It’s hard to say there will be much in the way of good news to report on the day that the dead rise from their graves and begin consuming the flesh of the living like a swarming host of berserker cannibal locusts. If the last decade or so of walking dead-infused entertainment has taught us as a people nothing else, we have learned that the zombie apocalypse will be a grim time full of ponderous silence, ethically troubling decisions, questionable hygiene and periodic bouts of ultra violence.
But Amazon is trying to make sure that it’s not all downside — so, good news. When the dead rise to eat the living, if you have any ability to mod Amazon’s new gaming platform in a way that would be useful for fending of the hordes of ravenous undead, Amazon fully and forcefully encourages you to do so – Terms of Service Agreement be damned.
The revelation comes in the aftermath of the release of a new set of tools for game developers in a package called Lumberyard. The TOS for that product notes that makers should not use Lumberyard’s development tools for “life-critical or safety-critical systems.” It goes on to specify the Lumberyard software code isn’t intended for use with medical equipment, driverless cars, airplanes, air traffic control or nuclear facilities.
All good, all normal, all expected.
Then Amazon gets a little fanciful and notes that manned spacecraft for military use or in connection with live combat should also be eliminated as use cases.
And then Amazon gets a lot fanciful when it explains the important defeater for all the aforementioned rules.
“This restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization,” Amazon said in its terms of service.
Short form: don’t use Lumberyard for anything but games. Unless all hell actually breaks loose — in which case, go nuts.
Amazon, notably, is not the only firm with frustrated Daily Show writers penning the TOS.
Tumblr also bans people from pretending to be Benedict Cumberbatch (“marveling at his alien beauty” remains on the table).