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Top 10 excuses for pirating games

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10. They have tons of money, it wouldn't matter to them if I bought it or not.

9. All the money goes to the publishers anyway, not to the real game developers.

8. I already spent a lot of money on the hardware, I can't afford buying the game too.

7. If they didn't want me to copy it, they should have added copy protection.

6. They shouldn't have made the copy-protection easy to circumvent if they really didn't want me to copy the game.

5. It's not such a good game anyway.

4. I'm just trying the game, I'll pay for it if I like it.

3. I already finished the game, why should I buy it now?

2. It's a legal copy, I mean, SOMEONE bought it at SOME point.

1. Tim also pirated games.

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I lol'd at your signature. Adventures definitely aren't an ex-genre. They're just pining for the fjords.

I pirated games when I was younger, but I'm quite over it nowadays. Steam made purchasing games even easier than pirating them, tbh. If something appeals to me enough, I want to support the developers. If there's something sucky enough about it that I don't want to pay for it, I probably have better uses of my time than to play it. I do, however, have nothing against using no-cd cracks and so on on purchased games, because no matter which way you cut it, copy protection is usually just a pain in the ass for purchasers, and rarely so for pirates.

I do believe in file sharing in concept, though. My approach is that, as a content creator, I want to release all of my work freely for download (in the case of music, in the highest quality as well) but with the option to pay something and\or buy a physical copy for people who want to offer that support. Mass-piracy is great marketing, in the sense that you can connect with a MUCH larger audience, and it will happen regardless. If you can get your work in front of a hundred times more people because it's free, even if only one percent of them want to pay anything for it you're still in front, because you now have much, much greater visibility for future releases.

People respond well to a show of faith. Humble bundles and pay-what-you-want Radiohead albums are great examples of that kind of thing. I think we need to transition from an industry mindset where consumers are the enemy and must be forced to pay (an attitude which actually drives piracy), into one in which we share everything, and people want to support you because your work makes them happy and they want more of it. If you can't make something people like enough to actually WANT to pay for, you're probably in the wrong field for your talents. I do think, though, that this kind of transition needs to come from content creators first. For the time being it seems that piracy just makes 'the suits' even more stubborn and hostile towards file sharing.

Kickstarter has been a really interesting sign of a shift in the relationship between content creators and consumers.

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Are these your top 10 excuses for pirating games?

Why are you sharing these, are you making a statement or do you want feedback?

My first impression of these excuses: I see invalid statements, a lack of arguments and reliable sources, and plenty of fallacies.

Also, will any of these hold up in court?

"But... Tim also pirated games!"

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Are these your top 10 excuses for pirating games?

Are you asking whether this list was pirated or because you would like to pirate the list?

Why are you sharing these, are you making a statement or do you want feedback?

To get this question. Mission accomplished.

My first impression of these excuses: I see invalid statements, a lack of arguments and reliable sources, and plenty of fallacies.

And on second impression the arguments seemed valid, reliable and sound?

Also, will any of these hold up in court?

"But... Tim also pirated games!"

Yes, thank you for calling the fallacies legal hotline.

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10. They have tons of money, it wouldn't matter to them if I bought it or not.

9. All the money goes to the publishers anyway, not to the real game developers.

8. I already spent a lot of money on the hardware, I can't afford buying the game too.

7. If they didn't want me to copy it, they should have added copy protection.

6. They shouldn't have made the copy-protection easy to circumvent if they really didn't want me to copy the game.

5. It's not such a good game anyway.

4. I'm just trying the game, I'll pay for it if I like it.

3. I already finished the game, why should I buy it now?

2. It's a legal copy, I mean, SOMEONE bought it at SOME point.

1. Tim also pirated games.

11. I don't have money right now, but I'll sure pay for the next game.

12. WHAT? You want me to BUY a game? Don't you know how many games I've already kickstarted? SERIOUSLY!

;)

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My excuse these days has been, "Well, it's not on Steam, yet." :P

13. Well, it's not on Steam, yet.

14. Well, it requires Steam... so I'll have to find an illegal download that doesn't require this crap.

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15. Bah, I'm not going to pay that much for it on Steam. It'll go on sale eventually. So, I'll just pirate it for now.

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16. If those idiots don't come up with a demo, how else am I supposed to try this game?

17. Do you think I'm stupid? I'm not paying for a crappy game! Just wanted to check out how bad it really is!

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18. But... but... but I thought it's Abandonware! I mean... how old is that game? 2 years?!

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Now to answer Norbert's questions more seriously.

In the past, as edweird mentioned, games were much more commonly pirated. Adventure games in particular were popular and I think I knew in those days more people who pirated games than those who bought them (or to be more precise, practically no one purchased the games). People didn't commonly see it as a crime or hurtful and the copy protection mechanisms were bypassed without too much trouble. The fact that there was copy protection further proves this was a common practice to pirate games. There were some contributing factors, for example, the hardware systems back then were ridiculously overpriced, it's not a real reason, it's just that the fact that prices were high made people reluctant to spend more on software. Actually, games and software were also ridiculously priced.

If I were making a statement in favor of pirating, I wouldn't have backed DFA or paid for any other game, since then I would have said it's a waste of money to pay for those.

It would be totally naive to say piracy is gone. You can easily find on the Internet pirated software/games and you can still buy in certain countries discs with pirated games for something like $1 per disc. Yes, the excuses on the list are childish at best and for a good reason, but you'll rarely find someone who pirates anything without some kind of justification that sounds perfectly logical in their mind. I was really referring to excuses mostly made in those days, but just see the latest Steam related ones :)

I'm not advocating piracy, quite the contrary, and I don't think anyone here does. However, to ignore it as if it doesn't exist won't work, so the least we can do is mock it.

Anyway, Tim also pirated games.

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16. If those idiots don't come up with a demo, how else am I supposed to try this game?

19. The demo is too short, I need to try the real game to decide.

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20. I can't get the game in any store... and seriously... am I crazy to buy something online?! Do I want the whole world to know my credit card number!!!? CRAZY!

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21. If I google something and a website has a download of it, how am I supposed to know it wasn't MEANT to be free? :P

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22. You're just jealous because you're unable to find a proper download link.

23. If you can get that stuff for free, it would be stupid to pay for it, right !?

24. I'm an addict... don't make fun of my addiction... seriously!

25. The last game I bought sucked... I'm just giving them another chance!

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I actually have a serious legitimate reason why someone would *gasp* pirate a game: You live in Iran.

Seriously, for the vast majority of people, it is outright impossible to buy original games, and those who are lucky enough to get a credit card somehow or are very rich are still stuck with incredibly oppresive exchange rates. In a country where copyright laws do not exist and every other shop sells cracked games for 1$ spending huge amounts of hard earned money for a single game whose multiplayer you are probably not even gonna be able to use (due to abysmal internet connections) is a rather difficult thing to do. Dollar price literally doubled in March.

That said, the "games are luxury" argument is still valid.

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That's a good point. Actually, I'm all for pirating games in Iran. Best that all people in such regimes will see we are not that bad.

Fenix, are you in there right now or not? Your profile location says Tehran but also says you are full time exiled.

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In some cases, pirating something is the only reasonably easy way to get hold of some content. I am a huge fan of animated cartoons, and some series have not been released on DVD, and since they are not on DVD, they tend to not be on Amazon's pay-for-view service either. And in the case of several series, the first few DVD's have been released, but not the whole show. So I usually end up with watching them on YouTube, which strictly speaking is a form of piracy.

I do tend to buy DVD's if available, so I think I am one of their best customers as well. Suing me for piracy would be pretty idiotic, since if I hadn't watched all these series on YouTube, I would never have bought them in the first place.

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That's a good point. Actually, I'm all for pirating games in Iran. Best that all people in such regimes will see we are not that bad.

Fenix, are you in there right now or not? Your profile location says Tehran but also says you are full time exiled.

Yeah I am. It says exiled because of that actually, as I grew up and spent the majority of my life in Italy so I feel exiled here. What with obligatory military service who has taken 6 months of my life so far and will also take 12 more.

Being an editor for a videogame magazine I AM trying to push people to actually buy games (like in my Botanicula review I'm writing now) but it's kind of ironic when a pirated Botanicula was in the previous issue of the magazine's DVD.

For most people here, spending above 2-3$ for a game is a ridiculous concept.

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Honestly if I pirate a game and really enjoy it I feel obligated to buy it.

But honestly my main excuse is that a lot of games that I want to play are old and can't be bought, so I pirate

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missing a big one:

"26. The DRM is too restrictive/annoying/damaging to my computer, i might as well just pirate it!"

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I don't need excuses to pirate games. Not that I pirate them nowadays (Steam/GOG) make it easier to support developers.

What I'd like to see though is a defendable excuse for developers for claiming they own chunks of information, and so have any right to sell it.

"Intellectual property" is not property. It's a state-granted temporary monopoly for copying specific chunk of information, usually granted becase the entity granted the monopoly happened to put it together from words, ideas, and other bits of common culture. If this information can be even thought of as property, it belongs to everyone and no one from the moment it's put together. Copyright is a time-limited privilege granted to those who put it together, for the specific utilitarian purpose of encouraging them to create more - a time they can use to monetize the privilege if they're smart.

The copyright was initially being granted for only a few years, only on demand, and with possibility of extension upon another demand. This helped alleviate the loss to flow of ideas in the common culture caused by monopoly. Currently copyright is granted automatically to everyone, and it takes special actions to free one's input so others can use it unfettered. It now lasts until death of the creator + 70 years ( 95 in case of work-for-hire ). In case of practically all mainstream products it's taken away from creators by big corporations who pushed for the law changes, serving their business, and not its original purpose. I completely understand why people pirate and consider the law as it is today insane. I hope I'll see the time when copyright is abolished as slavery was - the original stated purpose for its introduction 300 years ago was that it's a lesser evil than patronage, because patron's wishes interfere with creator's ideas. Well, now that copyright model had been taken over by corporations, it's corporate sponsors' wishes that make creators make crap, and patronage of thousands of individuals who don't speak with one voice is back in action.

I love the idea of Kickstarter because it works on the model of creativity as it'll eventually be encouraged in the Internet age - first seeing what someone or some company already did, what thy're capable of, then supporting them financially with hope, but not obligation, that they'll like to make more of the same.

I hope people will see how ugly the idea they can own information is soon...

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I agree, owning an idea is ridiculous when the entirety of human history and cultural evolution is the process of people building on the ideas that came before. All human creativity is a collective collaboration. Patents, for instance, are massive spanners in the works of human progress. We might have ditched fossil fuels and environmental destruction by now if it weren't for patents, monopolies, people desperately clinging to power and money. When it boils down to it I basically feel the same way about owning land, though. The only reason anyone owns anything, and this whole... civilization thing happened, is that people decided to 'claim' land by force by 'removing' the previous inhabitants (who generally felt that they belonged to the earth and not the other way around... a sentiment I could not agree with more). Reminds me of Izzard's "Do you have a flag?" joke :P . Civilization has created a huge diversity of experience, and that's cool and educational and everything, but I feel like we desperately need to steer the ship back towards the free sharing of ideas and resources, and respect for the earth, if we don't want to sink the whole venture.

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I don't feel the same way about owning land and physical things, because these are scarce, finite resources. We need a way to allocate these resources effectively, make them go where they're most needed, and the concept of property and of free market are the most effective mechanisms of such allocation known to mankind.

Information however is a different animal. It can be copied infinitely with negligible costs. There's enough of it for everyone. Scientific discoveries, ways of looking at the world, ways to combine audio, video, words and interactivity in pleasurable ways all form our common heritage - civilisation and culture. There's no need for the concept of property where sharing of memes and ideas, flow of culture is concerned, because there's no need to choose who gets is. Everyone can.

Creators used to old business models oppose change brought on by technology and ask how to make sure they'll still be able to do what they did and keep it as profitable as before. But I feel we need to ask outselves the question: is keeping things as thy are, with small caste of individuals as creators and everyone else restricted solely to consumption is the right way to go? Perhaps encouraging creativity in everyone without putting hurdles or copyright lawyers and need for corporate sponsors in everyone's path will result in more vibrant culture, in which everyone (except lawyers) will find a niche for themselves? We need to remember we have no way of measuring our losses. We don't know how many great parodies, variations, fan creations, pastiches, pieces of art were never created, because people were afraid of lawyers. Nobody ever wondered why the only images of Mickey Mouse meme are manahed by Disney? And why no one cares about MM anymore? It was effectively petrified and killed by copyrgiht and Disney and is kept around like a zombie for years, unchanged...

So many other past creations are following the same path. A century of culture locked away to wither by copyright. And people who defy the law to keep culture vibrant called thieves...

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I agree that there's a difference between the finite physical and the infinite digital, and of course we do need to allocate physical resources effectively... but I think there really is enough of everything to go around, and it's only ownership and hoarding that prevents that from happening. Rich & poor gap, etc. If the free market is the best system known to mankind, we have a LOT of work to do. It's also not really a free market when there is so much state intervention (bailouts etc). I look at the world and can only conclude that this system is not working and is largely incapable of addressing the problems we face globally. I completely agree with you regarding information, though.

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I partially agree with that. There's good, measurable evidence that inequality harms everyone ( http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why , summarized well in http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/resources/publications/the-spirit-level ), and there's also evidence that from specific levels of income up, more money doesn't mean more happiness ( http://www.pnas.org/content/107/38/16489 ), but people still need to be motivated to work and to learn, and if we take away property and free market and try to decide artificially who should get what, people stop being creative, stop caring about each other and focus on gaming the system. I live in Poland, I've seen it in action before the Soviet Union fell, and I still see the remnants of such thinking in older people. Until there's an alternative that keeps people motivated to work, learn and care about each other, and can't be gamed, I don't see how property and free market could be eliminated without society and everyday life becoming really ugly.

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EDIT: Welp.

"Discuss only activities that are legal. If you talk about illegal drugs, how to pirate software, or anything else that violates the laws of cows or man, you will be instantly BANNED across all space, time, and dimension. Nobody will like you, and you will probably die alone. And high."

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@Krystian - True, no system from the past is the answer. We're gonna have to get creative to solve this one!

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26. I bought the hint book so it's ok? (by Al Lowe, there is more money in them anyway...)

27. "I'm a bad person, ok are we done now? I got to play this game."

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My PCs only run GNU/Linux.

If a game I would like to play is only available for Windows (and Mac), I could screw around with Wine (implementation o/t Windows API) to get it running.

But that makes me feel like a second class citizen, having to run a program inside a program (compatibility layer).

I would have to pay for something that may not even work properly.

Payment is also a problem.

These are many reasons why I don't want to use PayPal or credit cards.

Within Europe, I prefer wire transfers (or SEPA credit transfers), my country also has its own Internet payment method (iDEAL).

An example is Legend of Grimrock.

I may get it to run after installing Windows DLLs (via winetricks), remove/add DirectX overrides (via winecfg), but it may just as well crash.

There may be sound issues, I may have to change video drivers, maybe it runs too slow, who knows.

And I would still have to buy the thing, but not with PayPal or a credit card.

I could torrent the ≈400MB thing in, like, 5 minutes (1.5 MiB/s down speed or something).

Their company is from Finland, so theoretically (SEPA) wire transfers should be possible.

If they would've created a GNU/Linux port and allowed wire transfers, I would have definitely paid them for the game.

Since there is no GNU/Linux version and I can only use PayPal or a credit card, I will definitely not pay for the game.

Will I pirate it?

I could play Lands of Lore, I guess. (Works fine in DOSBox.)

The "talkie" version of that game; it's more interesting than Legend of Grimrock to begin with.

With a good plot, characters that you get to know and who talk to each other and describe what they run into, and whatnot.

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