As a game publisher, several times a year I get amateur game ideas. Ideas, as it turns out, are worth nothing. Implementation is everything. Nevertheless, some people’s ideas are so great that they don’t want to share them, lest they be stolen.
Here’s a letter I received this morning, verbatim. (Bullets in the original.)
- Dear Sir or Madam;
- I am a University at Buffalo student. I have developed and Copyrighted with the United States Copyright Office, a totally unique, novel, brilliant video game. Moreover, I have conducted demographic research and found that Caucasians, Blacks, Hispanics, Orientals all of various cultural persuasions have keen interest in playing this game. People from yuppie to yippie, hippie and thug, gangster, millionaire, trailer park resident, motorcycle biker, cowboy, middle of the road and any road have stated that although they would never do the things of my game in real life (at least for fear of fines or jail time) they would enjoy doing the deeds do-able in my game. My game offers a virtual reality/video game sublimation for sports/activities that mankind has enjoyed for millennium, but are now legally prohibited from doing. Human identification with the toughness and outrageous attitude that my game connotes endures, and in specialty magazines we find that the majority of advertisements are for …(I will not name them in this introductory letter) .. the “implements” which my game caters to. These “implements” sit idle in millions upon millions of American homes, idle from the tasks they were originally meant for. Several PhDs have strongly encouraged me to pursue Copyright, publication and marketing of my game! I am so excited!
- Truly I am shocked that a game such as mine has not hit the market sooner. I guess the world was waiting for me.
- As I said, the United States Copyright Office has granted me exclusive Copyright on this game. I cannot just tell you the nature of my game here in this introductory letter, even though I am itching to bring this game into stores and specialty magazines. Respond to me and we can arrange a meeting with my lawyer and make negotiations. I have been warned by other game developers that often big companies require game developers to waive rights even if the company rejects them but goes on to develop a similar game. I do not wish to waive my rights to this brain child. Together we could make $million$. Very probably, your company would make the lions’ share of profits.
- I seek a well constructed product in digital or/and analogue data bit processing; I seek a colorful, crisp game that will bring hours of enjoyment to people, like myself, interested in this prohibited activity. I have consulted anthropological forensics, research specialists and others. I have expanded the applications of the game in unique ways to bring the home player into a vivid, diverse background of play activities. I have included applications which bring the home player into the development of characters and “implements”. I have several different scoring options. Players may play against the computer, against other players on the same unit in close proximity and against players across the internet.
- For the love of money and historical preservation, get in contact with me and let’s make a fortune!
This letter made me pretty happy. From the test demographics with “Orientals” to the vague promise of virtual activities that “we’re legally prohibited from doing,” this letter is gold. All I have to do is get in touch with his lawyer and negotiate a contract so I can discover what this great idea is, and we can make “$million$.”
Oh, boy. My “implements” are sitting idle.