— Rian Van Der Merwe (@RianVDM) February 10, 2016
Rian tweeted this last week and I meant to post it sooner. Amazon updated its Service Terms and included this odd exclusion to its “Acceptable Use” clause in the section dealing with its Lumberyard Materials service:
57.10 Acceptable Use; Safety-Critical Systems. Your use of the Lumberyard Materials must comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat. However, 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.
I highlighted the relevant bit which basically means that the Acceptable Use restrictions don’t apply in the event of a zombie apocalypse. I hadn’t heard of Lumberyard before and I thought it might be a bit of a trojan inserted into the Service Terms to see if anyone was paying attention. It turns out to be a legitimate service:
Amazon Lumberyard is a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine that allows you to create the highest-quality games, connect your games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS cloud, and engage fans on Twitch. By starting game projects with Lumberyard, you can spend more of your time creating great gameplay and building communities of fans, and less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building a game engine and managing server infrastructure.
Lumberyard includes everything a professional game developer would expect, from a full-featured editor, to native code performance and stunning visuals, and hundreds of other ready-to-use features like performant networking, character and animation editors, particle editor, UI editor, audio tools, and more. Additionally, Lumberyard unlocks huge scale with AWS and Twitch so that you can more easily build live multiplayer and community-driven games.
So, basically, if the zombie apocalypse breaks out and the Internet survives it, you can use Lumberyard Materials for a range of “life-critical or safety-critical systems” which may include autonomous drone strikes on large groups of zombies; securing nuclear facilities or travelling into space when it looks as if the Earth is lost.