Escapist Podcast: 028: Listener Question Bonanza!

Don Reba

Bishop and Councilor of War
Jun 2, 2009
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Susan's stance is typical of what turns people away from games entirely: pay through the nose for any minor convenience, be grateful publishers throw anything your way at all.

Personally, I don't think file sharing needs to be excused or that there is anything wrong with it at all. People still help creators of the things they like, if only for the selfish reason of getting more good things out of them in future. I myself donated to almost all free software I use on regular basis; to Vim, for instance, I gave over $100. It is a fact [http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10387976-71.html] that file sharers buy more content than average.
 

Edith The Hutt

Flying Monkey
Oct 16, 2010
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Erm... a Snickers bar is a British chocolate bar. They started out as the Marathon bar and changed their name when they went international.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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James Bowe said:
Erm... a Snickers bar is a British chocolate bar. They started out as the Marathon bar and changed their name when they went international.
Ok, bad example, then. Oh, well.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Susan Arendt said:
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.
Ah, okay. That makes a lot more sense.

Thanks for elaborating.
 

Panayjon

New member
Aug 12, 2008
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Are we buying games and the discs are just 'incidental'? Steam says yes. However, is Steam just cool and an exception or is it the way of thinking we need to adjust to for an 'infinite' economy? Ideally as we move into the Cloud-era we won't have these grey areas anymore and piracy will only ever be theft, until then I do not equate piracy with theft so long as I have bought the product in question.
 

Epitome

New member
Jul 17, 2009
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So cannot agree with a lot of the piracy argument, especially Susan in this one. The idea that I need to "pay for the convenience" of the new format, might hold some water, but it is illegal for me to do this format change myself, so its a monopoly on the right to keep the information accessible by modern devices.

If I buy a game, like Shadowrun on the SNES, and later I buy a toaster with the ability to run Shadowrun but only if the files are modified to run on the toasters OS. I should be able to manipulate my game to be toaster-friendly if the tools exist. I should not have to wait and hope somebody with the licence feels it might be profitable to target the demographic who like to play cyberpunk games while their toast is on. Then let them do it, tack on a mark up and sell it back to me.

My copy is mine, it is out of the system. If I copy it and sell on the cartridge it is akin to theft. If I copy it and destroy the cartridge no problem. I don't owe the developers more than one retail sale of their software, which I am happy to pay. But that is where I draw the line, the gaming community should be allowed to help each other preserve our collections that we paid for. NOCD cracks, emulators, etc should all be legal provided the user has parted with money for their copy.
 

Caffiene

New member
Jul 21, 2010
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I dont generally like piracy, but I very much disagree with the idea that someone talked about where they said piracy and theft are ethically the same. (Was it Steve or Tito? I have trouble remembering which voice is which... I know it wasnt Susan :p)

If copying is "ethically the same" as theft, that would suggest that depriving someone of their property has no ethical problems, since its addition made no ethical difference to the scenario. I honestly cant comprehend how that makes sense.

If I, lets say, photocopy a book, thats analogous to piracy. The idea seems to be that that is somehow ethically no worse than physically taking the book. In the first instance both I and the owner of the book now have the book, in the second I now have the book and deprive the original owner of the book. It seems clear to me that there are two seperate ethical issues. Firstly, it is unethical to copy the book. Secondly, it is unethical to stop the other person having their book. If I just copy the book I have done one unethical thing, but if I take the book I have done two unethical things - it is less ethical.

I suggest the following scenario which to me is the same in ethical terms as stealing a book, but perhaps easier to see the ethical issues: If I photocopy somebody's book, and then burn that persons book so that they cant get it back, is that ethically no worse than just photocopying their book?
 

bdcjacko

Gone Fonzy
Jun 9, 2010
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I'm psyked I have a section named after my question, but I am disappointed my name wasn't read. :'(

But now that I listen to your reason on why you don't make Python references, it makes sense. They are out dated and don't lend themselves to easily use in conversation.
 

Slycne

Tank Ninja
Feb 19, 2006
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Airon said:
As mentioned during the podcast, this week was a bit of a jury rigged set up. Rather than our typical omni mics, I had to use a bunch of lavs which are not ideal for our recording area.
 

maxben

New member
Jun 9, 2010
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Everyone is talking about piracy and copyright, but I'm more interested in gender-bending in RPGs.
I almost always play female characters for a variety of reasons.
The powerful female hero is something I got from growing up in the 90s. That means the gender equal power rangers (till the green/white guy there were 3 guys to 2 girls), Xena and Gabrielle (so much better than Hercules), Veronica from the Lost World, Janeway and Seven of Nine from Voyager, and Buffy and Willow. I was even heavily exposed to Sailor Moon because of my sister. So for many guys I've talked to from my generation, the strong female hero is normal, desirable, and cool. Femshep is just awesome!
I don't put myself in the character so much as treat it as an interactive movie, so I play what I think is cool to see. Of course, it gets deeper than "looks cool", I feel for the character a lot.
 

burningdragoon

Warrior without Weapons
Jul 27, 2009
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Caffiene said:
I think the ethically the same thing is much broader than what you are saying. Simply put, consuming a product that was intended to be sold without paying for it is equally unethical regardless of how you came to have the product. Trying to add different values of unethicalness to the specific methods is missing the bigger point. (also ethics is not math) Or rather, once you've broken the main barrier of unethicalness (ie acquiring something for free) you can start discuss just how unethical it was, but not as a way to discuss whether or not you should have done the act in the first place or whether it is justified.

Or a more pleasant note, I played Folklore. I liked it.
 

Caffiene

New member
Jul 21, 2010
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burningdragoon said:
Or rather, once you've broken the main barrier of unethicalness (ie acquiring something for free) you can start discuss just how unethical it was, but not as a way to discuss whether or not you should have done the act in the first place or whether it is justified.
I absolutely agree that they are both unethical, and neither should be done... But the original idea was phrased as there being "no ethical difference", which to me implies we are talking about degrees or differences in how unethical the two options are. There is a lot more detail to discussing "ethical differences" than simply ethical or unethical.

This is one of my big problems when people call piracy theft. To me, it undervalues piracy by implying that it needs to be related to theft in order to be unethical, when we should be arguing that it is unethical by itself despite being different to other scenarios such as theft. The vast majority of arguments by pirates are about the details (or at least in my experience the ones that are genuinely interested in discussion, as opposed to defending themselves and having no interest in changing their behaviour regardless of what anyone says), and if we dont address the details pirates will simply dismiss arguments because we obviously arent interested in listening to them and having a discussion.

IMO its important to recognise the details in order to have any credibility in arguing on how the details affect (or dont affect) the situation.
 

Airon

New member
Jan 8, 2012
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Slycne said:
Airon said:
As mentioned during the podcast, this week was a bit of a jury rigged set up. Rather than our typical omni mics, I had to use a bunch of lavs which are not ideal for our recording area.
I suggest more training for emergencies like that :) . "No,no, don't scratch it or crawl under the table with it." That sort of thing.

Sounds like you're doing a mixdown at recording time if you couldn't cut some of the messy parts out of it.

Podcast usually sounds great, minus some slight dynamics issues, which is a personal matter of taste I admit.
 

bdcjacko

Gone Fonzy
Jun 9, 2010
2,371
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Dear Greg Tito,

Long time listener. Your story of how you realized WoW was boring you and you got burnt out on mmorpg is getting old. Please refrain from telling it every podcat.

Love,

BDC

PS
I enjoy your D&D features. Very insightful.
 

Sylveria

New member
Nov 15, 2009
1,285
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Buying that $170 used copy of Earthbound is as bad as piracy in the eyes of the publishers and developers. They're not getting a penny regardless, thus you're stealing from them.

They feel the same way about rentals. Renting, to them, is piracy. The amount of games available for rental is shrinking each year because of that view which leaves you no way to try the $60 product before you buy. If you don't like it, can't play it, whatever, there's no return policy in games. You can trade it in at game stop, at a loss, and have the publish cry you're contributing to piracy and should be fined and in jail.

Also, publishers make the claim that you are buying a licence and that licence is non-transferable, thus the disc is basically incidental, but I guarantee if you call up EA and say "I bought ME3 and my disc broke. I need a replacement disk," they are gonna tell you to go to Wal-mart and buy another copy for $60.

Piracy exists because of the high costs of poor quality products and completely anti-consumer policies by nearly every developer and retailer that is involved in the video game industry. Addressing the inequities of the matter would lower their profits, so instead they just want the government to give them the power to shut down the internet.

Remember, if you are anti-piracy, you are passively pro-SOPA.
 

Panorama

Carry on Jeeves
Dec 7, 2010
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I think you pay for the licence key, if you lose the disk then i feel you are able to download the disk again the code is the thing worth having, the cd is not really worth a huge amount, so i don't believe that is too wrong to do.
 

Lieju

New member
Jan 4, 2009
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If I have a choice I usually play a female character, but that also has a lot to do with how in most games I have no choice.
(I'm a woman myself)

But I play male characters as well. If I'm replaying the game I might want to roleplay a very different character from myself (like I'm doing at the moment with Dragon age origins where I'm playing pretty much a thug who had to grow up this way because he's from the dwarf slums) or in some cases I might just identify with the male character more.

(If I'm given a choice with a male scientist or a warrior woman, the chances are I'm going to prefer the scientist, and in some pokemon games I played as the guy because I liked the look better, but I didn't really think of the character as masculine)

Also in saints row 2 I generally made a male character because I liked one of the male voices more. (And ended up making him look like Albert Wesker).

But in that game I didn't really identify with the character that much.

EDIT: About piracy. Even if you were never going to buy that game, you might have used your money to buy some another game if you didn't spend your time on pirated games.
So you're getting entertainment free instead of paying for it.
 

thetrine

New member
Oct 13, 2009
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First of all, thanks for another great podcast. I really enjoy them; keep'em comming!

On the gender roleplay subject: I'm not surprised jet still a little bit of me feels sad to hear that you all tends to play as your own gender. I fully understand that one finds it more difficult to relate to their character when playing by the opposite sex.

As you mention, a lot of games are equipped with protagonists of a certain gender (mostly male) with a certain personality, that I don't always find that I can relate to personally. Of cause I (usually) enjoy the characters non the less, and I find that the characters are interesting BECAUSE they are different from me.

When playing an rpg game I try to create a character concept that I believe fits the setting and provides me a fun time. This goes totally beyond the gender selection and - as much as I can provide it - my own personality. So if the concept is more fitting for a female (or male), that?s what'll be.

(yeah, I'm very serious in my role playing ;P)

I'm not saying that this is the universal way of playing an rpg - people should absolutely plat a game in that way they enjoy it the most - I just get the most out of an rpg while exploring it with a very defined character; whatever the gender
 

Seamus8

New member
Mar 26, 2008
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Piracy is less "stealing" and more "receiving stolen property" which is also a crime. It's like buying a stolen toaster oven from a shady guy on a street corner. You know he didn't buy them himself, but some people think that since the product has already been stolen there is little chance of getting caught and you might as well get what's easiest and cheapest to get.

The real thieves (though not the only criminals) in piracy are the people that crack games and distribute them to the public.

The restaurant analogy Mr. Butts tried to make showed it all. Downloading games illegally is nothing like dine and dash, because to dine and dash at a restaurant you would never pay at still costs them money. Better analogy would be using a bathroom at a restaurant without buying a meal or sleeping in a restaurant booth without buying a meal. Unethical and against restaurant rules (usually) but people attempt to get away with it every day because they don't see how they are hurting the restaurant at all.
 

UNHchabo

New member
Dec 24, 2008
535
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I caught the Simpsons reference from this week:

"It's a victimless crime, like punching someone in the dark!"

Yes, the main reason that people who quote Monty Python are annoying is because everything Monty Python do, especially in The Holy Grail, is such non sequitur. The Simpsons is obviously the ultimate example, because The Simpsons has done everything, but let's contrast this with Blackadder, which is much more quotable than Monty Python, simply because most of the jokes involve topics of conversation:

When talking about running out of laundry:
"Why is it that no matter how many millions of pairs of socks I buy, I never seem to have any?"

When talking about not having a snappy comeback:
Well, it is so often the way, sir, too late one thinks of what one *should* have said. Sir Thomas More, for instance -- burned alive for refusing to recant his Catholicism -- must have been kicking himself, as the flames licked higher, that it never occurred to him to say, "I recant my Catholicism."

Also, someone's greatest artistic work is now referred to in my house as their "magnificent octopus".