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Spore's lousy stinking DRM scheme ...


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#21 edddeduck

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 08:46 AM

View PostDaveyJJ, on May 8th 2008, 04:09 AM, said:

I'm not sure, Edddeduck, that the developer argument that "one copy stolen is $40 lost" is a completely valid one either.

Note I never made that statement. I said people say "my $40 purchase will not effect the game developers", if only we got 100% of the cash people pay for a game but as you know shops, manufacturing etc all get their cut.

The point I am making is people keep saying, well they would not pay 500 dollars for it so they have not lost 500 dollars of sales. That is factually true but just like a car thief does not pay for the car does that mean they can keep it? Your point might be true on lost monetary sales figures but that does not make stealing OK or acceptable . Or are you saying if cannot afford something it is OK to steal it?

You almost made the exact kinda quote which annoys me with this stock piracy anti DRM comment.

View PostDaveyJJ, on May 8th 2008, 04:09 AM, said:

There is no way a 14 year old who cracks an $5000 piece of software like Maya in two minutes and simply hacks on it for an hour a week was going to buy it in the first place so it this instance can not be counted as a lost sale ... despite the BSA screaming it does ... but the 30 year old grad student doing real work with the same hacked version was.

A student can by a student version of Maya and other expensive packages at a discounted value which is a lot under the massive 500 dollar plus prices for commercial usage. I agree you cannot say the company lost 500 dollars for every pirate but the way you make it sound like this is not theft. Then again we are talking about games (not expensive packages) your "14 year old" plays to the end and finishes stolen/hacked games. That is wholesale theft. If you do it fine I can't stop anyone but please don't try and tell me they are not  thieves. I learnt when I was young that if you cannot afford it you can't have it not that you can have it for free because software is not really tangible or an actual physical object.

Take money, profit etc all out the window and just get down to the plain facts. You take something that is not yours without contract or paying for it it is called stealing. If you take software from a company without permission that would fit under the stealing bracket. The first step to understanding is if you steal software and don't pay for it you accept you are a thief.

You can cut it anyway you like, you cannot afford to buy software so you steal it, but what gets me annoyed is people who say well it is not a lost sale as I cannot afford it so that makes it OK and not stealing.

DRM is one thing, theft of software is another. I don't like DRM but because of people thinking, saying and even acting that stealing software is not theft and "hey I would not/ cannot afford it" excuse DRM is here to stay. The more pirates hack the more complex DRM will get, if people did not steal DRM would not be needed. So if you want someone to blame, blame the guy(s) who says "I can't afford this and steals it" as well as the horrible DRM they are intrinsically linked!

And before anyone asks I am not saying I am whiter than white I am just saying if you do steal something at least have the balls to say "I stole it" instead of hiding behind "I would never have bought it" excuse. The first step to lowering piracy and by that hopefully DRM is by making piracy accepted as theft in society at large not this grey area where it is almost seen as OK or a small offense everyone commits.

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#22 QuantaCat

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 09:01 AM

I think the basic problem I have with your view on piracy, is that this isn't stealing. Nothing is lost, once it has been "pirated". Not even legally, this is refered to as stealing.
You say that people lose money due to piracy. Yes and no. People put a lot of money in overly complex systems like DRM and some people that download software instead of buying it, would have bought it if they couldn't download it. So yes, that's where money gets lost. But how many people would actually buy this software? I have no clue. Nobody really does. Nor will there ever be a questionnaire that will statistically prove how many there are.
And you can see that it depends on the paranoia of the developer/producer how much money gets spent on anti-piracy measures. (which, in fact, feeds an entirely different crowd of IT people)

In a perfect world, you could go on making software, it wouldn't cost anyone anything, and you would still have enough (whateveryouneed) to live. Just like everyone else. So basically, if you want to improve conditions for selling your product, make sure the need for stealing it isn't there so much, instead of "putting more locks" on the product.

And your point in the beginning, was -more or less the way I understood it- "DRM isn't that good, but atleast it's one!", which is the worst kind of idea, by my standards, ever.
It's like saying "oh we only have decapitation as an incentive against criminals. But atleast it's an incentive!" (DRM is of course not as bad as decapitation, but you get my point)
A very bureaucratic way of thinking. (this sentence, I don't know if you think bureaucratically)

I think the entire piracy thing is being treated as a scapegoat, but I don't think the developer side is without loss either. Tough issue.
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#23 Frigidman™

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 09:46 AM

I'm sorry, I have to step in here.

Complaining about semantics is one thing, but those of you saying piracy is ok through whatever silly reasons you come up with about costs, money, sales... are simply overseeing the basic principle of the matter:

If you do not BUY it, you have NO RIGHTS to use/play it.

It is not about sales. It is about what is fundamentally right or wrong. "that this isn't stealing. Nothing is lost", is one asinine comment. You are pulling at hairs at the expense of logic and reason. If you can't see why, there is nothing any of us can pound into you to understand. You simply have to discover principles on your own.

---

Now onto the topic at hand. The DRM scheme for Spore.

I can't say I see this approach being of any use (save one, noted below), when it is easily by-passable as like all other NoCD type cracks are made. The only way a "net lookup" type copy protection will ever work, is if some functional part of the game existed online only and you needed an account with a legitimate SN to make it work. Something like you can only save games to your online account with the game company.

Even that is a nightmare (although a nice side effect of being able to retrieve your saved games anywhere in the world after any kind of installation). However it would be extremely difficult to crack, making pirates have to play the game without ever saving their character/progress.

Having a simple lookup to see if the serial you are using is valid... piffle to a krack artist. It won't do anything but once again piss off legit customers.

I ended having it enough with putting a CD/DVD in my drive when my drive failed because of it constantly being in use. If a net lookup REPLACES requiring a CD/DVD in my drive, then I would actually prefer that as an Online Customer (since I'm online 24/7). However I cant but know that many non-online customers will seriously loath this sort of CP.

Its not as bad as "StarForce" on the PC... a 'required' malware installation to make a CD based game run. Malware in that it prevents you from doing many things (most legit) on your computer, or even have certain software installed. Lot of people have boycotted games that ship with StarForce (Im one). I can see a new boycott occurring for SOLO games requiring NET CONNECTIVITY.

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#24 QuantaCat

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 10:22 AM

Well I think you ran into a bigger problem here: there is no fundamental right or wrong. You are assuming that because I don't agree with you, I lack principles.

That's my exit.
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#25 DaveyJJ

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:15 PM

I'm with Tom here.

And I also agree with Edwin that taking something without paying for it is the definition of "stealing."

But I also think that DRM isn't required in most cases. Particularly a DRM that requires me to be connected every 10 days or it WILL TURN OFF AND DISABLE SOMETHING I PAID FOR AND OWN* ...  "blockbuster" game like Spore that is supposed to sell gazzilions of copies regardless.

And before anyone asks I am, as an upcoming indie game developer, putting my money where my mouth is, Widget United isn't going to have any copy protection on it ... the only reason to buy a legal copy will be the online competition and high score system and postings, and a discount on future purchases. If you want top help me virally spread it around by playing it at home without the full feature set, cool. Consider it an all-in demo.

(*Silly EULA aside that I only am licensed to use it until the software developer says so.)

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#26 dojoboy

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:23 PM

View PostQuantaCat, on May 8th 2008, 12:22 PM, said:

Well I think you ran into a bigger problem here: there is no fundamental right or wrong.

I need you to elaborate on that.  Are you making a philosophical,esoteric/cosmic statement?
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#27 QuantaCat

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 02:07 PM

No, just the differences in cultural values. If stealing had the same value in all cultures, they would all have the same sentence. There are people that are ok with stealing. I'm pretty sure the characters in Grand Theft Auto exist somewhere, out there, albeit, of course, different in implementation, but basically the same idea. ("everybody steals, why shouldn't I?")


Not that I share this view. But I don't have to share anyones' view. Which is somewhere along the same lines. So yes, there is no right and wrong.


EDIT: as a quick note: this entire business with "virtual property", has left the notion of "theft" and "possession" in turmoil. How can you steal something that is eternally copyable? Hence it is the actual using that is the "crime". Yes I think developers should get reimbursement for their work. Everyone should get proper reimbursement for their work. But I'm elaborating again. This is turning into a "religion" discussion :D
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#28 charmin

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 02:14 PM

It's like an intellectual property version of The Matrix in this thread all of a sudden.

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Regarding a DRM where games were saved on a server, that's easily circumvented. Small app that mimics the save server, and redirect the traffic to localhost - I'm pretty sure this type of crack has already been implemented to deal with license servers. Your point is still very valid when considering the (presumably) lower piracy rates for games such as Quake Wars and Battlefield 2142, where you can't mimic the human behaviour that gives the game its value.
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#29 QuantaCat

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 02:18 PM

Note: quake wars even went as far as to not require a CD in drive. They don't even need a serial check for lan and bot games! it's madness! I love them!
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#30 dojoboy

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:35 PM

View PostQuantaCat, on May 8th 2008, 04:07 PM, said:

No, just the differences in cultural values. If stealing had the same value in all cultures, they would all have the same sentence. There are people that are ok with stealing. I'm pretty sure the characters in Grand Theft Auto exist somewhere, out there, albeit, of course, different in implementation, but basically the same idea. ("everybody steals, why shouldn't I?")

Hiding behind culture is not excusable.  Just because someone is okay w/ stealing doesn't mean it's not wrong.  There are universal values.  And, some cultures are better than others.
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#31 J'nathus

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 04:08 PM

View Postdojoboy, on May 8th 2008, 05:35 PM, said:

Hiding behind culture is not excusable.  Just because someone is okay w/ stealing doesn't mean it's not wrong.  There are universal values.  And, some cultures are better than others.


Speaking of 'universal values' hints of a religion / morality debate.  I hope we're not really going there.

About DRM, I'm not against it altogether, but it should only stop the casual pirate / copyright infringer (is that a word?), and not legitimate customers from enjoying content they purchased.  It's interesting that I have to sit through movie theft videos at the theater when I've already paid for my ticket, or watch Federal warnings on DVDs I've already purchased.  The pirates don't see / put up with any of that and THEY are the ones that should see that message (not that it would sway them).

The shift that all major PC-only developers have made toward consoles is supposedly spurned by piracy, but I think the picture is deeper than they've theorized.   You can't just stick a disc into a computer and the game plays.  Quite frequently you can't even just install a game and 30-40 minutes later when it's done, the game plays.  EVEN IF the game plays, it might have problems because your video drivers, sound drivers, DirectX version, or lately your Windows Games Live version may not be up to date or properly configured. All this is provided that your hardware is even up to running the game (a frequent complaint on game forums).

I think that it all comes down to that when push comes to shove, the blockades for gaming on the PC (/computer) are enough that many people will opt for the console experience over laboring endlessly to make sure their machines are up to spec for the games they want to play.

STILL . ..  Having said that, I don't doubt that piracy is completely a mis-represented issue as the community tends to take it to be.  The assumption that every pirated copy might be a purchased copy is incorrect, but the assumption that this doesn't indicate a loss is also wrong.  If there was a warehouse full of copies of a game, and those copies were stolen, it does not matter that the thief did not actually intend to buy those copies, it is still money the company producing those copies lost. To expand on this point, the Call of Duty 4 developers indicated that they were shocked at how many pirated copies of their game were online, to which, I would argue that those players have no right enjoying 'paid for' online services with copies of a game they didn't pay for.  

My answer would be a Steam-like alternative or that every game would go to an MMO 'log on to play' type of setup.  It sucks as it assumes internet connection for all games, but not a whole lot of people have PCs and no internet, so it might just be another one of those 'that's just what it takes to game on a PC' type of things.  If it substantially cut down on piracy and it increased the amount of games developed for and released on PC (and subsequently Macs), no one would be complaining then.

#32 dojoboy

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 04:28 PM

View PostJ, on May 8th 2008, 06:08 PM, said:

Speaking of 'universal values' hints of a religion / morality debate.

You can imply religion if you wish, but universal values exist independently.  Universal values do of course imply morality.  All things being equal, stealing is immoral.  A poor family stealing food is commendable, but still illegal.
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#33 J'nathus

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 04:56 PM

View Postdojoboy, on May 8th 2008, 06:28 PM, said:

You can imply religion if you wish, but universal values exist independently.  Universal values do of course imply morality.  All things being equal, stealing is immoral.  A poor family stealing food is commendable, but still illegal.
I'm truly sorry I took a stab in this direction.  Since these kinds of discussions go nowhere, I won't foster further debate on this type of subject matter.  I almost edited my post to remove your quote and that line...  I should've done that.

The argument I'm more passionate about is in the content that followed.

#34 Nail

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 08:44 PM

Quote

QUOTE(Bernie @ May 8th 2008, 02:27 AM) *
I'm no lawyer or judge, but more and more it is seeming like copy-protection should be illegal because it assumes guilt, not innocence.


By the same logic car alarms should be illegal because they assume guilt as well, along with house alarms and customs officials at borders to name a few they all assume the worst and you have to prove otherwise with a key or passport etc.


The DRM is more equated to stopping everyone who walks by and cavity searching them
alarms equate more to online registration such as that employed by ET:QW


but not paying for software is theft no matter what justification, and I've heard them all including of course the most famous "evaluation"

[edit] just noticed they're selling the "Creature Creator" separately and I didn't see if it was included in retail game, the demo is limited to 25% of the resources, it's like selling upgrade weapons on a FPS, don't like it

#35 Tesseract

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 12:03 AM

People doing useful work should be paid a fair wage for it. Sharing information is good. Both of these statements are true, and that is why I've always thought that the retail software industry has a rather strange business model.

Software is just bits when you get down to it. Arranging those bits can take a lot of work, and people need to be paid to do it. But after they are arranged, the cost of duplicating them is very small. Yet the money is charged for the cheapest step of the process, one which almost anyone can actually do for themselves: getting the bits onto the end user's hard disk.

It seems that if a way could be found to charge for the part of the process that costs lots of money and can't be done by just anyone, things would be a lot better for all concerned. People could share the bits (sharing is good!) to their heart's content, and the creators would all get paid. (Of course, they couldn't get $50M revenue from a game that cost $5M to make any more. It wouldn't have that lottery aspect (create a hit and make a fortune!), which a lot of people probably want to win.)

View Postdojoboy, on May 9th 2008, 08:28 AM, said:

You can imply religion if you wish, but universal values exist independently.  Universal values do of course imply morality.
Philosophy and morality are inextricably entwined with religion. A useful informal working definition of religion is "a set of answers to the big questions in life", which would include questions about the existence and nature of right and wrong in the ethical sense. Copyright law has underlying ethical assumptions, hence any discussion about it can be expected to question those assumptions at some point.

Forum policy is not to discuss these things because a lot of people can't be civil when someone disagrees with them on an issue that really matters, and that's the right of the forum owner to decide.

#36 QuantaCat

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 01:51 AM

Hey there's a lot of stuff I would react to in this thread, which I consider "wrong", but as Tesseract before me said: "Forum policy is not to discuss these things"


This is like a country. Don't like the policy, change it or leave it. And since I don't want to spend years and years trying to lure tBC into making me a moderator, I'll just ignore certain topics.
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#37 Whaleman

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 03:32 AM

Just a little food for thought on the lines "the people pirating these games would not have bought the product anyway".

If there was no way to pirate any games, would the "pirates" then refrain from playing games completely? I don't think so. Even if they would only scramble up enough money to buy 1 out of 10 games they would otherwise have stolen, it's still a popsnizzleload of sales. And in some regions, piracy is such a matter-of-fact behaviour that people buying real copies of everything are the ones considered crazy. I live in such an area (Sweden) myself and I kick everybody bloody (verbally only) who tries to convert me to pirate stuff. Pirate fanboys are the scum of gaming. While console/platform fanboys makes their darling project looks bad, pirate fanboys kills the market and tries to justify it on top of that. Grow a fire trucking backbone and grow up I say. If you don't think the game is worth your money, then why the heck do you even play it?

Don't even try to justify it.

Don't.

Now I'm not a fan of DRMs myself either, but when MacSoft played it nice and didn't require a CD check on Halo on the original Mac version, the torrent sites went rampant. Saying it doesn't do anything is a lie, otherwise companies wouldn't spend money on it. It's simple economics as stated before. If it can make computer gaming survive, I'm all for it. But it seems to fail, since everybody including Crytec are moving to consoles now... I wouldn't be too surprised to see Blizzard announce Diablo 3 as console exclusive in the future if StarCraft II gets hit too hard by piracy either. Though SCII is such a big title that it should take a lot to bring Blizzard down the Piracy Depression Lane...
You shouldn't ask yourself such worthless questions. Aim higher. Try this: why am I here? Why do I exist, and what is my purpose in this universe?

(Answers: 'Cause you are. 'Cause you do. 'Cause I got a shotgun, and you ain't got one.)

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#38 edddeduck

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 04:11 AM

View PostQuantaCat, on May 8th 2008, 01:07 PM, said:

No, just the differences in cultural values. If stealing had the same value in all cultures, they would all have the same sentence. There are people that are ok with stealing. I'm pretty sure the characters in Grand Theft Auto exist somewhere, out there, albeit, of course, different in implementation, but basically the same idea. ("everybody steals, why shouldn't I?")
Not that I share this view. But I don't have to share anyones' view. Which is somewhere along the same lines. So yes, there is no right and wrong.

Philosophically I get your point but most of planet Earth live in a world which has rules and none of the cultures on Earth believe stealing is OK. They might have different punishments and levels of what makes theft but I cannot think of anywhere where theft is seen as acceptable as part of day to day life as this would be anarchy and civilization would cease to exist. (Getting close to philosophy here so I am not going any further.)

What gets me annoyed is people thinking taking something someone else has spend months of their lifes making and then using it for free is OK and not theft. It's not the stealing (although I am not best please with that!) it's the denial that they are stealing and that what they are doing is OK and that I am the person in the wrong for suggesting they are thieves. If you pirate fine nobody can stop you, but please don't try and defend the actions as legitimate.

View PostNail, on May 8th 2008, 07:44 PM, said:

The DRM is more equated to stopping everyone who walks by and cavity searching them
alarms equate more to online registration such as that employed by ET:QW

Technically they are both DRM, but I get your point and to a certain extent agree, I hate really annoying DRM but on the other hand I don't like useless DRM either. :) I am still looking/designing for the golden solution of good DRM that is also unobtrusive and easy to use. I don't think one exists but looking for a solution is more fun than arguing about how DRM sucks.

View PostNail, on May 8th 2008, 07:44 PM, said:

but not paying for software is theft no matter what justification, and I've heard them all including of course the most famous "evaluation"

*applause* Strange to see a post like this in a piracy/DRM thread! great to see at least some people agree that stealing is stealing no matter the justification.

View PostTesseract, on May 8th 2008, 11:03 PM, said:

Forum policy is not to discuss these things because a lot of people can't be civil when someone disagrees with them on an issue that really matters, and that's the right of the forum owner to decide.

And with this word of warning from Tesseract I am going to have to leave the debate before it becomes a debate about piracy as piracy debates are not allowed, which if it saves on massive flame wars erupting that's fine with me. I would post in a thread debating how to come up with a DRM that all you DRM haters would accept as a good system while still protecting the publishers rights and slowing down piracy. If anyone opens that thread you might see me return but for this thread I have put my viewpoint across and I don't really have any more to say with repeating so I am going to leave it at that.

Edwin

#39 Tesseract

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:16 AM

View Postedddeduck, on May 9th 2008, 08:11 PM, said:

It's not the stealing (although I am not best please with that!) it's the denial that they are stealing and that what they are doing is OK and that I am the person in the wrong for suggesting they are thieves.
There are plenty of things that are illegal and/or wrong that are not theft. Copyright infringement, however wrong it may be, is not taking someone's property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. Calling it something it's not just gives those people who annoy you so much more ammo with which to rationalise that they're not doing anything wrong.

#40 the Battle Cat

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 08:59 AM

View Postedddeduck, on May 9th 2008, 03:11 AM, said:

And with this word of warning from Tesseract I am going to have to leave the debate before it becomes a debate about piracy as piracy debates are not allowed, which if it saves on massive flame wars erupting that's fine with me.

Edwin
Wait, there is a misunderstanding here.  Debate about piracy and DRM is OK as long as it remain civil.  I have no tolerance for people trying to incite others to pirate, which is what I think Tesseract was implying.  That hasn't surfaced enough to bother me (Though I'll back Tesseract because he is a moderator) and it has been in the context of the debate.  What is specifically forbidden in discussion of piracy are instructions, links to instructions, warez or abandonwarez, and the aforementioned inciting others to pirate.

It is debate about politics and religion that is not allowed.  I've written that policy down so I can copy and paste it!  Here is my official statement on that:

A word about discussing politics and religion... it isn't done in polite company, at work, or here. Both subjects are explosive hot topic buttons. If you want to talk about politics I invite you to attend one of the thousands of forums out there devoted to that general topic. My experience at other forums is that when politics becomes a part of it, it leads to extremely bad feelings and even hatred among forum members bleeding into other completely unrelated areas. It can very quickly spiral out of control. In IMG forums especially, teamwork and camaraderie among its members is vital to the nature of the work being done here. We need each other to help one another with technical problems, share the fun of Mac gaming, and provide new gaming information as we find it on the internet and through other friends. Trust me on this one, if you are ripping each other's lungs out in Off Topic, it WILL carry over into the other forums.

I don't care what your politics are, but I DO care about the health of this forum.


The very thing that first attracted me to IMG was it's strict anti-piracy stance.  Whaleman and his moderators were awesome in that regard and I am continuing that tradition.  If any of you are curious about my take on DRM... I don't like it but I blame the software pirates not the software companies.  DRM is a result of piracy.  Piracy is taking something that isn't yours to take, that is stealing, and stealing is wrong.  Game companies have to make a profit far beyond what it costs to make a game if they are to have the resources to stay in business and create more games.  Stealing from them makes it harder or impossible and every honest or semi honest gamer suffers because of pirates.  Nobody is owed anything be it profits or a free game, but in my mind, pirates are the problem.

BTW: I'm very pleased by the way you guys have been moderating yourselves!  That is really cool to see.  I didn't need to say anything about it, but I wanted to clarify some policy and weigh in myself.
Gary Simmons
the Battle Cat