Ah, click bait headlines…how fun, right? But that’s the effect that a recent discovery in Amazon’s term of service is having this morning. Of course, it’s just a major coincidence that so many websites and social media users are sharing this NOW, with media outlets around the world running amok with their take on the Zika virus, right?
Let’s back up and bring some voice of reason to what is arguably going to result in a lot of misunderstood venom towards the “evil empire” (Amazon) and its efforts to control humanity.
Amazon has launched a beta-test of its free gaming development platform called Lumberyard. There is a virus called Zika that is–largely thanks to “journalists” who were wrong about Ebola and therefore have to be right about something–reportedly spreading among humans.
And that is officially the only connection between Amazon and a raging human infection.
Probably just for kicks, somebody over at Amazon’s development team included an item in Lumberyard’s terms of service that allows the company to suspend its regulations in the event of a zombie apocalypse, one that involves a widespread illness that specifically causes human death and reanimation. In other words, one that isn’t real.
What is real, however, is that Lumberyard’s TOS state the platform is not to be used for any mission-critical application to human life. It gives specific examples, but basically, you’re not supposed to build your own nuclear reactor and then use Lumberyard to develop any safety simulations or contingency plans. Ditto building an airport; don’t use Lumberyard to construct your air traffic control planning. It’s sad that Amazon had to point this out, but you know it’s because somebody would do it.
However, Amazon is willing to let you–nay, practically inviting you–to use Lumberyard to develop an emergency management strategy should a virus give rise to a country of zombies and you have to fight your way out. This is actually really smart thinking, if you examine it too closely. After all, Lumberyard is a game creation tool, and since a significant percentage of its users will probably incorporate zombies into their projects, what better tool do we have if the zombie apocalypse actually happens? Trust me, I don’t need the beautiful cast of The Walking Dead running the show if hordes of reanimated creatures stalk my town; I’ll want gamers who have years of carefully honed experience dealing with these things.
[Author’s Note: Can’t be sure who first discovered this gem in the TOS, but just in case, crediting @codepo8, whose tweet was the first that I saw about it.]