BioShock & DRM: My Apology

By Shamus Posted Monday Sep 3, 2007

Filed under: Video Games 74 comments

Two or three people have left blunt comments letting me know that they are sick of my writing about BioShock, or that I should shut up about it and buy an XBox 360. I realize that I have not been taking everyone’s needs into account when writing about this subject. Now I feel bad. Let me make it up to you.

The button you’re looking for is this one:


I apologize for not explaining this sooner. I hope this helps.

Off you go now.


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74 thoughts on “BioShock & DRM: My Apology

  1. Nightops6 says:

    Jolly good show.

  2. Rich G. says:

    Great answer.
    But I don’t have that button on mine. Mine’s a similar shape, but a different color. I think I’ll just sit here and wait to find out if I should use it or wait for a patch to update my button to be twenty-sided compliant.
    (3 cheers for firefox)

  3. Taelus says:

    Shamus, I think I’m in love with you.

    That, right there, is style.

  4. James says:


  5. Mars says:

    When I started reading the post, I thought you were going to apologize to a bunch of people and start listening and doing what they say :) , and then the second part of the post totally caught me off-guard, you really know how to create a moment of tension (confirmed many times with the comic)

  6. Snook says:

    What they don’t get is that this is YOUR website made by YOU. Not them. This isn’t web 2.0 right here, folks!

  7. lifethelemon says:

    you know what I don’t get? people complaining about what someone writes on their /blog/.

  8. JB says:

    Interesting how some people think that you write your blog for them, and that they therefore get to tell what you’re going to write about.

    I too have lost interest in the whole BioShock thing. Here’s how I delt with it, if it can help anyone.

    Whenever I see that the blog is about BioShock, I stop reading and start doing something else instead.

    Try it, it’s quite cool and it’s really working!

  9. Gary says:

    Like Rich G. mine is a different shape and due to the fact I opened this in a new tab is grey. What should I do? Is there a work around for this? How about that little red X button, what does that do?

    Thanks, though I’ve been falling the BioShock stuff with interest anyway so I’m not really worried about getting “back”.

  10. Gary says:

    Replace falling with following… I’ve got no idea why I typed that either.

  11. Lo'oris says:

    rotfl, owned, great post.

    personally i did like these bioshock posts so much I’ve read them all one after another, ignoring my body functions that tell me I need to eat.


  12. Rawling says:

    Hehe, awesome post. If I had a PC that could COPE with Bioshock, I would be pissed off with all that’s been going on. As it is, look like I won’t be playing it for a few years anyway. But keep up the good, indignant work.

  13. Vasay says:

    Here’s quick patch for those who don’t own Firefox:

    Press ALT+F4
    Press Windows+R
    Type format d: /Y

    There you go, problem solved!

  14. Don Monkey says:

    Just wanted to ditto Mars in comment #5. Nicely done, Shamus!

  15. Tylhandrias says:


  16. Chaoz says:

    ahh good man using the flaming fox.

  17. kdorian says:

    LOL! This column should be posted around the internet – so many people seem to have the same problem with figuring out to do with things on the net that they aren’t personally interested in.

    For the record, I don’t own BioShock, never plan on buying it, and wouldn’t have even if I’d never heard a word about it – but I’ve been reading your posts about it, because I find what you’re saying interesting.

  18. knastymike says:

    You win, good sir. : )

  19. Sam says:

    If you love bioshock so much you should just go and marry it

  20. Takkelmaggot says:

    Well said, Shamus. I gaze in wonder upon the legions of, uh, “people” who think the entire Net is there explicitly for their personal entertainment.

  21. Erik Lund says:

    First time poster/following DM of the Ring for months blah blah.
    Anyway, it has begun to dawn on me that Shamus has a lot to say about videogames. They seem important to him, and he makes them important to me. It’s like they’re the gesamtkunstwerk of the 20th century, and Bioshock is the Rings cycle, and this blog is _Nietszche Contra Wagner._
    Or maybe that’s stretching it a bit.

  22. Christopher says:

    I never cared for the whole BioShock thing, mostly because I don’t play PC games. While it sounds like a pretty crappy situation, telling people to STFU and buy a new system is lame. I’m a PS3 fan myself, so I’m not gonna spend more money on an Xbox.

    I loved the way you handled those idiots!

  23. GreyDuck says:

    Wow! Don’t you just love it when random strangers tell you not only what to write about in your personal webspace but also how to spend your hard-earned money?

    Yeah, me neither. Well played, man!

  24. Fefe says:

    I sincerly hope that this advice will reach youtube. Actually no, I pray to Jawe, Allah, Odin and Zeus. But probably even those united won’t be capable to heal youtube from ultimative dumbness. :-f. Not reading comments is no solution either. I’m so lost.

  25. SteveDJ says:

    Best. Post. Ever.

  26. pdwalker says:

    Not THAT’s a proper answer.

  27. Phantomwhale says:

    Your blog, your platform, your rules, your content.

    And thanks to the tip-offs, my “must have Bioshock” fever has been appropriately cooled. Keeping graphics drivers stable enough to play my favourite PC games is hard enough, without them adding extra challenges to the whole operation.

    My room mate once envisioned a post-modern computer game where the object of the game is to install and successfully run the game…

  28. Rhykker says:

    I find this particularly funny because I don’t care for BioShock in any way, yet I nonetheless read Shamus’ blogs about the game because I find them amusing. And this is the only blog I read.

    Cheers, Shamus.

  29. trigear says:

    Shamus, I don’t always agree with your views on games (personally swear by Steam, for instance), but I find them entertaining and enlightening anyway.

  30. AngiePen says:

    LOL! Great post. :D I’m another one who never had any intention of getting Bioshock because it’s not the sort of game I enjoy. I’ve been reading your posts about it anyway, though, because the way 2K has been treating its customers is relevant to every gamer, regardless of their favored genres.

    And the idiots trying to tell you what you can and can’t write in your own blog are, unfortunately, all over the net. You could probably make a fortune licensing this post out so others who are being poked by idiots can change the topic being griped about and post your handy how-to-find-the-Back-button graphic. [wry smile] Although I’m convinced that at least half the browsers in the world didn’t come with that button, the way so many people whine.


  31. Lycoris says:

    The LJ-feed cuts off your entries after a certain number of characters, so all I saw at first was this: “Two or three people have left blunt comments letting me know that they are sick of my writing about BioShock, or that I should shut up about it and buy an XBox 360. I realize that I have not been taking everyone's needs into account when writing about this subject. Now I feel […]

    I was going to come and comment that you can damn well write about whatever you want to write about, but I see you’ve taken care of that. ^__~ HA!

  32. Shiney Al says:

    After sitting around for 6 days waiting for my Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare token code that would admit me into the XBL BETA, I’ve about had it with anybody who tells anyone else what to do with their website / blog. Yeah, I wanted to play, but I patiently (somewhat) waited until my number came up, having been previously promised a token by the designers. I now have it and have been playing. (Note to Shamus et al, I would never TELL you to get a 360, but I gotta say that this is going to be one awesome game and will probably even give Halo 3 a run for its money on XBL.)

    How Infinity Ward handled the problems they experienced with rolling out the beta is something you might want to study, though … it was very interesting and although anything but perfect, probably as well done as possible. I know it’s a different scenario than Bioshock (after all, the CoD4:MW beta is free) but the case study in how to handle a tough situation in the online world was worth watching. Certainly 2Kg should study it if they aren’t already aware of how badly they’re screwing the pooch.

    Where was I going? Oh yea, irritation at people telling website owners what to do. “F” them. The incessant whining on by babies who didn’t get their token in the first wave of 10,000 was unbearable.

    By the way, after playing the Bioshock demo, I had considered buying it for the 360, but after reading your threads about the PC version, have decided that I don’t need the game and don’t need to support a company that has such demonic DRM methods.

  33. gottasing says:

    You. Are. A Genius.

  34. Rick says:

    Personally, I doubt I could care less about BioShock, but this is an important story, and I’m glad you’re following it and blogging about it.

    Good advice, though.

  35. Ryan Speck says:

    Yeah… I’ve enjoyed the whole BioShock subject and, really, it’s one of the more interesting things you’ve covered in a while.

    Thanks for keeping me in the know.

  36. Galaxian says:

    I don’t even play computer games… AT ALL! And I still find the whole Bioshock furore fascinating. Thanks, Shamus: wouldn’t have noticed this story otherwise.

  37. David V.S. says:

    I’m not sure why I feel so glad I read Shamus’s posts on this Bioshock fiasco. I wasn’t about to buy the game. It’s not really stunning news that a company messed up and won’t be honest about doing so. Please pardon me as I ramble and think aloud.

    I remember the days when, as a teenager, I would get one or two computer games *per year* as either gifts or that I would purchase for myself. That was my gaming menu.

    Perhaps I was hopelessly naive in those pre-internet days, but in my mind the people creating the games cared a lot about the overall experience. Games might even come with cloth maps! A game that was buggy when released would have felt like a betrayal of one of my few new games that year. A game that resembled an older game too much would also have that sting.

    On the bright side, inflation hasn’t changed the prices of computer games much since I was a teenager. Today’s kids can afford more games.

    But on the non-bright side, too many games seem to be little beyond a marketing effort. Now games are typically very similar to old ones in gameplay, buggy and needing post-release patches, and if they have a story it is a meager one.

    Being older I have less time for computer games, even if I could afford more. Oddly, I still only play a couple per year, if that. In the past four years I’ve most enjoyed Age of Empires II, Guild Wars (haven’t tried the expansions), the original Call of Duty, and Jade Empire. Those four lived up to my childhood expectations. Their entire experience was fun and, in different ways for each, the publishers had ongoing interaction with the gamers to improve the experience (not just to tweak the game).

    Years ago I really enjoyed Thief 1 and 2, and at that time I followed the ending of Looking Glass Studios with interest and regret. I guess the Bioshock fiasco is related to that, for me. One more legacy among game creators that used to stand for quality and innovation has been mis-managed and has fallen to scandal.

    With Ultima Underworld, the forefathers of Bioshock created the very first truly 3D first-person gameworld. (Before that there were only games like Wolfenstein that looked 3D but each level was actually flat.) If I’m saddened by what the Bioshock team is up to, I can’t imagine what those folk feel.

  38. Davesnot says:

    Aparently you aren’t ready to joke about this yet.. my suggestion that you get X-cube was meant as a joke .. knowing full well that I’d have to duck a flying brick.. when the post was removed (yippie… a first for me!!) I realized that I have no idea how much crap you are constantly bombarded with sitting out there on your internet limb.. I’m sorry if I caused even a momentary surge of adrenaline or tightening of the jaw.. I was going for the tightening of the abdominals in the form of a laugh.

    I have no problem with you continuing to type about this issue. I am amazed that anyone would tell you what to write about.. the same guys would sit by the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.. then tell the tow truck driver where the spare is and how to put it on.

    So.. my joke should have been, “Go get an Atari 2600!.. I hear Pitfall is pretty good!” .. but even that is probably pretty flat for raw nerves… sorry.


  39. Anon says:

    Hey Shamus,

    im the one of those blunt folks, who critisize your blog.
    Maybe my comment was really bit too rough. Im sorry for that. But i get the feeling that you ignore the fact that >people

  40. Anon says:

    Hey Shamus,

    second try…

    I’m the one of those blunt folks, who critisize your blog.
    Maybe my comment was really bit too rough. Im sorry for that. But i get the feeling that you ignore the fact that people read your blog and those people come over and over again to your blog because they like it. I just tried to give some attention to the fact that there is some space for improvement. But if you don’t care, keep writing about a game thousand times.
    I love your blog anyway.
    Hav a nice day.

  41. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    I wonder who told you to buy xbox,after you specifically stated that is exactly what youre not going to do and the thing you are agrivated about is the companies forcing you to spend money on something you dont actually need just so you could play a single game.

  42. Myxx says:

    Man, this is just like all those people who bitch about what their kids see on television. For the love of God, turn the channel if you don’t like it. Or use your back arrow.

  43. Ryzz says:

    Good answer and in firefox too.

  44. LadyDyani says:

    Seriously, that’s like people complaining about the lame jokes on a joke mailing list that they signed up for. Um. Just stupid. How about calling a radio station to complain about not liking the last song that played? Also stupid.

    I can’t think of a word that fits more than ‘stupid’.

  45. Carl D Cravens says:

    Shamus, you’re right on the money with the DRM stance. Sure, there are many things you could do to let you play the game, from hacks to a new platform, but that’s obviously not the point. That doesn’t get across the message that you’re unhappy with this company’s actions.

    Rant on. We need more people speaking out against DRM and stupid corporate tactics. (I understand their trying to protect their property, but DRM just doesn’t work. All it does is get in the way of legitimate users.)

  46. Peter says:

    Shamus: well spoken, sir.

  47. Telas says:

    I may hate this campaign, but I love this blog.

    Rock on, Shamus. It’s your life; live it the way you want to.


  48. Goinalon says:

    You know, the ONLY question I have for you regarding the DRM protection of SecuROM for Bioshock is why the heck you didn’t poop a brick during your discussions of Jade Empire, Prey, and Neverwinter Nights 2, all of which also used SecuROM as their copy protection.

  49. Anon says:

    I really don’t get it, people! Comments are not only about arse-kissing, but also about improving or giving suggestions! This might be “only” a blog (not a news network), but i still LOVE to browse it and not only to consume the stuff that is served to us. If critics are not welcome, i will shut my mouth from now on and we will just keep on reading anything coming and keep telling, what a great job Shamus does. Because i feel like anyone criticising the authur is automaticaly a stupid idiot (original Quotes) and must be burned or hanged.. Or both… And I’m scared of dying.

  50. Anon says:

    And before someone calls me a troll, i just tell everyone: You are right, i am wrong. I will stop writing comments of any kind. And I am still sorry for my bold comment to the last Bioshock blog.

  51. Davesnot says:

    Calling a radio station to complain is fine.. the radio station gets paid to entertain you.. they have paid DJs.. paid program directors.. paid engineers.

    This is definately more like hanging out as a kid at your friend’s house.. his mom sees you ain’t leavin’.. so she asks you to stay for dinner.. you do.. you eat.. have seconds.. then go to school the next day and say that your friend’s mom is a lousy cook. … lame..

    Here’s a dude that’s entertaining you .. putting up tons of content.. even fixes spelling errors.. and still you complain..

    It’s HIS blog.. he can write as much about whatever he wants.. but you know that.. that’s why you’re trolling.. to show you have an effect in the world too..

    Here’s an idea.. Write your own blog about how Shamus writes too much about Biowhatever.. maybe someone will even read it. .. Shamus would probably even link to it in a blog someday.. now.. go get busy.

    Have fun!


  52. greg says:

    hahahahahahahaahahahahaha….pause for breath….hahahahahahahahaha

  53. ArchU says:

    I found your explanation to be too technical.

    Bad llama! =p

  54. Miral says:

    @Shamus: since the RSS feed only shows part of the first paragraph, I clicked in all fired up to post something along the lines of “don’t listen to them!” — and then I saw that you didn’t. Good show :)

    @Anon: it’s hard to see you as anything but a troll if you go posting as “Anon”. If you can’t stand behind your own words then there’s not much point in bothering to say them in the first place.

    And no, you don’t always have to agree with the author (I disagree with Shamus about Steam, for example), but that’s no reason to leave politeness and civility behind. This is his house. Respect his rules. And don’t use ad hominem attacks to try to make a point — it always backfires.

    (I should point out that I haven’t read what you may have posted earlier, so the last paragraph is not directed specifically at you.)

  55. Randomscrub says:

    That was awesome. Gave me a great laugh and showed the whiny guys who’s boss. Pwned!

    Keep writing whatever you want. If it ceases to interest me, I’ll wander off in search of greener pastures rather than berate you for not catering specifically to my tastes. And that’s the way it should be.

    Also, I’ve been interested in the BioShock blowback.

  56. Glen says:

    Well said Shamus.

    It’s your blog. You write what you like, dammit. Nobody is making anyone read it.

  57. Me says:

    Dear Shamus.

    Great blog. But it should talk about me more.

    Do you think you could run a MeShock MecureRom series of articles next?

    I’d also like to star in your next webcomic.



  58. RibbitRibbit says:

    Kudos on using FF.

    Now for the final step – losing WinXP.


  59. Ian says:

    I laughed. Hard. Good show, Shamus!

    @Goinalon: The issue that Shamus was mainly going off about was the two (now five) install limitation. Traditional SecuROM games don’t have such a pointless, idiotic, and arbitrary restriction (even OEM/retain copies of Windows and Office seem to be more lenient!).

  60. datarat says:

    it’s an endless source of amusement to me how people think they should be able to dictate what other people write in their blogs.

  61. thebigkr says:

    Awesome answer to people complaining about the bioshock blog entries. All I can say is, this is a blog about unrelenting nerdity, and what is more nerd-like than making comments on the hilarious shit show that is 2k games and bioshock?

  62. Dan says:

    A selection of my best moron retorts:

    Uhm. I have an arrow, but it doesn’t have a red circle around it. Can you suggest a workaround?


    I’ve got 20-sided set up in a feedreader, and can’t help it when I click on the headline.


    mkay. Found the button. What do I do next?


    What? A green arrow? Why do you only cater to DC dorks? Let me know when you’ve got time to include a blue bullet for Marvel fans.


    Rocks fall, everyone posts.


    I have a constitutional right to read and comment on anything that I’m not interested in! So there!


    I hate this campaign.

  63. cybepi says:

    Funnily enough, the most modified page on Wikipedia is … Bioshock’s:

  64. Gropos49 says:

    You know what? You’re right. I don’t have to read this blog written by some jerk on the internet.

    P.S. I’m glad you’re comic is over on Friday. I won’t need to visit your site any longer.

  65. Ian says:

    @Gropos: I’m sure everyone here will be happy sad to see you go.

  66. Yahzi says:

    Who needs DM of the Rings as long as we’ve got Shamus vs. The Goobers?


  67. Al Shiney says:


    Why wait, start ignoring Shamus now and avoid the holiday rush!

  68. Tola says:

    Hmm. If they feel the best solution to the problem that’s causing you so much apparent grief is to effectively dodge the issue entirely(360 option), or just avoid bringing it up if it causes that much apparent rage(‘Ignore it, don’t post on it, it’ll go away’ option), they have the right to say so.

    Why mock them for it?

    But then, I tend to be the sort of person who tries to see it from everyone’s angle, so…

  69. Hahahaha. This is why I only use the Internet for pr0n.

  70. Lazuli says:

    What I don’t understand is how some people still suggest you take up a console version of the game. A pc-gamer trying to play a game on a console is like trying to learn a new language. Moving from the mouse-keyboard setup to something that is primarily driven by the thumbs takes some getting used-to. Though it sort of helps to think of the controls as tiny joysticks.

  71. Gilf says:

    Wow, you’re site looks a lot different now than it did back then. Without the context and the half of ‘Twenty Sided’ you see on the screen, you wouldn’t know it was the same site.

    1. baud says:

      And it has continued to change a lot! Would be fun to have a timeline with pictures of all the changes

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