I consider myself a pirate. The kind of person who, instead of waiting in line to buy the latest release, is at home, comfortably downloading it. There is a reason why I do this though, instead of shelling out cold, hard cash. It’s not laziness, or lack of appreciation for the developers. In fact, I think it’s far less of a hassle to go to the store and pick up the DVD. Less of a hassle and more of a pleasure, even. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the game companies that create all my favourite games, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t want to play their games anyway. No, I do it for monetary reasons, as my family doesn’t have an entertainment budget. At most, we SOMETIMES go to the cinema and watch a film, but that’s about it.
As a college student who is unemployed, I don’t have much revenue except for birthday/Christmas/Misc gifts given mostly by my grandmother. Therefore, dropping 60€ on any given month is a little too much.
I know I shouldn’t play the games if I don’t have the funds to buy them, but I do believe that my download doesn’t rob any company of money. Due to the lack of funds, I wouldn’t, regrettably, be able to buy the game anyway, and I often try to spread the word about games I enjoyed, to encourage other people to buy them (if they, themselves, download, that’s out of my control).
My limited budget though, goes to games I’ve played illegally but thought were awesome enough to sacrifice my money to. Such was the case with the first Assassin’s Creed, which I recently purchased, despite having already completed the game and having to run it with shitty graphics.
There are a lot of arguments pro and against piracy in the gaming community. There are those who think that all pirated games hurt the industry. There are those who feel they have the right to play the games for free, despite having the money to buy them, those who say “I do it because I CAN”. And this last one actually saddens me. I love owning original copies, I love the boxes and the handbooks, and the little extras (like the Cyrodiil map in the Oblivion box)[link pic]. I love opening my games drawer and seeing the DVD boxes all lined up. I love looking under my desk and seeing my collector’s editions (Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm and The Witcher in case anyone was wondering, mostly Christmas gifts except for Cata, which I spent nearly a year saving for). This love for all things original is what keeps me away from services such as Steam, as a digital download just feels just like the illegally downloaded game. Box, do want.
A while back, a group of Indie producers released a bundle of indie games for nearly free: the costumer could pay them whatever they wanted, even 1 cent if they chose to. But no, for some people even that was too much. One quarter of the bundles were pirated. I do, however, keep in mind that for some people it was impossible or extremely difficult to pay for the product, since many of the payment methods would not apply to them.
I guess I’d like to make people think about the reasons that lead them to pirate any software, not just games. To think if there’s any measure of plausibility to those reasons, or if they’re just being dicks. Pirating software just because you can isn’t right. I know, personally, a guy who is like this: he’s rich, but most games on his hard-drive weren’t paid for. He has no need to do this, but he does it. Though I never asked him, I have to assume it’s just because he simply can.
To fellow broke pirates: Spread the word about the games you play. Tell people why/if you enjoyed them. Make your free publicity your (albeit meager) contribute to the developers. Who knows, maybe someone who didn’t know about the game will hear about it from you and buy a copy.
I’ll leave you all with this video from Extra Credits on piracy: