> Seth Underwood Stories: Smash and Grab (est. reading time 9 min.)

Smash and Grab (est. reading time 9 min.)

“When the enjoyment rights of the intangible begin to supersede the enjoyment rights of the tangible, all that is real will break down into chaos.”

With the development of mobile gaming on cell phones, the combination of visuals from the phone’s camera, the free and public availability of geospatial data, and GPS mobile services, a whole new set of legal issues began to develop. With it came new civil rights and concepts throwing out previously long held traditions and understandings. Gone were the ideas of enjoyment and security of private property. It was replaced with the anarchy of crime, provided the person was using a mobile phone app.

Using all the new future laws and legal understandings to the maximum effect, Smash and Grab became the hottest mobile game of the Century within a month of its release. This story is an example of its game play.

“Hey Joey, have you downloaded that new game on your phone, Smash and Grab yet?” asked Frankie. 

“Nah, my Mom won’t let me.”

“Ah, forget your Mom. Dude, download it. It is just totally crazy. Everyone at school is playing it.”

“I know. So, which one is it?” asked Joey as he looked at his phone for the app’s symbol in the list of similar named game apps.

“No, man it is the one by Ifama.” Said Frankie.

The free app loaded and proceeded to speak out loud various parts of its terms and conditions of use.

“Please enter your age.”

“What should I put?” asked Joey.

“Like your normal age.”

Joey put in his age of 14.

The app responded, “I see you are a minor. We thank you for downloading our product, according to Tyrone Allen vs. the State of Illinois you are permitted to use our product as part of your Constitutional Rights as a Minor.” 

“Cool.” Joey said.

The app continued to ask various questions and then it began to provide various legal responses such as, “Do you live in any of the following states, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island?”

“Frankie why does it care where I live?” asked Joey.

“It’s all cool, man. Trust me.” Frankie answered.

Joey tapped the “No” button on the app and the app continued to ask various legal queries dealing with certain crimes and potential user criminal background as it gave responses like the following:

“According to John Travis vs. Amy Hamilton and the Township of Upper West Sliagesk, this license agreement affords and conveys to your enjoyment rights associated with all digital assets contained and marked within this app and the connection to the physical material so marked.”

“According to Chester Stewart vs. Arnold Preston this license agreement affords and protects you against all criminal charges associated with trespassing and similar property crimes in association with the use of geospatial data used by this app as well as all digital marked materials.”

“According to Angela Barnett vs. the Town of Darfield this license agreement affords and protects you against all criminal charges associated with assault and battery in connection with game play as per your Constitutional Rights.”

“According to Roger McGee vs. the State of Tennessee this license agreement conforms and protects its user from any further criminal prosecution associated with the actions of game play even if the player has a past criminal background.”

Eventually, after the lengthy terms of condition the app asked the following of Joey-
“Please acknowledge with a picture of your face, your agreement to all terms and conditions. You hold harmless Ifama and all associates of Ifama and their families from any resulting attempts to do any law enforcement, including but not limited to extortion, bribery, and RICO in connection with the operation of this game.”

“Wow, I have never had an app mention so much legal stuff before.” Joey said.

“I know, but it’s all worth it. You’ll see.” Frankie responded back.

So the music of the app began to play this hip-hop gangster music as some crazy cartoon-like screens loaded showing mice smashing in doors and taking stuff. After that the phone’s screen went dark.

“Hey, is there something wrong with the app?” Joey asked Frankie.

“No dude. Just point your phone at something like the door over there.”

So Joey pointed it at his bedroom door. The door came into view on the phone’s screen, and there was a cartoon target with the number 50 on it. 

“See if I hit the door it is worth 50 points.” Frankie said as he physically hit the door while Joey pointed the phone’s camera on it so it was still showing on the phone’s screen. The app then showed a cartoon smash symbol and tallied 50 points to Joey’s account.

“Now here is the cool part.” Frankie said, taking the phone from Joey. “See if I go here, you can cash these points in for actual stuff.”

“What the? You can get a compact car for million points?” Joey said in amazement.

“Yeah, you can. I already know one kid in school who has two of them. Then there was this one girl who saved up enough points to buy a Jaguar.”

“Damn! So how can I get some of this?”

“Well, come on, I’ll show you right now.” And with that, the two teenage boys left Joey’s house and started to wander around the streets of their suburban town at night.

“Okay, that house looks good.” Said Frankie as they approached a small rambler’s side door.
Frankie pulled out his phone and turned on his app. “Okay, just wait until my app is loaded before you bust the door in.”

“Bust the what?” Joey said confused. 

“Okay, I am up. Go ahead and bust the door in.”
Joey gazed at Frankie in confusion.

“Come on. Use your phone. Just like before, the door is worth 50 points. Oh, to heck with it, I’ll do it.” Said Frankie as he pointed his phone at the door, then proceeded to kick the door with his foot. 
Each time he kicked it the game registered 50 points.

Joey stood there totally confused at what was going on. He never busted into someone’s house before; now his best friend since Kindergarten was knocking down someone’s side door like a common thief.

“Okay, we are in.” said Frankie.

“What about alarms and the cops? I mean you just busted down someone’s door?” Joey said still dazed at what was taking place.

“It’s all good. We got the app.”

They both entered the darkened home through what appeared to be the kitchen.

“Turn your phone’s light on.” said Frankie.

Joey turned on his phone’s light and shown it around. 

“Bummer. This is just the kitchen. There’s nothing here. Come on, let’s find the living room. The good stuff is always in the living room.”

The two boys walked through a plaster archway into the living room.

“Man, look at all the old stuff.” Said Frankie as Joey shown his phone’s light around illuminating the room filled with various memories of forty years of marriage and family life.

“Hey now, looks like the old people have a wicked wall monitor!” Frankie said, standing next to a full length thin wall monitor next to an old wooden piano. “And check it, 500 points! Score!” Frankie said, pointing his phone to the wall monitor as the app shown a cartoon 500.

“Okay, let’s both tag it at the same time. Show your phone to the monitor while I do the same, then we both touch the monitor.” Frankie instructed Joey.

As the boys were tagging the monitor, an old man was making his way from a side hallway and turned on the light switch on the wall. Joey let out a gasp as soon as the lights turned on. The old man said, “Who the heck are you two? What are you doing in my house?”

Frankie pointed his phone to a nearby wooden chair and said, “Joey point your phone at that chair and grab it. Then point your phone at the old man, and hit him with the chair. I’ll get the monitor off the wall.”

In a panic Joey did as Frankie told him only to realize that he just smashed a chair over some old man knocking him down to the floor. Meanwhile the app on Joey’s phone registered 200 points for the action.

“Okay, I got the monitor, but I could use a hand with it.” Frankie said struggling to carry the monitor.
The two teens carried the monitor out of the house and started to make their way down the street.

“Okay, we’ll take this monitor back to your place for now.” Frankie said.

“My mom is going to freak when she sees this!” Joey said.

“It’s okay. I’ll have the app people pick up it before she realizes anything.”

Some way down the street a police car stopped the two, and the officer got out of the car.

“A bit late for you two to be out.” The Police Officer, said eyeing the monitor the two were carrying.
Frankie, who still had his phone in hand, carefully showed the officer that they were playing the game “Smash and Grab”.

“Oh, I see. Well then, carry on.” Said the Officer as he proceeded to get back into his car. 

“Hey Frankie, the app says it’s worth 500 points to punch the Cop in the gut? Should I do it?” Joey asked, looking at his phone.

“Go ahead.” Frankie responded.

With that Frankie punched the officer, just as he was about to get into his car. The officer fell into the driver's seat of the car from the punch. The officer responded with a slight laugh, “You dang kids and your games.”

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Graphic sourced from Canva.