Personally, I use both.
Personally, I use both.
"You go up to a man, and you say, "How are things going, Joe?" and he says, "Oh fine, fine — couldn't be better." And you look into his eyes, and you see things really couldn't be much worse. When you get right down to it, everybody's having a perfectly lousy time of it, and I mean everybody. And the hell of it is, nothing seems to help much." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Me, I just watch the Apprentice or X Factor and repeatadly shout the word "twat" loudly at the television. Cheers me up no end, that does.
I do sometimes think I'm the odd one here, in that I don't have strongly held opinions about most videogame related things. I don't think piracy is always evil. I don't think DRM is always bad. I don't think Valve are entirely wonderful, or that Origin necessarily has to be awful and bad for the industry. Nor do I like, think the opposite either. I can just see valid arguments on each side of the debate.
So if a debate crops up where everyone is gathering around the one side, I tend to end up putting across the other side of the argument. Because ultimately I'd liked to be convinced one way or the other, but often to get to that place you need to pick apart the arguments from one side so they can be rebuilt in to something more watertight. And if that can't happen, if the other side doesn't have an answer to the opposing arguments, then that's okay too, it means it remains in shades of grey.
Some people don't like that. Apparently I'm meant to have been born with strong unbreakable ethical values on the efficacy of digital rights management and what sort of man Gabe Newall is. I don't have that. I kind of think everyone has a point. Even Wizardry (if nothing else, who here wouldn't want to see a Baldur's Gate-style 2D game with modern production values....). But if I see flaws in those arguments, I'll always point them out or ask for clarification. Because a flawed argument essentially isn't any use to anyone. And I can't get behind closing my eyes to the valid points on the other side of the debate just because it feels like 'our' side should be the right one.
In any case, I see your point about playing devil's advocate, but sometimes the popular opinion is the strongest one (which is to say it's popular because it's a strong argument). We need not always be contradictory for the sake of doing so; that whole "the truth is in the middle between the two sides of the debate" is silly and bunk.
I tend to be something of a pragmatist, so I veer away from the moral arguments.
Also a majority opinion on a message board doesn't actually reflect the majority in real terms. The majority here agree piracy is bad, but millions of people do it. Most think the new Diablo 3 DRM/trading stuff is bad, but it'll still sell millions.
As for piracy, I must disagree on three counts. I disagree with Ubisoft's assertions that they're taking a sizable bite outta piracy. It's like the War on Drugs: Millions upon millions of dollars spent and plenty of people jailed under draconian laws, yet you can still get a joint from almost every corner. Furthermore, by the very nature of piracy, all numbers on actual pirates are suspect and largely speculative.
I must also disagree that piracy is theft. The production of a game costs money. The costs to copy and distribute that game are basically nil. What should matter to the company is whether they're making a decent profit off the game. Most are: After all, piracy has been omnipresent for as long as we've had computers, and games are selling on the PC now more than ever despite BitTorrent and The Pirate Bay and ubiquitous broadband connections and guys from the Ukraine doing nothing but gleefully cracking DRM.
Equating piracy to theft implies that each copy cost money to make and thus should be considered a direct loss, like how a store writes off merchandise that's been shoplifted. It also implies that each copy is a lost sale, like how the RIAA counted its chickens before they were hatched in order to produce the ludicrous sums they were suing people for. Neither of these is the case.
I must, finally, disagree that piracy is altogether bad. Yes, there are thieves out there, but we have an industry that has a considerable problem picking up new players and a bunch of genres that are not new-player friendly. We can't all be Blizzard, inventing a whole market of non-gamers to feed off of - WoW being a lot of players' First Games (and whether that'll translate to them being gamers in more than a Facebook sorta way remains to be seen). ARMA2 ain't easy to pick up. DOTA ain't easy to pick up (especially with the really, really hardcore online crowd). Shareware is almost a four-letter word nowadays, if you'll believe the games companies. So how are we to introduce new gamers to games?
If I see a game that sold, say, 1 million legitimate copies and distributed 9 million pirated copies, I don't see a deficit of 9 million lost sales. I see a potential customer base of 10 million for the next game. It's the Metallica argument all over again. You have to pave the way somehow, especially considering the tall cost of gaming.
I specifically said "tantamount" to theft. It's not actually theft. God knows, have you not read my rants on that one :D As I said, from a practical point of view it has upsides, it's just fairly hard to argue that taking something without paying for it is okay in a moral sense. Your argument works on a practical level, but on a personal level "I pirated it to help boost the customer base" doesn't work. Which is my point, I agree with you on the whole practical level thing, and that tends to be how I view things, but I still get that ultimately piracy is wrong, and for some people *that* is the over-riding concern. Even if the net effect can be positive. I'm not sure I'm making any sense now.
UbiDRM is iffy yes, I'll be interested in Diablo 3 though - that's going to be a very hard nut for pirates to crack.
I don't change my opinion based on what is popular, but I do change it based on new evidence or convincing arguments.
Not to speak on Deano's behalf but surely what he said was that he has no strong opinion due to being able to see both sides of the debate given their relative arguments.
He didn't say truth lies in between 2 extreme points or about being swayed by popularity. Just that the evidence provided by both sides hasn't compelled him into having a strong belief in either case. Seems perfectly reasonable.