11 Reasons games get pirated and 11 ways to stop it

June 8, 2009 at 2:52 am (Rants) (, )

Please note, this is not me supporting, or admitting to pirating games. This is just some of the reasons the gaming industry needs to get their shit together. Pirating games might not be “stealing” to you, but the people who DO work hard for these game companies deserve to get paid. Also, I cuss a lot, be forewarned.

  1. Games that don’t live up to the hype. Too many times have we seen a game surrounded in hype released only to be mediocre at best. I’ll take Spore for example. Even Will Wright admitted to the pressure put on the game by fans. For some reason people were still going ape shit over it before it released. Outside of the crippling DRM (I’ll get to that) it was a decent enough game, but I haven’t played it since release, and probably never will.

  2. Hardware requirements. I remember picking up the 1st Matrix game (see #1 again) and glancing at the hardware requirements and thinking “No problem!”, Wrong! Many hours of tinkering and a call to tech support left me with my answer, an incompatible video card. While mine “met” the requirements, it was not supported. Many low budget gamers, like myself at the time, have felt this burn. Window Vista was supposed to change a lot of this by making itself a descent gaming OS with it’s “Games for Windows” ratings. I don’t think I’ve seen any big advancements with this.

  3. Operating System woes. There has been only a few Vista issues I haven’t been able to work around, but I shouldn’t have to. Why can’t I play my games designed for windows 98 on my Vista machine? Some of my classics are completely unplayable now. Serves me right for being so open minded about Vista…

  4. Poor development and bugs. Rushed deadlines are the #1 killer of games. I currently have a save game on Knights of the Old Republic II that I can’t advance because of a major glitch. Sure, console games have them too, but not like this. Seriously, we can wait another 6 months for your game to come out. We WANT it to be good, we’ll wait.

  5. Which brings me to after-launch support. Just because sales have slowed, doesn’t mean people still don’t have problems. PATCH YOUR FUCKING BUGS! Again, KOTOR II has forums full of bugs with unofficial workarounds which essential involve pirating the game anyway. This shouldn’t be.

  6. Why can’t I play Team Fortress 2 on my PC with my friends on their 360’s? Frankly PC games are about the BEST moderated I’ve seen, many have great 3rd party add-ins to keep the griefers out. Second thought, let the consoles keep their clusterfucks they usually have in their poorly moderated servers.

  7. Price structure. While I am no expert in the following fields; game development, gaming in general, economics or retail. I do know this, the price of gaming is godawful. Most games start at $60, then many games turn around and charge just as much for expansion packs (Which I’m sure the development cost is much less), online content or monthly access fees. The Sims, I’m looking at you. I LOVE The Sims, but I’m not dropping $20 to get IKEA furniture. Nor am I going to download your online furniture set for $20. P.S. Your expansion packs are great. I used to just wait until my friend bought the newest one, and I would just play one version behind. Eat that DRM! P.P.S. I would imagine I have spent over $200 on Sims games alone, and probably another $100 on Will Wright games, don’t feel like you didn’t get enough out of me…

  8. Poor balance between Multiplayer and Singleplayer. For FSM’s fucking sake I don’t want to play with others all the time. And if you’re going to create a multiplayer, don’t just stick us in a box and give us guns, make it GOOD!

  9. DRM. It fucking sucks. I have games sitting around that I cannot play due to two things. The terrible DRM that it uses won’t let me play the game for whatever stupid reason. Or, I’ve lost my keys. There is nothing more depressing than playing by the rules, purchasing your overpriced, poorly developed, over hyped, barely compatible game only to get home and it go all HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey” I’m sorry Dave, I can’t allow you to play that. FUCK YOU HAL!

  10. For some reason I can pop a disc into a XBOX and play right away. To do this on my computer on the other hand I have to wait forever and a fucking day in order for my game to install. And then I still have to put a disk in to play! I know you’re not using that disk for anything…

  11. Tech support. Is there any anymore? Are they ever any help? I’ve called TS numbers just to get a “go online” message many times. The one time I did get a hold of anyone, I had to reformat my computer after what they had me do :-/

What I’d like to see

  1. Games that are designed for longevity. Blizzard is still patching Starcraft, and no surprise, still selling it. Why? Because it is a good game and Blizzard knows it. They continue to keep it up to date. I will be buying Starcraft II because I feel like I owe THEM for their work.

  2. More games on Steam. Probably the single biggest factor in the reason I don’t pirate games. It’s easier to catch a good deal on a game, Download it on Steam and it (almost) always works. Many games on steam tie into #1 above and continue to update long after the hype has died down.

  3. More free updates. TF2 is awesome about this. I’ll lose interest in it, hear about a new update and get back it it. Definitely worth my money.

  4. Stop it with the crap DRM. Give me some options here. If I have to install a game, I don’t want to have to worry about keeping the disk handy. I’m sure you guys can find a better  DRM system. Either connect online to verify your account or put your disk in. Either of these are more than sufficient enough to stop people from passing their games to their friends. Anything more complicated will piss people off, and will find a way to pirate it anyway.

  5. Better multiplayer will entice gamers to pay for the game in the 1st place.

  6. Stop making terrible games. Just stop, we’ll find your crappy game before it comes out and tell everyone.

  7. Let me see some boobs every once and a while. I don’t need porno in my games, but quit worrying about the conservatives and show some tits.

  8. Peripheral options for PC are limitless, why are the consoles getting all the cool stuff? Seriously, every gaming accessory of late has been on the console first. That doesn’t even make sense.

  9. Well it kinda does… PC’s typically aren’t party consoles, you can change that. The amount of people plugging their computers to their TV’s is increasing. That’s potential.

  10. Don’t lie to us. If you know you’re never going to finish a game, don’t lead us on (I’m looking at you Duke Nukem Forever)

  11. This one is going to need the right point of view… Development studios need to set up a tip jar. Say someone pirates a game, they really like it, but don’t see the need to go out and buy it at a $60 price point. Why should they pay that much when most of the cost does not apply to them. They don’t need the material, the marketing or the markup charged by the distributor and retailer. Set up a website where pirates can go and “Pay” for their game. Charge them a reasonable rate. Let them print out a certificate saying, I such and such am free from any legal obligations or persecutions for illegally downloading this game. I cannot be prosecuted as such. Everybody’s happy, well maybe except Best Buy.

Maybe I’m making excuses, but one thing is for sure. I’ve been burned too many times. I should start a list of times I’ve been burned…

P.S. If anyone read the 1st draft of this, I apologize. I was drunk. It’s still probably not much better.

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Ugh, Spam!

March 21, 2009 at 8:07 pm (St. Louis Twitter Ning) (, , , )

So I got my first taste of the “best” part of running the ning site. Unintended promotion via a spam bot! They joined about a week ago, and I thought  there was something weird about it. I noticed like 5 other people join afterwards that didn’t belong. I was looking at the members and noticed that the original “person” had proceeded to invite over 1000 people to our site! They didn’t even have a website, what were they planing on doing? So the people that joined afterward were randomly invited, AND JOINED! Well, hopefully that’s over for now…

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Why my Facebook is Private

February 17, 2009 at 11:06 pm (Personal) (, , )

If you’re my friend on facebook, or twitter, you’ll notice my facebook profile is next to barren and a lot of things set to private, and I still think I have too much stuff on it. There are a couple of reasons for this.

  • I don’t see a need for that much information about me to be floating around on the Internet. If you haven’t seen all the articles about would be or ex-employers finding something on employees pages, well you’ve been living under a rock.
  • I had a good friend who I had trusted, use my facebook information against me, most of it was private.
  • If you haven’t seen the new facebook terms of service, you should. While some people are getting overly paranoid about it, it’s still important to know that they have the rights to what you put on their site. EDIT: While facebook has returned to the previous TOS, the point still stands, do you read the TOS? Do you know what websites can do with your information? Maybe you should
  • The least important to me, but most annoying, is targeted ads. I really didn’t realize it until Bev and I got engaged, but every ad is targeted to you. Ingenious really, but I don’t want any ad company with that much information about me. Silly me for giving it to them…
  • And finally, app requests. Note, this is different than apps themselves, it’s the automated requests is what I hate. I don’t fucking care. Yes, there are some fun, interesting aps, but none that you sent me. There is a search box for that. If you really want me to do something , send me a personal message, I’ll think about it.

So, by all means, be my facebook friend, chat it up, I love meeting new people, I just don’t want to get burned somewhere down the line. Facebook is a wonderful tool, but you must be smart with it. If you want to see what you can do to increase you privacy, check out this awesome article on protecting your privacy on facebook at Lifehacker. Also, I would check yourself out on People Search to see if you have any old accounts that you have forgotten about that need to be deleted. Aparently I had a friendster account at one time…

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What they don’t teach in High School

January 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm (Rants) (, , , )

I’ve been out of my parents house for about a year and a half now, I now live with my fiancee (had two roommates at one point, bad idea) and I’ve realized some things. I didn’t learn shit in high school. So I’ve been thinking , these are the things I wish I learned in high school, that I’ve had to learn the hard way.

  • How to iron clothes. Seriously, when I get done ironing pants, I have 3 extra seams in them…
  • How to balance a check book. It’s simple, but it would have been nice to know.
  • How to make a budget. Again, simple, but I always thought they were just for old people. I didn’t realize how essential they are to not going broke the 1st year you’re away.
  • How to study. This takes practice, and you have to find how YOU study. The problem is, I never did study in high school. I didn’t have to do much to skate by. Now in college, you actually have to study, and I didn’t have any sort of study habits.
  • How to do your taxes. You think the government would want people know how to do there taxes.
  • How to register your car, pay property tax and sales tax. I got a letter the other day saying I had a different car listed for my property tax. I didn’t know that I had to change that separately from when I got my plates transferred. Again, you think the government would want this stuff to be right.
  • How to buy a house, how a mortgage payment works, etc. If people were more informed about how that all works, maybe we wouldn’t be in as bad of a spot we are now.
  • How your credit score works. Do you know? I don’t, and no one around me seems to have a clue.

Some of these could be considerd failure on my part, but I think it would be good for students to learn this stuff. There are pleanty of mistakes that I made in high school. I took a couple blowoff classes, and really hurt me when I got to college. I didn’t study(above) but I didn’t need to, even in my non-blowoff classes. I didn’t get involved as much as I’d like, and when I did, I didn’t do much. So part of it was me being just plain lazy, but I really think the school system has so much more they could offer to better prepare students entering the “real world”, but never will.

What did you wish you learned in high school? What have you had to learn the hard way? Am I just a whiney westcounty kid?

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