Nuxified.org and Cluenet.org are preparing to hold a Free Software gaming tournament. Its purpose is to promote gaming in the Free Software world, on operating systems such as GNU/Linux, and *BSD and show that gaming is not limited to proprietary platforms such as Microsoft’s Windows.
We would like to do this in a collaborative and open way so this first announcement serves as a call to everyone who may be interested to join us and help us build this tournament. One of the first things that we need to do is choose which games to include in the tournament and for that we need to set some criteria.
Since this is about promoting games which are Free Software, a question of “how free must it be” becomes relevant. There are basically two major elements of a game, the engine (actual code and logic behind the game) and the data (game art such as maps and textures). For this tournament to make any sense as one of promoting Free Software games the tournament will not accept games which have an engine that is not under one of the Free Software licenses, so what remains to be decided is the freeness of game data (art basically).
For this purpose we are inviting you for a vote on the following poll: Which games should be selected for the upcoming tournament?. We have put it down to two simple choices:
- 1. Games which have their free/libre data, free to use, share and modify for both commercial and non commercial purposes – basically this is data which is free in the same sense as Free Software is – it provides the famous four freedoms.
- 2. Games with non-free data according to the Free Software or Free Works definition which is at least free to use and share non-commercially.
By default we have always preferred greater freedom than less of it. We weren’t clear on how to ethically view the issue of game art though, which is why we actually asked Richard Stallman, a long time veteran on such issues, for an opinion – and we got one. With consideration of his thoughts we can conclude that non-free game art are not an ethical problem the way non-free software is because art is not functional and does not have a capability of lock-in. However, freer art is better for collaboration between people and overall cultural growth.
This basically means that whatever the result of this poll, we will consider it acceptable within the context of ethics.
What are the practical implications of either choice? Well, the first option is naturally a bit more limiting because it would allow only games which have both data and engine free in the same sense. This includes games like Nexuiz, OpenArena, Battle for Wesnoth, Frozen Bubble and other games which, for example, Debian includes in its main repository and Ubuntu.
The second option has a wider amount of acceptable games. In addition to the ones mentioned, this would include games like Tremulous, Cube (and its derivates), certain Doom and Quake ports and basically other games included in the Debian contrib/non-free repositories or Ubuntu’s multiverse.
As you vote for either of the two options I invite you to make suggestions of games that you’d like to see supported in this tournament, fitting the criteria that you chose.
The next step is to recruit players and divide them into teams (if necessary) and put them in brackets for each game, as well as specify the times at which games will be played. We will use Nuxified’s gaming forumprimarily to communicate with players and discuss the ongoing details of the tournament, such as time slots for game matches, maps that will be used etc.
So, if you have any ambition for the GNU/Linux, BSD and Free Software gaming world to thrive, with you in it, join us in making this tourney a success!
Edit: If you want to participate please sign up here!