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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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".