I just got a “new” video card, and I thought I’d check out the Half-Life 2 HDR demo. I couldn’t see it in action before, since my old GeForce 5200 couldn’t make with the fancy pixels. So, with grim determination I began installing HL2, which means installing Steam. I had totally forgotten about this part of the installation process:
Oh yeah. Thank goodness Valve encrypted my software. Otherwise I might, you know, use it. I have a fancy new system, and it still sat there for fifteen minutes chewing on data so that I could run my own software. I’m still amazed at the audacity of these punks to LOCK a game from the ostensible owner.
ME: I’d like to run my game now.
VALVE: Oh but it’s locked.
VALVE: Don’t be stupid. If it wasn’t locked you would be able to run it.
ME: Yeah, that’s the point.
VAVLE: Yes, well, if YOU can run it, then ANYONE can run it. Maybe even your pirate friends, who run those warez sites?
ME: I never… what? Look, how am I supposed to play my game?
VALVE: Just ask. Just sign on to Steam, and let us know you’d like to play.
VALVE: It’s quite fast and painless.
ME: That’s not the point.
VALVE: Only takes a second!
ME: Look, do I own this software or not?
VALVE: If you owned the software, would you be locked out of it?
ME: Er. No?
VALVE: There you go. Enjoy the game. But not too much. And only when we say you can. And only by yourself.
Gamers Aren’t Toxic
This is a horrible narrative that undermines the hobby through crass stereotypes. The hobby is vast, gamers come from all walks of life, and you shouldn't judge ANY group by its worst members.
Crysis 2 has basically the same plot as Half-Life 2. So why is one a classic and the other simply obnoxious and tiresome?
How I Plan To Rule This Dumb Industry
Here is how I'd conquer the game-publishing business. (Hint: NOT by copying EA, 2K, Activision, Take-Two, or Ubisoft.)
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
The Truth About Piracy
What are publishers doing to fight piracy and why is it all wrong?