Man with Muslim name blocked from registering for Epic Games Paragon beta


#1

[Read the post]


#2

I’m kind of not seeing a problem. It sounds like epic is legally required to not export UE4 to specific people because of US trade sanctions. They fucked up by applying that list to their commercial game. They fixed the problem quickly when it was brought to their attention. If I’m following the twitter feed correctly, they fixed it in less than 24 hours, and with pretty good transparency about what went wrong and why.


#3

When you start your projects with a go live date - typically before you even know how much needs be done, you set yourself up for failure.

As development continues & takes more time than was expected^, sacrifices need to be made. Frequently these sacrifices are first absorbed by QC & QA.

All of this can be easily explained by A) poor test cycles &/or B) insufficient/no test cycles.

I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often - or - this is an indicator of things to come across the spectrum.

^ Again, Peter Principle is likely in effect here as those who set timelines on development projects are some of the most frequently incorrect people I’ve ever worked with, ie: worse than your local weather-person. They are also frequently promoted up to that position & many never move up from there.

Edit: stumbled upon an auto LI when using a superscript indicator (& a typo)


#4

What? How can you hope to block something via a NAME sign up. That makes no fucking sense.

  1. The US really is a melting pot and you will find names from any and all nationalities. So chances are even if you have a legit reason to try to avoid a specific person, there are provably several others with the same name.

  2. Is all they check is the NAME? Gee, now I am John Smith. L33t Haxor!

  3. This is for a game, right? Not something even remotely important, is it?


#5

It seems like this regulation is just impossible to comply with. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.


#6

Their CEO stepped in quickly, apologized, admitted they did it in a poor fashion, and then quickly fixed the issue. I say good on Mr. Khan to highlight it, and good on the company to quickly and professionally address the error. This is how race relation dialogue is supposed to happen. Sure, could the company have avoided it in the first place? Sure. But at least they got it sorted, fast and courteously, when the insensitivity and questionable nature of it was pointed out.


#7

i feel a great disturbance… as if millions of fans suddenly cried out in pain. :wink:

what is important is an interesting question… video games are relatively new in history, but sports games ( incl. football, both varieties ) are hugely important in world history and economics.

more interesting, though, is what can you do with a video game – this article about gold farming laundering is from 2008, but gives some indication of why the treasury would want to be involved.

not to imply this is a good thing. my understanding is many of these economic injunctions are without due process. it’s scary to see how far the tentacles go. ( and if companies like valve have to do this, it’s a sign of more barriers to small startups coming on the scene. )


#8

If anyone is interested, here is the list he was purported to have matched:
https://www.treasury.gov/ofac/downloads/sdnlist.txt


#9

I mean it’s not like we are leaking state secrets or spy names or something that is going to get someone killed.


#10

Holy crap, the Academy of Natural Sciences is on that list - because Korea has one too.

¯(°_o)/¯

How do we go about permanently disqualifying from voting or holding office everyone that thinks a literally global list of bad guys’ names was a good idea?


#11

I’m well out of my depth on US trade restrictions, but:

  1. yes, their original system will yield false positives. However, the number of people buying UE4 is, I assume, quite a bit lower than the number of people who will play a video game, so you get a relatively low number of false positives, and then those people can contact Epic to say, yes my name is Muhammad Khan, but I’m not that Muhammad Khan. You can talk to a human and get it sorted out.

  2. If you have to pay for UE4, then you can only be John Smith if you have John Smith’s credit card. Perhaps more importantly, if you misrepresent yourself to obtain UE4, then I suspect that opens up a lot of legal avenues to ensure that you don’t see large portions of the revenue from the game you made with UE4.

  3. Do you mean the game he was blocked from, or the UE4 engine that was meant to be export controlled? The importance of games is subjective. It’s understandable that someone would be pissed off to be blocked based on their name.
    The Unreal Engine, on the other hand, is the engine of choice for a lot of game studios, and game studios can be lucrative, if you’re exceedingly lucky. Also, apparently a lot of government agencies have licenses for it.


#12

Given that the list is people that they are required to ban and not a list of names they have to ban I think someone in Epic is getting a rather heated talking to…


#13

True! All that stuff goes down in Second Life and WoW.


#14

Well, I can talk to someone who has a job that allows them, nay, encourages them to exercise petty opressions. Why does that remind me of the Stanford prison experiment? Oh, right, because I’ve encountered the TSA and seen what being part of that machine does to people’s sense of right and wrong… I’ll just avoid the game, and all other games from the same vendor, instead.

Luckily purchasing games is not yet mandatory, like purchasing car and health and flood insurance is.


#15

[quote=“timber_munki, post:12, topic:71943”]
the list is people that they are required to ban and not a list of names they have to ban
[/quote]Alright, I’m curious. How would you propose to implement banning specific people rather than specific names?

No, you’d be talking to someone whose entire job is to convince you that Unreal Engine is the right tool for your games studio, and that any problem you have will be taken seriously and resolved quickly


#16

Well, yeah – like guns that are used for target shooting, as opposed to killing people. Not important.


#17

well, as long as we’re derailing the thread, I may as well do it with something interesting -

(warning - possibly apocryphal anecdote ahead)

a lot of sony’s tech for the ps3 (and maybe even the ps2 - I forget?) was export controlled because it was thought that the image processing was at a level where it could be usefully incorporated into missile guidance systems.

ETA - now with possibly apocryphal sourcing!


#18

Either it is important to control it or it isn’t. You’re telling me a Russian hacker couldn’t get an American’s identity, buy this thing, and then export it with ease - all while doing vodka shots?

This is akin to having a site make you enter your age before entering. It’s worthless to the point of being pointless.


#19

By using other data as well, if the database does not include more data you cannot use the name as the sole criteria. If all that is supplied is the name you cannot block on that basis. Anyone who insist that you do so, you might as well google search their name and try to talk to random people on the results list instead, because you’ll get a better response.


#20

I knew there was a “no-fly” list, but this “no-play” list is a new one on me.