"This DRM is Orwellian!"

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Hi. Now, I don't game on the PC, but from everything I've read about 'DRM', it really is a loathsome, disgusting thing that shouldn't exist. It's wrong, it's shady, it's useless, it's garbage. Great, I'm with you guys 100% so far.

But I notice a lot of people, when discussing the ever-classy EA studios, or Blizzard, or any of the big corporate machines that handle making video games, they're inevitably called 'Orwellian', and by extension, DRM is compared to the novel 1984, written by George Orwell. Here's where you guys lose me:

The novel 1984 depicts an oppressive government, denying its citizens everything but paltry tasteless rations, oppressing them without mercy and gleefully torturing them until they look like Holocaust survivors when they disobey and rebel. I understand why DRM and said government might look similar on the surface, they're both "oppressing" its people, each are stupid yet almost certainly ran iron-fistedly by people who are shrewdly intelligent in all the wrong ways, and I'm going to go ahead and guess that both are to some degree, immoral. But you know why it bothers me when the two are compared?

DRM, as of right now, gets in the way of playing video games. In 1984, people fucking died. DRM causes frustration and possibly crying for some people. But in 1984, the main character becomes a starving skeleton whose teeth are easily pulled out near the end of his life. One situation is bad, but the other situation is 1984. One of these situations truly is Orwellian. Can you guess which one?

(btw, sorry if this doesn't fit in gaming discussion. I wasn't sure if this would go in off-topic, since it deals specifically with gaming, just not about any specific games.)

Some gamers have no perspective, and have a tendency towards emotive language.

What else is new?

The CCTV cameras and forced exercise regime in 1984 didn't kill anyone, but they infringed on your freedom to do what you like, and were generally very obstructive to living your life. In that sense the DRM is Orwellian as it automatically assumes you've done something wrong and need to be monitored.

ArmorKingBaneGief:
One of these situations truly is Orwellian. Can you guess which one?

DRM. Definitely the DRM. Darn those scumbags!

I know what you mean, though, it is a bit silly. It's kind of like when people invoke Godwin's Law over petty little things. That happens a lot with DRM, too.

Still, I don't think it's really harmful. I'm sure most people are aware that it isn't quite as bad as the world in 1984, but it's a convenient little shorthand for "I think this is shitty and oppressive." The first most people think of when you say "Orwellian" is surveillance.

The term "Orwellian" refers to the popular culture version of 1984, which doesn't include most of the things you mentioned.

Esotera:
The CCTV cameras and forced exercise regime in 1984 didn't kill anyone, but they infringed on your freedom to do what you like, and were generally very obstructive to living your life. In that sense the DRM is Orwellian as it automatically assumes you've done something wrong and need to be monitored.

Nah, the constant surveillance for and quelling of "subversive" thoughts did that. 1984 is not about how bad it is to put people through hops to get what they want, it is about the danger of a totalitarian society which frowns upon individuality and free thought and relies on ideological brainwashing and removal of those that don't adhere to the ideology.

Playing a game with a DRM is totally optional. Nothing about what Big Brother commanded in 1984 was optional. Until Valve forces me to install Steam and has me answer the question "Who is your God and Savior?" with "Gabe Newell" every morning there is absolutely no basis for calling DRM Orwellian.

everyone has their personal nitpicks but to most people orwellian doesnt mean anything more than invasion of privacy as the term has evolved beyond the specific uses you have described

Yeah, well "GAMES THAT I CAN'T RUN (but probably bought anyway despite knowing I can't run them) IS EVIL THEY CAME FOR THE JEWS IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH (I'm hoping if I parrot enough shitty poetry/movie quotes it'll somehow become an intelligent thing to do.)" doesn't sound as noble.

This is the first mention of DRM being Orwellian I've seen.
The always-online DRM means that you can't play the game unless you have a constant connection to one of the publisher's servers.
That kind of DRM is constant surveillance to make sure that all players are legitimate players. While the surveillance in 1984 actually helped the regime keep control, this DRM doesn't prevent pirates from playing modified versions that don't require the server connection.

So it seems similar in its basic premise, but useless.

I've never heard DRM referred to as Orwellian and in my opinion it's a pretty weak comparison to draw, but not for the reasons you've listed. The defining feature of 1984 isn't the oppression of it's people - that happens all over the world and has done for years, the defining feature is the use of technology to monitor every aspect of peoples lives. Orwewllian has become shorthand for having technology become intrusive in our lives against our will (most evidently in the form of telescreens) which is why it's so popular in the arguments against CCTV etc.

Basically, I agree that it's not Orwellian (not that I've ever heard it described as such) but not for the reasons you gave.

It's called "hyperbole" and the DRM situation isn't the only case in which it's used.

"PS3 has no games!", was a popular one, if I remember right.

Good point, bunch of people. But I don't know, it's just tough to not see it as ridiculous, at least initially.

Orwellian doesn't refer to the fact that people died (also, IIRC in 1984, there is far less death than in other dystopian settings. The occasional bombing to keep the people scared is all that really happens, aside from the fake war) in 1984. Rather, it refers to the constant monitoring/invasion of privacy and laws against freedom of expression/thought. I guess recently it has been compared to CCTV a lot because the Brits had some kind of CCTV law?

For example, warrantless wiretapping, while not deadly by any means, is Orwellian. Carpet bombing, while deadly, is not Orwellian. Rationing, while present in 1984, is also not Orwellian.

DRM isn't really Orwellian either (maybe a small case could be made for the always-online kind), but then again, I haven't seen many people make the comparison.

Conclusion: thread is a bit of a straw man, as far as I can tell

edit: bleh, nvm

Get me 3 citations of people describing any piece of DRM as "Orwellian." I have yet to see a single instance of this; probably because it doesn't make much sense.

ArmorKingBaneGief:
In 1984, people fucking died.

Yeah. Fictional people. Real people are getting genuinely irritated by DRM. We aren't comparing to Cultural Revolution China or invoking Goodwin here.

MichiganMuscle77:
It's called "hyperbole" and the DRM situation isn't the only case in which it's used.

Yeah, exactly... since when did common literary practice become offensive?

Bearing in mind that Owell's is work of fiction, you don't see me creating a thread every time somebody uses the phrases "like a million", "unplayable", or "limitless" in a non-literal fashion.

AngryMongoose:

ArmorKingBaneGief:
In 1984, people fucking died.

Couldn't have said it better myself. (Maybe I could have, given enough time to think, but admitting that would make it hyperbole, which is apparently taboo.)

ArmorKingBaneGief:
Hi. Now, I don't game on the PC, but from everything I've read about 'DRM', it really is a loathsome, disgusting thing that shouldn't exist. It's wrong, it's shady, it's useless, it's garbage. Great, I'm with you guys 100% so far.

But I notice a lot of people, when discussing the ever-classy EA studios, or Blizzard, or any of the big corporate machines that handle making video games, they're inevitably called 'Orwellian', and by extension, DRM is compared to the novel 1984, written by George Orwell. Here's where you guys lose me:

My guess is that most of the people using the term "Orwellian" have never actually read the book. Or if they did, they don't remember the book well or at all.

1984 gets known for its "Big Brother" government that is always watching. That is the only thing most people know about the book, so that's what they remember. For a lot of people, "Orwellian" means "always spying on you". And, if looked at from a certain perspective, Always Online DRM is always spying on you. Sort of.

But yeah, I just think it's a term that people misapply. If people were calling the DRM "naziesque" because the Nazis also spied on people, they'd get accused of blowing things way out of proportion.

Let's assume we're talking about Sim City 5, since that's kind of the hot topic at the moment. The always online DRM in that isn't Orwellian. Far from it.

It's got far more in common with Paranoia, in that the seemingly monolithic and all-powerful system is actually utterly self-sabotaging and running on incompetent, ineffectual policies. It's not a dangerous regime, it's a bleak farce that no one who's actually a part of would dare to question, because they know that someone's going to get them long before they could actually change anything.

That's the difference between this DRM and an Orwellian government. In 1984, the government actually had a clue what they were doing.

MichiganMuscle77:
It's called "hyperbole" and the DRM situation isn't the only case in which it's used.

Pretty much what I was going to say. Most of the people that use the term "Orwellian" may know what the word stands for, but they have no real comprehension of what it means.

I have to say, however, that I see the term "Draconian" more commonly than I do "Orwellian". Though it's used just as inappropriately.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now-a-days, we have a gaming industry and culture that encourages and emboldens childish behavior. Causing many gamers to act like childish, entitled, whiny jerks, most of whom will bitch, moan, and complain about the most petty and inconsequential things. Worse still, some companies out there even bolster such behavior by actively pitting fans against someone or something.

I mean, consider -

Issue: Always-Online DRM for games that should have offline options.
Gamer Response: Bitch and moan about it, but still buy the damn game.

Issue: Ending to your favorite game turns out awful.
Gamer Response: Start a fucking riot and attempt to sue the companies involved.

Yeah. These are certainly the responses of level-headed, mature people.

Pardon the mini-rant, but the gaming culture of the 21st century just depresses me.

I think the term is used less as a matter of actual evilness, and more in the sense of astounding intrusiveness into privacy. The demand to be under the watchful eye of authority is just as pervasive on that one small facet of life, its just that in one you can't play a video game, in the other you go to room 101. The spirit is the same, DRM is just used for a infinitely more petty evil. It also doesn't hurt that there is a degree of doublethink involved in believing that DRM actually does anything except inconvenience legitimate consumers. Besides, an orwellian world is comprised of a countless number of invasions of privacy. No single invasion would cause a complete Orwellian nightmare. By its nature, for something to be Orwellian, you need to have eyes on you at every turn on every street corner. DRM is not the whole package, but it can definately feel like ONE of those eyes.

ArmorKingBaneGief:
Hi. Now, I don't game on the PC, but from everything I've read about 'DRM', it really is a loathsome, disgusting thing that shouldn't exist. It's wrong, it's shady, it's useless, it's garbage. Great, I'm with you guys 100% so far.

But I notice a lot of people, when discussing the ever-classy EA studios, or Blizzard, or any of the big corporate machines that handle making video games, they're inevitably called 'Orwellian', and by extension, DRM is compared to the novel 1984, written by George Orwell. Here's where you guys lose me:

The novel 1984 depicts an oppressive government, denying its citizens everything but paltry tasteless rations, oppressing them without mercy and gleefully torturing them until they look like Holocaust survivors when they disobey and rebel. I understand why DRM and said government might look similar on the surface, they're both "oppressing" its people, each are stupid yet almost certainly ran iron-fistedly by people who are shrewdly intelligent in all the wrong ways, and I'm going to go ahead and guess that both are to some degree, immoral. But you know why it bothers me when the two are compared?

DRM, as of right now, gets in the way of playing video games. In 1984, people fucking died. DRM causes frustration and possibly crying for some people. But in 1984, the main character becomes a starving skeleton whose teeth are easily pulled out near the end of his life. One situation is bad, but the other situation is 1984. One of these situations truly is Orwellian. Can you guess which one?

(btw, sorry if this doesn't fit in gaming discussion. I wasn't sure if this would go in off-topic, since it deals specifically with gaming, just not about any specific games.)

Well, the problem with people talking about "1984" is that 99% of the people do not understand it. There are a couple of key elements that are present in the story that tend to be overlooked in most analysis of it that are very important and present for a reason. Truthfully I've always felt Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" made the point most people try and use for "1984" a bit better.

The key to 1984 is to understand that our hero is actually a member of the goverment trusted with a degree of freedom and actual knowlege, as a member of the so called "Outer Party". In reality for most people existing in that world they are quite happy, albiet kept ignorant of the truth, and dosed periodically with a drug called "Soma". To your average citizen who does not see things from in the middle like our protaganist it might as well BE a Utopia, and understand that for all of the "horrors" we see, "Big Brother" is extremely popular, despite the fact that he might not even exist.

A central question is that for all the horrors, was Winston really right? After all in becoming brainwashed he actually becomes happy, as is most of the population. Does it matter in the end?

This is a question mirrored in a lot of other science fiction, with things like virtual reality being used to create the "illusion". "The Matrix" was like this, and even raised this directly at one point when one of Neo's inner circle betrayed him. Asimov's "Foundation" is a series where the ultimate "solution" is to force everyone into a shared collective "mass mind", where they effectively sacrifice a lot of their free will and humanity in exchange for acting as one organism with the rest of the cosmos, in the paranoid belief that it's the only way humanity could ever compete with another species that theoretically achieved the same thing (a sort of flip side to the end message of "The Matrix" and it's "message").

At any rate the point here is that yes, I tend to agree that "Orwellian" is not the right word. It's a misused referance. For something to be "Orwellian" the majority of people, pretty much everyone not controlling it, would
have to approve and believe it benefitted them somehow. Right now DRM is pretty much tolerated as an evil one must endure if one is to play games, and has no real acceptance beyond that outside of the industry, and an increasing
number of people who outright oppose it.

Personally, I'm very much anti-DRM, and believe the way people have accepted it has paved the way for even more obnoxious things like microtransactions being added to single player games (Dead Space 3) which I have not purchused
as a result, despite loving the IP and having beaten both of the previous games (owning the first one for multiple platforms in fact), which is saying a lot since I'm not generally a "shooter" fan. If things were Orwellian however anyone who isn't a functionary of EA or other software giant would be singing it's praises. In the context of 1984 Winston basically would have worked for their marketing department (as he was in charge of historical re-inventionism). Of course in that hypothetical situation, if they somehow made me happy with it, it can also be argued what the big deal is? Is it oppression if you don't know your being oppressed? That's a deeply philsophical question, the general answer is that it only matters if you realize it, as disturbing as that is.

Let's look at what "Orwellian" means, shall we? (Using the bullet list from Wikipedia here, for simplicity's sake)

- Invasion of privacy
- State control of daily life
- Forced family-disintegration
- Adoration of State Leaders
- Embrace inconsistent concepts
- Revision of history in favor of state
- Euphemisms to avoid controversy

Since people love these games, heck, the games mostly aren't objectively bad, it's just that people don't like the implications of what's around them, we will now ignore the choice of not buying/playing them. Playing them is a desired status and as such ideally is the status quo.

Now let's look at what happens when we apply the Orwellian criteria to this setting, where the status quo is "You are playing this game." The company releasing it becomes the "state", as in the superior force.

The company invades your privacy, as it forces something onto you that you do not want anywhere near you.
The company controls you playing the game by having the DRM in-between you and you playing the game.
Does it disintegrate the family - the community in this scenario? Well, I wouldn't necessarily say so, but there is definitely a hint of splitting the community with all of this.
The company does ask you to blindly adore it and its executives. If you don't essentially worship it, you may well run into a situation where they say "nope, gonna get banned for speaking up". I wouldn't say this has happened yet, but DRM makes it possible at the very least.
The company asks you to embrace inconsistent concepts. It blatantly lies to you to convince you that "DRM is needed for multiplayer", while it's very well possible to make it optional, for example.
The company revises history by censoring its resources on the topics, controlling journalists and faking reviews. Again: While this hasn't largely happened, the company could well blacklist journos and pay for review scores. This, however, is not related to DRM.
And finally "Digital Rights Management" is a euphemism for "Controlling Your Gaming Habits" - "DRM" means "We want our stuff to be safe from pirates!" while it more or less ends up as "We think you are all pirates, so we're gonna make sure you don't do anything we don't like!"

So, while it definitely doesn't fully fulfill the Orwellian criteria yet, and probably never will - and is largely based on speculation - there is definitely grounds for this. I personally have never seen the use of "Orwellian" in reference to DRM, but it's not entirely baseless. I wouldn't use it myself either, it's simply intrusive and shouldn't be invested in (read: Seriously boycott the fuck out of it, throw a tantrum, and they will listen) and, quite frankly, all this whole "Orwellian DRM" thing is is a hyperbole. But again: It's not a baseless hyperbole. It actually got quite a base.

wombat_of_war:
everyone has their personal nitpicks but to most people orwellian doesnt mean anything more than invasion of privacy as the term has evolved beyond the specific uses you have described

I'm sorry, but no. Flat out no. No.

I get terms like "geek", "nerd" - hell, "bitch", "gay" and "cunt" evolving. Heck, I even get "literally" now almost entirely meaning "figuratively" thanks to people not giving a shit. Oh, on that note also: "shit" and "fuck".

But "Orwellian" is named after this scenario, for god's sake. It refers to a situation similar to the one Orwell imagined with 1984, not to "invasion of privacy" overall and on its own. This is not only a disservice to Orwell, but it is also blatantly ignorant.

MichiganMuscle77:
It's called "hyperbole" and the DRM situation isn't the only case in which it's used.

And that was the only thing that needed to be said.
But I suppose the Lilly-Literals couldn't make catty analysis if we simply acknowledged the obvious and moved on.

Therumancer:
"Soma"

Nitpicky, but Soma is from Brave New World, not 1984.

OT: It's hyperbole, on the internet, directed at something we're annoyed with. It's not something that should really be taken literally, even if there is some small connections between DRM and Orwell. Also, you're the first person I've ever seen refer to DRM as Orwellian.

Vigormortis:
Now-a-days, we have a gaming industry and culture that encourages and emboldens childish behavior. Causing many gamers to act like childish, entitled, whiny jerks, most of whom will bitch, moan, and complain about the most petty and inconsequential things. Worse still, some companies out there even bolster such behavior by actively pitting fans against someone or something.

I mean, consider -

Issue: Always-Online DRM for games that should have offline options.
Gamer Response: Bitch and moan about it, but still buy the damn game.

Issue: Ending to your favorite game turns out awful.
Gamer Response: Start a fucking riot and attempt to sue the companies involved.

Yeah. These are certainly the responses of level-headed, mature people.

Pardon the mini-rant, but the gaming culture of the 21st century just depresses me.

You're absolutely right. You know, take the Sim City fiasco for example. You purchase a product (well in terms of games, you purchase a license to access the product) and it's an absolute mess, literally unplayable in certain circumstances.

By any other measure of business, as least in the US of A, you would be entitled to a refund.

If I go to a restaurant and my food comes out frozen solid, there's a problem, and you can sure as hell bet that the restaurant staff would either A) replace my food immediately with something edible, B) give my a full refund, or C) both.

If they had instead decided to ban me from the restaurant for demanding a refund, or simply offer to refill my beverage as opposed to replacing my food, you know that I would never again set foot in that restaurant, and that I would warn everyone I know to avoid it as well.

If I bought a brand new car from the dealership and the radio didn't work because too many other people were using theirs, or someone else's key fob could unlock my doors, you know that anybody on this Earth would be getting compensated for it.

But gamers... we take that type of abuse all the time. Of everyone cursing EA right now, I am sure that a solid majority of them will buy the next EA game that is released if its something they want to play.

Why? They have no self control.

How can we sit here and expect this type of thing to stop when we still support the companies doing it with our money?

It actually kind of angers me when people talk trash about Valve, being that Valve is one of the ONLY video game developers/producers out there that actually RESPECTS its customers. You SUPPORT that business model, and you DO NOT support EA's business model. That's how we make changes.

It sucks to hell that EA has its talons sunk into great developers like DICE and Criterion and Maxis and has the control they do over the games those developers produce... but that's the reality of it.

How many more great video game developers are we going to lose before we, as gamers, start standing up to companies like Electronic Arts and demanding respect from them?

AngryMongoose:
Yeah. Fictional people. Real people are getting genuinely irritated by DRM. We aren't comparing to Cultural Revolution China or invoking Goodwin here.

People are indeed invoking Godwin's Law. We had someone pull out the "First they came..." poem in a previous thread about DRM, and I'm sure you know the genesis of that.

We've had people compare the stand against DRM to Rosa Parks.

We've had people say the fight against DRM was "their generation's war".

I realize it's not everyone, but (for some reason) this is clearly an emotional issue for some people, and their first order of business when discussing it is to start smashing the hyperbole button with both fists and never stop.

I actually have a fairly negative reaction to DRM, despite the fact being always online really doesn't affect me in the slightest (save for those times when they can't keep their servers up...EA I am looking in your direction), but I have an even stronger negative reaction to unchecked hyperbole and stupidity. It makes me want to buy every DRM ridden game ever made, and write long, floral letters to publishers about the merits of DRM, just to piss these people off. Which is not a sensible reaction, but a good barometer of how fucking ridiculous I find it to have people comparing the anti-piracy measures on video games to events that resulted in the deaths of millions of people.

The gaming community likes to fancy itself as a collection of nerds and closet intellectuals. They can start demonstrating it by coming up with some better analogies, and developing a sense of perspective.

MichiganMuscle77:
How many more great video game developers are we going to lose before we, as gamers, start standing up to companies like Electronic Arts and demanding respect from them?

Simply not purchasing something is not "Taking a stand". I don't buy Pepsi. I don't like it. That doesn't mean I've "taken a stand" against Pepsi. It just means I exercised my rights as a consumer to not buy a product I didn't want. I also don't browbeat my friends and neighbors to not buy Pepsi due to their disgusting predilection for making a soft drink I dislike the taste of. I just don't buy it. I ignore Pepsi, and Pepsi ignores me.

Do feel free to exercise your rights as a consumer to not buy things you don't want. If you feel the need to romanticize it as "taking a stand", however, I'm going to quietly comb you into the same pile with all the other excitable lads who have so little drama in their lives they feel the need to frame their dislike of a software publisher's business practices as a heroic struggle.

BloatedGuppy:
snip

Then pray tell what would YOU consider 'taking a stand' against something you dislike be?

Desert Punk:

BloatedGuppy:
snip

Then pray tell what would YOU consider 'taking a stand' against something you dislike be?

I can't speak about him, but if you ask me, it'd be something that actually helps the cause you're taking a stand for. Let's assume you don't like always online DRM - not buying a game that has one doesn't tell the publisher anything, however if you actually contact them, that would be more of an accomplishment. If a hundred people don't buy the game the publisher still wouldn't get any idea something is happening. If thousands of people don't buy it, then, at most, the publisher will notice a decrease in sales. A decrease they can blame on anything they like, including the developers for not making a game people want. However if thousands of people contact them and say exactly what they find wrong with the game, then that's steering events in the direction your stand favours.

Gamers overreacting? Hell, that's a new one.
However you do realise George Orwell wrote a paper about DRM games? It's worth giving a shot.
When I'm tired I'm not as witty with my sarcasm. I just sound stupid.
EDIT: Apparently the always-on DRM is to stop piracy. I applaud that. I hate piracy, and will not go off on a tangent, but if it turns out this reduces piracy on games then I'd be fine with them doing it on other games too. In fact, there are some games that have had always-on DRM for a long time and people don't really care. TF2, I'm thinking of you.

DoPo:

Desert Punk:

BloatedGuppy:
snip

Then pray tell what would YOU consider 'taking a stand' against something you dislike be?

I can't speak about him, but if you ask me, it'd be something that actually helps the cause you're taking a stand for. Let's assume you don't like always online DRM - not buying a game that has one doesn't tell the publisher anything, however if you actually contact them, that would be more of an accomplishment. If a hundred people don't buy the game the publisher still wouldn't get any idea something is happening. If thousands of people don't buy it, then, at most, the publisher will notice a decrease in sales. A decrease they can blame on anything they like, including the developers for not making a game people want. However if thousands of people contact them and say exactly what they find wrong with the game, then that's steering events in the direction your stand favours.

Using Sim city as our example here as its topical.

Complain about the stuff on their public forum? The topic gets locked and buried or deleted. Send them a private email? They just ignore it and say "Thousands of people play and enjoy the online connectivity of SimCIty!" (Almost direct Lucy scumbag Bradshaw quote) Buy it and complain and you get mocked by fellow gamers.

Vigormortis:

Issue: Always-Online DRM for games that should have offline options.
Gamer Response: Bitch and moan about it, but still buy the damn game.

Yeah. These are certainly the responses of level-headed, mature people.

Dont buy it and complain and you are told "well you just dont get it!" or "You didnt spend any money on it you have no right to judge!" (I am too lazy to look up our local EA rep Thrikeens posts on the subject)

So really, there is no way to win, some kiddo will always find a way to belittle your decision or it will be flat out ignored.

I've never heard DRM called Orwellian. I have heard it called Draconian, is that similar?

The_Lost_King:
I've never heard DRM called Orwellian. I have heard it called Draconian, is that similar?

It is similar yes.

Orwellian refers to a totalitarian state which is: Of or relating to a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state.

while Draconian is: (of laws or their application) Excessively harsh and severe.

So when referring to DRM they are fairly similar, some people just seem to get butthurt over the use of Orwellian because they think people are referring to 1984 in its entirety.

Yet another instance where people try to encourage others to look at the micro instead of the macro. "Just focus on this one thing guys, and you'll see it's not what you think it is!" When you pull back and look at the landscape that is Corporate ownership, "intellectual property", the melding of corporate and state (aka Fascism), then it becomes more of an issue.

I'll tell you what.. Very simple rule here. If a developer or publisher actively releases games that portray nothing other than modern war propaganda, then I will consider them as part of "the state". The same is expected as such if Iran were to make a video game condemning the west.

People give more of a shit about how you use such terms rather than their real-world implications. When all else fails, and you are powerless against your perceived oppressors, then you go ahead and get pissy over semantics arguments with fellow peoples.

Myopic world view bullshit. /semirant

Just for once I'd like to see someone use the word 'Orwellian' to mean anything other than 'police state'. Orwell was a fantastic writer who made some very astute points across years of fiction and essays: if you read 'Politics and the English Language', for instance, you'll notice he predicted the rise of bureaucratic weasel words and postmodernist jargon. But of course, if someone says: 'This paper is positively Orwellian,' I can only assume they aren't referencing how it draws its vocabulary from the centre of the Ladder of Abstraction.

Tom_green_day:
there are some games that have had always-on DRM for a long time and people don't really care. TF2, I'm thinking of you.

Do not confuse online games with always online DRM. Team Fortress 2 is an online game because you need to play it with other people. Well, actually that's not correct for a while now, since you can play offline against bots.

Desert Punk:

DoPo:

Desert Punk:

Then pray tell what would YOU consider 'taking a stand' against something you dislike be?

I can't speak about him, but if you ask me, it'd be something that actually helps the cause you're taking a stand for. Let's assume you don't like always online DRM - not buying a game that has one doesn't tell the publisher anything, however if you actually contact them, that would be more of an accomplishment. If a hundred people don't buy the game the publisher still wouldn't get any idea something is happening. If thousands of people don't buy it, then, at most, the publisher will notice a decrease in sales. A decrease they can blame on anything they like, including the developers for not making a game people want. However if thousands of people contact them and say exactly what they find wrong with the game, then that's steering events in the direction your stand favours.

Using Sim city as our example here as its topical.

Complain about the stuff on their public forum? The topic gets locked and buried or deleted. Send them a private email? They just ignore it and say "Thousands of people play and enjoy the online connectivity of SimCIty!" (Almost direct Lucy scumbag Bradshaw quote) Buy it and complain and you get mocked by fellow gamers.

Vigormortis:

Issue: Always-Online DRM for games that should have offline options.
Gamer Response: Bitch and moan about it, but still buy the damn game.

Yeah. These are certainly the responses of level-headed, mature people.

Dont buy it and complain and you are told "well you just dont get it!" or "You didnt spend any money on it you have no right to judge!" (I am too lazy to look up our local EA rep Thrikeens posts on the subject)

So really, there is no way to win, some kiddo will always find a way to belittle your decision or it will be flat out ignored.

But not buying a game and claiming "I take a stand" makes no sense. It's just like BloatedGuppy's situation with Pepsi. I don't have a car, does that mean I've taken a stance against them? I also don't buy yoghurt, have I taken a stance against that? There are lots of things I don't buy but that means absolutely nothing in the long run.

Unless you actually do something you aren't "taking a stance" - not buying a product is avoiding it at best, nothing more, but it could be less. What exactly do you hope would happen if you don't do anything? Somebody would come and say "Hey, that random person didn't buy our product, gee, we'll just make it more suitable for them because we can read minds" - is that it? I don't see people tripping over to improve cars and yoghurt to exactly my tastes and needs, so I'm willing to guess they won't do it. And I don't actually expect them to do it, either.

Unless you actually do something that pushes things in your favour, how do you expect them to change at all?

I've never even seen someone call anything Orwellian in my life, so....

I have heard people call DRM Draconian, however. many, many times. Mostly on this forum.

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