"This DRM is Orwellian!"

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Well I'd assume that the majority of them are using figurative language. You know, that thing where you don't actually mean what you say, it's just exaggerated for effect.

Either that or they're just idiots. DRM may be a shitty way to not get people to pirate games, it may be intrusive and in some cases have the capability to remove your ownership of a product you paid for, but yes, it's not on the same level as a police state that brainwashes an entire population and blatantly lies to them about the outside world (NORTH KOREA COUGH COUGH) in a dystopian future.

Captcha: "Swag on". Oh no! They got Captcha, run! Save yourselves!

In defense of OP I don't think Orwellian necessarily means 1984/police state/big brother but could just be any kind of general denial of freedom or truth no matter how small or mundane in accordance with George's fears and beliefs.

That being said, DRM isn't like censorship. The truth isn't being withheld it's just being made more complicated to get access to.

ArmorKingBaneGief:

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.)

Totally agree with you, when I saw the title and thought you were pushing that idea my immediate thought was "well that's distasteful and short sighted". Anybody who thinks Orwellian is a good adjective to describe DRM needs to get a better grip with the English language.

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

Sorry but no it doesn't, could go into detail on what it does refer to but it's referencing "George Orwell" and his works as a whole it's just it's often linked with 1984. Orwellian attitudes could be used to describe a number of the themes explored in his works.

Desert Punk:

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

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.

Not really for me it feel's like someone is slamming my head against the wall with sheer disdain, as people who use word's like Orwellian to describe the restraints they feel DRM places upon them are part of the blind pop culture you see everywhere these days, misusing language in a vain attempt to sound knowledgeable. Taking a very complex term (in terms of the scope that is covers) and applying it to something so trivial, it's literally how ignorance is spread. It's also the kind of misuse witch has led to the reason why if you ask the average person what "Orwellian" infers they will just say "oppressive" and perhaps mention 1984.

I don't even agree with all the views George Orwell held and thus had such a strong effect upon his works (although I can sympathize why some where so extreme as he grew up on the back end of an era where there were still true empires with terrifying power). But the social themes he explored and the subject area's he explored for the most part are questions every individual should ask themselves at some point and think about, perhaps then we wouldn't have such bland "we're pretty much all the same politicians" and such blatant greed and corruption in sectors like banking. Not enough people take social responsibility for whats going on around them and are happy just to plod through life. So diminishing a word that SHOULD carry very strong connotations and meaning to describe DRM is just totally idiocy in my opinion.

On another quick note, Draconian doesn't really makes sense either, isn't it meant to describe cruel or overly harsh punishment? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/draconian?s=t

Seriously get out and read some books people, rather than just looking things up on wikipedia.

'It's simplicity itself, Watson!' No really it's simple - DRM is the first world equivalent of the Holocaust, to some people. Okay... That sounded, terrible, firstly because the Holocaust DID happen in the first world, and secondly... ugh, let me elaborate.

You know how you (probably) have that one friend, who's (probably) white, and bitches about everything? And that one time that same friend broke his keyboard out of sheer rage, 'cause he was pissed at you/someone else for beating him at some game or whatever, and then he went on to cry for an hour that his mommy never loved him, even though said mommy has to be in rittalin now in order to remain marginally sane because of that same friend of yours and his 'outstanding' character? Remember that one, single, singular occasion when that friend couldn't get the console/pc/whatever he's into (which is probably everything shiny and sparkly)he wanted, and he went on to claim the world was over for him forever, and 'ever and ever' and how everything was unfair and/or against him? Well, guess what - he meant it. People like that exist and they are spoiled, idiotic simpletons with the brain capacity of a fucking thread-worm, so they haven't even the slightest iota of an idea what 'Orwellian' means or what it refers to. They heard it somewhere in a review they happen to fall upon, or on some forum and now to them 'Orwellian' means bad, and nasty.

These people and their little, insignificant quibbles are called first world problems and, in my opinion, shouldn't even have their opinion registered as human activity, but rather as the strange sounds made by a new, devolved breed of animals. Hey! What could be some interesting name for this new breed?

DoPo:
snip

Aaaand congratulations, you have just brought me back full circle as to why I asked the fish what he thought taking a stand entailed. Glad we could take this little round about trip together, did we enjoy the sights we saw along the way? :P

Though really, no just not buying a product is not taking a stand, but not buying the product and saying WHY the product is bullshit, WHY you are not buying it to anyone who will listen IS taking a stand.

If you refuse to buy a car because it damages the ecosystem and ride a bike instead, that could be a stand so long as you are spreading your word about why you are doing it to those who will listen.

If you dont buy yogurt because its cruel to bacteria, or whatever, thats up to you if you are making that known to those who will listen.

But again, thats why I asked what HIS definition of a stand against something is.

Jedi-Hunter4:

On another quick note, Draconian doesn't really makes sense either, isn't it meant to describe cruel or overly harsh punishment? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/draconian?s=t

Seriously get out and read some books people, rather than just looking things up on wikipedia.

Words evolve ya know, they tend to do that whether you think its idiocy or not.

And no, Draconian is being used properly
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/draconian

Draconian DRM is overly harsh and cruel DRM, like Always online kicking you if you lose contact with the server, or locking you out of your game if you change your videocard

Some one said Orwellian, Its time for my Cyberpunk Copypasta

DRM is a minor symptom of the cyberpunk dystopia we now live in, but it could still be considered Orwellian

LifeCharacter:

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

Thanks for pointing that out. It was bothering me that I didn't remember that part of the story, since I've read the book more than once. Though drugging your populace in order to control them better also seems pretty Orwellian.

OT: I think there's a reasonable case for some forms of DRM being called Orwellian. I'm thinking of Origin at its launch, where it was spying on you all the time and sending who-knows-what information back to home base, with the banhammer hanging over people's heads if they said or did the wrong thing. The parallel isn't perfect, of course. It might not even be good. But I can see where the comparison's coming from.

Agree completely with the OP; it shows a complete lack of perspective.

"Orwellian" is such a misused term altogether, to be honest. A tory here in the UK referred to the plans for gay marriage legalisation as "Orwellian" recently, which was the single stupidest use of the term I'd ever seen.

Desert Punk:

Jedi-Hunter4:

On another quick note, Draconian doesn't really makes sense either, isn't it meant to describe cruel or overly harsh punishment? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/draconian?s=t

Seriously get out and read some books people, rather than just looking things up on wikipedia.

Words evolve ya know, they tend to do that whether you think its idiocy or not.

And no, Draconian is being used properly
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/draconian

Draconian DRM is overly harsh and cruel DRM, like Always online kicking you if you lose contact with the server, or locking you out of your game if you change your videocard

Fair enough was just unsure on Draconian.

On the topic of Orwellian its an adjective they don't very often change their meaning. It would be like saying the word "blue" has changed it's meaning because people start calling the colour green, blue because they have failed to grasp the meaning of the word.

Besides it's more of an academic term, hence why it carry's connotations of intelligence and it's frequent misuse. I mean surely you can see my point that it's a word that should carry allot of weight with it and that in a world where we really should be thinking about some of the issue's that Orwell covered it's disappointing to see people oblivious to it's true meaning and throwing it around at such trivial issues.

I mean when a word that should be making people think of worrying issues like if their civil liberty's are being protected or if the people who represent them truly have their best interests at heart is being used to describe restrictions placed on a Luxury item that the vast majority of the world does not have access to, can you not see where my WTF is wrong with the world? kind of attitude is coming from?

I mean as gamers, sure we are interested in issue's that effect out gaming, but if someone wants to describe something Orwellian maybe they should have a look at some of the worrying legislation many country's have attempted to push through in terms of widespread internet monitoring, rather than an issue which is mainly a "this pisses me off, I don't feel X company respects me as a consumer" which the simple answer is, fine vote with your wallet and write a respectful formal email email to the company (unlike so many that are posted to the net where the writer thinks being sarcastic about the product will really win over the company), if everyone does that the company's wills start to take note. Maybe write a forum post encouraging others to do the same, or even to really encourage people write a base letter that people can sign and send off to join the effort (which makes me laugh as I've yet to see someone ACTUALY put some effort in an try an formally and respectfully organize.)

Game devs are shipping cages of anti-piracy rats now?

Well damn....

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.

To be fair, piracy is a thing that is wrong. So while it's crap that the people who aren't being wrong are being punished, I think we need to figure out a way (which is likely impossible, but 1000 years ago flight seemed impossible) in which piracy can be stopped or minimized.

I wouldn't call it Orwellian, but it definately isn't a nice thing to have.

Gethsemani:
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.

Hasn't your region got that update yet?

Everyone else has pretty much said what I wanted to say. George Orwell did write Nineteen-Eighty-Four but he has written much more, usually non-fiction in which despotic rule, oppression of the proletariat, excessive surveillance and punishment disproportionate to crimes are all common themes in his work. (Orwell's common message was that our nations will drift towards these conditions unless we are vigilant to prevent it.)

Considering persistent-online DRM, the Origin Terms-of-use that allow them to crawl through your computer's data and, essentially, log and extract what they want. The termination-without-refund of Origin, Xbox LIVE and PSN accounts without explanation, review or accountability, Terminations for such things as expressing an opinion on a forum, yeah I'd say some of the practices of the Game Industry, many of which are related to DRM, are Orwellian.

At this point there are games I'd like to play that I'm not playing because of disproportionately imbalanced EULAs or unacceptable DRM, typically (in my case) offline single-player games for which there are online verification processes that may get sunsetted at the whim of the publisher. The less the publishers trust the consumers, the less I (and many consumers) are inclined to trust the publishers.

238U

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.)

Ever heard of exagerrations? And by the way, I never even heard people call DRM Orwellian. Draconian, yeah, sure. Orwellian? Nope.

Meh, it's hyperbolic language used to condemn EA, and while it's a bit silly to compare a totalitarian state to a power-hungry and somewhat stupid corporation it really isn't anything new. Although I find it interesting that in the 1950s the book was written in fear of excessive governmental control, while nowadays the terms are used to describe excessive corporate control.

Really though, DRM isn't the problem, it's intrusive DRM. Steam did it right by making a free, mostly reliable platform that allows usage of one account to pretty much any multiplayer game available while (with the exception of the "do you really own your games controversy") retaining most of the consumer control that purchasing the product entails. And while not everybody is willing to use Steam, it's definitely attractive. Contrast this with EA and Simcity, whose DRM is not just draconian, but rather pointless and stupid so due to the fact the backlash from PR probably hurt sales more then piracy would in addition to the fact that both pirates and legit modders have cracked the always-online part of the game already.

Desert Punk:
Aaaand congratulations, you have just brought me back full circle as to why I asked the fish what he thought taking a stand entailed. Glad we could take this little round about trip together, did we enjoy the sights we saw along the way? :P

Though really, no just not buying a product is not taking a stand, but not buying the product and saying WHY the product is bullshit, WHY you are not buying it to anyone who will listen IS taking a stand.

If you refuse to buy a car because it damages the ecosystem and ride a bike instead, that could be a stand so long as you are spreading your word about why you are doing it to those who will listen.

If you dont buy yogurt because its cruel to bacteria, or whatever, thats up to you if you are making that known to those who will listen.

But again, thats why I asked what HIS definition of a stand against something is.

Keep yer pants on, it's the weekend. I'm not going to get back to you on anything lickety split.

"Taking a stand" implies a degree of emotional or ideological investment. As I implied with my Pepsi analogy, me telling you I don't like Pepsi is not me "taking a stand" against Pepsi. It also implies a level of direct personal opposition. Wang Weilin took a stand. Rosa Parks took a stand. Cesar Chavez took a stand.

You are expressing an opinion. You are co-opting the term "took a stand" because you want to infuse your opinion with a sense of righteousness. You want to give the impression of moral authority. You're not just turning your nose up at a luxury entertainment product because of an annoying feature, by gum, you are taking a stand. You are the last proud man, resisting the encroachment of corporate devilry! The true and good will stand with you! The weak willed sheeple will look upon you with awe!

If you want to extend the term "taking a stand" to cover every single person who ever threw a strop over some purchasing decision, then the term has become functionally meaningless. You wanna tell all your friends about it? Fill your boots. You want to imagine you're some kind of 21st century revolutionary? Well...I guess that's your prerogative. It's pretty funny, and I recommend keeping it to yourself, but I'm just a stranger on the internet. Why would you care about anything I had to say.

BloatedGuppy:
snip

I was keepin my pants on, I was in a discussion with Dopo, he addressed me with his answer so I was talkin at him, I dont care how long it takes you to reply, get over yourself! :P

ideology
Noun
A system of ideas and ideals, esp. one that forms the basis of economic or political policy

Ok, ideology is what makes it important to you? And if the persons ideology is a consumer rights economic ideology who is against companies trying their damnedest to take away the rights of the consumer with online passes, anti used game software, always online DRM, ect and they refuse to buy said products and rails against those practices that would be a stand, after all it is part of their ideology they are standing up for that fits your criteria so why are you whining and whimpering about it? Though I have a feeling you will move the goal line so you can continue to feel superior.

And I got a good laugh out of the revolutionary strawman argument, bravo chum. And the reason I care about what you might think, is because I like to be able to look at things from other peoples perspective. I know that might be an alien concept for some, but whatever.

american slave owners barking about british taxes turning them into slaves because they couldn't afford to buy more slaves.

people have been using overblown and careless language since language became a thing.

Desert Punk:
Though I have a feeling you will move the goal line so you can continue to feel superior.

Feel superior? I don't feel superior. Which is why I don't characterize my purchasing decisions as "taking a stand".

Desert Punk:
And I got a good laugh out of the revolutionary strawman argument, bravo chum. And the reason I care about what you might think, is because I like to be able to look at things from other peoples perspective. I know that might be an alien concept for some, but whatever.

I've said it once, I'll say it again. If your ideological passion is wailing about the DRM on your video games, fill your boots. Everyone needs a hill to die on. Who cares if yours is tiny? Why would it matter to you a jot if I thought your revolutionary zeal was comical? You could easily characterize me as a "kiddo", or "butthurt", or reduce my perspective to "whining and whimpering", and rest soundly in the cocoon of your own beliefs.

Ah shit, I forgot. You're here to "look at things from other people's perspectives". You wouldn't say anything like that! I apologize.

Altorin:
american slave owners barking about british taxes turning them into slaves because they couldn't afford to buy more slaves.

people have been using overblown and careless language since language became a thing.

Yarp. And it was just as stupid and embarrassing then as it is now.

Well, possibly more stupid then. Because of slavery. But still.

Geo Da Sponge:
Let's assume we're talsking 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.

The Computer is your friend!

Anyway, you are getting bogged down in semantics, just go with the flow. Some DRM does invade your privacy and is invasive, plus it implies guilt. That ticks enough boxes in the commonly accepted definition of Orwellian to fly. You want to argue hyperbole? Sure go ahead, but the phrase fits well enough to apply to DRM...and UK CCTV laws. Just because it isn't exactly like 1984 or Burmese Days doesn't mean it isn't somewhat Orwellian.

I think the issue here is not the misuse of the word Orwellian but not understanding what a hyperbole is

Meatspinner:
I think the issue here is not the misuse of the word Orwellian but not understanding what a hyperbole is

I for one find the use of hyperbole to be a terrible attempt at conveying any idea as it frequently blurs the water of any reflection of a topic - and on this I can see where the OP is going with this.

At the same time who the hell cares? There certainly are Orwellian ASPECTS to DRM and the way how the AAA industry operates so someone mentioning the parallels is hardly worth making a thread about.

LifeCharacter:

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.

Fair enough on the Soma it's been a long time.

For the record however I was never calling DRM Orwellian, more or less agreeing with the OP about the misuse of the term.

Meatspinner:
I think the issue here is not the misuse of the word Orwellian but not understanding what a hyperbole is

Either that, or disliking the hyperbole because of the misuse of the word Orwellian.

Like many, this is the first time I've heard of such a statement.

DRM is Orwellian, EA is the Antichrist, Sarkessian wants to enslave all men and create a feminist regime, and Mass Effect 3 murdered my family.

We're gamers on the Internet. We overreact to things. It's how we roll.

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