HAL77's forum posts

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#1 Posted by HAL77 (4 posts) -

I was really looking forward to playing Spore. I have owned and played about every Sim City game there has been on PC as well as other Sim games like Sim Earth, Sim Tower and even Sim Golf. When I heard about the premise of Will Wright's next great creation, I was definitely looking forward to playing it and obviously reserved a copy. What a difference one little bit of information makes! I find it amazing how people will cry out when the government enacts laws that are considered to be invasion of privacy or violating or limiting their freedoms. Yet as consumers we seem to be increasingly following a trend like sheep to purchase products which often come with almost draconian copy protection schemes and we don't seem to mind. Sure you read about people complaining and moaning on forums about some of these DRM schemes, yet they still support them by the millions by purchasing these products and thus making millions if not billions in revenue for the companies that conjure up this sincerely insulting and abusive schemes. What happened world, have we finally lost all will to resist abuse and media brainwashing? How can anyone agree to pay $50 or more to install a game on their PC that only grants them the "privelege" of installing a game 3 times before forcing them to buy another license? And to add insult to injury, by installing the game you also install a wonderful bonus: a rootkit-like program which at the very least monitors and keeps count of the times you have installed the game on your PC so as to block your ability to do so after the third time. Funny that we pay money for PC Security Suites that are meant to block such programs from installing in the first place, yet we should allow a game maker to freely install such crap on our machines. And as cosumers we agree to this by purchasing the game? Is this some sort of sick joke? Am I somehow stuck in the twighlight zone?!?

EA and companies like them justify this blatant lack of respect for their customers as necessary to stop software piracy. Since Spore is considered more of a mainstream game it will only allow 3 installs. To make it sound like they are sensitive to hardcore PC gamers I have read that they will allow a total of 5 installs for some of there more "hardcore" upcoming games like Crysis: Warhead. WOW!!! TWO more installs for all you hardcore gamers!!! My wife owns The Sims and every expansion as well as the Sims 2 and every expansion except the last two and every "Stuff Pack". At $50 for the main game, $30 for each expansion, and $20 for each "Stuff Pack", that's a lot of money invested in one EA game. The thing is that even with all patches for the game installed I have had to reintall the entire game on my wife's PC so many times that I lost count. If I had only been allowed three reinstalls this post would be filled with so many expletives directed at EA my account would have likely been blocked. Needless to say, I probably won't be buying any more EA games for the PC, as this new scheme of theirs will likely be a part of every game they publish from here on out. And if even more companies follow their lead, it may be true that the PC as a gaming platform is dead. At least it will be for me. I wish EA could make me understand how a company with that much money can only think of something this imbecilic to curb piracy. Why is it that I can install Galactic Civilications II and its two expansions on my computer as often as I would like and I don't even have to have the game's disc in my PC's optical drive to play it? Why is that? How can a company that I hadn't even heard of prior to reading the game's review have such consumer friendly policies but not EA (the world's now second largest game publisher which suddenly is not the evil empire it used to be just because Epic and John Carmack said they were cool)? I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but the amount of revenue that a company like Stardock brings in with its games has to be extremely dwarfed by EA's yearly revenues. And yet the smaller company treats its paying customers with dignity and respect and EA spits in its paying customer's faces. And people flock to them as if saying "thank you sir may I have another?!"

Why should I be limited, restricted, inconvenienced, and abused if I am a paying customer who spends money for all the media he consumes? Yes, I buy my movies on disc from a store. Yes, I still buy audio CDs. Yes, I have bought every PC game I own. No, I will not buy into the whole iTunes store gimmick. Call me out of touch, antisocial, whatever. I don't see the logic in paying money for a song I like and my money only entiteling me to a license which allows me to listen to said song on the machine I originally downloaded it to and one portable music player. All the while praying I don't have to reinstall my computer's opertating system and hence loose all of my licenses. Why don't so many people out there understand that  they are being taken for a ride with all these so called Digital Rights Management and Copy Protection schemes. Again, going back to the song, I mean, if I like the band enough I'll buy their whole album. I pay between $8 to $16 for the entire album on CD. Which turns out to often be cheaper than paying $1 for each song on the album. And WOW! I can actually listen to the entire album as often as I like for as long as I like and on every CD, DVD, Super Audio CD, Blu-Ray, PC and Mac with optical disc drive or player out there. And I can convert it to MP3, AAC, FLAC, WMA Losless, Apple Losless, etc. formats as often as I like and transfer it to any compatible audio device I like for as long as I own the physical disc. And here is the kicker, I actually get the entire song with all of its original data not some overly compressed file which is now one fifth of the data the artist actually had recorded to disc. That's right people, all the MP3s and AACs you so eagerly pay money for are often about one fifth of what was actually recorded to disk and what you would have gotten had you purchased the CD. And if you didn't want the whole album, remember singles?? But I guess too many people on this planet apparently do not mind being suckered out of their money as long as its convenient or they get to say they are cool because they have the new iPOD! WOW!

As long as we keep pumping money into these companies that continue to come up with new ways of giving us less for our buck and in the process surrendering some of the rights and freedoms that we consumers had until not so long ago, we will only perpetuate these trends. What makes it even more sad is that we consumers pay money to be abused by these Media companies. I will resist the tempation to place very colorful metaphors here to describe what they are doing to us and end by asking, do you really think its fair to pay money to be treated as a pirate or criminal? Think fellow people!! Wake up!!!

P.S. I am sorry for the length of my rant but I needed to vent.

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