It is time the Real Vampire Community stands on its own merits! BY Michael Vachmiel, Imperator of the Vampire Court of Houston, November 17, 2017
I am a game geek. Like many of you I enjoy Vampire The Masquerade and World of Darkness, now in the hands of Onyx Path Publishing . Also like many of you I was disappointed when I learned that the on line version of WOD was canceled.
So when I heard of Shadows Kiss Online game I was ecstatic. Finally a game that would allow us to play in a dark and gother world, a dark world, in a world of ….
Oh wait, that title is taken.
But I mean there is plenty of vampire material out there! They are raising over $50,000 on kick starter! Surly they would do the research and avoid work that was the creation of others right?
Phil Brucato of Onyx Path on Shadows Kiss
“sigh Not even TRYING to disguise their source. I mean, c’mon – “Kindred spirits”? “Blood dolls”? “A dark, Gothic version of our world”?
Why not just call yourselves “Albino Lupine Game Studios” and wrap your penis in a flag that says “We dare you to sue the shit out of us”?
From the website: “True Blood, Twilight, and Vampire the Masquerade have proven to us that Gothic fantasy is incredibly popular, yet there is no online world for fans of the genre to play in. Do you want to play a space captain… or a wizard… or a mech pilot… or even Batman? If so, there’s an online game for that. But if you want to play online as a vampire or werewolf, as a fallen angel or an insatiable monster, well, you’re out of luck.”
Mr. Brucato continues
“Yeah, dudes. Thing is, the fact that the owners of those copyrighted IPs keep dropping their attempts at an online incarnation on their heads does not mean you can just rip those properties off and call them your own.
And before anyone starts in with the usual “Yeah, but vampires and werewolves existed a long time before White Wolf” or “V:tM was just an Anne Rice rip-off”… no. Yeah, the Pale Puppy team drew inspiration from a variety of sources – including Rice, who was consulted and credited back in the day; we, however, credited our sources, created new elements that had not been seen before, and spun old ideas in new ways. These folks are not even bothering to change the names of unique, copyrighted terms and concepts that originated in the World of Darkness. Hell, they’re even tossing those terms and concepts around in their trailer.
Maybe these hard-working programmers and designers should have first consulted a competent copyright attorney.”
This is not the first time White Wolf had their intellectual property stolen.
In 2003 White Wolf sued Sonny over Underworld contesting over 60 points of copyright infringement! Sony settled the case privately.
I began to think and thus this question.
So how much does the real vampire community borrow from fiction?
All these are terms from White Wolf and Vampire the Masquerade
Charlaine Harris gave us the following terms which are being used in the vampire community.
Vampire Kings and Queens
Nights Clubs called Fangtasia
The top reason why originally is important to the vampire community.
While borrowing concepts from other sources is a time honored tactic, it makes those borrowing them seem less than authentic at times. While there are many wonderful monarchies the in the community and many wonderful organizations that use terms from White Wolf, Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice and more, the problem rises in legitimacy vs role play.
If there is no uniqueness, no originality, nothing that sets the reality of our unique culture from the fantasy that surrounds our culture, then making the steps from sub culture to culture is made more difficult.
While difficult, perhaps it is time for us in the real vampire culture to take a moment and examine our words, our language, and our culture to craft something uniquely our own, and not merely a shadow of some fantastic games.