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  1. #41
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Hmm. As a thought exercise, consider the following:

    Joe Schmoe (of the Manchester Schmoes) pays to go to a gym. One day, he wins a lifetime membership for whatever reason and no longer has to pay anything else.
    Then Joe Schmoe starts making inappropriate statements and gestures toward all the women at said gym. Nothing illegal, but enough that it is making everyone uncomfortable.


    To the people who take issue with Steam or Origin banning you from your games: Do you feel that the gym shoudl be able to ban Joe Schmoe in that case? They won't refund him the duration of his contract and he is definitely making the experience worse for eveyrone else there.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Hmm. As a thought exercise, consider the following:

    Joe Schmoe (of the Manchester Schmoes) pays to go to a gym. One day, he wins a lifetime membership for whatever reason and no longer has to pay anything else.
    Then Joe Schmoe starts making inappropriate statements and gestures toward all the women at said gym. Nothing illegal, but enough that it is making everyone uncomfortable.


    To the people who take issue with Steam or Origin banning you from your games: Do you feel that the gym shoudl be able to ban Joe Schmoe in that case? They won't refund him the duration of his contract and he is definitely making the experience worse for eveyrone else there.
    Logging on to Steam to play single-player video games has so little to do with going to a gym that answering this question is basically irrelevant to the discussion. I think most people are quite happy to accept that non-locally-hosted multiplayer games require a minimum level of behaviour otheriwse you get access to them restricted on a game-by-game basis.
    Last edited by NathanH; 27-01-2013 at 07:38 PM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  3. #43
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Logging on to Steam to play single-player video games has so little to do with going to a gym that answering this question is basically irrelevant to the discussion. I think most people are quite happy to accept that non-locally-hosted multiplayer games require a minimum level of behaviour otheriwse you get access to them restricted on a game-by-game basis.
    I disagree.

    You are using someone else's equipment (the gym's treadmill thingie or weight set, Steam's content servers) for whatever purpose.

    But you are right, it is different. But I think the fundamental concept of how to take away a service someone already paid for still comes into play.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    The law requires them to discontinue all access to games that the person had legally subscribed to?
    The law would require them to terminate the account. Otherwise they'd be complicit in the crime.
    What constitutes abuse of the service? How bad should it be before you lock out their access to what they had legally subscribed to?
    How drunk do you have to be before you're ejected from a nightclub? How rowdy do you need to get before you're kicked out of a cinema? It's entirely up to the service provider where they want to draw the line.
    This isn't a question of law, it's a question of ethics. The law might be fairly solid but we're asking if it should be allowed. Personally I don't believe "being a dick" should result in someone losing access to all of their games.
    And this being the free market, you're perfectly at liberty to start your own service off which doesn't do it. Otherwise, you're dependent on using someone else's service, and they're entitled to put whatever conditions they want on the use of that service.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I don't doubt in the event that someone had their account unfairly banned/closed a public appeal outlining the facts would garner either financial and/or legal support/advice.
    In the case of an 'unfair' banning I doubt either would be necessary. These platforms are a business which depend on you buying stuff from them. Rather hard for you to do that if they block your account.

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Hmm. As a thought exercise, consider the following:

    Joe Schmoe (of the Manchester Schmoes) pays to go to a gym. One day, he wins a lifetime membership for whatever reason and no longer has to pay anything else.
    Then Joe Schmoe starts making inappropriate statements and gestures toward all the women at said gym. Nothing illegal, but enough that it is making everyone uncomfortable.
    You're leaving something out though. The gym manages to duplicate their equipment at a fraction of the cost through witchcraft or some such. Joe Schmoe shelled out hundreds of pounds for these duplicates and used the gym to store them because finding room in his house is quite a hassle. The gym then revokes his membership, only they decide to keep Joe's equipment too. There's a word for that - theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    You are using someone else's equipment (the gym's treadmill thingie or weight set, Steam's content servers) for whatever purpose.
    Oh, in this example of yours the 'equipment' is the gym premises? Well I'm not changing my post now. Switch some of the words around and it'll probably make sense.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    Kadayi, I would say if a publisher/developer wishes to over invest in a product, it's their problem, not mine as a consumer. If they put less in, it's less risk. Why try and sell gold plated tooth picks or toilet seats? Keep the production method that suits the product.
    Can you perhaps clarify? Or were you aiming the response to someone else Ben? I'm not seeing how what you're saying there is directly applicable to what I've written in truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    In the case of an 'unfair' banning I doubt either would be necessary. These platforms are a business which depend on you buying stuff from them. Rather hard for you to do that if they block your account.
    Agreed. Everything is a test bed. Fundamentally they're very unlikely to permanently ban you, Vs curb your privileges across their digital platforms services as it ill serves them as sellers of digital goods to do so, however it has required a few situations like the Russian one for these handling protocols to come to the fore. As William Gibson astutely said once about new technologies 'There are no maps for these territories'. There's a tendency to presume everything comes down to malice, the more likely truth though is simple oversight. Inevitably things level out to an appropriate equilibrium eventually.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 28-01-2013 at 12:12 AM.

  7. #47
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    You're leaving something out though. The gym manages to duplicate their equipment at a fraction of the cost through witchcraft or some such. Joe Schmoe shelled out hundreds of pounds for these duplicates and used the gym to store them because finding room in his house is quite a hassle. The gym then revokes his membership, only they decide to keep Joe's equipment too. There's a word for that - theft.
    This is exactly the problem - Joe is only at risk of loosing something he didn't pay for - his membership after winning the free lifetime one.

    Steam/Origin/Other game services users are at risk of loosing not just the membership to the service but all the games they've bought through them. It'd be more like Joe rented a locker and then when his membership is revoked he's prohibited from getting anything in that locker back even though they are his belongings.
    Last edited by Shooop; 28-01-2013 at 03:16 PM.
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  8. #48
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Indeed. I'm not saying the service provider has no rights in this matter, but why should their rights supersede the customer's rights? There is no justification for removing access to single-player games. Yet. Publishers are trying to make that line as blurry as possible through multiplayer or by tacking on a mandatory online functionality to single-player like Diablo 3 or SimCity. Then the argument starts to swing in their favour because they not only own the service, but the servers you're playing on too.

  9. #49
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    well I think the problem with that is the entire, weird internet borders thing that generally goes on in digital sales, and that they try to enforce it/should enforce it legally.
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Hmm. As a thought exercise, consider the following:

    Joe Schmoe (of the Manchester Schmoes) pays to go to a gym. One day, he wins a lifetime membership for whatever reason and no longer has to pay anything else.
    Then Joe Schmoe starts making inappropriate statements and gestures toward all the women at said gym. Nothing illegal, but enough that it is making everyone uncomfortable.


    To the people who take issue with Steam or Origin banning you from your games: Do you feel that the gym shoudl be able to ban Joe Schmoe in that case? They won't refund him the duration of his contract and he is definitely making the experience worse for eveyrone else there.
    Riot banning pros and many others through the tribunal is a great system.

    But this not stop them from playing DotA 2. Which is shouldn't. Banned from Steam or Origin would do this. If you do not want the person to poison every multiplayer game, implement a 3 strikes system. On their 3rd game ban, ban them from everything. But then again as said, why should your actions during online play affect your ability to play something that is separate and single player?

  11. #51
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    why should your actions during online play affect your ability to play something that is separate and single player?
    Because it isn't.

    Your singleplayer games increasingly have achievements which are part of the steamworks service
    Your singleplayer games still let you take advantage of things like the in-game server browser and stat tracking (hours played).
    Your singleplayer games are stored on their content servers.

    Based on the responses (or attempts to not respond) to that thought exercise, I think it is safe to say that the "problem" is that people don't want to admit they are leasing the software. The lease is an incredibly generous one (one time fee to play the game until the service dies), but it is still a lease.

    You pay for the privelage of playing their games on your computer using their Steam utility. They have every right to take away the use of the Steam utility. Unfortunately, even playing your "offline singleplayer" game still requires the use of their Steam utility

    If you do not want the person to poison every multiplayer game, implement a 3 strikes system.

    I disagree with that. Nobody is banned for a "one time indiscretion". To reach the point of getting banned that heavily (now that EA fixed their weirdness), you need to be brought to the attention of the dedicated support staff (so the one guy who checks trouble tickets on his lunch break :p). That takes a lot of complaints and problems already.

    And what tends to piss off the trolls/assholes? Being told to stop being an asshole. So people would feel the need to be even MORE of an asshole after their first or second ban.
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  12. #52
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    The unfortunate thing is though Gundato, that it has been forced on people.

    How many AAA games can you buy for PC that don't require you to use Steam? And how many allow you to own the copy? The Witcher series are about the only games I can think of from AAA devs that allow you to own the game now, in recent memory of course, we're not counting back to days gone by.

    A lot of what you say, although true, isn't optional.

    Your singleplayer games still let you take advantage of things like the in-game server browser and stat tracking (hours played).
    I have no (legal) option in this. If I don't want to take advantage of in game browsing, stat tracking etc, I can't opt out of it in order to own my copy of Skyrim that I bought in a brick and mortar store and have the disc off.

    Your singleplayer games are stored on their content servers.
    It's also stored on the optical disc sitting in a box in the back of my room too.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Because it isn't.

    Your singleplayer games increasingly have achievements which are part of the steamworks service
    Your singleplayer games still let you take advantage of things like the in-game server browser and stat tracking (hours played).
    Your singleplayer games are stored on their content servers.

    Based on the responses (or attempts to not respond) to that thought exercise, I think it is safe to say that the "problem" is that people don't want to admit they are leasing the software. The lease is an incredibly generous one (one time fee to play the game until the service dies), but it is still a lease.

    You pay for the privelage of playing their games on your computer using their Steam utility. They have every right to take away the use of the Steam utility. Unfortunately, even playing your "offline singleplayer" game still requires the use of their Steam utility


    I disagree with that. Nobody is banned for a "one time indiscretion". To reach the point of getting banned that heavily (now that EA fixed their weirdness), you need to be brought to the attention of the dedicated support staff (so the one guy who checks trouble tickets on his lunch break :p). That takes a lot of complaints and problems already.

    And what tends to piss off the trolls/assholes? Being told to stop being an asshole. So people would feel the need to be even MORE of an asshole after their first or second ban.
    What I was going with 3 strikes is how I act in say... Counterstrike should have no effect on how on say... Red Orchestra 2. If I get banned in Planetside 2 and launch it through Steam, should my entire Steam catalog be locked?


    I bought XCom on a disc. Sure technically its a license, but doing something online should have no effect on what I can do locally on my computer.

  14. #54
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    The unfortunate thing is though Gundato, that it has been forced on people.

    How many AAA games can you buy for PC that don't require you to use Steam? And how many allow you to own the copy? The Witcher series are about the only games I can think of from AAA devs that allow you to own the game now, in recent memory of course, we're not counting back to days gone by.

    A lot of what you say, although true, isn't optional.
    Gaming is a luxury. If you don't like the terms and conditions, don't buy them. I don't like having to sell a kidney to play Warhammer Fantasy Battle, so I don't play.

    Nothing is being forced on anyone. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Again, gaming is a luxury.

    Also, while I can't be arsed to check it myself, I am sure the TW2 EULA also makes it clear that you are leasing it, just on an even better contract than a Steam game.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    I have no (legal) option in this. If I don't want to take advantage of in game browsing, stat tracking etc, I can't opt out of it in order to own my copy of Skyrim that I bought in a brick and mortar store and have the disc off.
    You are right, you can't opt out of those services. Because that is part of the product you purchased.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    It's also stored on the optical disc sitting in a box in the back of my room too.
    And if you want to play version 1.0 feel free. But you won't be able to use any of the additional services you paid for. And, (unfortunately) you can't play it without those services.
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  15. #55
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Gaming is a luxury. If you don't like the terms and conditions, don't buy them. I don't like having to sell a kidney to play Warhammer Fantasy Battle, so I don't play.

    Nothing is being forced on anyone. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Again, gaming is a luxury.

    Also, while I can't be arsed to check it myself, I am sure the TW2 EULA also makes it clear that you are leasing it, just on an even better contract than a Steam game.

    You are right, you can't opt out of those services. Because that is part of the product you purchased.

    And if you want to play version 1.0 feel free. But you won't be able to use any of the additional services you paid for. And, (unfortunately) you can't play it without those services.
    You can't play Skyrim off the disc without first registering and connecting it to Steam. Even version 1.0. There's no (legal) means to do it. It's also completely unclear what you are buying when you buy a game. We've all (here) come to understand it as some kind of license, but do they advertise it as such? No. Does the clerk selling you the game tell you? No. Does the box inform you what a Steam account actually means, ie you'll have to at some point have an internet connection to use this game? No. Some boxes tell you it requires an online activation, others don't.

    If this kind of salesmanship tactic was applied to say, cars, how do you think people would react if Joe Carsman turned up one day and said "I know you paid $30,000 for this car, but in actual fact you where only renting it at an amazing price (provided you kept it for 20 years). I've decided to cut off your service so I have to take the car back".

    The supposed rights of the service providers, make the supposed rights of the customer pretty much null, void and useless. And that's wrong, luxury product or no. It's essentially a cartel, were consumers are not given any choice but to pay up and accept the rules put in place by a service provider. It's like the diamond families who decided that diamonds should be expensive and lied about how rare they are to send the price of them sky rocketing.

  16. #56
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    You can't play Skyrim off the disc without first registering and connecting it to Steam. Even version 1.0. There's no (legal) means to do it. It's also completely unclear what you are buying when you buy a game. We've all (here) come to understand it as some kind of license, but do they advertise it as such? No. Does the clerk selling you the game tell you? No. Does the box inform you what a Steam account actually means, ie you'll have to at some point have an internet connection to use this game? No. Some boxes tell you it requires an online activation, others don't.
    Games also don't say "You can be banned from individual servers either", but nobody is bitching that it is against their consumer rights to be banned from PotSmoker420's listen server for being too good.

    But I do agree that it would be nice to have more detailed boxes.

    If this kind of salesmanship tactic was applied to say, cars, how do you think people would react if Joe Carsman turned up one day and said "I know you paid $30,000 for this car, but in actual fact you where only renting it at an amazing price (provided you kept it for 20 years). I've decided to cut off your service so I have to take the car back".
    So the concept of fine print in general and why all those car-titles-for-cash schemes are horrible?

    The supposed rights of the service providers, make the supposed rights of the customer pretty much null, void and useless. And that's wrong, luxury product or no. It's essentially a cartel, were consumers are not given any choice but to pay up and accept the rules put in place by a service provider. It's like the diamond families who decided that diamonds should be expensive and lied about how rare they are to send the price of them sky rocketing.
    Which brings me back to my near-constant point: Compromise
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  17. #57
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    So allow us to compromise in better terms. Because at the moment, there is none at least not on the suppliers side.

    Option A) Buy a game license on steam, accept that at any point they could revoke said license and take their ball and go home

    Option B) Pay a premium price, get a copy of the software that is yours.

    Of course, this would never happen, but it'd be a nice option.

    And no, the concept of fine print is all well and good, but when the fine print is usually unavailable until after the transaction has taken place, there is an issue. You don't get handed the EULA of a game until usually after it's installed, which is long past the point of purchase. You don't buy a car first, then read the terms, you're given the terms and then you decide if you agree with them or not, then you buy the car (or don't).

    With games, you buy the game from retailer usually (and fairly) under the assumption you are buying a game and not a license, install the game, then you're hit with the publisher telling you "oh and by the way, these are the actual terms of you owning this license, not full game, which this is not, this is a license", at which point retailer has completed their transaction with you and will want nothing to do with you and will fight with every fibre of their being not to refund you money.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Because it isn't.

    Your singleplayer games increasingly have achievements which are part of the steamworks service
    Your singleplayer games still let you take advantage of things like the in-game server browser and stat tracking (hours played)
    Your singleplayer games are stored on their content servers.

    Based on the responses (or attempts to not respond) to that thought exercise, I think it is safe to say that the "problem" is that people don't want to admit they are leasing the software. The lease is an incredibly generous one (one time fee to play the game until the service dies), but it is still a lease.
    So $60 USD up front (rather than spread out) to rent a game for an indeterminate amount of time is "incredibly generous"?

    You pay for the privelage of playing their games on your computer using their Steam utility. They have every right to take away the use of the Steam utility. Unfortunately, even playing your "offline singleplayer" game still requires the use of their Steam utility
    What utility are you speaking of? Other than authenticating the game, useless achievements and stats (which, by the way, doubles as excellent market data for them) and free downloading of the game? Because with a CD I can do that too.

    I disagree with that. Nobody is banned for a "one time indiscretion". To reach the point of getting banned that heavily (now that EA fixed their weirdness), you need to be brought to the attention of the dedicated support staff (so the one guy who checks trouble tickets on his lunch break :p). That takes a lot of complaints and problems already.

    And what tends to piss off the trolls/assholes? Being told to stop being an asshole. So people would feel the need to be even MORE of an asshole after their first or second ban.
    The problem is that the terms of service are stupid. There is no need to specify any reason for discontinuing service. I don't think DD's even have to give notice. The way I see it, the scope which they can exercise their termination rights should be specified. Such as, the continued use of hacks - but even then, this should only be a multiplayer ban for that specific game. Or the company going belly up. As opposed to: whenever the hell they feel like it.

    In any JV agreement or rental agreement, there are termination clauses entitling both parties (i.e. lessor and lessee) to terminate upon x days notice. This is fair because the relationship is on even grounds. You continually pay x for the provision of y. Sadly, in the case of DD games, you have paid upfront all present and future payments for the service right from the outset.

    Remember that this isn't a contract between two businesses. This is between consumer and business.

  19. #59
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    So $60 USD up front (rather than spread out) to rent a game for an indeterminate amount of time is "incredibly generous"?
    Actually, it kind of us. 60 bucks to rent just about ANYTHING for upward of four or five years (probably closer to 1-2 decades at the rate things are going) is a DAMNED good deal.

    But if it would make everyone happier from a "legal" standpoint, I am sure EA would love to charge you a monthly fee to play Mass Effect :p



    What utility are you speaking of? Other than authenticating the game, useless achievements and stats (which, by the way, doubles as excellent market data for them) and free downloading of the game? Because with a CD I can do that too.
    [COLOR=#333333]
    So other than providing a service? Whether you like it or not, authentication, achievements, stats, and streaming of content ARE a service.
    And I would like to see your CD synchronize with an achievement server and automatically update stuff without some additional service :p


    The problem is that the terms of service are stupid. There is no need to specify any reason for discontinuing service. I don't think DD's even have to give notice. The way I see it, the scope which they can exercise their termination rights should be specified. Such as, the continued use of hacks - but even then, this should only be a multiplayer ban for that specific game. Or the company going belly up. As opposed to: whenever the hell they feel like it.
    And if they start getting too specific, people throw hissy fits and pretend they are pure evil. It is a "damned if you do, damned if you dont" case.

    In any JV agreement or rental agreement, there are termination clauses entitling both parties (i.e. lessor and lessee) to terminate upon x days notice. This is fair because the relationship is on even grounds. You continually pay x for the provision of y. Sadly, in the case of DD games, you have paid upfront all present and future payments for the service right from the outset.

    Remember that this isn't a contract between two businesses. This is between consumer and business.
    So again, we should be paying monthly fees to keep it "legal"? Because increasingly, that looks like the only way to make most people accept that they don't OWN the software, and instead just have purchased the privelage of using it.

    The problem is that DD is DIFFERENT. So not all existing stuff maps perfectly. But if people can avoid screaming "That is slightly different, irrelevant!" for a moment, consider a food court/cafeteria style restaurant.
    You go up, you get the food you want, you pay. You can stay as long as you want while you eat. Hell, you can stay there for a few hours afterward and they probably won't care too much. But if you make a fuss or they shut down for the night/forever, you have to leave.

    Now let's say that you are thrown out for being an asshole. All your food is on their plates and you were using their silverware, so they have to take that away. And unfortunately, you don't have a plate or silverware with you so you can't realy take your un-eaten pork chop.

    Like I said, it isn't a perfect mapping (and is mostly a thought exercise that I am sure people will refuse to acknowledge because it isn't exactly the same thing :p), but it does provide a precedent for this kind of stuff. In fact, a precedent that most people wouldn't take too much issue with.
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  20. #60
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    How about they just sell the software?

    If you want automatic updates and achievements, you can pay for a steam subscription. If you don't (because achievements are pointless and we all managed to update our games before Steam) you don't have to. If you want the "hassle" of updating yourself, you have to go to find the patcher yourself like we did in ye olde days.

    As for your restaurant example, that's different again. You're interacting with other people. A restaurant is like multiplayer. If you're being a douche and disturbing everyone else, then you're out.

    Playing your single player games at home is like getting a take away, getting home and grumbling to yourself that the guy behind the counter was of a skin colour/creed/country you don't like. If you go into the take away and scream abuse at him, of course he can throw you out and not serve you and ban you from his store, but if you curse him in your own home away from him it's totally different.
    Last edited by Jesus_Phish; 28-01-2013 at 06:21 PM.

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