On Iron Lore and PC Gaming

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Moragauth
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Postby Moragauth » Mar 1 2008, 0:18

I think Caradoc and Theolonious both make good points. Part of why IP laws are unenforceable is because third parties cannot (or rather, should not) be prosecuted for benefiting from crimes they themselves did not commit.

Still, I find it baffling that some people think it's OK to steal what they do not own because of 'high' prices. Sorry, anyway you cut it it is a contractual violation and thus theft.
Edited on Fri, Feb 29 2008, 19:19 by Moragauth

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Postby Muszka » Mar 1 2008, 3:05

Angelspit wrote:That thread makes me wish I was poorer... :)
Please don't. And for some who live in poorer countries this isn't such a good joke.

Funny thing I didn't thought I would write again in this thread, because aside from a few post everybody defends his side (remarkable the side JJ taken).

I felt and feel useless to convince anyone to see the misery some must live in, and indeed that's a bad excuse to steal whatever even if the things stolen are some 'marks carved' in a CD called game or software.

Interesting is how some who live in the western richer countries can't and don't want to see that some people just don't live the same lives. Now I'm not blaming anyone who lives a good life (that wouldn't be fair), but seemingly those who live their good lives do blame those who don't and judge them without first beeing in their shoes. Not only that's unfair, but it can be called ashameing. Some of you from the 'upper' group who know some from the 'downer' group for years now and you (from the U) know that she/he(from the D) is a good person, and doesn't steal because he is lazy and avaricious but because he can hardly afford a game, the last what could be expected is understanding, not compassion, that's useless, but understanding can be valuable.
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Mar 1 2008, 4:48

But you don't have to play games. You could take up reading. Or do your countries not have free public libraries?

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Moragauth
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Postby Moragauth » Mar 1 2008, 4:59

But books aren't in 3D graphics...

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Postby Muszka » Mar 1 2008, 5:00

In my country nothing is free, not even the free libraries, and even those are scarce. By the way, I am reading, even the moment I write this message I have a book opened before me.
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Re: On Iron Lore and PC Gaming

Postby Muszka » Mar 1 2008, 5:02

Moragauth wrote:But books aren't in 3D graphics...
Not the graphic is what matters, but the interactivity.
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Postby Moragauth » Mar 1 2008, 5:03

I know, I like reading... :)

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Postby Vlaad II » Mar 1 2008, 5:41

PhoenixReborn wrote:But you don't have to play games. You could take up reading. Or do your countries not have free public libraries?

Real classy. What's next - "yo mama..." jokes?
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Mar 1 2008, 14:13

One theme of this thread is that people in affluent countries don't know what it is like in poorer countires.

Muzka wrote:
In my country nothing is free, not even the free libraries, and even those are scarce


So I'm not sure what classiness has to do with it?

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Postby MistWeaver » Mar 1 2008, 16:55

I dont think its that bad to get a pirated copy of a game if you are living in a country with different pricing levels and publisher does not provide a localized version with corresponding price

For example, in my country average salary is in 5-10 times less than in US. However products&services are cheaper than in US as well, not in 5-10 times but still. Here you can buy legal copy of Crysis for 12$ while in US its 49$.

Copy production price is about 1-2% for software. (And even less when using digital distribution) So publisher only wins when he can provide game for local price. If he cant, than he lost that market, and can stop whining about piracy there.

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Postby Ethric » Mar 1 2008, 17:12

He doesn't cite any sources on his piracy % estimate. It's just a rant and not an orderly article, so shouldn't really expect it either, but it also means his guesstimates are built on thin air as far as I can see.

He mentions an anti-piracy device that will make "security checks" at intervals ingame, like starting quests or leaving areas, which crashes people to desktop if the game decides you are a pirate. And how the complaints of pirates experiencing these crashes about how buggy the game is hurt sales. Seeing how often security measures mistake other conditions for piracy, this seems a ridiculous idea. Especially if it doesn't give any sort of message about the reason for the crash.
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Postby Meandor » Mar 1 2008, 18:43

Ethric wrote:Seeing how often security measures mistake other conditions for piracy, this seems a ridiculous idea. Especially if it doesn't give any sort of message about the reason for the crash.


Good point. Crackers do their job damn well so, most of the time, we don`t encounter any problems while as far as i know honest gamers encounter problems with securerom and similar security softwares. Funny when you think about it that software developed to hurt piracy is hurting legit customers more.
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Postby Bandobras Took » Mar 1 2008, 19:59

Offhand, the "This is my hobby" thing is a crutch.

I got rid of my Television a few years ago. For the first 3 months, I missed it, then I found it hard to believe I ever blew that much time on it. Got more reading done, got more writing done, etc.

About the only time I can see where computer games are a necessary hobby is in places where it's just not safe to step out your door (America has those places, too, by the way). Then you can't take walks while reading, play sports, perform on the streets, etc.

The human mind is adaptable. If you give up anything short of a physical addiction, your desire for it will go away after a while.
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Postby theGryphon » Mar 1 2008, 21:11

Wow, this thread is hot! :)

All right, with so much sarcasm flying around, I don't want to be add to the fire but I felt obligated to just put several thoughts which I believe will be accepted by most.

First of all, let me talk about myself so that you judge me accordingly if you wish to do so :) I'm from Turkey where the GDP per capita is around US$4000-5000. Currently, I'm in the US as a Ph.D student and research assistant and I make around US$25000 a year. I can't talk about percentages but we do use pirated software extensively in Turkey and even worse most people pay for it, apprx. 1/10 of original price. I myself have used many cracked/pirated software before (never purchased though) but now I'm trying to get it down to zero; a process that I've been going through since I moved to the US. Am I proud of my past, no.

Here I go:

1) Software piracy is claiming ownership (or right-to-use) on something which you don't have the right to do so; simply put it is STEALING. The motivating reasons for this act may cause you feel less guilty if at all, but they do not alter this fact.

My personal view is that overlooking this fact will/did eventually spread the idea of "it's OK to use pirated software" and harm the ethical structure of the community worldwide. One fatal misconception I believe is to try and differentiate between tangible and intangible goods here, but IT DOES NOT MATTER, THEFT IS THEFT. We live in a cyber-world now so we should accept the fact that any piece of software is a product of effort, time and money of someone out there and when you don't pay for it, it's not your right to use it. If the prices are too high to afford, then simply don't buy it, just as you don't buy a Mercedes. Well, the best thing with especially PC games is that the prices go down fast, so you just have to wait a couple of months to catch up with the fun. Playing PC games may not be luxury but playing PC games immediately after they are issued has a price which ranks for many people among luxury items.

Buying pirated software is the worst of the worlds. OK, there might be special cases where this does not directly apply (still not changing the fact that it encourages other people to do wrong), but pirated software market is largely controlled by people who use this money for much worse purposes (call them mafia or whatever).

Other facts to be listed here include that using pirated software is cheaper, more convenient, more feasible, etc. however at the end, it is not a must but a choice by those who practice it. So, please let's not try to justify theft as it is one of the universally accepted wrongs, am I not right? Doing wrong for good reason might be OK for some cases but when everybody is claiming to be doing right by using pirated software, I have to say stop right there. Killing the rapist right at the time of event might be OK but killing him after a week of tracking him down is not OK in my book and in most constitutions. I guess my point is if the ideas of "doing wrong for a good reason" becomes a dominant explanation then that act is wrong no more and we have lost one of our ethical values and maybe more.

2) There is software piracy going on all over the world, primarily in the poorer regions, and it's not a secret. That is, the software companies are also well aware of the fact. Successful ones are planning for it and are able to use it to their advantage. One very important fact is that software piracy IS the means of spreading the word, as in word-of-mouth. Using marketing slang, pirate software users are mostly innovators (leaders) and those buy it are imitators (laggards), and if you take out the innovators you lose a lot. I don't know if there is a serious work to evaluate the effects of software piracy on firm profits but I strongly believe that it might have positive effects as much as negative effects. The first and most obvious evidence is that many PC games have no piracy protection at all. I also agree that most pirated software users would not buy it at all AT THAT PRICE. That is why the prices go down so fast and deep: to make at least some of the poor audience purchase it. What almost all game companies fail to do is to provide localized versions and prices. This is what some smart firms do: adidas and Nike for example provide the same garments they do to US and EU to third world countries for much less prices. I believe if the game distributors used this kind of secondary market approach the rate of piracy would decrease in time in those third world countries. Now the fact is they don't; why? I don't know, maybe piracy in those countries don't hurt them that much, which does not say that piracy in those countries does not encourage piracy in the US or the EU where it hurts.

One other thing I want to add is that when a game company goes bankrupt, software piracy is many times a scape goat to cover for managerial failures or poor games marketed. Game development is much more challenging and the audience is much more demanding than the old days. With the emerge of gaming consoles there is high competition in many levels and profit margins are really low. As a result, especially small companies are vulnerable to go bankrupt even after a single poor title. That's the fact of this though market. Is software piracy only evil to blame, hardly so.

OK, I'm tired, that's all for today :) Cheers!
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Re: On Iron Lore and PC Gaming

Postby Vlaad II » Mar 1 2008, 21:27

theGryphon wrote:Killing the rapist right at the time of event might be OK but killing him after a week of tracking him down is not OK.
Good to know.
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Postby theGryphon » Mar 1 2008, 21:32

@ Vlaad II

The point there is to express that killing a person because he raped you is not always a sufficient justification. I guess you can make the connection to the rest of my post...
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Postby Caradoc » Mar 2 2008, 6:20

What I'm saying is that the digital marketplace is fundamentally different than the traditional retail store, mainly because the marginal cost of the goods is low and tending to zero. Ethical considerations aside, 'piracy' is part of the deal and vendors need to accept that and deal with it. Can you give away software and still make money? Ever heard of World of Warcraft? And there are plenty of other ways that you can see anywhere on the web.

As to ethics, my sweet 84 year old mother for unknown reasons gets free HBO with her cable service. She has called to let them know about it, but they have done nothing. Is she morally bankrupt for watching?
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Postby Arzang » Mar 2 2008, 10:34

This piece of news exactly describes my view on buying games. I only buy the really good games or the good games that I want to support. If H5 had been half-decent I would have bought it. I bought H4 more than once though.

If powerstone 3 is released I will buy that as well. but NO WAY in hell will I buy any of the H5, because they don't deserve any revenue from me.

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Postby Blaze85 » Mar 2 2008, 13:23

Tell me: How do i cause any financal loss to a company when i try their game after downloading it from torrent? Otherwise i wouldn't buy that game, because i don't have the money for it or simply dont't like it.
I have a dozen of original games, really good games.
I can't believe that i'm the reason (or millions of people like me) to a game publisher become bankrupt.

I know there are ethical issues too, but i tried to stay at the financial side of the problem for now...

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Re: On Iron Lore and PC Gaming

Postby jeff » Mar 2 2008, 14:36

Blaze85 wrote:Tell me: How do i cause any financal loss to a company when i try their game after downloading it from torrent? Otherwise i wouldn't buy that game, because i don't have the money for it or simply dont't like it.
I have a dozen of original games, really good games.
I can't believe that i'm the reason (or millions of people like me) to a game publisher become bankrupt.
I know there are ethical issues too, but i tried to stay at the financial side of the problem for now...


Well if you discard the game after deciding it you didn't want it then you cause little to no harm. If however you spread the game around to your friends and one or more decide they like it and then keep it without paying, well the point there is obvious.

Now there have been statements through out this thread saying the cost should be based on local conditions. Bull, it may be nice to sell a game that costs $50 in the US for $5 in a poor third world country (obviously this is an extreme example); now perhaps it can be justified if the game has been on the market for a year or so and the R&D costs have been recovered. Japanese companies did (perhaps still do) this with many of the early video game cartridges, the Japanese paid much more for Sega and Nintendo titles, so the company recouped their costs and then they sold them elsewhere. Now we did not get all titles and they always arrived months after their Japanese debut. This spurred a market for the Japanese version of the game units so players could get them early; you still needed to get past the Japanese text. Should everyone pay the same, no shipping costs vary around the world as do local infrastructural costs these will cause differences and those are all fair, but the cost variances would not be anything like mentioned here.

My point here is simple; I do not want to spend an extra $45 for a game, so someone else can get it for $5. If that means the game doesn’t get made I can live with that. Making illegal copies of games is theft and distributing them is black marketing, pure and simple and any justification to the contrary is a sign of an individual’s poor moral training, and that costs all of us in games never made, games released before they are ready and good companies going bankrupt. The fact is if everyone bought the game the cost to everyone would be a lot lower. Now returning to that example from the earlier post, if game cost were based on local conditions then all things considered with the exchange rate and strength of the economies, if we in NA are paying $50 US that means all you in the EU ought to being paying close to 60-70 US equivalent in Euros, now won’t that be fun.
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