D.R.M: Why It Has To Go!

December 10, 2013 2:42 PM

With graphics in games having peaked with the Dreamcast and simply been polishing up the rubbish bits since – and the explosion of the internet turning even the most innocent of search terms into a comprehensive list of what lies in the darkest corners of humanities mind – the kind of controversy one normally jumps to like a racial epitaph after a plane crash when gaming is mentioned is usually something to do with kids and guns.

But the ‘GTA Is Bad’ brigade have been overtaken by the inhaler fuelled wheezes of gamers who have risen from beneath the take-away wrappers en masse and got themselves to a forum to complain about how unfair and corrupt just about everyone in the games industry is to everyone who buys their games, but somehow them more specifically than most.

DRM-is-badBack when death by Starcraft was doing the rounds, the Hot Coffee Mod was ensuring concerned parents were as ignorant of the age rating system as they ever will be, and were fine with Tiny-Tom engaging a street walker in-game before beating her face sideways with a bin for a full refund, but objected most strongly to them being able to see the transaction mid-coitus.

Finding someone to give one tiny crap about this sort of thing now wouldn’t be too difficult, but with the same ‘games are bad’ tag being pitched in an era of Wii-oneness it would be difficult for the simpletons to know which side to hate.

A kid attempting to forcibly inject a dose of Pb into what they call ‘the innocent’ isn’t the best way to ensure an immediate sell-out of your game as it was before the giant A.O.L. browser disc mountain they built on Mars.

In contrast to this downgrade of glorified gaming gratuity there has been an upswing in forum stories telling of crooked developers deliberately tinkering with DLC and DRM for maximum monies and Win.

Knowing anything with less than one vowel is not to be trusted and possibly Welsh DRM is a relatively new contender of rubbish that has nevertheless been piquing the big vein on the forehead of any pc gamer who deigns to buy a legit copy of Diablo 3 with the intent of some manliness behind their closed Transformer curtains.

Essentially, what we have here is Blizzard saying they won’t be letting them thar pirates of the bay rape and pillage their bounty with a constant internet connection and account required to experience the majesty of kicking shins in the dark.

Forcing someone to maintain an internet connection so they can play a legitimately purchased game pushes the froth to the corners of the mouth in fury amongst those who have a legitimate reason to be displeased, and helps online gaming news sites look fuller between major release dates and laughing at the Wii.

It does nothing to help the company image and worst of all, it drives the mouth breathers to the lowest ring of media outlet in the modern world known as YouTube with their badly thought out rants that sound more like a speech of a blood oath loyalty they once swore to hold until death, forswearing any future output as a lesson to the makers of their “most favouritist” game in the whole wide world who will now probably be giving the illegal downloads excuse a dust-down come Christmas bonus time.

drmForcing developers to liquidate their assets in OddBins to block out the lawsuits brought about by the companies own knuckle-fuggin’ nonsense is one way to ensure they know they’re only ever one online skin shinning away from a landslide of lawyers and litigation.

It never used to be like this; but then it never used to be so easy to see the start of an advert for a new cinematic release and have at least three tabs open and a search engine alluding to 30,000 more, a stack of rewritables ready by the tower and the first text orders binging on the ‘Berry before the ‘Coming Soon’ tag has flashed up on the screen.

Gaming companies are certainly doing themselves no favours in shutting these stank yaps up with actions such as DRM; especially when facing the brunt of a consumer with a boxed copy of a product he is unable to enjoy due to his router not understanding the ‘just work, you bastard’ methodology of modern-day making good and working.

So what’s to be done? The simple answer is to not download an illegal copy; go forth and face the counter at whatever shop you can find still open that also stocks the game you want. Force down that bit of involuntary sick as the assistant hand brushes yours in the change exchange, its clamminess that of a desperate man fearful for the state of his employment tomorrow.

And then make everybody else do the same thing, all across the world, in every far-flung town of nowhere any human wouldn’t be expected to live and every brick-backyard terrace as well. And then promise not to ever do acts of illegal or bad with regards to the games they sell and monies they are entitled to be duly paid, not ever, nuh-uh, no how and no.

But even with wiping out piracy and acts of illegal overnight in an Orwellian washing of the streets, we would still be facing a future full of Fail for a fair few.

Gaming is for everybody but there is still a pay at the door policy for those wishing to cut a much sharper jive. The price of admission is the same as it ever was, merely the cost of the platform to be gaming from and enough for the cost of a game to play thereon.

An adequate Android will get you On Live; lash out a few quid more you get access to the more ‘real’ gaming experience on offer, via either console or computer. Online MMORPG’s and the like litter the side-bars of the internet, so if joining a bunch of strangers on a quest to Goblin’s Nobb isn’t your thing you can choose a munificence of multiple personalities to play instead; pay some real-world money on some virtual drivers to increase sponsorship of your racing team, remain pay-free forever and simply grind the hell out of those bricks for upgrades and such, or simply go watch virtual horses die on a farm.

The cost of gaming has always had levels of entry only certain members ever got to penetrate, and we called these people bastards or Hardcore Gamers, but mostly bastards.

drm lockedWith developers spending so much more on each new title to offer all new and shiny pin wheeling pixel parts in Blowing Every Body Bit Up: 8 the cost of buying a game worth more than a single swipe between wipes isn’t likely to come down to a pocket friendly level of audience acceptance.

You may not like it, but if I like driving and the cost of car ownership is too high do I complain about Ferrari until they lower the price? Or do I take a pocketful of change and some paint thinner to the sit-n-ride at the supermarket and go crazy until the Police side with the queue of angry dads?

A triple A title today is tomorrows middle-shelf C, and with each developer trying to push every game harder graphically than the competition it ingrains a sense of expectation amongst gamers for the next title to be even better than the last without proof or question or timely thought – because why wouldn’t it be? It’s the new one!

The first video game implosion happened in the eighties thanks to a tonne of idiots filling the market with sub-par copies of popular franchises, with as many ways to play these offerings as it took to fill each niche and spot beneath the worlds TV sets.

They promise so much, so we expect even more. We just don’t want to pay for it. Or have it look awful. Or be anything less than perfect. Because they promised, goddamnit, they promised!