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Piracy: The PC Gamer's Rental?
posted 6/6/2008 2:04:35 AM

(Warning: blogs I write turn into rants sometimes. Anyone who feels offended, well, can kiss my )

With the problem of PC game piracy growing, it's amazing to see the reasons that people give to commit such illegal acts. Probably the one that has the best explanation, but still comes up short IMHO is: it's like a rental shop, we actually get to try the real game.

The problem with this explanation, IMHO is the fact that downloading games (without purchasing them) is technically illegal. People can jump around the issue all they please, but it is a federal crime to take something without buying it first. Anyone who disagrees with me, I challenge you do this: walk into any store that sells computer games, and try walking out with a copy of a game you downloaded. Betcha 4 out of 5 times, you'll get nabbed for it. Trying telling the cops that you only wanted to try it first.

The sad part, though, is that many PC gamers have a fair reason to gripe about the lack of a "rental" option. Console gamers have always had the option of running out to their local Blockbuster or Video City and picking up a game that they can try out, and return when they're done with it. PC users aren't given the same great options. If the game that they purchased doesn't do well (in their opinion, that's all that's important), they can't take it back to the place they purchased it, and get a refund. Even most game publishers wont do that. I know, I've tried.

And to any console user who says "You can go download a DEMO version of the game", you seriously have no idea what you're talking about. IMHO, about 80% of demos that get released by various gaming companies do not accurately depict how well a game will really play. In the least 8 months, only two out of a couple hundred did a decent job, the rest failing miserably (Bioshock and Supreme Commander were the two that managed to impress me).

Probably my biggest gripe regarding piracy within the gaming market is that Console players like to beat up PC players by saying that vast bulk of PC gamers commit to this practice. Vast bulk, I've found, refers to 90% of gamers who have access to the Internet. This consideration, while shocking to some, isn't all that unusual to me (go browse the Gamespot forums for a while, and you'll find at least half a dozen thread with posts like this). They're typically made by ignorant people who like to inflate numbers for their own purposes, and it drives me INSANE.

So, one might ask me: do you condone the act of piracy? The answer is: hell no. I've never agreed with or accepted the pirating games. Every game you'll find on my PC shelf (or rather, the box under my bed, boxes in my crawl space, and in the top of my closet) was paid for with money out of my pocket. Some of those games were complete piles of , but I still purchased them with my own money.

(Footnote: Feel free to comment as you please. I'll read them, and respond to them if I feel the need.)

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