Location Search   Member Search
Posted: 28 August 2012 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Category: Opinion Feature

Pirates, pirates everywhere. It would seem that nowadays, you can't turn around without bumping into some form of internet sea sailing raider. The problem isn't their mere being there, the problem is the effect they have on the gaming medium as a whole. Let me take you back in time here a moment.

1999 August, a date I fondly remember as a gamer. System Shock 2 had just been released and the world was quite bowled over by it. I remember sitting in front of my horribly clunky, cheap grey/white PC with mind ablaze playing that game to death. Like many others, the grand revealing of Shodan is one of my top 10 moments in PC gaming. So imagine my horror when I realised that I spent £55 on this game that I loved, just to find out that my buddy has gotten the same product free. Instantly I asked how he managed it, did he get it as a gift, or was it being freely distributed due to poor sales? Neither, he had illegally downloaded the game, a notion that has stuck with me for years, and utterly permeates the gaming culture of today.

Back then I was just a dopey kid, trying to get stuff for free, like all kids. But to this day he pirates games, films, music and the like. He has, like many others, always tried to justify his use of piracy because things cost too much or how the IP should be free as an artistic medium. But let me tell you now folks, you don't deserve a damn thing.

A great deal of pirates, like I've already ,mentioned like to use price as their bargaining chip in this argument. But the fact of the matter is, games aren't an essential part of life, if you can't afford that's unfortunately just your bad luck. But do you understand that if you don't pay for the game, your favourite developers don't get any money, thus causing them to close, which means no more games for little long John.
You see, when you steal (yes that's what your doing) a product from someone, you cheapen the total worth of the product as a whole, because one less item of stock means that a little less revenue is returned to its creator. So why should you deserve these games? Because you enjoy them? Stuff that.

 These games are like a gift, they just so happen to come with a price tag attached to them. When someone gives you a gift you accept it, but when someone tells you “This gift is not for you.” then you're sure as hell not entitled to just take it. What people seem to forget is that piracy has more of an effect on us as consumers, than they think. When a group of pirates, lets say 100, download a brand new game, lets say priced £45. That's £4500, and that's a lot of money. I live in Ireland, which has 32 Counties in it, that would add up to £144'000 that isn't being returned to the developer in profit, but that also means that it's £144'000 not being returned to the economy.

Obviously if every country and nation-state was to do this, then millions possibly billions of pounds, dollars, rupees and zloty just vanishes from our economy. And here is the fun part, this is where we legitimately get to call pirates stupid. As they proceed to steal and slowly inflict harm on the economy, prices on other goods go up. Their electricity bill is going up because of them, the price of their food, bills and transport all increase because collectively they would rather steal than pay one small lump.

 I'd estimate in the past year I've spent around £200-£300 pounds on various forms of gaming. Now I'd rather pay that price than have to deal with an ever increasing bill, that is being caused because of a thieving lifestyle. Its fundamentally wrong to want things for free, so that you can pay more for them in the long run but in a different manner.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the failing economies are because of pirates, that's just bloody ridiculous, what I'm saying is that they are certainly not helping.

People also like to complain that they pirate games to get around the need for online passes etc. I greatly support online passes, and anyone that doesn't clearly isn't interested in playing video games. When you buy a new game, the pass comes included, giving you access to various online components or bonus content. When you buy a game pre-owned, not a single penny of that goes to the maker. So did you like battlefield 3? Because if you did, you've probably played it online and in order to do that you need a pass. If you buy it pre-owned for £25 and don't get an online pass with it, then that's damn well fine with me because you haven't given the maker any money, why should they give you the main component of their product? Say I rent out a room in an apartment to you, that room is yours, the rest of the apartment doesn't come included.

In a forum post recently (sorry no reference link) I stated that it's fine to buy pre-owend games, but it's not fine to expect the full product for a fraction of the price. The reply I got said “go back to IGN” which just goes to show the mentality of the people we deal with when the subject is brought up. You aren't entitled to everything you're interested in, you have no right to take something that isn't yours. How would you like it if I went all Jason Hammer on your ass and came into your house and took your stuff? I could, by the flawed reasoning of pirates walk into your home, take your computer and all the things associated with it because it's connected to the internet and I pay an internet bill. What's even more sad is that people will undoubtedly quote what I just said, start their sentence with “By your logic” and try to disagree, but you can't disagree with fact, piracy is a crime and you don't deserve a damn thing.

Martin Toney is a rambling newspaper journalist from the north coast of Ireland where he gets to watch Game Of Thrones being made.

Delicious Digg Facebook Fark MySpace