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Comment None of you are getting it (Score 2, Insightful) 952

Hi, I'm the author. Please calm yourself and read this post with a clear mind.

First, to clear up some confusion regarding the interview:

I simply provided StarForce with an opportunity to voice their own opinions. I don't take their side, I do ask them tougher questions about how legitimate PC gamers feel it's unfair to not only to have to pay for the copy protection indirectly by purchasing the game, but to put up with the hassles. They gave their answers, that's all.

Then I look at this thread and I realize to my disappointment that most of you just don't you get it. It's all the same panicked, self-entitled, I'm-my-own-little-god-don't-step-in-my-universe whining. God forbid a publisher protect his investment on your PC. How dare he?

I'm sure most of you are conveniently forgetting the number of times you've pirated games - whether it's downloading warez, copying from a friend or copying FOR a friend.

Any arguments I've seen "for" the right to crack/warez games fall apart. Simple fact: you benefited from the hard work of the developer and publisher without due compensation. Price too high? Game sucked? Misleading system requirements? Too bad: caveat emptor.

How hypocritical Slashdotters are. When stories are posted of stupid lawsuits because someone was careless in purchasing or using a product and did themselves/their family harm, you jump all over them. High and mighty. Superior, intelligent, all-knowing.

Where are those attitudes when it comes to bragging to your friends about how you pirated a game because it was too expensive for what you'd get, or because it was buggy and you don't "feel" like paying for it. Then you complain when copy protection gets more intrusive and controlling. You made your bed, you sleep in it.

Fact is, we have this copy protection because we don't stop ourselves from pirating. Pure and simple. The culture of the PC gamer is disgustingly self-indulgent. Worse, it's spreading to console games.

Piracy has been accepted on the PC much longer because it's been around much longer. The first games weren't even commercial, they were sent across networks and transferred with disks. This acceptance of piracy has persisted through the years, every new gamer learning from the ones before him. "Oh everyone else does it." Well it's WRONG.

It's not like publishers are making billions off you by overcharing - and if they were, you could simply say "no, I'm not going to buy this." Yes, you want it, but that doesn't mean you deserve it for free.

I've gotten some of the most ridiculous pro-piracy arguments ever in email over the last day.

"Sometimes cracking copy protection is the only way to get it to run on Windows emulators on Linux"... er... just where did the publisher state that they support Linux? And how does this give you the right to steal their game?

"Game companies run out of CDs, so if you break/lose yours, you can't get new ones. Plus, you have to pay for shipping!" Right, and if I lose my car or smash it around the tree, the car manufacturer owes me one for free. No, I get it through insurance, which usually costs me more over the lifetime of the car than the car did itself.

"Game companies *GO OUT OF BUSINESS* sometimes. Try getting your original System Shock 2 CD's replaced." Right, this sucks. Part of the reason game companies go out of business is piracy. But moreover, I still fail to see how this entitles you to a new copy of System Shock 2 if YOU lost or broke your own. It's your property, be responsible for it. Your kid lost it or dog chewed it? I can't quite understand how this is the publisher's fault.

"When games get really old, usually one is forced to turn to emulation. However, *COPY PROTECTION MAKES EMULATION DIFFICULT*. This can lead to games being lost forever; this is happening to arcade machine games already." This is called obsolescence. Things become so old it's not worth supporting them. You don't see IBM supporting the first mainframes they sold and you don't see people complaining they can't run MacOS 1.0 on their latest computer. This is a right you perceive you have, when you don't. Is it actually fair to expect a publisher to support a title when it's no longer economical? Do you not personally get annoyed when 8 years down the road your computer illiterate Aunt Beth calls and complains the internet runs slow on her Pentium 166?

That said, yes, many of these things would be nice to have. It'd be great if publishers released the source code to games so we could port them and update them so they could run on modern operating systems and hardware. If the *idea* is that important to you, lobby them for it. Form a group. If it's simply the specific game, you can usually purchase a contemporary computer for less than your motherboard costs.

Stop being angry at me. Go outside, have a smoke or simply enjoy the fresh air, drink a cool drink. Then, take a long, hard look at yourselves. Ask if it's really fair to expect all those things from a computer publisher when you wouldn't even think of doing the same to a hard goods manufacturer or even music publisher.

Game publishers, particularly on the PC side, are having it rough. I know, I've seen the sales figures and they are ugly. PC Game sales and revenues are down approximately 27% year over year for the first half of 2004 as compared to 2003, and 2003 was HARDLY a stellar year itself.

Computer sales have slowed because the market is saturating. The growth of the total number of PCs no longer masks the damage that piracy and consoles are doing. Publishers and developers will admit off the record that piracy is a big enough concern on the PC that consoles are much more attractive for that reason alone. Add on top of that ease of use, ease of programming, far fewer tech support hassles, and you quickly realize how dangerously exposed the PC game industry is.

Don't fool yourselves by thinking that just because the big games still sell a million copies, it's fair to pirate, that those "dastardly and devious publishers" are scamming money off you.

It is really time for a major self-evaluation amongst gamers. I'm extremely disappointed that even such an intelligent crowd as here simply repeats the same crybaby pro-piracy mantras after they shit their own beds and don't like the smell. Yeah, invasive copy protection sucks royal ass but the only reason it's there is because of you.

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