Plagiarism? Games VERY similar to others
Plagiarism is the rather unpleasant side of the boardgame industry and not easily recognized. This is, because
a) ideas are usually not under copyright. Single mechanisms or "ideas" for a game can be freely adopted and changed and a different game built around without violating the copyright of the original "mind", at least in most countries (as far as I know, but of course, in case of several countries being involved, this is is even more difficult!),
b) some ideas are "in the air", parallel designs might happen and being published without knowing about each other,
c) designers of a game and its publishers might be just not aware of the game published ten years ago being the same of theirs. Not until the original designer is showing saying: "Hey, that`s my game!"
The SAZ (Spiele-Autoren-Zunft, aka Game Designer`s Guild), an organization of more than 400 boardgame designers, mainly from Germany, but also worldwide, has announced an initiative to settle arguments between designers and publishers about this matter. Their "Code on Matters of Intellectual Property Rights With Respect to Games" can be read here (German & English): http://www.spieleautorenzunft.de/tl_files/files/Nachrichten-...
It is yet a draft to start a discussion with publishing companies, but a good start, as I think. It is a tool to show publishers, that the game designers are all aware of the problem and they want to solve things in a constructive way.
This list has the purpose to just collect and record some similarities WITHOUT JUDGMENT about the fact of plagiarism. Please add the "original" game (usually published earlier) and give a hint to the "copy", telling us your observation of similarities, but leave it to the reader to research and coming to their own conclusion.
This is a delicate matter, so please treat it like that. Thanks.
- [+] Dice rolls