In response to “Pro-Choice” from The Escapist Forum: It hadn’t occurred to me until I read this article that from the perspective of the consumer dealing with DRM, games are a lot more like movies and e-books than they are like music. What I mean by that is what happens the *second* and subsequent times one goes to use a piece of media one has purchased.
If I buy a song, the second, third, fourth…hundredth time I listen to the song, it’s as good as the first time; in fact, I’ve found with songs and albums the most enjoyable ‘listens’ aren’t the first or second, but the couple after that. If the song doesn’t wind up overplayed on radio and stays a deep album cut, I can be as much into a song *years* later as I was the first time I heard it.
On the other hand, movies and books and games are almost always the most fun that first time through. I guess if I was really into film as an art form that might be different, but, I think when it comes to the average consumer the *novelty* of the plot is an essential part of the enjoyment, however much they may enjoy the mechanics of gameplay or the special effects of a movie or the clarity of a piece of writing.
We use the word “library” for books most of all, and sometimes for film, games, and music; I think, however, music gets used in a library-like fashion more heavily and by more people than any of the others.
So what does that have to do with DRM? Well, it means the consumer has way, way more to lose when they run into DRM problems affecting their music library. Obviously on a first play DRM problems are equally bad no matter what it is. However, I lose a lot more if I only get to listen to a song ten, twenty, even fifty times before DRM makes my old music files useless than if the same things happens to a game or a movie or an e-book, even if that’s only the second or third time I’m using my e-book/game/movie file. … I think that’s a big part of why getting DRM out of music is a much, much bigger deal than it is with games/e-books/movies. When a person goes to buy a piece of music, they’re thinking a lot more about the use they’ll get out of this over the years as a piece of a library than they are when they buy games and e-books and movies. And DRM makes people feel like they don’t have a library – it’s more like a bookmobile, and you never feel safe that they aren’t just going to drive off with all your media one day.
In response to “Third World Pirate” from The Escapist Forum: An excellent article, with some tweak in the details about failed economic policies, it would apply perfectly to Brazil (where I come from) as well. We did not have an economic crisis on the same scale as Argentina, but the government switched from a 0-import duties policy to one that essentially doubles the price of any imported game, while the local distributors sell the same games charging slightly less than the price of a legally imported game.
In this case, it is clear that the big software companies *could* use a rational pricing policy, and yet they choose to maximize their profits by selling few high-priced games than selling a large number of reasonably priced ones.
I, for one, buy the originals, since after getting my degree I’ve been way too busy to be able to play everything that comes out, so I can afford to buy a game every couple of months, but I’d think the average teenage gamer in Brazil (with a lot of time in his hands and a broadband connection) would find it much easier to use Bittorent or Emule to download games and cracks to his heart’s content rather than try to convince his parents to spend a large portion of their household’s income in a “toy”.
In response to “The Johnny Depp Factor” from The Escapist Forum: Got to throw in my current movie genre of choice here: Westerns
Now, to say cowboy raised a suspicious eyebrow, because it’s so easily linked to old John Wayne movies. A clean-cut badass doesn’t exactly sound like a good time to our modern “gritty” loving audience. Not that Wayne isn’t a tough guy, but he’s just not tough enough for the current rising crop. But, that’s why I’m not talking about the West with John Wayne. I’m talking about the West with The Man with no Name: Mr. Clint Eastwood. One of two men absolutely required if you want to make an epic Spaghetti Western.
You can’t watch Eastwood in Fistful of Dollars; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; or even Unforgiven without dreaming of owning a couple six-shooters and riding around collecting bounties, governed only by your own fuzzy morals.
There have been a couple of games already built around this version of the west: Gun and Red Dead Revolver. Red Dead Revolver takes a number of stylistic cues from Sergio Leone’s Man with no Name trilogy.
Not only are there games already out there using the genre and style, but Johnny Depp has also been in a sort-of Western movie: Once Upon a Time in Mexico (the name bears a strikingly resemblance to another very influential Leone film, One Upon a Time in the West). Granted Rodriguez is more of a quick paced action guy, so the film isn’t your run of the mill western themed movie. Still, I think Depp could easily pull of the mysterious stoic character needed to front a really great western.
Just a quick quote from Eastwood here in Fistful of Dollars: “I don’t think it’s nice, you laughin’. You see, my mule don’t like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea you’re laughin’ at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you’re going to, I might convince him that you really didn’t mean it.”