In response to "Piracy and the Underground Economy" from The Escapist Forum: I like this article for being an extremely good compliment to this article, especially since I read them not 5 minutes apart.

I like the idea of reducing the price point for games by removing unnecessary packaging materials, but in the end I doubt that would work. Big-name retailers, at least in America, would never stock a product without professional-looking packaging, and publishers would never consider attempting it - both would be too paranoid about the potential loss of sales. All commercial industries here live and die on appearances, and they go to great lengths to make the customer think their product is superior to their competitors.

Honestly, I don't see the game prices ever becoming reasonable. It started out as a luxury hobby, back when only the wealthiest people could afford a computer, and games have always been at the fore-front of technology. The big publishers are too focused on making sure that any games they release use the absolute best (read 'most expensive') tools and technologies, meaning that the biggest games will always have that luxury price. I'd really like to see more companies making lower budget titles, with lower prices, that still get just as much publicity and attention as the huge AAA titles - basically take a step back and produce something that would have been a AAA title a few years ago, and targeting the people who buy old used games because they can't afford the latest and best.

- Flionk

You're saying that piracy is good because it supports the livelihoods of poor people in developing nations? Game developers are trying to make a profit - not to give people a 'job' (stealing their work)

I got the idea that you think that it's unfair for a game company to charge american prices to developing nations since the people cannot afford them. This is nonsense - these are DEVELOPING NATIONS! Developing nations don't HAVE as many luxuries - every country has gone through a phase where only the rich had any sort of luxuries whatsoever. That doesn't mean that the price was unfair, it only means that there was not enough disposable income for everyone to afford luxuries. It's a sad and unfair world, but to defend piracy by saying that it helps poor people in asia and brings games to those who wouldn't otherwise play them? That's just a weak rationalization for theft.

Don't get me wrong, i've pirated my fair share of video games (never for profit) as I'm a college student who can't afford all the luxuries he wants. This doesn't excuse my piracy, but at least i'm willing to admit that I'm stealing.

- Mista Kurtz


In response to "Like a Kid Aagain" from The Escapist Forum: Do you really think that's what these games do?

You draw a distinction between GTA and Gears by virtue of the former taking itself less seriously - and that seems reasonable - but that's also a weakness. It's a weakness because when creating fictional worlds the setting needs to take itself seriously in order to remain immersive.

What the teenage boy demographic wants is a chance to be a rock hard combat hero in a world full of monsters. Every satirical element, every self-mocking touch, every place where the core concept is diluted with "grown up" concepts of fun is a place where the game fails to deliver that experience.

I'm sure that you still want immersive fictional worlds (and if not, that's sad). That's all this is. And if the particular worlds are not to your taste that's fine, because there are plenty of other options.

- Dom Camus

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