Monday, April 23, 2012

We Need to Grow Up

We need to grow up. There I said it. Video games are used by adults who on average are approaching the big 3 0. They’re used by both male and females at an equal rate. Who by and large have disposable income for what can only be called a luxury good. Yet time and time again we find that video game enthusiasts act like the rest of the world; spoiled children in bodies of adults.

I suppose then the point could be made, hey we’re only human and we act no better than the rest of the world. Thing is mediocre never set well with me and I’m reminded of the movie Wanted. A thoroughly pointless movie, the last line is the only thing memorable about the whole movie. In it the hero of the story asks the audience “What the f@#$ have you done lately”? When I peruse gaming sites I often ignore the comments section. There’s a certain strategy to that. Somehow no matter what site I’m looking at the comments section always devolves into three simple rules. One, there are the real comments that are interested in the article. Two, there are the comments that have nothing to do with anything and are mostly just noise. Three, there are the comments made only to cause disharmony and chaos merely to get a rise out of people. Whether it’s a comment about a rival game/company being better or it’s merely name calling; it’s always there.

PC Gamers, stop complaining about DRM. Digital Rights Management is the best and perhaps the only way to alleviate the very real problems of piracy. Piracy is killing your industry and you are the culprit. It’s that simple. Are there other problems facing the PC industry? Of course, lack of real innovation outside of indie titles, a MMO market bubble primed to burst, the death of numerous developers large and small. All of these are legitimate problems that need to be solved in the coming years; but you are single-handedly killing the golden goose. PC developers are moving to console development leaving shoddy PC ports because this is a business and losing millions and billions to piracy is unacceptable. Continue to ignore the phenomenon at you own peril.

PC gamers love to spout how DRM hurts legitimate gamers and thus sales, whether by tethering them to online only game play or by limiting the number of times they can install games they own. First of all, the idea that video game companies, developers or publishers, would in any way wish in infringe on sales of their games is ludicrous. Secondly, developers always have workarounds for legitimate cases where more installs are needed. Thirdly, the argument ignores the obvious and undeniable correlation between the need for DRM and piracy. Game companies have no reason to build levels of ill will between themselves and customers unless there is at the very least the perception of piracy hurting business. Piracy is here to stay in the digital age and beyond and game companies want to do everything in their power to be hurt by it as little as possible; PC gamers and even to some extent console gamers need to be cognizant of these facts.

Most of all we need to understand that our hobby can be destroyed just as quickly as it arose. From the legislation of video games, to the stagnation of the industry, to an MMO market eating itself to stay alive without any real growth; the video game industry can do better. We gamers deserve better and so do game companies. As the saying goes “All that stands before the triumph of crappy IPhone garbage, is for gamers to do nothing”. End File.

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