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A US District Judge has issued a temporary injunction affirming the first amendment rights of augmented reality games as reported by gamesindustry.biz.

The injunction was issued as a result of a court case in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, according to local paper The Journal Sentinel, The county has adopted a law mandating that augmented reality games must obtain a permit before making use of locations in county parks. While some locations have focused on banning playing the game in certain areas, this particular permit requirement targets the developers of the applications for liability.

California-based studio Candy Lab initiated a lawsuit over the permit requirement as it affects their own AR title Texas Rope ‘Em. The game is based on the mechanics of Texas Hold ‘Em style poker; players must travel to physical locations to collect cards to form their hand. You can get an idea of what Texas Rope ‘Em is like from this trailer:

The permits would have required the developer to estimate crowd sizes, times of play, and plans to handle on-site security, restroom facilities, and medical services. Additionally, they would have been charged a fee of $1,000 for the ability to play in Milwaukee County parks.

Ars Technica has a copy of the lawsuit supplementing their coverage. US District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller has ruled that the permits can not be issued until a trial takes place in April 2018 to decide the constitutionality of the permits; he has stated that the requirement for such a permit would violate the first amendment rights of the developers. The county’s response has been that the first amendment ought not to apply in this instance as the game does not convey any important ideas or messages.

What do you think of a government banning playing AR games on public property? Do you think laws targeted specifically towards augmented reality games such as Texas Rope ‘Em ought to be allowed? Let us know in the comments below!


Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!