How often do you pirate?

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Patrik (not verified)
How often? Not often enough.

The last game wich I pirated was Call of Duty; Black ops, without the real intent of buying it but with the possibility of doing so if it was good enough in my mind; Wich it was'nt. More to the point though, the last game that I bought was Mafia 2 - huge fan of the first game - played it so often that I know the city and its locations like the back of my hand. And boy do I wish that I had pirated it! I have never felt so cheated out of 50€ in my entire life, too short, buggy, unpolished and full of blatant DLC/cut-out content holes. I love gaming, but I really hate the concept of DLC's and DRM's, especially Steam. In fact, I really dislike online transactions overall - I won't buy content that publishers don't think is worth putting on a DVD and sell in a store, that DVD gives a sense of ownership and most of all security that Steam does'nt, can't and never will be able to provide.

There are two big reasons why I pirate games, the first and biggest reason, especially in the later years, is the fact that I don't trust that the game will be worth my money. I have expectations of quality that publishers marketingdepartments can not convince me is there and not to mention the amount of content. Thanks to many games being delivered with Steamworks or other online-authentification systems, there is no real way for me to change my mind if I get a worthless product that I don't want, since it's registered to me I can't sell it second hand, so I can't take that gamble anymore.

The second reason is the DRM's themselves, quite a few of them are a pain in the arse frankly, and getting rid of them in one way or the other is the number one priority for me once I've purchased the game. In the case of Steamworks products it's not as simple as just cracking them with No-DVD .exe's, but you have to pirate the game to get rid of that shite, something wich I'd happilly do if possible, then I could gamble a bit more and buy games that I hope is good, not know is good.

I condone piracy to a certain extent, to the extent that if you like the product; you buy it. I am ofcourse clearly biased, since I do so myself, but the publishers doomsday cries of "Each downloaded copy of a game is a lost sale!" is, I think, a load of bollocks. The evidence is ofcourse not bulletproof in any way, and neither will I claim that since they're all based on my own personal observations.
I can ramble plenty of games that me and my friends would never have bought if we did'nt have the chance to play them first, and quite a few games that we would'nt have bought if we had the ability to play them before buying.
On the other hand, I dislike that some of my friends go and buy games just because they're basically told to do so, buying low quality products because of hype and a sence of "faithfullness", then ending up complaining that the game is of poor quality. A sold product is still a sold product and will continue the cycle of endless lack of progress that we seem to be in nowadays, where games seemingly are'nt so much judged by quality as production value and hype.

My apologies for any grammatical and/or spelling errors, not a native speaker - just trying my best. Or if it simply does'nt make any sence anywhere! *Grin*

Nathaniel Tolbert
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This phrase is so overused and is untrue
TripHamer wrote:

Probably if you can't afford it anyway and have no means of buying it, pirating it will not be a loss for the company, so to speak. But it does make it easier to just download it then to find a way to pay for it.

But to each his own, I guess.

I don't agree with this thought process. If the person is wanting to play the game but aren't willing to pay for it, it's still a lost sale if they pirate it. The idea that they never would have bought it is moot. At the point when they install that game on their computer and play it, they are showcasing that there was interest enough in the game to download it, which would indicate to me a potential lost sale. This is the same perspective that gaming companies have. I used to think the same way as you, but put yourself in their shoes. So you don't make games, what if you wrote a book? A technical manual about something that you made money off of? Someone (other than you) decides the book should be free and scans it, pdf's it and then puts it online. Wouldn't you be upset? Especially since this is your lively-hood? The response is a hell yes! You can say otherwise, but once you have had something stolen you know exactly what's it is like to be on the receiving end of piracy. It sucks, even the person says, 'I wasn't ever gonna buy it, so it's not like they lost a sale anyway.' knows it sucks. You can hear me say that same phrase on one of the podcasts my friends and I do. Once you are on the other side of the coin, you will be just as pissed as the Video Game Companies are about piracy. Piracy has caused products to not be produced or released. Check out the Amiga Guru Book. The author of that book was working on a new version, when he found that someone had torrented the previous version. Not only that just from one website it had been downloaded something like ten thousand times I think. Do you know how he responded? He cancelled the new version of the book. Now those of us who wanted to buy a copy are left with only the torrent version or a second hand copy if you can find it. Piracy has a real and harmful effect on products. Ignoring it or saying otherwise doesn't change the fact.

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Matt Barton
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That's true to a point,

That's true to a point, Keith, but there's a catch--you can replicate the product as much as you like after it's made. But you still need the labor to create the first one. The problem is that the economic model doesn't make sense; we should be paying them to make the games, not to publish them after the fact. The trouble is, how can you do that in a feasible way?

As for the other arguments, I've heard similar ones about shoplifting. The claim is usually something like, "Well, that store overcharges for their products or uses slave labor," etc. Or "They make so much money--just this one item won't make a difference." Or "It's just some giant, soulless corporation I'm stealing from, not actual people." Or the even weaker, "I should have enough money to buy this but society has neglected me or not given me what I deserved." In short, it's a sense of entitlement.

The fact is that it's ridiculously easy to pirate a game and get something that would have cost as much as $70 for free, at practically no risk. Even better, the version you get for free will be without the irritating copy protection and may even run better on your system. Finally, even if you get caught, the punishment will likely be much less than for shoplifting a CD or game from a store. The few people I know who have gotten caught merely got a warning letter from their IP. In each case, it was music or movies they were downloading, not games. I personally don't know anyone who has been busted for downloading games.

Meanwhile, it certainly doesn't help that the industry has been so concentrated in the hands of some mega-corporations with truly corrosive reputations. The designers and developers seem to hate companies like EA and Activision as much as anyone. It's hard to feel sorry for them.

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Keith Burgun
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Here's the struggle

Maybe here's where our struggle comes from - capitalism, the free market - these were devices that were created in an atmosphere where shit couldn't just be freely replicated.

Bill Loguidice
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Rules
TripHamer wrote:

Probably if you can't afford it anyway and have no means of buying it, pirating it will not be a loss for the company, so to speak. But it does make it easier to just download it then to find a way to pay for it.

But to each his own, I guess.

Makes some sense, but again, if someone is going to be enjoying it whether they would buy it or not, they should still pay market value for the enjoyment. It's not like we live in a socialist society, we live in a capitalist society, so no pay, no play. These same people wouldn't be let into a movie theater to see the latest movie if they didn't have the money. The cable company wouldn't give them free cable if they couldn't afford it. They wouldn't be allowed in nice restaurants if they couldn't pay. Etc. Again, with all of the free options out there, there's no reason to take away from other people's livelihoods. So why does the stealing of games, music and movies get a free pass? Anyway, as far as I'm concerned if someone can morally justify being a thief (we all have our limits), so be it, it's not for me to judge. It's for the authorities to deal with. It's like when people were bitching that Microsoft was banning pirate Xbox 360 consoles from ever accessing Xbox Live again. They knew the risks going in and the conditions of owning the Xbox 360 and going onto Xbox Live were quite clear. It's their own fault for breaking the rules. You can't take back what you've done after you've been caught.

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TripHamer
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One more thought.

Probably if you can't afford it anyway and have no means of buying it, pirating it will not be a loss for the company, so to speak. But it does make it easier to just download it then to find a way to pay for it.

But to each his own, I guess.

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Matt Barton
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Questionable Metaphor
Chip Hageman wrote:

By the way, no more hand shakes Matt.. you better wash up first.

I was going to smoke pot, and say it's something that everybody does but is technically illegal--then suddenly realized that would be completely wrong for 99% of our audience. :)

Anyway! I think most of us here are probably in the same boat: never enough money to splurge on games. I notice that it's usually folks who are, shall we say, comfortable, who tend to have the biggest problems regarding piracy. Sure, it's easy for them--if they want a game, they buy it. They can easily spend hundreds on games and not have to suffer for it--whereas if we did that, we wouldn't have any money left to pay bills or buy the necessities of life. Sure, you don't technically *need* games to survive, but what use is surviving in a world without joy? In many cases, what people consider to be mere frills or luxuries turn out to be the things that make life bearable for those people. You don't technically need a wife, kids, friends, or family to survive either, but few of us could stand total isolation for more than a few days at best. In short, you need a lot more than just food, water, and shelter, and everybody knows it no matter what they claim (and it's usually always in the context of denying someone else the privileges you enjoy).

In short, it's a hell of a lot easier to be virtuous if you're rich than if you're poor.

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Catatonic
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Used games

Much of the industry considers the sale of used games tantamount to piracy. Doesn't bother me, though. It's no worse than used books.

Nathaniel Tolbert
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Let's see, I haven't really

Let's see, I haven't really been that much of a pirate per say, other than to get old games I cannot seem to find anywhere for less than the worth of my kidney. The last thing I can recall that I pirated was Dragon Age. 3 hours after installing it and starting the game, I was at Best Buy buying a copy for me and one for my wife. I remember back when I was young, there always seemed to be demos of most of the major releases for the computer, but now days, you almost never see them. Steam is really good about having demos up for games, but a lot of companies just have no interest in giving you an idea of what the game might be like before you buy it. When you are perpetually broke, like I am, you become very wary of buying anything. So what I usually do (since it's possible to do so now, where as you couldn't in the past) is rent the Console version and see what I think. If I like it on the PS3 or Xbox 360, then I go out and buy it on the PC and play to my hearts content. What's interesting is that renting a console version and finding out if I like it is a heck of a lot less time consuming than pirating, and I really like to believe that supporting the companies making computer games is a nice way of saying, 'Hey, we still play on this platform, and we support you making more AAA titles for it. Here's my money as proof.'

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Bill Loguidice
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I'll try to keep my response shorter than usual

I always find this discussion fascinating, though responses usually remain the same. When it comes to digital bits, very few people have the same psychological barrier that stops us from shoplifting physical goods in a store. Digital bits, because they have no substance, seem to hold less value, even though they're protected by the same types of laws and make the creators/producers/etc. money in the same manner. We do regard digital bits differently, but in the end, they're not.

I was a huge pirate as a kid on the C-64, one of the top in my school. It was my goal to get as many games as possible (I also bought or was gifted a fair share too). It's what allowed me in part to have the knowledge and perspective that I have today. I continued to do this right through the PC CD era, where burning copies of CDs was relatively trivial. As I advanced in my work in my early 20s, I became less and less interested in piracy and over time it became more trouble than it was worth. By my 30s and through to the present day, the landscape has changed to the point where even if I desired to pirate, the barriers are sufficient enough to dissuade me (DRM, systems calling home, etc.). Regardless, I don't recall any notable piracy that I've willingly done for the past several years save for getting a copy of the Adobe Master Collection CS4 to try out, which I'm not proud of.

Otherwise, I have a fairly clean conscious. If I want it, I buy it. If I can't buy it, I don't get it. There are enough ways to demo things, rent things, get opinions, etc., today where there is no reason to steal it. In many cases, pricing is extremely competitive. Why would I pirate a .99 game or song? That's crossing a line. I know it sickens me when people pirate Vintage Games or Wii Fitness for Dummies. For all the people that did that they hurt not only us in ways they may never realize, but also the industry in general (and this applies to every book, not just ours).

Now, where there is a grey area for me is with obsolete systems, meaning systems and games that are no longer available in the market. I do not regard getting Apple II ROMs the same as I would if I were to illicitly get the latest Nintendo DS game, for instance. I actively support purchasing classic game compilations when they're released (for instance, pre-ordering a signed copy of the Intellivision collection for the Nintendo DS), despite the fact that I already have all the ROMs many times over and probably many of the originals. As an adult who contributes to society and participates in our capitalist system, it only seems right to support what I believe in and like, and not do any harm. You always have to think of the other person or persons on the other end and the complete supply chain. For every game or book or music or show that is still actively available on the market that you use that you didn't buy or try out through legal means (rental, library, loan, etc.), you really are hurting a large number of people. That's something to always keep in mind.

As I've said in the past, gaming is not a right. You have no claims to anything. You don't need to pirate that game, just like you don't need to pirate that song, etc. It's really not critical to your survival, even though you really, really want it. There's a difference. I can excuse kids for a lot of things because they still have a lot of growing up to do and learning how the world works, I generally have little sympathy for adults who engage in stealing, particularly as I said in today's climate where genuine freebies, demos, rentals and information are all readily available.

Finally, I simply can't accept that people who pirate wouldn't buy it anyway. Well, fine, if you wouldn't buy it anyway, why exactly are you getting to reap the benefits by having it? It doesn't work both ways. I could see if someone pirates something, tries it once and hates it, then deletes it, but that's far from the reality. If you pirate it and play it, then you'd better well buy it, otherwise you're a filthy thief who should go to jail. ;-) Really.

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