The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for waking up late, and hopefully purging the last of the jet lag, and then compiling a list of the fine (mostly) games related reading that crossed your path this week, while trying not to link to some piece of popular music or something.



  1. LewieP says:

    I have Limbo thoughts here:
    link to

  2. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    The Gravity Core article is excellent. I almost feel bad for the guy, putting so much effort, and having(sic) to numerate his mistakes in his blog.

    It was the best of the ones i read, though i didnt bother with ones about lady gaga or the like.

  3. Freudian Trip says:

    I would hardly call the iPad article ‘The Daily Mail’ at it’s best. It had been doing the rounds for a good few days before their write-up that quotes exactly the same bits that I’ve seen on a range of websites from the International Business Times to the Guardian. The Daily Mail deserves to be reviled but not for this.

    • bleeters says:

      @ Freudian Trip

      To be fair, the Guardian article doesn’t actually take the report seriously.

    • Kadayi says:

      Being a creative I can see the appeal of the ipad (a couple of people have them in the office..who spookily do fit the demographic btw), but generally the perception is that much like the ipod and iphone it’s best to wait for them to launch version 2.0 because the present model is spartan in terms of features to say the least.

    • bleeters says:

      @ leeder_krenon

      Guess you missed the second half of the article where it claims criticising the product make you a tedious, unsexy loser.

  4. Vivian says:

    The manics really, really need to lay off the fucking string section. Unless you are or have access to Owen Pallett, string sections on a pop/rock song sound terrible. Synthistrings are different, however.

  5. JohnnyMaverik says:

    I don’t have a 360, no Limbo for me :(

  6. Shadrach says:

    I wish you would stop all mention of games not coming out for PC. They shall be unmentionable, artsy cool design or not, so we won’t have to be envious/annoyed.

  7. LewieP says:

    I would be utterly shocked if Limbo isn’t out for the PC 12 months after the 360.

    If they have a similar deal to Braid and Castle Crashers, they get platform exclusivity for a year.

  8. bleeters says:

    That Daily Mail article is a masterpiece. I’ll make sure to add it to the archive of stupid bullshit they’ve shat out, readily available for whenever someone tries to convince me of their legitimacy.

  9. mandrill says:

    I’m sorry, but I object to a blog about PC gaming linking to that Here’s Why We Fight article. I have no interest in pretentious indie music by bands that only three people have heard of. I don’t begrudge you your interests, but this site is about PC gaming, not bands with daft names who’s claim to artistic integrity is recording music in a cardboard box on a reel to reel tape recorder, using a speak and spell as a mixing desk.

    More PC gaming less pretentious musicians in second-hand flared corduroys please.

    [I was entirely fine until I said this, in which point I crossed the RPS line and embarrassed myself. I’ll hopefully feel a bit ashamed about it in the morning – Ed]

    • Chris D says:

      OK, so you have the right to vent whatever opinion you choose, including critiscing someone else’s opinion, but no-one else has the right to challenge you? Classy.

      I think you’ll find the Sunday Papers is about whatever Kieron thinks is interesting.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Well, I think someone might have burnt their toast this morning.

    • Fumarole says:

      You must be new here.

    • airtekh says:

      This isn’t the first time this particular type of comment has been posted on the Sunday Papers.

      I myself also couldn’t give a fig for any of the music or comic based links, but at the same time I know there’s no need for me to post negatively about it.

      The bottom line is: Kieron can post whatever he damn well pleases on this blog. Whether you like it or not is irrelevant.

    • Deston says:

      There was really no need for that last sentence Mandrill.

      Personally, I’m not interested in that piece at all either, but you need to respect the fact that this is their blog and they can post whatever they like on it. In fact, that’s one of the reasons this site works so damn well.

      Next time you see something that doesn’t interest you, just ignore it and move on dude.

    • mandrill says:

      I didn’t say that they couldn’t challenge my opinion. They can go die in a fire if they object to me expressing my opinion. I have no objection to being challenged. A subtle difference I know, but it pays to look for the nuances ;)

      I come here for PC gaming and related information. I don’t see how the Here’s Why We Fight article relates to that at all. Something I’ve noticed more and more over the last few Sunday Papers is that the focus has shifted away from games and gaming somewhat, with more an more irrelevant stuff creeping in.

    • Vivian says:

      Gillen is also a music journalist (I used to read his stuff occasionally in the sadly defunct Plan B magazine – I actually have him to thank for letting me know about crystal castles all those years ago. Anyway, it’s not surprising he gets the urge to drain his music gland every so often, why complain about it, you might find some new music you like that way. Start your own gameblog where its nothing but games and games alone if it bothers you that much.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Mandrill: Think and say what you like about the SP, but I’d appreciate it if you could you back away from fantasising about the death of people with expensive haircuts.


    • Stompywitch says:

      I just, you know, don’t click on the articles that don’t look like they would interest me. Kieron’s never deceptive about pointing out the non-gaming items.

      Did love the Parkin article, though – there were a few years where I was into JRPG’s, right when I was a teenager and in that phase. The designers certainly did well for younger me.

    • mandrill says:

      My apologies, I retract the last statement of my original post. The rest stands though.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Mandrill: Stuff is deleted because even if stuff is argued against *it is still there, is still offensive and still argued against in inevitably vicious tones*. It colours the flavour of the thread. If it’s distasteful, it’s gone, along with all comments which are solely about that distastefulness. We try and keep a tone.


    • Jayt says:

      It’s their comment thread, they can moderate however they damn well want really.

    • Muzman says:

      No hideous-hipster-bait music this week, but the hideous-hipster-bait article still draws fire. *tsk*

    • bill says:

      Joining late, but please keep up the music in the Sunday Papers. it wouldn’t be the same without it.

      I get the sense that some people have never actually READ sunday papers. The whole point is that they are a random collection of various topics from throughout the week – always including some music reviews of weird bands you’ve never heard of.

      That manics song is nothing like the manics though… more like something from pop idol..

  10. neems says:

    I dunno, I always liked ‘Play Dead’ by Bjork.

  11. Xercies says:

    For some reason i liked the lady gaga article but not the Why we fight article but both of them i had no clue what they were on about. Weird.

    Oh God please do not let Jesse Schell anywhere near anyone of governmental importance…he will destory civilization i tell you. Every talk of his i wonder the fate of humanity and it isn’ a pretty picture.

    That paul barnett piece was just lovely.

  12. Alexander Norris says:

    Here is why piracy is usually right, before these comments degenerate into a shitstorm:

    Assume I can’t afford your game, but am interested in it. Assume your game is actually good. What works out better for the both of us, knowing that in no case is “me buying your game” an option?

    a) I don’t pirate your game, which costs you nothing. I consequently do not play your game, have no real opinion about it, and when someone mentions thinking of getting it my only answer is “oh, yeah, I wanted to get that but can’t afford it. Let me know how it is.” They then might or might not buy your game.

    b) I pirate your game, which costs you nothing. I play your game, and because it is good, I like it. When someone mentions thinking about getting it, I explain to them exactly how it’s a good game, and advise them to buy it if they can afford it. They’re more likely to buy it than if a friend hadn’t expounded on how great a game it is.

    In option a), I haven’t pirate your game, and you still haven’t gotten a cent from me or lost a cent to my piracy (except maybe the ad money you’d have gotten if I’d visited your page then decided not to buy your game, assuming you’re the only retailer). You might or might not get the price of one copy from any friend of mine. In option b), I have pirated your game, and you haven’t gotten a cent from me or lost an actual cent to my piracy. However, out of it, I got to play your game, which I enjoyed because it is a good game. In return for making a good game which I got to enjoy, I recommend your game to my friends, who are going to at least contemplate buying your game if it’s in the genre they’re interested in, and will definitely buy it if they were contemplating getting it but weren’t sure.

    In option a), no one gets anything out of my not pirating your game. You don’t get a cent, I don’t get to play your game, everyone goes home without anyone benefiting from the situation. In option b), everyone get something out of my pirating your game. I get to play a good game, and you get additional sales when I tell my friends who do have money that your game is worth buying, and you actually make money.

    Basically, allowing me, who was never going to spend money on your game anyway because I can’t afford it, to play your game for free means that you actually get a tangential reward out of the process, in the form of free advertising. Stopping me from pirating your game means, in the best of cases, that you don’t get my free advertising, and in the worst of cases, if you used intrusive or obnoxious DRM, you’ve spent money on the DRM and made an enemy out of me, which means I will devote time and effort to convincing people not to buy your game.

    Now of course, if I could actually afford to buy your game, were inclined to do so, actually thought it was worth whatever you were charging and then chose to pirate it instead, I’d be doing something wrong. I’m pretty sure that most people who pirate a game do so because they either can’t afford it, were never interested in it in the first place, or if they were, don’t think it’s worth the asking price. I’m pretty sure there are very few ideological pirates out there – people who actually pirate because they believe software should be free or whatever.

    So basically, the only people who should logically be opposed to this sort of piracy are spiteful idiots who’d rather see everyone lose out than everyone win, just because they erroneously believe that every lost potential sale automatically and necessarily translates to a lost actual sale. Championing this sort of behaviour is absurd.

    The only case in which piracy actually harms your bottom line in this scenario is the one where your game is a bad game. In that case, you’re liable to get bad publicity out of me while not getting any revenue from me either – so I might lose you a potential sale or two, which still isn’t the same thing as losing you actual money. In this case, any degree of transparency, of actually letting people see your game instead of dazzling them with marketing budget, be it in the form of gameplay videos, demos or pirate copies, is bad for your bottom line, because the only way you’re going to make money is by deceiving people into thinking your product is worth more than it’s actually worth… in which case, I’m sorry, but the pirate has the moral high ground here.

    tl;dr piracy is free publicity for good games, which is a good thing. Maybe publishers should invent a system whereby you can play a game for free but have to sell at least two copies of the game in exchange (one to cover the copy you didn’t buy, and one for their troubles).

    • qrter says:

      Maybe publishers should invent a system whereby you can play a game for free but have to sell at least two copies of the game in exchange (one to cover the copy you didn’t buy, and one for their troubles).

      I think your ‘anti-piracy pyramid scheme’ might actually convince more people to pirate games than the current system.

    • Senethro says:

      Good troll post which completely ignores peoples habit of wanting something for free. If you can afford a computer and the internet connection needed to activate/play/pirate games these days, you can afford a game and to claim otherwise is usually dishonest.

      Your scenarios are irrelevant and unrealistic.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yes, because you can totally buy a game with the same money you’ve already spent on a computer and an internet connection.

    • malkav11 says:

      …and that’s assuming they’re the ones who bought the computer and are paying for the internet connection, of course.

    • Psychopomp says:

      >Implying Alexander is trolling

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @Senethro — I have a computer which I built two years ago which is still good enough to run most new games. I have an Internet connection. I can’t afford to spend £40 on new games, or even the £30 it would cost to buy it from and pay for postage to a continental European country. Every single game I’ve pirated in the last year that was actually good I’ve managed to convince at least one friend to buy a copy of who wouldn’t have bought it otherwise.

      In other words, your claim is disproven by my very existence, and unless you’d like to confess that you’re into regularly pirating games despite being able to afford them, you have no basis for your claim that “If you can afford a computer and the internet connection needed to activate/play/pirate games these days, you can afford a game and to claim otherwise is usually dishonest” – which, by the way, makes that claim dishonest.

      So basically, your post is bullshit, and contains roughly the same amount of unverifiable claims as mine except mine is actually well-thought out and doesn’t star off by insulting you. The fact that you disagree with my reasonably-well constructed opinion doesn’t make me a troll; the fact that you can’t disagree with said opinion without calling me names doesn’t exactly reflect very well on you.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Actually, while I’m thinking, here’s a way that my pirating your game actually hurts your bottom line – if my seeding contributes to someone who had the means and inclination to buy your game but would rather get it for free instead actually getting hold of your game without paying you or convincing someone else to pay you.

    • Chris D says:


      So don’t buy new games. Wait six months till they drop in price, or Steam does another crazy sale. You get exactly the same experience as everyone else, just a little later, that’s all. It’s perfectly possible to game on a tight budget without resorting to piracy.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Option c) you pirate the game and love it, then go and tell your friends how good it is. Those friends then also pirate it and the developer – who you think has made a good game – gets nothing.

      You could also play the demo, if the game has one. Or try and judge whether you’d enjoy a game by reading previews and watching trailers, which is obviously not as reliable as actually playing the game.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @Chris D — of course. On the other hand, if I can sell copies of your game at full price, you get more out of my convincing even one person to pay 50€ for it new than you would if I got it on sale for 5€ and convinced five people to get it at that price (this is more or less valid even if the person bought it at release for £25 from instead of 50€ from anywhere in western Europe, incidentally – at today’s exchange rates at least). Assuming I’m a good enough salesman, it’s more beneficial for the games company for me to pirate the game and convince someone to buy it new than it would be for me to wait.

      @DiamondDog — also a very real possibility, of course. Failing to convince my friends to buy the game would potentially make me a Bad Pirate, which is obviously not desirable. A possible solution is to not pirate niche games (like, say, Solium Infernum) which I don’t think I can sell, especially because small studios are hit much harder by piracy than mega-publishers. Of course, I’m not suggesting this sort of piracy works indiscriminately, or that piracy is always Good Piracy (far from it).

      As an aside, I find it actually more objectionable buying a game for a single cent (or the ~$5 which are all I can afford at the time) in a pay-what-you-want sale than pirating it and convincing two friends to buy it at full price. Even though in the latter situation I legally own a license to play the game, the developers have made less money than if I’d gotten even one friend to pay $20 for a copy.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      I can’t afford to spend £40 on new games, or even the £30 it would cost to buy it from

      Then wait until you have the money to fritter away or go without.

    • Vivian says:

      How about I steal your telly, but its ok because I promise to tell ten people what a great guy you are?

    • Xercies says:

      Because Piracy is just like stealing physical items. Ergh!

    • Vivian says:

      You’re sticking your fingers in your ears and going twee-twee-twee if you think its that different.

    • malkav11 says:

      “Then wait until you have the money to fritter away or go without.”

      Why should he? What good does it do for him to voluntarily deny himself something he could obtain easily for free without taking from anyone else. I mean, yes, obviously he should pay for it if he can. But if he can’t…why deny oneself just to score moral points?

    • Jimbo says:

      Actually I’d rather people went without luxury items if they can’t afford them, so that the incentive for them to get a job / a better job and contribute / contribute more to society remained intact (unless they happen to be a soldier or something). I begrudge having to pay for other people’s houses and kids, let alone their gaming habit.

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s funny. I don’t pirate, and I buy lots of games. Many of them (especially the mainstream, non-niche, non-indie variety) are bought on very steep discount (in the $5 to $10 range) long after they came out. I suspect, for those sorts of games, Alexander’s actually a more positive contributor to the health and well being of the developers/publishers in question than I am. Well, at least when the game in question is any good in his opinion.

    • Vinraith says:


      While I agree with the underlying idea of self-fenial to precipitate self-improvement, your argument’s fatal flaw is that salary is poorly correlated to level of contribution to society.

    • Vinraith says:

      That should be “self-denial,” obviously. Once again, I mourn the passing of the edit button and the back door forum edit.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      malkav11: not sure there’s enough time in the world to explain why you should do the moral thing. This might help, though:

      link to

    • Jimbo says:

      Granted there are a *few* special cases where people are ridiculously underpaid for what they contribute (as I sorta touched on in passing, and I do not bedgrudge helping them out however I can), but overwhelmingly it is just people expecting far more nice things than the effort they are putting in allows them to have – and that’s assuming that they are putting in any effort at all.

      If you have time to be playing video games, then you have time to be working harder or learning a new skill to better your position. If you want something, work for it – because I’m sick of paying for it. When somebody pirates a game and I pay for it, I am picking up their share of the development costs, there are no two ways about it.

      Honestly that whole article just annoyed me, because he’s basically saying “Don’t worry about stealing my game, I’ll just get my legit customers to pick up the tab for you”. It’s his product and he can take that position if he likes, but he should know that -as one of those legit customers- I will never buy anything from anybody that takes that position.

    • qrter says:

      What’s this? Is that the kind of indignant rage I normally only smell on a Daily Mail article..? :P

    • Vivian says:

      It might be, but I know at least two people that do it. They’re borderline daily mailers, but they do go on about hipsters quite a lot, and seeing as they don’t actually know any (different social groups to the other dudes) I suspect it might be partially self-confirming.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @Vivian — to quote Xerxies, yes, because pirating software at no cost to anyone is exactly the same as stealing a physical item. But allow me to fix your metaphor: what if you used magic powers to create a second copy of a TV that I happened to make? Well, I’d only give a damn if you would have otherwise bought one of my TVs. If you couldn’t afford a TV, I’d be sad on your behalf, because going to the trouble of magically cloning a TV is too much effort given how shit what passes for TV shows is nowadays. And you basically don’t understand logic if you think stealing someone’s TV and pirating a video game are in any way similar.

      @malkav11 — that’s not really the issue. The issue is, why refrain from pirating when pirating is clearly the more beneficial choice for everyone involved, in my situation? It’d be stupid to not pirate given the conditions I listed.

      @FunkyBadger — that’s funny, because pirating in the case I described is a more ethical choice than not pirating.

      @Vinraith — to be fair, I tend not to pirate games that look terrible, so they’re at least usually safe from my depredations (this is a bit of a cop-out). I’m also not convinced that people who make terrible games deserve to be rewarded for making terrible games, doubly so if they’re trying to generate sales by lying about the quality of their game.

      @Jimbo — I can guarantee you are not paying a single cent for my “gaming habit.”

      What you don’t seem to understand is that in the situation I’m talking about, there is no “their part of the costs” for you to pick up. They would never have bought the game otherwise, or not until it was some ridiculously small amount during a sale. You aren’t losing any money. The developer isn’t losing any money. The developer is potentially making money. Everybody benefits. Any objection along the lines of “but I paid for it, why should he get away with not paying for it?” is more than a little petty, spiteful and not particularly useful to anyone involved.

      I am also not Jeff Vogel, just so we’re clear.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Alex: given the right assumptions, its possible to construct a thought experiment where any action appears ethical. (Inferring from those same assumptions, those that choose not to pirate are acting unethically)

    • Kryopsis says:

      @Vivian — If you think piracy is no different from physical theft, you’re not thinking at all.
      Piracy is about lost potential. It is not about taking a concrete item away from the rightful owner so it is not physical theft. It is not about falsely claiming ownership of an idea so it is not a copyright violation. It is not about making money either. Piracy is as different from theft as tax evasion is different from homicide. In order to deal with the problem one must first understand it; likening it to something it is clearly not is not helping at all.

      I am not condoning piracy in any way. Since I work in the video game industry, I cannot deny the fact that my salary is being paid from the sales of our products. This said, piracy is a very complex phenomenon and I never tire of linking this article: link to

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Hypothetical question, for the piracy inclined:

      If piracy was impossible, i.e. you had to pay for every game you used, would you give up gaming?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @FunkyBadger — not entirely, but I’d only be able to afford maybe two new games a year (if that) and would consequently be a lot less well-equipped to think critically about video games. I’d also not be convincing anyone to spend their money on video games. Why do you ask?

    • Bowlby says:

      A lot of talk about bottom lines here and what the sum total good ends up being if people pirate – yada, yada, yada, etc. I think it’s an ideological argument that misses the point, tbh. Piracy is wrong because essentially you are enjoying the fruits of someone else’s labour for free when that person has explicitly asked you to pay for it in one way or another. It is taking that which doesn’t belong to you.

      I feel sympathy for Jeff Vogel, but I think he’s done himself no favours here. The best part is where he says “I just have to add one thing, and then I can hopefully go without writing about this ugly topic for a good, long time.” Does he not realise the can of worms he just opened? :S

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Alex: just wondering.

      I think I’ll stop thinking out loud about this now as it might come across as personal/vindictive – and I try to only act like that with people I know… ;-)

    • Vivian says:

      Alexander, it’s still stealing. It’s taking something and not paying for it. Yes its just information etc and you can make a million more of them if you choose at no cost to yourself or anyone else. But it took a lot of people a lot of work to make it, and if more people steal it, you’re making it less likely that all but the most profitable games get to get made because people aren’t making enough money out of it. I mean, its easy and its nice to get things for free, but you don’t seem stupid enough not to realize that it does ultimately do no good. It’s not like the music industry where artists can recoup the money with concerts, after all.

    • Archonsod says:

      “Why should he? What good does it do for him to voluntarily deny himself something he could obtain easily for free without taking from anyone else. ”

      It’s character building?

      Thing is, in any other industry then you can justify paying the full price at release. As with all entertainment, it’s a premium price based in part on the value of being one of the first to play the game.

      It’s understandable doing so at the cinema because the quality of the experience is better on the big screen. It’s the opposite in gaming, when the quality tends to improve around four months and three patches after release.

      So a better question is why buy games on release when you can pick them up in six months time for half the price, at which point they might even be stable.

    • Jimbo says:

      Of coure your unpaid-for gaming habit costs me money. If we play an equal amount of games a year – let’s say 25 – and I pay for all of mine and you only pay for two of yours, then you are not contributing anything like enough for those 25 games to have existed in the first place. If we both acted as you did then those games simply would not exist for you to steal. Therefore, they can only exist because I am paying your share. I understand the logic you are desperately grasping at to justify yourself, but I reject it on the grounds that if we all thought like that, none of us would have anything.

      You can’t have it both ways. Either you play the game and therefore have a responsibility to pay your share of the dev costs, or you don’t play it and don’t have that responsibility. If you play it and don’t pay then it is only because your share of the costs is being paid for by somebody like me.

      If you have a spare room in your rented house, can I come and live there and not pay anything towards the rent? Why not? You were gonna be paying that much rent anyway, right?

      Personally, I think you’re a thieving scumbag, but until the ‘something for nothing’ brigade stops defending people like you on sites like this, then I’ll just have to suffer your presence in my hobby (mine because I pay for it to exist).

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s not the same as stealing, though. If you steal, you’re taking something that someone else has without their permission. While there are perhaps certain limited circumstances where this might be understandable behavior (e.g., the Les Miserables example of stealing a loaf of bread when you’re starving), it’s generally harmful and antisocial behavior that should be avoided by individuals and punished by law.

      If you generate a digital copy of something you don’t own, you are certainly committing an act that has been defined by law as criminal, but you’re not taking anything from anyone. You aren’t stealing from a person who already owns the game, because they still have their copy. You aren’t stealing from a store, they’ve still got theirs. You aren’t giving the people who made the game money, this is true, and there are good reasons to do so, but it’s notable that there are other ways of obtaining the game without paying the creators that are perfectly legal. Why is it more noble to rent a game from Blockbuster or Gamefly than to pirate it? Why is it better to buy a used copy from Gamestop or Half-Price Books than pirate it? (I think it probably is, but darned if I can put my finger on why.) It can’t be that you’re paying someone money – libraries are entirely socially acceptable, but there’s no charge involved there.

      And so, I ask again – given the circumstance that you cannot pay for a game, what does it benefit anyone to take the “moral” stance and simply refrain when you could pirate and enjoy?

    • Chris D says:

      Ok, so you object to “stealing” because you’re not taking a physical objects. What other words might be a better fit. What’s the word for “taking the benefit of someone elses work without compensating them for it”? Oh, yeah. Exploitation. Better?

    • CMaster says:

      Stop being deliberately misleading.
      If you steal Alexander’s TV, you now have a TV and he doesn’t (there’s also the implied and emotive context of home trespass there). Alexander has rather obviously lost out for your benefit.
      If you download a game that Alexander is seeding the torrent for (that he bought in the first place), then you now both have the game. Nobody is at a disadvantage.

      Copyright infringement, of the form known as piracy is not equitable with theft, whatever the music, film (and to a lesser extent, game and publishing) industries are saying. This isn’t to say that it’s right, either.

      Equally, the argument that every illegally produced copy is a lost sale is clearly inaccurate, too. Look at how many people download films and music beyond their ability to actually listen to/watch. The same is true of games. People download stuff often because they can, because they are half interested and it costs them nothing. Equally however, it is quite silly to suggest that piracy doesn’t harm sales. There are plenty of people out there who play lots of games and have the money to buy games, but download instead. Maybe they’d be more selective, almost certainly less experimental. But they’d probably buy at least some if given no other choice.

      However, I can’t say that I’m sold on Alexander’s argument about “good” piracy, whereby the pirate’s enthusiasm for a product leads to them encouraging others to buy it. Most conversations I’ve had with people who have enjoyed a game but acquired it illegally has ended with them encouraging me to do the same, and being very dismissive of the suggestion I should pay for it. Certainly if one is to say “I’m not sure I can justify spending the money” the response is normally “well, I just got it from TPB” or whatever. I think pirates who encourage others to spend their money are few and far between, though you see a lot of the people in certain uploader communities encouraging the use of downloads as “demos” even going as far to provide steam links.

    • CMaster says:

      @Chris D
      It’s easier to describe it as what it is, “copyright infringement”. But yes, you’re getting a lot closer to the mark there.
      The point is that stealing deprives someone of something. Copying a game, from a friend or from a stranger on the internet does no such thing. The closest you can get is to suggest that a “potential sale” is lost, but that clearly isn’t the case most of the time. It would be nice if we could put a figure on it – eg every pirated copy = 0.1 lost sales, but gathering the data to do this would be very difficult, compounded by the fact that the ratio is probably different for every game, accounting for factors like genre, platform, who it was marketed to, critical ratings, etc.

    • Vivian says:

      @Cmaster. How am I being deliberately misleading? Don’t get you. And this is quibbling. Letter vs. Spirit of the law. It doesn’t even really bother me THAT much that it happens, but it is stealing (substitute word of choice for taking the product of work without paying the legally required toll for it), and it is ultimately bad for everything. There’s no romance in pirating video games.

    • CMaster says:

      You know, I was almost prepared to go along with you for a moment there.
      Then I remembered that you brought up this whole theft thing in the first place by making a comparison that both you and I know to be false – you insinuated that Alexander downloading a game was the same as if he had broken into the developer’s offices and walked off with a computer. Which shows just why going around calling this type of behaviour theft is a problem – the word is used to get an emotional response out of people, to get them remembering that feeling of having something unjustly taken away from them.

      Honestly, calling this something it isn’t doesn’t help us solve the problem. It doesn’t help people deal with the problem sensibly. It just gets us going around in circles, and ends up with daft situations like threats of jail time for kids who watched more movies than they could afford.

    • Dean says:


      You almost had me. The argument made sense. You even answered the one niggling question: that if you couldn’t pirate games, you’d buy them, but you’d probably buy one or two a year, which would be less profitable for the developers.

      All seems to make sense. But.

      These friends you’re recommending to. They’re gamers right? And I’m presuming you’re not a relatively poor person with a bunch of ridiculously rich friends for whom money is no object (if so, well, okay, you’re in the right, but your situation puts you in a tiny, tiny minority that can claim the upper moral ground).

      So these gamer-friends, they by games on your recommendation. But what if you weren’t there. I reckon they’d still spend the same amount of money of games. Now, maybe they’d be different games – without your influence to point them in the direction of the good stuff they might not make great purchasing decisions. You’re moving the money around, you’re perhaps putting the money in the hands of more deserving developers. But you’re not creating new sales. You’re just directing sales that were going to happen anyway. Unless you’re seriously telling me that your influence is getting people to buy games instead of other stuff. Which I find somewhat hard to believe. Your friends were going to buy a game either way. It’s not like they were going to spend it on whores and gin and you were like “hang on a sec, drunk blow jobs are ace but you should really check out Dawn of War 2”.

      Piracy isn’t theft. It’s bad, yes. But it’s not stealing. It’s copyright infringement. There’s a simple reason we don’t call it stealing, and that is that words have meanings, and we have to use the right word in the right place or the world won’t make any sense. The industry is desperate to equate piracy with stealing, hence the “piracy is theft” adverts, as it makes things easier for them. But it’s a load of bull. I’m not saying piracy is okay, it’s not, but we can’t just go saying it’s something it isn’t. We may as well go “piracy is rape!” it makes as much sense. Thought experiment: I put a gun to your head, and tell you have two options: I’m either going to steal your PC, or I’m going to copy all the files on it. Which do you chose? That’s the difference between piracy in theft. I get your information in both cases, but the former you’re also down hundred of pounds of hardware and you no longer have access to your own data. It’s a lost worse.

    • TeeJay says:

      I just looked at my steam account and boxes on my shelf for the last 12 months.

      Even though my total spend has been c. £273 (giving an average £5 per week) this only includes one ‘full price’ (ie £25) new-released game.

      Most games have been via the Steam Xmas and Summer sales and after breaking down multi-packs:
      26 @ c.£3 each
      15 @ c.£5 each
      10 @ c.£10 each
      3 @ c.£15 each

      Having a massive backlog means I am limited by available playing time rather than money for new games.

      However broke I am I could always probably afford £5/week on games (I don’t smoke, hardly drink, rarely go out). I could be screwed however if my PC blew up or I was somewhere without BT landline. I would then default back to stuff I could easily load onto and run on my ancient laptop and all those classic games I still haven’t played.

      Getting me to start splashing out on two new £25 games a month (still only £12.50/week) is less about prices or piracy per se but actually having that many great games coming out that offer so much more than my existing library of ‘free stuff’.

      If games start arriving that really blow me away I could well switch back to buying full price new releases but so much of what I see looks like ‘more of the same’ or actually worse than previous versions.

    • Sagan says:

      It’s funny that you imply that intellectual property is a bad thing. Or that it should be ignored. Because nowhere do you defend why you should be able to ignore intellectual property.

      We have a whole lot of intellectual property laws (copyright, patents, trademark, …) because in this society we think that people should get ownership of their work, even if it is an exclusively intellectual work. Because if they have ownership, they can sell it if they want to, and then people can make money of their intellectual work.
      If someone else has ownership of something, you have to ask this person for permission to use it, and usually with games they give the permission after you pay them 50€.
      Every time you try to justify piracy, you first have to argue why it is not OK for someone to have ownership for their work, or why you think that should be ignored.

      Also: Intellectual property law would allow people to say “you can either play my game if you give me 50€, or if you make free publicity for me.” If that was a good model, people would probably do it. However as long as they don’t do that, you are in the wrong. Because it is their work, and they define under what circumstances you can experience it, they would first have to agree to your “I will give you free publicity” scheme. Until then all your justifications are void, because you first have to convince them, not yourself. You can’t just assume that they would agree to what you are saying.

    • Malagate says:

      Ye Gods that’s a long reply thread thingie on piracy!

      I don’t think of piracy as physical theft, I think of it as theft of services (or indeed “exploitation” fits very neatly). They know you’re supposed to pay for the experience, but they refuse because they know a way to get it for free. If you can’t afford a service, you don’t automatically get the right to use that service for free. You can’t justify sneaking into a cinema to watch movies for free by saying “Well I wasn’t going to buy a ticket anyway, so I may as well be allowed to see it for free”.

      “No ticket” does not equate to a free ride, it equates to a poorly disguised Harrison Ford punching you out of a dirigible.

    • CMaster says:

      I think that Jimbo perhaps makes an interesting point. About people like himself effectively subsidising people like Alexander playing games. This is, to some extent, true. Games as we know them are only made because people pay for them. If nobody at all paid for games, we’d still get games, but few and far between and still things like Asteroids and so on, as opposed to what we have become accustomed to. However, Alexander isn’t costing Jimbo more money. As long as Alexander or similar are not going to pay for games, then their existence or not makes no difference to what Jimbo pays.

      Thing is, this “subsidizing other people’s hobby” thing goes on all the time in our society. Your council tax almost certainly goes towards maintaining sports facilities and parks that you don’t use but others do. Groups like the Arts council prop up theatres, opera houses etc. They pay for street performers to do their jobs, for art galleries to spend millions on a masterpiece. There are various things in this world that people are unwilling to pay for to experience, yet seemingly as a society we think it is important that people can experience them.

      Of course, there’s quite a big difference between something that (certain elements of) society has decided are important enough for to take a little bit of money from everyone to fund, and a case where one chunk of the population voluntarily cough up cash for something, while another chunk freeload. To do with consent and considered social value of the creation.

      Still, copying games is closer to watching somebody elses TV through their window, or sneaking into a play (there are flaws with both these comparisons too, incidentally) than it is to stealing a TV or mugging the performers on stage.

    • Nallen says:

      My hobby is kickboxing. I shall go and kick a tramp in, because no one gives a shit about the tramp, right. I mean everyone wins. I get to dish out a kicking, no one else was using the tramp anyway, it has no value blah blah. Plus, if I tell my friends kicking the tramp in was great fun they might go and pay for kickboxing classes so actually I’m helping someone out!

    • Tei says:

      “We have a whole lot of intellectual property laws (copyright, patents, trademark, …) because in this society we think that people should get ownership of their work, even if it is an exclusively intellectual work.”

      The problem with intelectual stuff is that your work, may not be your work. I can work very hard in my laboratory in the volcan to invent a heat ray that I call “L.A.S.E.R.”.
      The problem is… it already exist. No one can “own” ideas, because theres not guarantee you are the first one to invent it, maybe is already in use and is a default industry practice. Maybe got “invented” 10 years ago, but forgotten again.

      Things like patents and trademarks are intelectual dishonest to his core.

      There are a bunch of dicks that have trademarkerd the word Leonardo, so if you make a work about Leonardo DaVince, you will probably get sued. This is very wrong.

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      You all are sidestepping the fundamental issue in Vogel’s point, which is he is not bothered by piracy because he’d rather have someone play his game than not play his game. In other words, he is happy and pleased that people are willing to let him earn his living doing what he loves by essentially choosing to give him due compensation for what can be considered a “virtuoso performance.”

      Think of it like busking. A street musician will perform music because he loves to do so, and must be prepared to give away the fruit of his art for free, since he is incapable of restricting who hears. But, in giving his time and effort and practice away for free, he gains the chance to be compensated fairly by those who appreciate it.

      So, similar to what Funky Badger asked, if it is impossible to ensure that people can pay for your games, are you still willing to make them? The key to the issue is that games, once a physical object like a car or a piece of cheese, are becoming more intangible, like music. And, also part of Vogel’s point is that since it’s still possible to ensure that people pay for your game (through multiplayer and dedicated servers and ads and so on), the single-player art form is risks becoming a rare pleasure because of piracy.

    • CMaster says:

      4/10 – had me annoyed for a moment, then realised how obvious it was.

      @Tei, Sagan
      Intellectual property laws are there for good reason. One of the things you seem to have forgotten about Tei, is that part of the point of patents etc are to stop you working in your shed, developing the LASER, only to bring it out into the world, and have someone with much more money than you go and make more LASERs, market them much harder, so nobody ever buys yours. He makes money from your R&D without having had to spend it yourself, and you end up out of pocket. This is especially important considering that in our “free market” societies, profit is supposedly the main (only?) motive people have for developing new things anyway.

      Of course the problem, is that these intellectual property laws have been leveraged heavily by the moneyed men. They control access to the customers, and often require you give up your rights in exchange. They claim copyright over works that they can’t identify the author of (publishing and music do this all the time, claiming royalties for something without ever having contact with the creator). They use laws like DMCA to shut down critcism. Equally in our world of games, I’ve seen some shadier download sites letting you buy (and then DL) some games that the likes of GoG claim they can’t find the rights holders for. How is that more ethical than simply letting people have it for free, if no money will ever reach the creators anyhow.

      Oh, and on the subsidy topic again. It occurs to me that the people who pay for games at launch are not only subsidising the pirates, but also those of us who buy later in the sales for cheap, in much the same way as those nutters who simply must have the latest, fastest PC kit, pay for the rest of us to have sensibly priced graphics cards and processors, or those smug, elitist pricks with their iPads are subsidising the day when we all have internet tablets around the house.

    • Nallen says:

      @CMaster – Sorry I should have also said, ‘while I could afford kickboxing lessons two years ago and still go to the gym I can now no longer afford to enter competitions’ to complete my analogy. Hopefully you’ll see I am in fact not trolling, I just have utter contempt for the pitiful justification for ‘helping yourself’ put forward be some people.

      I wish people could just say they want what they want for free and it’s as simple as that rather than these constant walls of psuedo-justification which basically boil down to the fact that because something has no physical manufacturing cost they assign it no value. It’s not even the actual piracy I’m so pissed off about! Do what you like, but don’t spout all that rubbish about how it’s actually all fine.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Worth stating this isn’t meant as a criticism or analysis of Vogel’s point so much as an expansion on it (@Kommissar Nicko). I’m not side-stepping his point or anything, I just think there are more situations where piracy ought to be considered not-wrong than just what he describes, and it’s any situation where pirating generates more good than not pirating.

      @Jimbo –

      Of coure your unpaid-for gaming habit costs me money. If we play an equal amount of games a year – let’s say 25 – and I pay for all of mine and you only pay for two of yours, then you are not contributing anything like enough for those 25 games to have existed in the first place.

      If I weren’t playing those games for free I would simply not be playing them at all. By your reasoning, not playing those games also costs you money since if I chose not to play them I would not be spending money on them. Your argument is the same argument that publishers use, the one that equates lost potential sales with lost actual sales. They are not the same; you can’t criminalise a lost potential sale because if you did that you’d have to make it illegal to contemplate buying something then changing your mind, and I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain how absurd that is.

      Someone who isn’t going to buy your product anyway and who gets a copy of the product for free is not a lost sale, it’s someone who might tell their friends that your product is great and might have money to spend buying your products when you later commercialise a second product.

      If you have a spare room in your rented house, can I come and live there and not pay anything towards the rent? Why not? You were gonna be paying that much rent anyway, right?

      Again, your metaphor is completely incorrect. I have to wonder if you’ve actually read my post.

      If I have a spare room in my rented house, and in exchange for you coming to live there for free you get your friends to buy the groceries for the entire house or perform any service for me that is equal to or more than the value of the share of rent you’re not paying, would I have a problem? No, of course not, because we both gain from the situation. This isn’t a very hard concept to grasp.

      @Chris D

      What’s the word for “taking the benefit of someone elses work without compensating them for it”?

      Hey, you know what this mode of piracy I’m describing isn’t? It very specifically isn’t taking the benefits of someone else’s work without compensating them for it. It’s taking the benefits of someone else’s work then compensating them for it through means other than personally paying for that work.

      @Dean — I am in fact a poor person with wealthy friends who wouldn’t otherwise be spending money on games (they’d be spending it on camera gubbins and high-tech audio equipment instead, for the most part). However, you have a point: since the vast majority of people aren’t in this situation, in the vast majority of cases this would be redistributing wealth rather than necessarily generating more.

      Is that a bad thing, though? Assuming that the games that should make a profit are the games that deserve to make a profit (i.e. the games are good, or in some way new, admirable, intelligent or vital to someone’s continued survival) – as it stands, this is not the case. Bad games with large marketing budgets get rewarded all the time. Games that have shoddy PC ports still make millions. Publishers lie by omission about their games all the time, usually deliberately. If this piracy causes money that would otherwise have been spent on buying a bad game to be instead spent on a good game, is that a bad thing? It means less money to publishers that sell bad games and lie about their quality and more money to publishers and developers who actually deserve the financial success.

      All of this is essentially how review copies sent to games journos work, by the way. Publishers will send them review copies (and sometimes fly them over to do previews, or give them free passes to conventions – although we know that some publications prefer to pay for everything out of pocket because it means they don’t owe the publishers a thing) in the hopes that the journalist will enjoy the game then praise it in their magazine or on their website and generate sales. Journalists get this free stuff because giving them the free stuff generates more revenue than if they hadn’t been given preview/review copies and hadn’t been able to write about the game.

      @Sagan —

      It’s funny that you imply that intellectual property is a bad thing. Or that it should be ignored. Because nowhere do you defend why you should be able to ignore intellectual property.

      Assuming it was directed at me (I’m not sure why it’d be directed at me considering I don’t imply anything of the sort and I do explain why preventing piracy can be worse than allowing it to happen): I am talking about specific cases where piracy generates more revenue for the developers than they would have otherwise made had the game not been initially pirated. In this case, punishing the pirates is stupid and petty because it benefits no one when the actual act of piracy itself benefited everyone involved.

      It’s throwing your toys out of the pram, going, “Well, since I spent some of my cash on this, no one should be allowed to benefit from this without spending an equal amount of cash on it!” Coincidentally, it’s the same argument used by people who think higher education and healthcare shouldn’t be inclusive, and who think taxes and welfare are a terrible idea.

      @Malagate —

      You can’t justify sneaking into a cinema to watch movies for free by saying “Well I wasn’t going to buy a ticket anyway, so I may as well be allowed to see it for free”.

      This is not the argument being used. This is the argument being used: “Well, I wasn’t going to buy a ticket anyway, so I may as well be allowed to see it for free (as long as I’m not using a seat that could have gone to a paying customer) because I’ll then convince at least one paying customer who didn’t want to go to the cinema before to go pay for it.” If I hadn’t seen it for free, the cinema wouldn’t have had my mates buy tickets. Preventing me from seeing the film and giving it a good review means the cinema actually makes less money than if I’d seen it “for free.”

    • Tei says:

      @Sagan: “intellectual property laws are there for good reason. One of the things you seem to have forgotten about Tei, is that part of the point of patents etc are to stop you working in your shed, developing the LASER, only to bring it out into the world, and have someone with much more money than you go and make more LASERs, market them much harder, so nobody ever buys yours. “

      The chinnese will create these anyway, and will use pseudo-slave labor, so will be 300% cheaper than everywhere else. So it don’t work.

      You are tryiing to sell me intelectual omnership as the “lesser evil”. And I am tired of the dishonesty of that lesser evil. Wrong is wrong, and your lesser evil is still evil.

      Is evil because you accept that exist only for practical reasons, and these practical reasons DONT WORK AT ALL. You need about 100 million dollars to fight one of the big corporations taking your work. So this only work on the benefict of the Strong over the Weak. We don’t need such laws, laws that help the strong over the weak.
      Can we agree patents and things like that put the power on the corporations?

      Is evil because tecnological censorship is stil censorship. If I can’t built a laser powered spaceship because I don’t own the laser patent, I am still censored.
      Can we agree censorship is bad?

      Intelectual ownership is phisical imposible (are not fisical), dishonest (you can’t honestly claim you are the first inventor of X) and evil (censorship). And his defenders are taking “practical reasons” that don’t work at all (hence, unpractical reasons?).

      The intelectual ownership defenders are asking me to drink a poison, claiming to have a cure, but his cure don’t work at all ( Viacon, Google, IBM will *destroy* you in a patent problem, you will shutdown almost anything if you receive a C&D letter to avoid the problems.)

      How can be Michal Jackson collecting royalties? he is fucking dead!!. That don’t make sense to me.

    • Dean says:

      @Alexander – fair enough, redistributing the wealth is a good thing, absolutely. It’s just a lesser justification for piracy than if you’re creating new sales.

      Incidently, am I the only one that sees the “if you had a spare room in your house that you weren’t using and weren’t going to rent out, would you let a homeless person live there for free?” argument and thinks “yes, if you could guarantee my safety and the fact that it wouldn’t impact on my living arrangements at all”

      I mean it’s not practically possible, but the areas it isn’t (shared use of bathroom, kitchen, safety issues, etc) are all places the metaphor falls down. In theory, I’d be fine with it.

    • bill says:

      I think alexander makes a good point. Though it slightly falls down on the fact that a lot of sales are also put off because people torrent a broken version, and then tell all their friends that it sucks.

      But it’s a reasonable argument, and I think the original blog post makes a good argument too. It’s simply not a black and white issue as both sides often try to make it.

      Komissar Nikko’s analogy is maybe the best I’ve seen (though it probably breaks down somewhere – and I’m sure that the internets will find it). “Think of it like busking. A street musician will perform music because he loves to do so, and must be prepared to give away the fruit of his art for free, since he is incapable of restricting who hears. But, in giving his time and effort and practice away for free, he gains the chance to be compensated fairly by those who appreciate it.”

      I personally don’t usually pirate games (and i think the distinction between pirates and paying customers is a lot less clear than many might think (see music links below)). But I have been known to do it occasionally, from time to time. (particularly, of course, back in the old student days).
      But thinking back over it, I can’t think of any situation when the game maker has actually lost out from my actions. They may well not have gained either, but they didn’t lose.

      Now there is clearly no right to get free entertainment. But I don’t see the benefit in making people who can’t afford entertainment live in bored misery, when they don’t have to. If you are working all hours to try to provide a decent life for your family, and you could provide them with a little bit of fun in the form of a movie off the web – with no negative consequences for anyone – should you instead make them sit around bored. Or should you bring a little fun into their lives?

      Personally, if i was the game maker, I’d rather think that my game was entertaining people that would otherwise have been miserable.

      would really like to write something very rude about Jimbo’s messed up / sheltered / privileged world view, but i’ll try to refrain. “If you have time to be playing video games, then you have time to be working harder or learning a new skill to better your position.” kind of speaks for itself.

    • Sagan says:

      @Alexander Norris:

      I am talking about specific cases where piracy generates more revenue for the developers than they would have otherwise made had the game not been initially pirated. In this case, punishing the pirates is stupid and petty because it benefits no one when the actual act of piracy itself benefited everyone involved.

      If piracy generates more revenue for the developer than they would have made otherwise, it is unlikely that the pirates would get punished. At least if they have convincing arguments to support that claim and the developer believes them. Can you imagine the press that would get? “Developer sues his biggest fan.”

      Still, even with that point, the act of pirating the game was not okay. Because you don’t get to decide how the developers makes money out of their game. Just because they are unlikely to want to punish you doesn’t mean that they are happy about what you did there. Their reasons for disliking you don’t even matter, because we are talking about their property here. You don’t even need a reason to disallow someone to use your property. That’s what I meant by saying you are implying that intellectual property rights are wrong or can be ignored. Because you act as if it was OK to do what you want with someone else’s property just because it is intellectual property.

      It’s throwing your toys out of the pram, going, “Well, since I spent some of my cash on this, no one should be allowed to benefit from this without spending an equal amount of cash on it!” Coincidentally, it’s the same argument used by people who think higher education and healthcare shouldn’t be inclusive, and who think taxes and welfare are a terrible idea.

      The “no one should be allowed to benefit from this without also paying” thing is just about fairness. If I had to pay for this, then it’s only fair that other people should have to pay for this, too. Or similarly: If I did a lot of work, and it resulted in something good that has value to other people, then it’s only fair that I should get paid for this. And fairness is kind of one of one of the very important things in our society.
      The same reasons don’t apply to your strawman arguments about health-care and higher education. Because in that case it would only be fair that everyone gets equal chances, and not get in debt because of some sickness or because his parents can’t pay for education. So in those cases fairness works in the other direction. Everyone should get access to health-care and higher education, because that would be fair. In countries where higher education and health care is free, we have systems that make sure that doctors and professors get paid, even if people don’t pay for their services directly.
      Since we don’t have similar systems in place to make sure that game developers get paid no matter what, it is only fair that we should pay for games. And if I have to pay then it is only fair that you have to pay, too. I have heard pretty convincing arguments to introduce such a system, so maybe that will be done someday.

      Sure, the intellectual property thing I mentioned in the beginning isn’t always about fairness. After all you can do some unfair things with your intellectual property. Like you can disallow people from pirating your game, even if they just want to help you making money and can’t afford to buy the game otherwise. But in this case it is widely recognized that, in general, IP-laws are beneficial for society and that it just isn’t cool to mess with someone else’s property. If they have created it, then they can decide what you can or can not do with it.

      Yes, those problems with intellectual property are real, and there are a lot of problems there. But in general intellectual property is beneficial for society. Sure, it sucks that patent trolls can exploit some invention that a lot of people have made simultaneously, but there are lots more cases where someone has invented something and deserves to profit from it. And it sucks that someone can put a trademark on a word like EDGE and then sues people for it, but a world without trademarks would suck even more, because you couldn’t even buy a game, because you can’t be sure that you don’t get a cheap ripoff that someone has released under the same name.
      Everyone can name lots of problems with all kinds of intellectual property laws, but everyone also agrees that we have to keep the intellectual property laws.

      For me the whole piracy discussions ends at the point: This guy has a copyright for it, so if I want it I have to adhere to his rules. All the justifications that pirates make are completely void if they don’t directly address that first issue. If you say “I am just helping the developer make money,” that does not matter at all, because she has a copyright for it and if you want to help the developer make money you have to do it according to her rules. If you say “but I’m not damaging him” then that doesn’t matter, because he has a copyright for it and you should not damage the developer according to his rules.
      Unless you have a reason why intellectual property (or copyright specifically) is a bad thing, all your arguments are void. I have met some people who honestly claim copyright is not needed (never with good reasons, or with reasons that would work in the real world) but most of the discussions online just imply it can be ignored. And if you just imply that without explanation, then your argument is void.

  13. jeremypeel says:

    Simon Parkin’s piece is really quite something – like you say Kieron, quite a leap into the ether, deeply personal and pointing out some potential difficult truths.

    If JRPGs were an idealised map to help teenagers on the brisk of adulthood find their way there – and their creators are aware of this being a key part of their appeal – what is there for them now?

    • Paul B says:

      I think the article answered that (or Kitase did) – they’re just made for a new generation of teenagers, finding their way into adulthood. It seems the JRPGs, Squeenix make, aren’t meant for us over 30’s (although that doesn’t stop me from playing them). And completely agree, an excellent article, and why I always enjoy checking out the Sunday Papers.

    • ExplosiveCoot says:

      This was a wonderfully poignant story. It also makes a person think about how mired in adolescence the video game industry is in terms of presenting compelling characters that grow and change or complex stories that deal with sensitive issues relevant to adults.

      I’m on the cusp of my 30s, and definitely coming to believe that very few (if any) games are being made for 30-year-olds. I see “mature” games (in terms of emotional content) as being a space for tremendous growth for the medium, although it seems like we have a long way to go.

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      The article was interesting for me too. It might explain why I haven’t really enjoyed a Final Fantasy since 7 through 9. Though I really liked Crisis Core.

  14. Inigo says:

    Jeff Vogel? Wasn’t he in Saints Row 2?

  15. Alexander Norris says:

    Incidentally, by ways of that piece on Paul Barnett’s kid, I wish someone would do a piece interviewing the kids of well-known designers – anyone that the average gamer who’s read up on the gaming industry would recognise. Now that video games are more mainstream than ever, I’d like to know if game designers are starting to become celebrities. I wonder if people walk up to Ryan Meier and go “wow, your dad is Sid Meier!” yet, or if we’re going to have to wait a while longer for people to go “Callum Barnett? Hang on, aren’t you the kid of that guy who worked on Warhammer Online and did those funny videos?”

  16. boobs :) says:

    The ipad is everything I am not and everything I wish could become

  17. Fenris says:

    Im typing this on my Ipad, yes, I am better than you! And a cunt.

  18. Kadayi says:

    You can get the audio podcast of Jesse Schell’s ‘Visions Of The Gamepocalypse’ from the Longnow foundation (which is quite a good seminar series): –

    link to

    I was listening to it earlier in the week. I thought it was pretty interesting (he expands on the DICE talk quite a bit) if a little broad brush. My only issue with it all is the fact that I think he slightly over estimates peoples commitment and focus at times. We can’t be high energy & active all the time.

  19. kwyjibo says:

    I’ve not followed them closely, but I’ve never noticed until now (seeing Hecker’s piece) that Ubisoft seem to have acquired Outerlight.

  20. Cinnamon says:

    Not having the popularity and user friendliness of an iPad doesn’t really bother me. Sounds like a lot of unwanted hassle if you as me. While having lots of strange people touch me to get me to entertain them sounds like it might be fun for a short while I think would quickly start to get tired of it and feel a bit used and empty. Especially if they are all narcissistic elitists (and who isn’t these days).

    For some reason the articles on music made we want to listen to a bit of Stereolab. link to

  21. Cooper says:

    I read thst Maps article the other day.

    It struck me as cpaturing exactly why I can’t stand JRPGs anymore. But why, nevertheless, they are special and don’t deserve to be ridiculed and ignored in the wasy they often are.

    They are wonderfully adolescent. Beautifully, wonderously so. In the way the american adolescent games market (guns, boobs, more guns, more muscle, less colour!) now is not.

  22. geldonyetich says:

    Fairly epic Sunday for me, in that I could actually relate to three of these.

    Jeff Vogal is definitely not arguing in favor of piracy on account of how he sort of wants his family to eat, but what he was talking about is the artist’s wish that his work reach people who cannot afford it.

    Jesse Schnell is the primary guy I go to for game design advice in that I whip out his book whenever I’m feeling lost. The awesome thing about his approach is that he doesn’t tell you how to make existing games, he gives advice on how to dream up whole new game concepts. In a game field flooded with a whole lot of boring clones, this dude is your savior, respect that.

    Ready-Up folk offering a position for a volunteer writer. Been there, done that. It’s a lot of work for only as much recognition as you can garner by amusing your readers. You might get your foot in the door, you might not, but one thing’s for certain: you will have a sore foot and be just as poor as when you started.

  23. pkt-zer0 says:

    From Jeff Vogel’s blog post:

    “I think that the best way of evaluating the morality of an action is to ask, “What would happen if everyone who wanted to do it did it?” (…) And pirating PC games is wrong (…)”

    Assuming that statistics suggesting that pirates spend more money on games are correct, that’d actually increase profits. But anyway, I think “what if everyone pirated” is a somewhat foolish question to ask these days. Should rather be “everyone’s pirating – what do you do now?”. Apparently an answer is “proceed to sell 1.8 million copies of SC2 in US and Europe just in one day”.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      “pirates spend more money on games are correct”

      I haven’t seen the reference on that. Care to dig it up? There was a music-pirates-spend-more-on-music which turns up fairly regularly, but I’ve never seen a games study which showed it was the same here.


    • Bhazor says:

      … by months long blanket advertising campaigns (link to for what is arguably the biggest PC game of the past two or three years and then implementing a new level of online game protection which is mandatory to play online in an online play focused game. If only all indie developers could have that backing ‘ey?

    • Bhazor says:

      Well the “Music pirates buy more music” argument has always struck me as meaning “people who listen to a lot of music buy a lot of music”. Also these are almost universally voluntary studies in which respondents just make up answers.

      But really you shouldn’t compare the two, musicians make their money through live performances, personal appearances and taking their bras off for “””ironic””” magazines. A situation that only a scant few lead developers (Wright’s lectures for example) can enjoy.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Bhazor: I wasn’t even going to try picking at that particular fact. But yeah, you’re right.

      (And it’s also interesting the original study conflated file-sharer with pirates. They’re not quite the same thing at all).


    • pkt-zer0 says:

      link to

      It’s referencing a study referencing another study where said statistic comes from. The full study is here, but it’s in Dutch:

      link to

    • Starky says:

      Most pirate-gamers buy as many games as they can afford too – and then pirate the rest.

      It boils down to this, I might be able to spend say (probably a low estimate) £500 on games per year – if piracy was impossible, I’d still spend £500 – I’d simply play less games.

      Same goes for movies, there is no way I’d ever be able to pay for the DVDs of all the movies I download and watch, so I pirate them, and buy dvds/bluray for the extras and commentaries on films I like.
      If movie piracy became impossible tomorrow, I’d probably spend LESS on individual movies, why? Because I’d be forced to wait until I could view them by legitimate means, which means a subscription rental service, or Sattalite movie channels – by which time the film in question will be in £5 bargain bins in shops.
      Both of which I do anyway I might add, Piracy is usually just faster and more convenient.

      It is a simple idea really, people who can’t afford games pirate more, people who can pirate less (maybe not at all)…

    • Starky says:

      Oh and I should add, in my no money at all, struggling to find money to buy food days (paying off a PC in monthly instalments), the games that I would pay for where almost universally games with a strong online multiplayer aspect.

      Hell I remember pirating Half life 2 because I could not afford it, and didn’t really have a PC that could run it properly anyway.
      Now of course I own it 3 times over (original + orange box, + orange box on another account for my second PC).

      Hell a lot of the games I pirated back then I now own (usually gained in steam sales super cheap, but hey at least I eventually paid).

    • CMaster says:

      “Most pirate-gamers buy as many games as they can afford too – and then pirate the rest.”

      I’m not convinced this is true. Most of the kind of pirate gamers who’d dare raise their head above the parapet on RPS, maybe. Most pirate gamers full stop? Not so sure. Been a while since I’ve really spoken about games with anybody who isn’t pretty into the culture (so they all pay, or at least claim to) – I don’t have anything to say to people who want to talk about PES/CoD on PS3/360 – but certainly when it used to come up, the people who did pirate a lot, did so because they could, not because they couldn’t afford not to (after all, they were able to afford branded clothes and alcohol)

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      pkt-zer0: Awesome. Thanks for that.


  24. Dhatz says:

    making truck sims sims or arcades? are they really that degraded? games used to have both of the worlds when people used to have brains. Everybody is gonna love 2 driving physics models in Mafia 2.

  25. Alphabet says:

    ‘Piracy isn’t wrong because it isn’t the same as taking something physical from someone.’

    Jesus, is that the best the pro-piracy trolls can do? All piracy is, is a way of going around the mechanism people have come up with for paying creative people for their intellectual work.

    • malkav11 says:

      It benefits nobody to confuse piracy with things that it is not when discussing it. It is not stealing physical objects, and treating it as though it were identical is intellectually dishonest and counterproductive.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Is condensing sensible and complex arguments in a laughably contemptible way the best that “anti-piracy trolls” can do?

      Judging by your post, the answer is yes.

  26. Wooly says:

    Not sure if this is newsworthy, but apparently Sept. 21 is now officially Civilization Day in Maryland… link to

  27. The Dark One says:

    That’s probably the first article out of the National Post to make me happy the thing escaped bankruptcy when Canwest was forced to sell off its print media.

  28. terry says:

    You can’t link to a truck website and not link in Tricky Truck >:O

    link to

    It’s a lorry driving simulation from the guy who did Sumotori Dreams, and its predictably fab.

  29. Nallen says:

    I still have no idea why people would be interested in a truck driving sim. I did chuckle at the article though. Dreaming of being a truck driver as a child? very few people will get to be truck drivers? First of all, this isn’t the space shuttle sim genre and second explain all the f’ing Polish truck drivers on the motorways.

  30. Hobbes says:

    Re: the Gaga article:
    The idea that the culture that we’re experiencing now is in some way novel or symptomatic of a “Country and an Empire in Decline” is absurd. Some random thoughts:

    1)The information explosion has been mirrored by a bullshit explosion, but the ratio has remained pretty much the same.
    2) As long as we have a standing army, “spend a day at war and then go home to the family at night” IS the reality. This hasn’t changed since 1688, except that the going home used to take a bit longer.
    3) People always make monsters out of others in order to kill them without fear
    4) Who in the hell finds Gaga monstrous?
    5) The continuation of Iraq & Afghanistan are not signs that Obama is worse than Bush, but of the problems of extricating an invasion force. Stop trying to dress up the vagaries of pop culture as epoch-defining events by misinterpreting politics.
    6) Lady Gaga is both avoidable, and (imho), ultimately ephemeral in the wider, grand-cultural politics sense that the article is trying to get to.

    TL;DR: what a load of wank

  31. bill says:

    Is there a reason “called Maps” is repeated twice? I’m sure there must be,or someone would have pointed it out by now…

  32. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Man, the bile people vomit over Lady GaGa is hilarious.

  33. Alphabet says:

    And you’ll notice that I didn’t. It’s still wrong, though.

  34. NewWorldOrder says:

    Lady Gaga is a targeted weapons system, manufactured to destroy and dehumanize in a similar way to the Predator drones. The corporate, culture creators manufacture and modify our reality, feeding us vicarious images of subversive suffering through flickering screens. As captive robots, fixed into our seats our neurons are stimulated with the imagery of death, sold as hot, sexy action. Detached, brainwashed and fed garbage we slide further into the depths. Few notice. Fewer care. The majority gobble it up and are dehumanized further with every bite. Skulls and pyramids, diamonds and blood. This isn’t sexy. This isn’t cool. This is your grim, meat-hook future. This is humanity’s rotting corpse: blasted and destroyed, maggot infested, the bough of goodness is broken and burning – an idiotic smile on its ragged, decaying face. This is a grimace as the lights and fire go out. What promise we had! It could have been a paradise, but we chose a hell. The controllers laugh. They’ve won. We were unsuspecting, too trusting. Too foolish. Too vain. Too weak. Could have seen it coming. Should have, really.

    There’s more, so much more. But screw it, no-one’s listening anyway. Good luck, we’re gonna need it.