The War Against Piracy Rages On
So you are a multimillion dollar corporation, creating video games and minding your own business, when suddenly, the pirates of the internet attack your ship and steal your booty. Of course, you want to do everything in your power to prevent this from happening again, so you assess what the pirates did and plan against it. They began by attacking your ship, so you install some digital rights management software, resting assured that it will ward off your insidious foes. If you are Nintendo, you will brag that this DRM is so complicated that you cannot even begin to explain it, as they said to THQ’s global publishing VP Ian Curran while discussing the 3DS. In the future, we will soon see you regretting this statement, as Ubisoft did when they too said their DRM was uncrackable. So if it is impossible to stop the pirates in the first place, why not just makes your booty less desirable? Such is the logic of Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens, who proposes that instead of trying to prevent piracy, developers should just make garbage that no one will want to pirate. This may seem silly at first, but the second part of his plan is to then sell downloadable content that will make your unpirated-but-worthless game into an awesome game. Furthermore, he says vaguely that with “coding aspects” of the technology, this DLC will not work with the pirated copies of the games, thus leave pirates with an incompatible piece of garbage rather than sweet booty. The internet has not yet exploded with rage, but the obvious first impression is that those with money will have a good game and poor people will also be left with garbage, though Lane’s post this week covers this concept much better than I could (but with less tits).
Crazy People Are Still Crazy, No One Gives a Damn
What do gays have in common with the majority of gamers? Besides being in love with Nate Liles, we also are apparently going to Hell, though astoundingly not because of loving Nate. God dislikes the queers and he apparently dislikes us, or so says America’s favorite group of mental deficients, the Westboro Baptist Church. Known for protesting at the funerals of soldiers, they have decided to inform the public of God’s wrath at ComicCon in San Diego. “If these people would spend even some of the energy that they spend on these comic books, reading the Bible,” their site complains, going on to condemn fans for their idolization of comic book characters over God. They urge that “it is time to put away the silly vanities and turn to God like you mean it.” I personally worship Morgan Freeman, and since he is close friends with Batman, I think my soul is safe. It is also worth noting that after their protests at ComicCon, they will be protesting Nate’s goddess, Lady Gaga.
You Make Console, No Play, Kekeke
Ah, exploitation at its finest. Kotaku brought to light this week a story that has somehow evaded publication in the past ten years: In 2000, the government of China decreed that no company was allowed to sell video game consoles there. To the outside world, this seems ridiculous; the land that cheaply produces our consoles has not been allowed to play them for the past ten years?! The ban went into effect after parents complained that the consoles were wasting their children’s minds (avoiding the question of who bought it for them in the first place), though with the explosion of online gaming, the ban has only shifted the electronic addiction from one form to another. Developers have been keen to find ways around the ban, with Nintendo releasing an all-in-one system called the iQue, as well as releasing the DS there last year. But the ban itself is actually not the primary problem keeping the Chinese from experiencing a wide variety of games: its the piracy. In the land of knock-off everything, developers are wary to produce and release games for Chinese markets. Knowing that their PS3s and Wiis and 360s are being purchased illegally in gray markets, it is safe to assume that the consumers would buy all of their games for those consoles in similar illegal markets also full of pirated merchandise. There is currently no regulatory body to oversee the ban, so it is not strictly enforced, though the suspicion is that the Ministry of Culture, which issued the ban to begin with, will soon be the ones enforcing it or, perhaps, seeing their error and revoking it.
Katy Perry Encourages Neck Breaking, Why Not Ban Her?
Legal briefs have the most misleading name in the world; they are not anywhere near brief. The State of California submitted a fifty-nine page brief to the United States Supreme Court this week, arguing why it should be illegal for violent games to be sold to minors. To establish legal precedence, they cited the 1986 case of Ginsberg v. New York, where it was ruled that there are some forms of speech that should not be accessible to minors. The form of speech in this case was pornographic in nature, but California argues that it there is no justification for treating violent material different from pornography. An interesting point is brought up between the two: pornography is prohibited from minors until they are of legal age at which point they can begin legally having sex anyway, but currently, violent video games are accessible to them despite the all-ages illegality of the violent actions portrayed. They go on to pull a Roger Ebert on us, arguing that certain games portraying violence are entirely worthless, with depictions of needless violence for the sole purpose of collecting points, giving us a game that has no societal value. What the State of California is not able to prove in this case is the causal link between violent video games and a negative effect on children, stating that it would be neigh impossible to isolate a child from all alternate forms of violence as to get a clear read on the effects of just video game violence. This fall, the Supreme Court will hear arguments from both sides, hopefully with the video game industry arguing that Cali is full of idiots.