Using Parody Names?

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by AtmaVegeta, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. AtmaVegeta

    Original Member

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    Hello! :)

    I'm wondering if all of you think it would be a good idea to have parodies of people names in my game? I'm trying to add humor to my game, and I feel this would greatly add to it, especially they way I have the story laid out.

    For Example:

    George Rush (George Bush)
    Hilliam Clifton (Hillary Clinton)
    Coleza Price (Condelezza Rice)


    Its not going to be in a bad way really, just a funny-ish kind of way. With Aliens invading for ....(secert), and the Evil Bidenish Organization.


    Do you think this would be safe in this kind of way? None of the names would be excatly the same.

    Thanks,
    Dustin
     
  2. Robert Cummings

    Original Member

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    It is safe to do this, but you have to make sure their likeness isn't reproduced, ie... it has to be highly stylised.
     
  3. papillon

    Indie Author

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    One thing to watch out for with parody names, though, is that humor can be a very personal thing.... The three examples you give just look awkward and unfunny to me, and without a translation guide I would not associate them with the real names at all!

    I've read a lot of dopey Star Trek parodies and they're very hit and miss. Naming the ship The Exitprize is a clear enough derivation of Enterprise that it's not confusing, but it's not funny either. On the other hand, making their Deanna Troi character named Dee Troit is both clear and at least slightly amusing. :)
     
  4. Fantus

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    Sid Meiers Sim Golf has some parodie names as well, like Sylvester Stallion, Britney Aguilera, Pamela Panderson and Bubba Klinton.

    I smiled for a cool two seconds...
     
  5. Carolyn Ann

    Original Member

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    We call George the Lesser "The Shrub"

    Judd Shrub? (Judd is a shortened version of George).

    The other two are little more difficult. (Personally, I just love Hillary!)

    Just an opinion! :)
    Carolyn Ann
     
  6. AtmaVegeta

    Original Member

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    Thanks for the replys! :) Those names I just randomly came up with, not going to use those exact ones, going to try and think of something funny/catchy. Just wanted to make sure couldn't get int trouble over it!

    :)
     
  7. Hiro_Antagonist

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    You can use the likeness (and name) of a celebrity for parody if it's a public figure. The laws on this are clear. If it's someone that makes a living by being a 'public figure' (politicians, entertainers, etc.) then you are allowed to use their likeness without compensation for parody.

    The recent game "The Political Machine" uses politician's names, and hand-drawn likenesses. You can play as any major political figure -- Bill Clinton, George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Bob Dole, etc. Also, political cartoons use names and likenesses. This is because it's protected by the law.

    However, you *cannot* use someone's likeness if they're not a public figure, even for parody. I.e., you could not take your elementary school teacher and publicly redicule them if they weren't already a public figure. According to the laws, it's also questionable to use someone like Scott Peterson, because he doesn't make his living as a public figure -- he was thrown into the limelight by circumstance.

    You must also be careful not to libel your subject, public figures included. You can parody them, but if you say anything blatently untrue and damaging about that person and if a reasonable person assumes your statement to be true, then you've commited libel.

    -Hiro_Antagonist
     

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