I really could sum up my entire feelings on this issue with one rude gesture, one table flip, and telling off the ESA (or Entertainment Software Association), but that wouldn’t be doing you or me any good, as it would explain nothing. So let me explain how the organization who is supposed be used to protect and allow for games to continue to be made has taken a stance to try and kill off gaming history.
I'm sure you all remember the fiascos around the launch of DIablo 3 and SIm City. People still argue about them to this day, claiming that the online requirement is nothing more then DRM. While I dissagree (as I do not believe either game was designed as anything more then a group-game from the ground up), these requirements do pose a problem, however… should the companies behind them ever turn the servers off, these games will be rendered unplayable. For most who buy a physical game so they have it and can never be told they can not play (even if they are sadly getting used to the idea that one day the multiplayer elements just wont work), this makes their security in a physical copy a false one. And if you think this is only a PC issue, think again. One of last year’s biggest games (even if it was an utter disappointment) Destiny will one day be turned off, rendering ever disc bought of it for all four systems it was on completely useless.
But this rather modern barrier to preserving games has some that are willing to fight it. Indeed if we look to the multiplayer side, the PC community has been set loose with VPN services to preserve multiplayer by setting up games on a network and then having software trick the game into thinking everyone playing is on a local network. I have used such services myself to play a few older games with friends, and it is nice to know the will to keep games alive exists since the new barriers could stop many games from playing alltogether
But the ESA has rescently taken a stance on this which should make any gamer’s blood go up a few degrees if not boil. They have declaired that basically any alercations to the games made to get them up and running again is hacking and therefore illegal. Seriously, even museums who might put up games no longer supported, sold, or even available so that people can experience the history of the medium are, accordingthe the ESA, breaking the law. Currently, this is becoming a battle over how the Digital Millenium Copyrights Act (DMCA) will be adjusted to keep up with times, between them and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to decide what will be ok in the eyes of the law.
Well, first I am grateful to the EFF for trying to help out in this situation. The previous “big medium” of movies lost it’s first several decades of history due to a lack of action to preserve it. As a society, we basically scrap together what survived by chance to get something of what “old-time movies” were like. But in gaming, we have a chance to do better then that. We have seen the results of a lack of care can cause and can prevent it. We can take preservation action now to ensure those stepping stones of how the gaming medium evolved are not lost to the void of unrecorded history. Thank you EFF, we are one more voice who wants to see you succeed.
And second, let me send a well earned FUCK YOU to the ESA. ANY gamer who wants to be able to pass their love of gaming and share the games they grew up playing with their kids should be telling you to go fuck off, as you are preventing them from being able to bond in a way that wasn’t available long ago. You are preventing a love of the history of the very medium you are supposedly here to protect. You are taking away some of the very things we can do with it.
But I also have another message for you. If you succeed, good-fucking-luck enforcing it. When the company no longer gives a shit because it’s out of business or not selling that game anymore, they wont waste the time chasing down some asshole on their PC making their own patch for people who bought the game legally to keep playing it. They have money to make, and it will cost them a lot more without selling any new copies to do that. And when we live in a world where people are STILL fucking around with their PS3s to get back functionality Sony has take away over time, I assure you, those people are out there, and we as gamers will all benefit while you just become more of a shitbag no one cares about. So in short, kindly fuck off. The culture and the consumers have outgrown assholes who restrict their actions needlessly, and through them, the industry will too.