The hell is this crap?

Friday, January 23, 2009 at 5:49 PM
High School seeks to forfeit 100-0 win The hell? Excuse me, but if a sports team sucks enough to not gain a single point in a game, then they deserve it. The school is forfeiting because it is not right for their team to kick some serious butt? This is just retarded. You won! You got one hundred points! The other team got none! That is pretty awesome! Why forfeit it? Some administrator mentions something about a golden rule. In competitive games, there is only one golden rule – beat the team no matter what, as long as you follow the rules of the game. The two teams were on equal footing, and the opposing team got clobbered. This is why America is in such a bad state of things. Because we have a pussy mentality. America, the toughest country in the world, has turned into a bunch of pussies.

Let's talk about Pirating

at 2:34 PM

Stealing is bad. Stealing is something you just don't do. You don't go into a candy store and just steal that Hersey's Kiss. You don't take what is yours, and you only get possession of something when you hand over your hard earned cash for it. You work hard, you spend hours after hours doing whatever it is that you do, you get your paycheck, you pay your taxes. You pay for insurance and food and gas and electricity and your cable. After all that, then you get to spend your hard earned money on anything you please, if that suits your fancy.

It's a system that makes sense. That is how economy works, in a nutshell. We all make a service or product, we get money, we pay for our essentials, then we buy our luxuries. And who made those luxuries? Why, somebody who was making a service, just like you.

So, what does our morale upbringing tells us when we think of stealing? Why, we remember that it is almost like we are stealing from ourselves. Thus, stealing is wrong. One hundred and one percent, all the time, always, and forever.

Right?

Well, not really. In the videogame industry, there is something called pirating. Pirating is essentially when somebody downloads a videogame and does not pay for it. Somebody steals a game. From the outside, this is all bad.

Things are never quite so simple, however. What if, oh let's say, a computer game installs data gathering software on your machine, without your permission? It doesn't even say so on the box, even? What if this software not only sends data, but by doing so, it creates a back door on your computer for hackers to get into your computer? What if, sometimes, this software doesn't even allow you to install the game that you legally bought? Even better, what if the software decides that you did not buy the game – even when you did – and takes out some essential object from the game, like a character or mission objective? Oh, and before I forget, this software gives you a limited amount of activations, and after that, you have to buy the game – again! - to play it.

I have some bad news. This is all real. This is SecuROM. Many major publishers, such as EA, Atari, and 2k Games, use SecuROM.

This is just one reason why people pirate. So that they don't have to deal with this crap. If a major publisher decides to treat you, the customer, like a criminal, you might as well throw one back. SecuROM is, on the surface, an anti-pirating program, but it is easily cracked within days, if not hours. SecuROM has never once prevented a game from being put on torrents or sites. As an anti-pirating tool, SecuROM fails on all fronts.

That is one of the reasons why I recently pirated “Dead Space”, a phenomenal game. It is a great game, with some certain flaws to the PC port. I wanted to play the game, but I also did not want to have my computer become security flawed. I should be able to play a game without having that risk. That's why some of my friends pirate. They shouldn't have that risk. Just because we choose not to play on the consoles does not mean we should be punished.

I have other reasons why I pirated, sure. I wanted to see if I liked it. There was no demo of “Dead Space”, and even then, demos usually only contain the good bits of a game, leaving any major faults out, giving us an improper impression. I have a one-third rule: I play a game one third of the way through. If I like what I see, I buy it. If not, I uninstall it and move on with my life.

There is also the issue of if the game will work on my machine. Now, I have Windows XP SP3, 2.5 GB of RAM, and an ATI X1650 PRO 512 MB videocard. Most games released today should work, but there is always the off chance that it won't. So, I pirate games I want to play, just to be safe. After all, since all opened softwares can't be refunded at most stores, I am given very little choice. Either I buy a game that may or may not work, and thus have a chance of forking over fifty dollars for nothing, or I pirate it and see.

The sensible thing to do would be to pirate it. Since fewer and fewer companies are giving us PC gamers demos – and even then, those demos give us a foggy view of the actual endgame product – you really can't ask why we pirate.

Now, of course, some people pirate so that they don't have to pay. I understand that. I love free stuff. But is that why I do it? No. I pirate to see if the game will work, if I will like the game, and so that I don't have to deal with SecuROM.

It should be said that people will be responsible when they are given appropriate power, but we know that isn't true. I can only speak for myself when I say I am doing what I think is right, and I do so responsibly. Just because people pirate does not mean they are bad people.

Now, some would say that pirating is bring down the industry to its knees. That's what the chairman of “Iron Lore Entertainment” said. He put the blame on those of pirated a game released prematurely as why his company went out of business.

The thing is, they did something very fishy. For all pre-released and thus, pirated, copies of Titan Quest, once you left the cave of the tutorial level, you got a crash to desktop error. It was programmed into the game.

But, they did not say if it was a fatal bug, or if it was an anti-pirating maneuver. They just crashed the game, leaving the player to their own conclusions. It didn't take long for word to spread like wildfire that Titan Quest was a critically flawed game. “Don't buy it!” everyone said. They were the prophets of doom, and they preaching the word of how Iron Lore Entertainment was releasing a game you couldn't even beat.

Of course, this didn't happen in the commercial products, but the damage was done. Iron Lore Entertainment still had the time to release an expansion pack to Titan Quest, but it didn't take long afterwards for THQ, the owner of Iron Lore, to announce they would be closing down Iron Lore.

So, do you want my opinion? I think it's a mixture of those who pirate and don't buy the games they finish (as well as in theory like, since why would you finish a game if you did not like it) as well as the developers who put in anti-pirating software that punish those that do buy the games.

Developers, stop laying the blame on pirates, because it's not just us. It's you too. Your anti-pirating software backfires. It actually prompts more people to pirate!

And to all my fellow pirates...if you like the game, give some support to the developers. If you like the game, buy it. If you don't, just delete it. But don't play a game and not pay for it. As much as you would like to think otherwise, these guys need to eat as well! Everyone is suffering from this Recession, and you aren't helping things.