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How Politics Interacts With Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-well dept.

Government 81

Crispy Gamer sat down with Hal Halpin, president of the Entertainment Consumer Association, and had him explain how the games industry interacts with various aspects of the government, such as lobbying efforts, the supreme court, and particular politicians. A related editorial suggests some things President Elect Obama can do to bring change to the industry. "We also need to rein in the used games market and not with DRM. It is fundamentally unfair that developers are being robbed of profits for work that they've done. If the ESA will not offer a mandate, then we'll need the government to do so. Publishers and developers should be entitled to at least half of the price from the sale of every used game." Kotaku has a response which points out flaws in the author's arguments.

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81 comments

Hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25871035)

First Post Bitches!

Re:Hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25894755)

First Post Nigga!

Fundamentally unfair?! (4, Insightful)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871057)

I really have to say it, that's a darn tunnel visioned statement. I don't know a single creative work where the resulting work cannot be resold legally, and the original work's creator gets even a dime off that used sale. So, what exactly makes games the special case?

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (2, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871093)

> So, what exactly makes games the special case?

They might get away with it.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (2, Insightful)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871113)

I have no idea what makes games a special case. If we need to rein in the used games industry then we also need to rein in used DVDs, used computers, used books, used VHS because the publishers/makers of those products are not seeing any money from the resale.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871125)

And used clothing, used furniture, used power tools...

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25871483)

And after they're done castrating the commercial used sector. Your yardsale and salvation army outlets are next.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (3, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871817)

Screw the salvation army! Those brass-playing, subversive pinkos are maliciously assaulting poor, put upon entrepreneurs, and hiding their anticapitalist malovelence behind their quaint uniforms and Christmas carols.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (3, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871495)

And used clothing, used furniture, used power tools...

Not to mention houses and cars. Poor, starving architects and designers, working for nothing but commissions.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 4 years ago | (#25874871)

don't forget used food, used condoms, and used needles!

those damn heroin-addicted family-planning-conscious hobos!

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#25875873)

don't forget used food, used condoms, and used needles!

You're joking, but you hit on it that they want games as produce or, more generally, single-use consumable games, but with the additional restriction that you can never use their product as an ingredient of another dish. A classic example of a consumable game was Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord [wikipedia.org] where killing most monsters actually deleted them from the original disk.

Eventually they'll get there with on-line sales (nothing physical to resell), but in the meantime they'll make it so that your game disk only allows one installation and self-destructs immediately afterward leaving only the copy on your console's drive. They can effectively do that now by requiring a single-use installation code.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (1)

Denjiro (55957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880329)

Not sure where you got this information on Wizardry. But I put a few hundred hours into the game back in the early to mid 80s on my Apple IIc and never experienced anything like you describe. The wiki entries for it also make no mention, care to site a source?

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#25876331)

I have no idea what makes games a special case. If we need to rein in the used games industry then we also need to rein in used DVDs, used computers, used books, used VHS because the publishers/makers of those products are not seeing any money from the resale.

Well then we should also close down libraries and burn all the books and have everyone use a DRM'd digital reader. Since one single book can be read by hundreds even thousands of people without the publisher and author ever seeing a penny.

I certainly make use of my local government run library, I'm a shameless pirate!

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (4, Informative)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871127)

He admits himself that it was a dumb idea. From the Kotaku article:

It is true that enclosed in my editorial is a single paragraph dedicated to "reining in the used games market." It is also true that this paragraph was shortsighted and not anywhere near as well as thought out as it could've been, especially with implications for the market and government control. I will freely admit of my own volition that I did not fully grasp the implications of what I had written until some of the comments had come in. I admit this because I have realized that the full implications of the paragraph in question are the polar opposite of my beliefs.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25872377)

I think he's lying to avoid getting lynched by pissed-off customers.

In other words... (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872975)

In other words, to summarize: high ranking lobby group leader (i.e., practically a politician) tries to please both sides of the fence, and does an 180 degree turn when his comment turns out hideously unpopular. Of course, he'll still try to sell the original story to the politicians.

Re:In other words... (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25879989)

No no, he realized the "full implications of the paragraph in question are the polar opposite of [his] beliefs."

His beliefs being "I should get lots of money" and the full implications of this being "I get less money because I'll be fired."

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25875121)

He didn't admit it for the right reasons, though. He still wants that money, it's just that he probably has a libertarian bent that doesn't want the government sticking its fingers into the operation of free markets, like the used games trade.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25875879)

No, it's a great idea. Imagine if Ford and GM got half the money when you resold your car.
What a terrific idea. It might even keep them from going into bankruptcy.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25871733)

In parts of Europe, artists are entitled to a share in any profit made on the resale of their work (look up "droit de suite"). However, the operative term here is "profit"; they don't get paid simply for resale.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 4 years ago | (#25875063)

i'm cool with that. when a consumer sells their game to a second-hand buyer or to a video game store, they usually don't make any profit from it. but the game store usually resells it at a huge markup from what they paid the original game owner. the same is true with used textbooks and used CDs & records.

the latter in particular usually get totally reamed when they sell their used record collection to a record shop. this girl i work with is also a manager at a local record store, and even she admits that their store completely rips off their customers. they offer fixed rates for purchasing used records, and the more you bring in the more you're ripped off. so they might pay someone $2-3 for a vintage record and then put it up in the store for $100 the very next day.

i don't even understand why people would sell their used games/music/books/etc. to brick & mortar stores that offer pennies for the used product and then turn around and flip them at 1000% markup. i mean, why not just sell the stuff yourself on eBay or craigslist?

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 4 years ago | (#25875337)

For some people it's just a hassle to resell it themselves. For others they simply don't know the value of their used stuff.

For example, I'll sell used games on eBay if they're valuable enough for me to spend the (admittedly minimal) time to list it, but I won't sell much of anything on Craigslist because I don't want to put up with all of the people hassling me trying to arrange pickups and giving me offers at 25% of the posted price. If the game isn't valuable enough to sell on eBay, and I can't bundle it with some other items to get something out of it, I'll take it to GameStop and take the hit, but then they're not likely to make a profit off it anyway, if they can sell it at all.

On the other hand, go to a flea market (swap meet, whatever they call them) and look at all the people trying to sell used sports games for $10-20. The value of the majority of sports games is almost nothing when the new version comes out the next year, but either someone's buying them at inflated costs or people just can't part with them for the $1 or so that GameStop would give them.

If developers and publishers want to restrict the used game market, there's a simple way to do it: put some replay value in your titles. It still wouldn't kill the market, because there will always be people that won't replay a game no matter what may change in the game, but a game that players can replay multiple times will have a smaller used market than a game that is basically the same every time you play it. This is also why popular multiplayer titles (even on consoles where DRM isn't likely to keep you from playing a used game online) have a smaller used market than single-player titles. In fact, single-player-only titles will have their new and used prices drop much faster than titles with good multiplayer components. I know many people won't bother buying a single-player-only title within the first few weeks of release precisely because the price will drop, even if they won't buy used games.

Of course, the last part is a big part of why publishers don't like the used market, but the reality is that demand is going to drop off after the first few weeks anyway, unless a game turns out to be a sleeper hit that doesn't sell well early on but picks up on word of mouth.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25881219)

Actually, a couple months ago I got $22 for last years Madden for the Wii at a retail game store. Nice for me because I didn't like the controls, really nice for me because I had bought it for $20 on sale somewhere else.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! - this has gone too far. (1)

Inglix the Mad (576601) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872041)

So, what exactly makes games the special case?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing makes them a special case and this idiot knows it. He's dancing as fast as he can to try and get special privileges, which will then be extended to other things. This isn't exactly why Jefferson was afraid of Copyright, but it's close enough. Screw'em all. Reset the system to 14+14 plus continued protection of the character should they make new product with the character.

e.g.

Steamboat Willie (Mickey Mouse's first cartoon) would be public domain, but as long as they released a new Mickey flick / short every 28 years, they'd control the creative aspects of the character. Nobody else would be able to create new Mickey titles legally. Heck, I'd even go with toughening the enforcement at that point.

Copyright was never intended to be a perpetual annuity, but an incentive for the artist to create more. I'm against piracy, by both sides.

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25875585)

Good Point.
I am a cheap bastard. I buy 90% of my media ( games included ) used.

Who does Hollywood / Game producers hate more?
Myself who rarely buys new but never pirates?
Or my friends who buy a lot of new games, cd, movies and pirates even more?

Re:Fundamentally unfair?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25877967)

Acting.

Fair enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25871079)

Publishers and developers should be entitled to at least half of the price from the sale of every used game.

I can agree with that if the price for used games is given in meters of broom up the arse.

Re:Fair enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25871155)

Keep the change.

Re:Fair enough (1)

Inglix the Mad (576601) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872129)

I'd agree with that if they'd give me 100% of my money back on any game I find not up to my standards at any point.

Not going to happen right? I don't blame them, it's impossible to please everyone all of the time. Oh wait, then we don't have to worry about making them happy here!

I Hate This (1, Interesting)

Hasney (980180) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871129)

Money grabbing bastards. If it wasn't for trade-ins and 2nd-hand game sales a lot of people wouldn't be able to afford games and with this mandate, prices of used games would go up and the value of trade-ins would go down. If they want more people buying new games, how about not making them cost £50 a pop for a new next-gen game?

If they want to make money off of used games, sell some worthwhile DLC. By that, I don't mean CliffyB's idea of selling the final boss to 2nd hand buyers, I mean add-ons to the main game. I doubt Harmonix worry about used-game sales of Rock Band because if they love the game, they will buy more songs.

The only way I want to see politics and games interact is with Sarah Palin being blown up in Mercenaries 2.

Re:I Hate This (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871427)

IMHO, I should (easily and without any charge) be able to sell my add-ons too.

Sure they only exist in electronic form, but when I'm finished with them and finished with the game, I should be able to sell all of it.

Otherwise we get back to the situation of publishers selling half a game and then loads of DLC.

Market Forces (5, Insightful)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871255)

No one is "robbed" of profits by used game sales.

The number of new copies sold of a game is a complex function of popularity, marketing, and quality. The number of used copies on the market is a function of the game's longevity, popularity, and quality. If the demand for the game is high, the number of used copies will be low. If the demand for the game is low, the number of used copies will be high.

If you don't believe me, go to the local used games store and ask for a used copy of Chrono Trigger for the SNES. There might be one. It will be like $100. Now ask for a used copy of Madden 08. There are five of them for $9 each. The author is arguing that game developers should be rewarded extra money for producing games that are less desirable than successful games. If you produce a horrible game, and then have EA market the bajeezus out of it, you will find that in three months the bargain bins will be full of this game. Should we now reward the bad quality of this game by forcing retailers to pay out of pocket? It is some sort of "mediocrity tax" that goes against everything that is good about free market economics.

Not only that, but the entire idea stinks of government directing the flow of the economy, something the Soviet Union discovered does not work so well. If I purchase something, I become the owner. Part of my rights of "life, liberty, and property" include "property", which means I own things that I buy and can in turn sell them to someone else. The author is, in a sense, arguing against the idea of ownership. You don't really own anything. You are just paying EA a fee to use it, and when you are done using it, you have to give it back.

If game developers want to stop being "robbed of profits", they should stop making boring games that I can beat in a week, which have no further interest to me. People are bored of spending $60 on a game that has $3 million worth of graphics content and $.35 worth of game. You know what games I sell used? Crappy ones with no replay value. You know what games I still own? Kick ass games that I still play from time to time, even though they may be old. Games that I enjoyed so much that, even though I don't play them anymore, I just love having them.

If they stamp out the buying and selling of used games, they will discover something interesting: The sales of good games will not increase, and the sales of bad games will actually decrease, because people are risk averse to something they can't sell once they've ripped through the 9 hours of expensive art content with no challenge or depth whatsoever.

Re:Market Forces (3, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871543)

People are bored of spending $60 on a game that has $3 million worth of graphics content and $.35 worth of game. You know what games I sell used? Crappy ones with no replay value. You know what games I still own? Kick ass games that I still play from time to time, even though they may be old.

Absolutely. I will gladly pay +$60 dollars for a quality title and will be proud to have it in my collection till the day I die. I never sell games, just like I never sell books. It's just not worth it to lose an item of such high quality. It's practically blasphemous.

True AAA games rarely get sold, and when they do, it's for a premium. The original God of War still sells for $30 on the second hand market. Titles like these are the reason things like the sony platinium series were created, so that developers could still make money off quality titles long after the initial release. And it works! The original Starcraft is still for sale [amazon.com] , 10 years after it was released.

Video games, despite popular opinion, do not become outdated. True classics shine through time and pixelation. Frankly, the danm things age like wine in many instances. But of course, to become a classic, you actually need to be a very good game, which brings us to our original point. Developers want a quick buck through marketing tripe rather than long term revenue from brilliant titles. Naturally, my heart bleeds for them.

Re:Market Forces (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871967)

I may be killed for asking this, nevertheless...

Does anyone know whether the original Starcraft will run on Vista?

(I also have an Ubuntu partition, so could use Wine if that works better...)

Re:Market Forces (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872037)

My games partition is still XP so I can't speak for vista. I can, however, confirm that Starcraft does, indeed, run under Wine on Ubuntu (at least as of Gutsy)

Re:Market Forces (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872285)

Geez, I've got a stack of old classics that I can't play on vista, for various reasons. Some are 32-bit that just don't work for unknown reasons. Some are 16-bit. Some are DOS, some are windows. Just about none of them work in vista.

Except Atomic Bomberman... One of my favorites. Atomic Bomberman actually runs in vista, for reasons unknown... Except the whole fun of Atomic Bomberman is the multiplayer, which you need the IPX protocol for, and guess what they left out of vista?? DAMN!

The point is- stick with xp, or wine.

Re:Market Forces (1)

LazyBoot (756150) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872821)

isn't that one of the main uses of dosbox?

Re:Market Forces (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#25873415)

for the dos games, yes. For the old windows games.. nope..

Re:Market Forces (1)

theilliterate (1381151) | more than 4 years ago | (#25873477)

Have you tried the compatibility mode?

Right click, properties, compatibility tab... It did pretty well for my customers when I was in cellular support.

I'm going to try to run my new computer linux only, but I may have to give in and run an XP partition for gaming.

And like LazyBoot says, dosbox.

Re:Market Forces (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#25873653)

I've tried every type of compatibility mode, and running as administrator, and all the good stuff. Some games will blank the screen and freeze, some games plainly won't work. I've had a helluva time trying them all. Overall, I don't care. I upgraded back to xp, and life is good again. I like it when things just work, ya know?

Re:Market Forces (1)

theilliterate (1381151) | more than 4 years ago | (#25874013)

i don't use vista personally, have only supported certain apps with it. none were games..

You might try turning off User Access Control, reinstalling with it turned off. You using vista basic? Most compatibility issues get worse with basic.

XP isn't broken. :D

Re:Market Forces (1)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880229)

I love that game (and Bomberman in general. Still looking for a nice OSS version). I used to play it on Kali, which to my surprise is still in business. IPX might not be required for Kali, I am not sure it's been so long. Where do you find your opponents?

Re:Market Forces (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#25886507)

I usually play friends, but I'm not picky. I just hate FPS's and find older games focus more on fun and playability than any of that crap that's out these days.

Re:Market Forces (2)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 4 years ago | (#25875449)

Yes, Starcraft and the Blizzard-backed expansion work fine on Vista. You shouldn't even need to do anything special to get it running, just install it and connect to battle.net to patch it.

I installed it recently because I thought I'd like to play it again, and did for a while. I do have some issues with textures not showing up properly, but I think it's just the crappy Intel video card in my laptop rather than a specific Vista issue.

Re:Market Forces (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880037)

Frankly, the danm things age like wine in many instances.

You're right, they DO age just like wine! The tannins in my old sega tapes are quite mellow by now. PS1 games are losing their acidic taste as well.

Re:Market Forces (2, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871627)

More importantly, part of the value of a game is its resale value. When people buy a car they take into account how much it's likely to be worth in three, five, ten years' time when they want to sell it. You'd be much more likely to stump up $50 for a game if you were pretty sure you could sell it for $30 on Ebay or Amazon a few months later. The game publishers should be encouraging this secondary market.

I suppose one difference is that there is no piracy of cars; you can sell it to another person and they now own it. You can do that with a video game too, but it's sooo tempting just to leave a backup copy on your own computer. If you accept the principle of copyright, which is that making a copy requires special permission and this is how the authors and publishers make money, then a market in 'secondhand' games which are really just pirate copies doesn't help the industry or, in the long run, encourage development of new games.

Re:Market Forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25879385)

I suppose one difference is that there is no piracy of cars; you can sell it to another person and they now own it.

I'm guessing you drive a 74 Pinto. Piracy of cars happens all the time. They've even made almost a dozen games about it. they don't call it piracy, it's called Grand Theft, Auto.

Unless you really do drive a Pinto, that's petty theft, auto, I suppose. Mayeb it's available for the DS :)

Re:Market Forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25872693)

"Part of my rights of "life, liberty, and property" include "property"..."

BZZZZZZT

It's "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"; and even those are still not guaranteed 100%: read Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" as to why.

Re:Market Forces (1)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 4 years ago | (#25876435)

"Life, liberty, and property" was a statement made by John Locke, a renowned political and philosophical figure who was highly influential in the developing the philosophical underpinnings of our Republic.

Not that they teach that kind of thing in school anymore. You're more likely to hear from Mao or Marx than from John Locke and Edmond Burke.

Re:Market Forces (1)

moortak (1273582) | more than 4 years ago | (#25877379)

Burke was too big a supporter of the French monarchy for my taste. Give me good old Tommy Paine any day.

Dairy cattle (3, Interesting)

tfmachad (1386141) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871265)

"developers are being robbed of profits for work that they've done" This is absolutely brilliant. [/sarcasm] How about developers come up with content that will hold users' attention long enough so used games won't directly compete with their new counterparts? A lot of people I know hold on to the good games they get because they might want to play again in the future. By the way, can I return a game after I have installed it because I'm not satisfied with its features? Like, when I don't like how the game responds, or because it has below standard artistic value, or simply because the game isn't nearly as fun as it was advertised to be? The game industry gets away with too much bullshit already. I'm not about to have them milk me for money like I'm some dairy cattle.

Unacceptable (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871297)

Rubbish. Every other industry can survive and thrive with the existance of used goods. On top of that, taking a cut of the sales is a major violation of our property rights.

Re:Unacceptable (1)

Inglix the Mad (576601) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872169)

On top of that, taking a cut of the sales is a major violation of our property rights.

You have no rights consumer! The copyright holder can, and will, revoke your ability to play at their whim. You don't think you really own the product, do you? Didn't you read the 350 page "license agreement" at all? Why, our team of lawyers worked months to come up with that obtuse document that's unreadable by anyone not in the legal profession, and it's copyrighted too! By the way we're suing you for talking about our game without our permission as permitted under the DMCA part two. You've damaged our ability to make money with our property, not your property, by disclosing the ending to one friend and loaning your disc without permission to another.

Now the scary thing is some nozzles in the industry think like that.

half of the price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25871303)

half of the profit, if anything.
Problem is: profits don't show up per unit, especially not if you're selling second hand items.

The whole idea stinks anyway.

Re:half of the price? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871803)

brilliant, if I buy a game for $50, and sell it for $30, my profit is $-20, so I owe them $-10. I like this plan.

Re:half of the price? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872049)

I'm pretty sure that statement was targeting the (equally unsavory) Used game...err... stops.

Guy pays $60 for a game, beats it after a week and decides to sell it back. The place gives him $10 and re-sells it for $55.

Better to keep my games, even the bad ones, or sell them direct to others.

Re:half of the price? (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 4 years ago | (#25873019)

I think Goozex [goozex.com] is a pretty good alternative to the trading in games at the local game store. Goozex uses a point system to determine "price" for games and users swap points whenever a trade is made. If you want a copy of a pretty new game, it would cost 1000 points (100 points ~= $5) to the person who "buys" the game - those points are then deposited into the "sellers" account. The jib is that every trade requires a "trade point", which cost $1 each. So essentially you can get whatever games you want for $1 each, assuming that you have the points to cover the trade. (Points are can be either earned through trades or bought outright.) Also, "seller" always pays shipping. I don't work for them, I've just been a satisfied user.
 
As usual, you can usually get more money for used games off of eBay or Amazon.

Re:half of the price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25879713)

I'm pretty sure that statement was targeting the (equally unsavory) Used game...err... stops.

Guy pays $60 for a game, beats it after a week and decides to sell it back. The place gives him $10 and re-sells it for $55.

Better to keep my games, even the bad ones, or sell them direct to others.

Definitely. GameStop et al are not game stores. They're are "high class" and brightly lit btu specialist pawn shops. I stopped shopping there when they wanted to sell me opened boxes as "new" PC games. They can call it a "shelf copy" but if I didn't open it, it ain't new (to me).

Research (1)

SplinterOfChaos (1330441) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871383)

I know what you're thinking: How can Obama help us, though? He doesn't have the best track record when it comes to video games, especially with his infamous "put the video games away" comment. He has also stated that he would like to examine in greater depth the impact of video games on the development of children -- studies that usually never favor the industry and are peppered with errors.

Here's an idea: Why doesn't the game industry do its own studies? Tobacco does their own. Alcohol does their own. Sure we don't kill or cause long-term damage, but why is it only the peaceful industries don't do studies? There's certainly enough money in games to fund one.

Re:Research (1)

SplinterOfChaos (1330441) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871417)

Now that I think of it, the government should fund this, too. Private sector funding too often leads to private sector bias.

So if I build a car... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25871403)

And you resell it, you have to give me 50% of the price?

Going, going, gone. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871411)

Online content. Online distribution.
The second-hand game game isn't going to be a problem much longer. There won't be a retail box - at least not with a game that is playable out of the box.

hey you know what (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871421)

if you write a song

or a book

or a movie

or a game

guess what: no, you are not allowed to sit on your ass for the rest of your life and derive profit for that

what you are entitled to is to work, like the rest of us, for a some return on some daily effort

of course, the sit on your ass for the rest of your life bullshit is exactly what current law dictates. andd current law is fundamentally broken. its unenforceable

creators, you need to get over that misconception right now, because regardless of whatever the law says, the technology has already broken the law, written decades ago. its not 1988. with scratchy vcr tapes and muddy mixtapes and washed out xeroxes. digital copying and the internet fundamentally changes the landscape. every teenager in their basement has more distribution reach than time warner and bertelsmann in 1988. anyone, anywhere, can have a copy of whatever the hell they want, for free, with complete integrity and clarity, anytime they damn well please

creators: you deserve some protection, but not the sitting on your ass for life+70 anymore. its not a matter of what the law says. its a matter fo what is enforceable, and that shit is just not enforceable anymore

besides, creators, the law never benefitted you in the first place, it always benefitted the distributors. its always been the biggest lie that copyright and ip is for creators. its for distributors

ip law is over. the internet killed it. get used to it, it will only accelerate, and a whool enew generation lives in a culture now where none of ip law is respected, or should be respected. ip law was always meant as a contrite genetleman's agreement between large industry players. it was never meant, and is impossible to apply to, the random kid on the street

Re:hey you know what (2, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871899)

Let me go ever further. Creators don't have a 'right' to make a living at all.

Free association is essential. Free speech is essential. Individual industries are not. There is nothing to say that an artist of any kind is owed a living, if that living requires fundamental rights to be curtailed. If we have to choose between Holywood and free speech, it isn't any kind of choice at all.

If you want to make money as a musician, you will have to do it the old fashioned way and actually perform, instead of charging people for distributing recordings of your performances. Movies are in the shit a bit - maybe its time for the theatre to make a comeback, as a medium for actors to make a living without dangerous encroachments on their audiences liberty.

As for books? I suppose you can make a living through signings/conventions/after dinner speaking if you are good, but otherwise you are kind of screwed. Still, it will stop WH Smiths being filled floor to ceiling with insipid ghost-written biographies of Z-list celebrities and crappy Stephen King novels.

a few things (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872679)

absolutely right

except: no need for actors to go back to the theatre. movie houses are doing bang up business. the death of the movie house was predicted because of tv, and the business still grew. vcr, dvd, internet: it was all supposed to kill movie houses. every year the business does bigger business. i think its psychological. why do people go to church instead of receive spiritual enlightenment at home by themselves? despite babies and cell phones, i think people actually like the laughs and oohs fo the crowds around them, it enhances the experience

and artists, even if they got $0 from their efforts, will still do it for the fame, and the access to chicks

and there's always ancillary business. if jk rowling made $0 from books, she'd still make millions from cutting deals with hollywood, and action figures, speaking engagements, etc. all sorts of ancillary business

Politicians and GTA is how they interact (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871437)

Surely the way they interact with Games is to complain about Sex/Drugs/Violence in games as being the root of all evil and the cause of all society's ills. Stuff around copyright (and the insane idea of a sell-on tax) is how companies interact with politicians rather than anything to do with the games themselves.

The politicians screaming "think of the children" around games like GTA is, and will remain, the norm. Given that most politicians are well over game playing age this is hardly surprising and I can't quite see Obama saying that he is a big GTA or other "controversial" game fan.

So basically politicians don't interact with games, they interact with Games companies and with the media to decry the fall of civilisation.

And this from a bunch of people for whom being a convicted Felon isn't something that bars them from office.

Re:Politicians and GTA is how they interact (1)

SplinterOfChaos (1330441) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871485)

Thank you, finally, for some commentary NOT on the reselling idea.

Meh. An argument I hear a lot is how the game industry right now is like the movie and TV industry over 50 years ago. Eventually, they were able to say the word "crap" on TV. Eventually, understanding will come, but you're right. Our lawmakers are too old. The law makers twenty years from now will have grown up with games and won't view them so badly.

If I keep saying that, it'll come true, right?...true...it's ...true...has to be..true...

If you want to fight used sales... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871517)

Give game stores a reason to do so. Maybe decent profit margins on new games would be a good start? They're not going to throw their money away just so you can make money, no money for the store means other means of getting moeny or simply no store at all.

Projection (2, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#25871535)

Reigning in the used game market is obviously a stupdid statement. First sale doctrine, etc., etc.

I'm more concerned about the number of times I've heard variations of this statement made by otherwise intelligent people:
"There is no better opportunity than now to try to engage Obama in open dialogue about our industry and correct some of these mistruths. I implore ECA President Hal Halpin, ESRB President Patricia Vance, head of EA Sports/industry veteran
Peter Moore and a journalist of proper caliber (Geoff Keighley, Rob Fahey and Dan Hsu all come to mind) to approach President-Elect Obama about having an open dialogue with the industry
"

The problem (if you can call it that) with charismatic people is that we tend to project our own desires onto them. Hence all the ninnies saying that Obama will pay for their gas, and everything else under the sun, and the people (some of my friends included) sending in their resumes for positions in his administration. Because he's listening.

Even though Obama is inexperienced, per se, he's shown himself to be an experienced politician, and the best politicians are capable of making it sound like they're listening to you and even agreeing with you while politely shooing you out the back door.

Re:Projection (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#25873561)

In addition to all that, where on earth did people get the idea that it's the job of the President to mess with the game industry? I don't consider it to be the job of government to do any such thing, but if you do you should be looking to Congress...

Re:Projection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25875285)

Even though Obama is inexperienced, per se, he's shown himself to be an experienced politician, and the best politicians are capable of making it sound like they're listening to you and even agreeing with you while politely shooing you out the back door.

Which is exactly why I didn't vote for him. (I didn't vote for McCain, either, if anyone's wondering.) It just seemed like so many people were caught in a wave without really thinking about whether or not Obama was the candidate most closely aligned with themselves. You had all those extreme left-wingers thinking Obama would be a new (but more successful) Carter, and from all signs so far, he's more of a Clintonian centrist (only clean and squeakier).

Re:Projection (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25880095)

Even though Obama is inexperienced, per se, he's shown himself to be an experienced politician, and the best politicians are capable of making it sound like they're listening to you and even agreeing with you while politely shooing you out the back door.

Well, given that we're talking about videogames and Obama is hopefully concerning himself with foreign affairs and, you know, bigger matters, I'm not sure he would bother even making it sound like he's listening. Not returning their phone calls would be about as polite as he should be. Maybe not outright laughing at them on the phone and hanging up, but it wouldn't be out of line.

Blue Book is not the gov't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25872291)

The Kotaku article makes some good points about why we shouldn't pander to the developers and restrict the used games market, but he seems to think that Kelly Blue Book is a government price regulator... wha!?

Read the Kotaku article first (1)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872293)

The original writer posted their with the conclusion that much of what he said wasn't well thought out, he wouldn't suggest the same thing now, and that his whole point was that if the original developers made a few cents on the dollar it might stop DRM from encroaching on the games market.

Thing is, how do you implement even that idea without running up huge infrastructure costs. And when do the royalties stop, or who do they go to if the game company goes --fffffttt-- ??

Certainly the idea of supporting gaming developers is good. We do it by buying games new -- but good games nowadays take teams, teams take $$, and $$ take corporate involvement -- and as a result the gaming developers don't get their ROI for their hours that they used to.

And like the articles authors, I don't know the answer either.

Re:Read the Kotaku article first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25876161)

Certainly the idea of supporting gaming developers is good. We do it by buying games new -- but good games nowadays take teams, teams take $$, and $$ take corporate involvement -- and as a result the gaming developers don't get their ROI for their hours that they used to.

And like the articles authors, I don't know the answer either.

Good games take teams? Do they? I know some of them do. But all of them? I dunno.

And what do you mean by team? How big is the team? And what is the game? Just another knockoff of some game that is the top dog of an already overcrowded genre? Good luck competing with the top dog of the genre, let alone matching its achievement. If that's the game a team is making then it is pretty much predestined for failure.

If they really want a good ROI for their hours they need to come up with something original that is fun to play, has replay value, didn't take 3 years and 100+ people to produce and that they don't have to sell 100,000 copies of to break even.

If you're not in a hurry (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 4 years ago | (#25872393)

Wait till they're in the bargain bin at three for £10. I'm surprised how quickly they arrive there nowadays.

The guy's an idiot.... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#25874609)

Nick Michetti that is. Hal Halpin has some decent points.

Michetti seems to have thrown out a load of random ideas which basically amount to "give the games industry lots of tax breaks because I like it like it is".

Obama doesn't care about games. He advertised in games because the campaign had lots of money and the ads were cheap enough to justify. The campaign advertised just about everywhere else too, even places that traditionally are seen as pointless for political ads.

Companies get a fair number of the suggested tax breaks already. Middleware developers don't sell to big companies because they're short of money. They sell up because they're actually doing very well, and the big companies offer the founders a big pot of cash to get a bite of that success.

The game industry will probably lose under Obama (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#25874905)

Under Bush, the Federal Trade Commission, like many of the other regulatory agencies, has been more or less out to lunch. Obama is probably going to put someone more consumer-oriented in charge there. That's bad news for companies shipping intrusive DRM systems that damage computers, are hard to uninstall, or come with deceptive EULAs.

Obligatory South Park Reference... (1)

Azuma Hazuki (955769) | more than 4 years ago | (#25876021)

"Have you ever heard of the Doctrine of First Sale?!"

"Err, I don't listen to hip-hop."

Meh, I've never been much of a gamer ayway, especially not in the past 10 years. But the best old games will never die *hugs her SNES and Lufia cartridges*

entertainment "consumer" association? (1)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 4 years ago | (#25879375)

The name suggests that this is a consumer organization, but all I see is an industry backed troll... Why would any consumer advocate *against* used game sales?

GNAA Announces Full Cybermilitary Support of the G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25894709)

GNAA Announces Full Cybermilitary Support of the German Government Mikhail Borovsky (GNAP) - Moscow, Russia - GNAA President timecop and Vice-President jesuitx held a press conference live via satellite from GNAA US HQ in Tarzana, CA where they announced full cybermilitary support of the German government following the German injunction against Wikipedia. From the German Wikipedia site at www.wikipedia.de, "Liebe Freunde Freien Wissens, durch eine vor dem Amtsgericht Berlin-Charlottenburg am 17. Januar 2006 erwirkte einstweilige Verfugung wurde dem Verein Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Forderung Freien Wissens e.V. untersagt, von dieser Domain auf die deutschsprachige Ausgabe der freien Enzyklopadie Wikipedia (wikipedia.org) weiterzuleiten." This roughly translates as, "Dear friends and comrades, Wikipedia has been shut down as of January 17th, 2006 due to a court injunction by the government of Germany, due to extensive support by Wikipedia for the Jews and the state of Israel". This type of support was made illegal in Germany in 1939 by the Berlin Pact, signed by Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany has announced that this injunction will not be lifted until Wikipedia stops supporting "Die Juden". "We also feel this injunction came in due time, as Wikipedia is being overrun by articles pertaining to non-notable blogs with completely useless information (or "blogs"), which are also illegal in the Great Republic of Germany. We are pleased to receive the support of the Gay Niggers, as they have already declared war on the blogs, and know how to defeat this communist ideal before it can become a threat to freedom," said Mrs. Merkel.
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