Escapist Podcast: 028: Listener Question Bonanza!

Farther than stars

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As far as piracy goes, I think downloading any illegal copy for any reason whatsoever is wrong (notwithstanding people who otherwise cannot reasonably get the game). After all, whenever you download an illegal copy you are giving an incentive towards pirates that facilitates their practises. And therefore I think it is wrong to do so.
Also, I'd like to throw Fallout 3 out there as an example of a game rich with American culture that I was also able to get into, despite being British. In fact, I think playing that game has made me understand American culture in a better way. For instance, now whenever I see a shot of, say, the Washington Memorial, I go like: "yeah I recognize that; and on the other side of that long stretch of water is the Lincoln memorial; and then on the other side of 'the Mall' is Capitol Hill and on the way to there are the Natural History Museum and the National Archives..."
Another example is something that I noticed in Dead Rising, that I played over the holidays and that is that in one section of the game there is a hunting store, which sells guns. But the interesting thing is that you would never see that here in Western Europe. And even though it was one of those moments that took me out of the game, that tiny detail did make me understand "daily" American society in a better way. (But then the whole game has rather deep underlying themes about consumerist societies.)
So my point here is that even though a game isn't set in your society, it might help you come to understand other ones in a better way. And I think that sort of assimilation can be a really fun experience too.
And finally I'd like to disclose my thoughts on the comments about the Bible and changing it. Because personally I've always considered the Bible to be something that has changed a lot and been "restructured" over the years. For one, the Old Testament is comprised of parts of the Torah, but not all of it and differing between branches of Christianity. So to say that there is one definite version to begin with brings up some tricky issues.
 

StriderShinryu

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Always nice to hear some discussion on the piracy issue, and even nicer to hear some of my own viewpoints on the subject brought forward.

Yes, every copy pirated is not a lost sale, but some are. There is no absolute here to take your claim upon.. regardless of where you stend on the issue.

Yes, piracy technically isn't theft because no one is losing a physical item.. but this sort of thought process pretty much implies that videogames (and other forms of piratable media) are just bits of ones and zeroes potentially on a disc that costs, at best, a few pennies. I don't know about you, but I don't think back to the best games I've ever played (or even the worst ones) and remembered the disc or the code on that disc. I think back to the experience of playing the game and that is where the value for me is derived.

If you are not paying for a game then you are still getting the experience of having played said game, which is the whole point of playing the game, then you have essentially "stolen" the game regardless of whether there was a physical disc or payed for download involved. As said in the podcast, maybe not an issue of technical theft but certainly one of dubious morals. And this applies to whether you ever intended to buy the game or not. You pirate it, you play it and get the experience. At that point it's pretty easy to argue about whether or not it was or wasn't worth the money.. but it's also irrelevant because you've already experienced it and your value judgement will be tainted by being, in essence, done with it.
 

linenwater

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Feb 20, 2011
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Just want to throw this out there - Blizzard lets you download clients of any of their games from battle.net, as long as you have a cd key for it to tie to your account.
 

HobbesMkii

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Jun 7, 2008
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Hey, just quick on "We'll see some of those old games in the public domain soon"--no, you won't (unless your definition of "soon" is decades long).

US Copyright Law stipulates it lasts for 70 years after the death of the author. For corporations, it's 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication (whichever is less). Meaning you probably won't see these games in the public domain for at least another 50 years. PONG for instance, will remain outside the public domain and property of Atari, Inc until 2067.

The 50 year figure is probably that most of the world has a copyright length of author's life plus 50 years.

Fun fact (for comparison's sake), the original US Copyright was 14 years with a 14 year extension if the author renewed it. Also, (and quick aside: I'm not supporting piracy of videogames, but I do oppose criminal penalties for offenders) copyright infringement (including what we now call piracy) wasn't a crime until the DMCA in 1998. Prior to that, it was a matter to be pursued in civil court by the holder of the copyright.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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biophobe said:
Just want to throw this out there - Blizzard lets you download clients of any of their games from battle.net, as long as you have a cd key for it to tie to your account.
That sort of thing has grown (but probably not started) as, in my opinion, a positive outcome of digital distribution. Publishers have always played "games are a service... no no... now they're a product... no... service again... aaaaaand product. service. product" depending on which gave them the advantage at any given moment. With Digital Distro so advantageous for Publishers to work the 'games are a service' that now they're willing to offer consumers some of the advantages that any other service in another industry would provide (including other software industries).
 

InsanityRequiem

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Nov 9, 2009
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The piracy debate thing kinda makes me shake my head. There's too many reasons and too many answers on piracy and how to deal with it. It also doesn't help that piracy being a 'loss' seems incorrect terminology to me. A game losing sales to a different game would deserve the 'loss' moniker, but piracy is more akin to either enabling or preventing a buy in most First World countries (USA, Europe, etc) where these piracy issues are raised. While in second/third world countries in which people have no money to buy the games, piracy is a more like means to bypass the harsh inequality that is the economic system, a sort of loophole to enjoy a product people have made.

And for the little guys/girls thing, I'd say (From what I've come across) that guys tend to be more physical in their interactions while girls are more verbal/mental. While slightly away from it all, I'd look at how guys bully others compared to girls bully others. If guys bully someone, it's normally about physicality between the bully and the bullied. And if the bullied fights back and takes down the bully, either they no longer even see each other or the rare chance the bully/bullied become friends. While I see girls as bullies much much crueler, in which the bullied can't fight back because they'd just get worse treatment.
 

Endocrom

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Bears CAN be jerks, one time we found one eating some cake frosting my mom had thrown out.
To be fair, my mom did make the best frosting, so at least it had good taste.
 

Azuaron

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I don't think I've ever disagreed with Susan as much as I do right now. When I'm buying digital media, I'm buying the right to use that media, and this is how the publishers are treating it as well (the specific copy of the game doesn't matter, just the CD key). In fact, with publishers locking down games in the manner they are, such as when EA limited Spore to three installs, they are specifically showing that you are not owning a product, you are owning the right to play this game.

That being said, if I own the right to play a game, I own the right to play that game. Period. I'm not "renting" a game until the disc breaks or the technology changes. My license key, disc, or, as the case may be, broken disc signifies that I have the right to play that game, and I will play that game however I want. If the developers want me to pay for the same game again, they must add something, whether it's an expansion, updated graphics, or convenience (money-sucking Wii store full of retro games).

A question for you: I do not have a computer that runs Windows 98 anymore. But I do have games that require me to run them in Windows 98. I get around this by installing and running those games in Windows 7's "Windows 98 mode". Is there a difference between this and using an emulator/ROM to play SNES games (for which I own the cartridge) on my computer? Or using WINE to play Windows games on a Linux computer? Because the only differences I see are extremely superficial, and nobody's going to tell my brother-in-law he can't play Windows games on his Linux box if he can get it to work.
 

sunami88

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Jun 23, 2008
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I just have a quick question that can be answered in the forum; Why do some episodes cut off at the end? It can be rather jarring when I'm not watching the time.

Thanks, and keep doing what you're doing. Love the podcast/website.
 

Steve Butts

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sunami88 said:
I just have a quick question that can be answered in the forum; Why do some episodes cut off at the end? It can be rather jarring when I'm not watching the time.

Thanks, and keep doing what you're doing. Love the podcast/website.
You mean the playback cuts off? No idea.

I will say that we sometimes run over time with our hardware, which is why there's sometimes a weird edit right before the end.
 

Formica Archonis

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Nov 13, 2009
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HobbesMkii said:
US Copyright Law lasts for 70 years after the death of the author. For corporations, it's 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication (whichever is less). Meaning you probably won't see these games in the public domain for at least another 50 years. PONG for instance, will remain outside the public domain and property of Atari, Inc until 2067.
Assuming it's not extended AGAIN. I'm in Canada, and we just got Jung and Hemingway into the public domain while Europe just got Joyce and Woolf. But less than a week after that, the Canadian government is considering putting a stop to any new entries into the public domain for the next twenty years [http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6225/125/].

If copying something you have no right just so you can save a few bucks is immoral, then stealing it from the public just so you can make a few bucks is just as bad. I'm not saying the pirates are right or justified, far from it, but we have plenty of evidence that corporations that hold copyrights are no less in the wrong.



Azuaron said:
In fact, with publishers locking down games in the manner they are, such as when EA limited Spore to three installs, they are specifically showing that you are not owning a product, you are owning the right to play this game.
Are you? If the EULA says they can revoke that right at any time, all you own is privilege to play at the owner's sufferance.

Azuaron said:
If the developers want me to pay for the same game again, they must add something, whether it's an expansion, updated graphics, or convenience (money-sucking Wii store full of retro games).
Hear hear. A lot of copyright holders in TV/movies/music - which has a notable overlap with video game copyright holders - have been trying to lock down on time and format shifting. So because I work late I shouldn't be allowed to PVR a show? Is it wrong to copy my old VHSs to DVD before the tapes fail or my last VCR dies? (Now downloading a DVD rip would be wrong due to higher quality - improved version, that's not what I originally paid for. But if don't mind a VCR-quality DVD, or if a DVD version doesn't exist, then I think I'm perfectly in my rights to copy that sucker to DVD.)

But I'm a fan of emulation overall. I'm never going to see another Bubble Bobble cabinet ever again and getting my C64 and disk boxes out of storage for a game of Delta seems an insane waste of gasoline when I can spend 1 minute downloading an emulator and the crack Remember did that even includes a trainer.

Azuaron said:
A question for you: I do not have a computer that runs Windows 98 anymore. But I do have games that require me to run them in Windows 98.
No comment, as I do have a keygenned version of Win98 running in a virtual PC (hey, another emulator) on my PC. Not very legal, but with Microsoft steadfastly trying to kill XP I doubt they'll be selling me 98 any time soon.
 

HobbesMkii

Hold Me Closer Tony Danza
Jun 7, 2008
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Formica Archonis said:
HobbesMkii said:
US Copyright Law lasts for 70 years after the death of the author. For corporations, it's 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication (whichever is less). Meaning you probably won't see these games in the public domain for at least another 50 years. PONG for instance, will remain outside the public domain and property of Atari, Inc until 2067.
Assuming it's not extended AGAIN. I'm in Canada, and we just got Jung and Hemingway into the public domain while Europe just got Joyce and Woolf. But less than a week after that, the Canadian government is considering putting a stop to any new entries into the public domain for the next twenty years [http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6225/125/].

If copying something you have no right just so you can save a few bucks is immoral, then stealing it from the public just so you can make a few bucks is just as bad. I'm not saying the pirates are right or justified, far from it, but we have plenty of evidence that corporations that hold copyrights are no less in the wrong.
True that. Modern copyright law has lead to a tremendous distortion of the whole concept. Copyright was supposed to do two things: 1) protect artists from those groups that would seek to deprive them of their livelihood by granting them exclusive publishing rights for a duration of time, and 2) after that time was over, to facilitate the transfer of private works into the public domain. It's now used by corporations to hold publishing rights in de facto perpetuity and crush artist innovation, increasing their own profits while actively preventing others from achieving similar profit.
 

Airon

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If you'd like to know what the London Blitz was actually like, two good books to read are:

Blackout and All Clear, both by Connie Willis, an american author :) .

Oh and btw, the quality of the podcast was a little off this time. Noise and off-angle mics ? What happened ?

Have you folks thought about putting a softknee compressor on the VO submix ? I mix this kind of stuff almost every day(re-recording mixer by trade). And a decent denoiser package like Izotope RX2 costs $350.

I listen to your podcast through a denoiser and a softknee compressor. I just grab a new noiseprint from each podcast and set the threshold of the compressor up. It makes for a more relaxing experience, for me that is. Here's the Reaper session (http://reaper.fm) http://stash.reaper.fm/11368/Escapist-Listen-028-with-jscomp-Reaper-Session.zip

The compressor I used is free ( http://electric-snow.net/plugins.html ). You sound good, and this improved it for me. That's all.

Still listening to the podcast. Read those books if you really wanna know. Good stories. Lots of awards.
 

Airon

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Jan 8, 2012
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Finished listening to the podcast now.

Neat. I've repurchased some old games that very same way. Convenience and steam deals :) . Who can resist Deus Ex for $2.50 for example.

As for Star Wars. Yeah, I watched that film at the cinema three time in one week when I was six. I fell in love with film music because of it and became a sound editor and re-recording mixer because of it. It blew the dust out of the sci-fi genre alright. People didn't line up to see it after they left the theatre to get out of the cold.

Looking forward to next weeks cast.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Uhh... how exactly does Star Wars form a significant part of someone's identity?

Not gonna lie, that notion didn't go down too easily.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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Zhukov said:
Uhh... how exactly does Star Wars form a significant part of someone's identity?

Not gonna lie, that notion didn't go down too easily.
It got me interested in space travel and science. It jump started my imagination and inspired me to try my hand at creative writing. I made up my own stories about being a hero fighting the forces of evil, piloting space ships. It got me reading other science fiction stories, so that I could explore other universes and learn about other alien cultures.

It's possible that I would've done all those things without having seen Star Wars when I was 6, but then again, I might not've. That's what I mean when I said Star Wars helped make me who I am.
 

Ramith

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Nov 7, 2011
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Sweet,

Got my Baldurs Gate 2 reference.

And I am the completly same, I bought the bloody game about four times.

The last one was the nice big box with everything in 2 DVDs.

I enjoyed the piracy debate, some very strong points on physical medium vs digital medium.

I think one point was misinterperated. "I was never going to buy the game" is not an ethical justification, it simply means that every pirated download does not equal a loss.

Personally Ive pirated a couple games I already own.

But Steam really put an end to that for me. Shame as a Canuck I have to pay for GB usage.