It's safe to presume that when most gamers think of the United States government and video games, they first think of legislation against loot boxes or comments suggesting that violent video games cause mass shootings. Another subject to ponder under the umbrella of the US government and gaming is the fact that some agencies within the former have actually allocated resources to make its own games.
One of these video games is the Recycle City Challenge, which is a Flash-based game from the Environmental Protection Agency. It's a fairly basic educational game that tests player's recycling knowledge, but what's notable is that the game appears to be using stolen music. Nintendo history group Forest of Illusion found the game and started playing, only to discover that music from Yoshi's Island DS can be heard.
Although the audio in the EPA game has been altered slightly, the sound is unmistakable to longtime Nintendo fans. However, it didn't require Nintendo fans with good audio identification skills to sniff this one out. Forest of Illusion found that the audio file in question is directly labeled "yoshidsunderground.mp3."
This is a pretty funny and unusual find, but some are wondering if it could open the US government open up to a legal challenge. Nintendo is no stranger to lawsuits, and is famous for the aggressive way it protects its intellectual property. Sites playing host to downloads of Nintendo games, emulators, or fan remakes have all been taken offline all because of the threat of legal action from Nintendo.
Just two months ago, even the rapper Soulja Boy faced the wrath of the Nintendo legal team. Nintendo reportedly went after the "Crank That" performer after he began selling cheap, knock-off versions of the Nintendo Game Boy handheld console. Of course, what the US government did with the Recycle City Challenge isn't totally comparable to Soulja Boy's deliberate sales of knock-off consoles, but if it used the audio from the Yoshi DS game without proper authorization from Nintendo, there could be grounds for legal action.
Whether this becomes Nintendo's next legal challenge or if it goes down as an interesting bit of history is debatable at this point, but it may not be the last time a government entity potentially infringes on any of the Big N's IP copyrights. Just last month, the Chinese government used sprites from Super Mario Bros. to depict Mario as a Chinese judge in a series of videos uploaded to its social media accounts, with these videos ripping off the background music from the Nintendo game, too.