Last year, Game developer Markus Persson of Minecraft fame was hit with a lawsuit by Bethesda — makers of the wildly successful Elder Scrolls series — for trademark infringement after it was announced that’s Persson’s new project would be called Scrolls. Rather than lawyer up, Persson took the gentlemanly and anachronistic approach of challenging Bethesda to a winner-take-all Quake 3 deathmatch. Yes, this is potentially legally enforceable. No, you should not try and solve your legal disputes through trial by combat. The challenge from Persson’s blog:

I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.

If we win, you drop the lawsuit.

If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you’re fine with.

Regardless of the outcome, we could still have a small text somewhere saying our game is not related to your game series in any way, if you wish.

I am serious, by the way.

Via boingboing.

“I thoroughly disapprove of duels. I consider them unwise and I know they are dangerous. Also, sinful. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet retired spot and kill him.” –Mark Twain

See also dueling, trueling (a.k.a. Mexican standoff), holmgang, gouging, and anything else involving honor and glove slapping.

Bonus: Unusual Duels

  • In 1808, two Frenchmen are said to have fought in balloons over Paris, each attempting to shoot and puncture the other’s balloon; one duellist is said to have been shot down and killed with his second.
  • In 1843, two men are said to have fought a duel by means of throwing billiard balls at each other.