playing Final Fantasy VII in Second Life sound fun, my infringement sense is tingling. The original article states: “As far as Square’s sponsorship of the whole thing, we know for sure that they aren’t directly involved. Among the GMs I spoke with, almost all of them were 100% convinced that Square had given some kind of blessing to the proceedings, but nobody was positive who exactly got that blessing.” And if I were involved with this, “not positive” would mean “bad idea.”
What the people have created is a derivative work, of sorts. I only say “of sorts” because no one has ever tested this medium (to my knowledge) in court. In short, among the bundle of rights a copyright owner has is the right to create derivative works. Derivative works are things like re-makes and sequels that rely on elements of the original work. As a relevant example, Dirge of Cerberus and Advent Children are both derivative works of Final Fantasy VII. The rumored remake (based on the E3 2005 Tech Demo) would also be a derivative work.
And so would Midgar in Second Life.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are staring directly into the rabbit’s hole, only this particular hole is filled with people dressed as rabbits dressed as Cloud and Sephiroth (and they are quite possibly having sex with one another).
New World Notes, by way of Slashdot, has an article on a creepy clever piece of eLARPing that combines the great flavors of Final Fantasy VII with the alterna-world hijinks of Second Life. Appropriately named Midgar, the in-game-game offers Second Life’splayers participants inhabitants the chance to live the virtual-virtual-life of a citizen of FFVII’s Midgar. Within, they can join with one of the cities factions and wage an unending war that, until now, served as back-story to one of the most beloved RPGs of all time.
The mechanics of the whole thing seem pretty well thought out, if a bit rough, and the dedication presented by those running it would be the envy of any MMO. Reading the article in New World Notes reveals a fanatical dedication to making the world as alive as possible, and the most surprising revelation is that the entire thing is supported by Squenix … or not. After tracing the claims to their source, the author of the New World Notes article comes to the conclusion that while the blessing of Square-Enix is widely assumed, no one seems to know when, or to whom, the official stamp of approval was given. Of course, none of that matters since the truth is so widely believed as to become a truth in and of itself (much like the claim that gaming blogs should cover Second Life).
SLFFVII.com is the incredibly detailed web portal of an online sub-community within a larger online community that’s actually the spinoff of yet another online community — specifically, it’s a group of Final Fantasy VII roleplayers who’ve re-created much of that game in Second Life. That’s not necessarily notable in itself. Like I mentioned last week, various Star Wars-themed roleplay communities have existed in SL for years. Thing is, SLFFVII has existed in Second Life as a contiguous community on the same sim with the same FFVII community for nearly a decade. Since 2007, in fact, which is when this blog first covered it.
Compare and contrast current images, from how it looked — and how it was organized — back then.
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