Gamers are spoiled idiots
Not all gamers. Heck, that’d be one hell of a generalisation. I’d say quite a few. A lot. A fair share. A decent chunk.
Or, to put it another way: Too many.
I was going to find the time to editorialise my views on piracy and how it’s soured the attitudes of developers towards the PC as a platform – including my own. Before I could, the excellent David Wong over at Cracked has done it for me, using the Humble Indie Bundle as a launchpad.
From the last part of his article:
That [the Humble Indie Bundle] was a bundle of DRM-free independent games that, combined, would normally sell for $80. The makers offered the bundle as a direct download to the consumer – no corporate middle men – and let customers pay whatever they wanted… If ever there was a measure of the gaming community’s sense of entitlement, this was it.
US$9.18 turned out to be the average amount people were willing to part with for to own the bundle’s five games. Not a great return on investment for the pack’s US$80 RRP, but it’s been shown before that the income produced from a “pay-what-you-want-model” is mediated by what people can afford rather than perceived value.
This isn’t why too many gamers are spoiled idiots. No, it’s the next nugget that drives the point home:
More than a quarter of the downloaders stole it outright. That’s right. More than a quarter believed that even one penny was too much to offer in return for the hundreds of hours of labor it took to create the games.
Are we talking about P2P? No, no we are not:
…This is just the people who pirated the games directly off of the game maker’s server. In other words, they intentionally used the game developers’ resources so, in addition to paying nothing, they would actually cost them additional money on bandwidth.
At least going the P2P method you’re getting it via the path of least resistance. From a purely psychological perspective, it makes sense. But to grab it from the developer’s own hardware? As Wong puts it, you’re not only depriving the creators of well-deserved income, you’re reaching into their pockets and taking what they already have.
In short: You’ve gone from idiot to full-bird dickhead.
We need to kill the mentality of developers being “The Man”; a duplicitous and intangible entity you need to boycott or steal from to convince it of the evil of its ways. Developers are people. They have families and homes. And they need to make a living, just like anyone else.
If you want to make a statement, sure, don’t buy a game. But stealing and then playing it? Can you think of anything more hypocritical?