Reviewing this semester…
Overall I feel this module has been beneficial to myself this semester. Despite not being able to make it into class I’ve gained much more confidence in myself when it comes to writing and critiquing.
I’ve also found myself pondering ethical issues much more frequently. Whether it be listening to the radio or watching something on television, it’s nice being able to argue for and against such situations with the knowledge that I have gained from this model as well as reading Garry Young’s book.
In relation to video games, this module has made me think a lot more when coming up with design ideas for games – especially when they involve monetization.
In this article I will be talking about an article which discusses the ethics of DRM (Digital Rights Management) within game development.
I thought that a good article to talk about would be an article written by Matt Forney who is an editor at Reaxxion.
The article is titled: – How DRM Is Strangling The PC Gaming Industry
Within the article Forney discuses ones of the issues that I discussed within my essay. I talked about how some people are unable to play single player games unless they are connected to the internet. A feature which is not usually associated with single-player games.
This past weekend, I went to Des Moines to meet up with a couple of old friends of mine. One of them was playing a familiar-looking game on his computer; when I asked him what it was, he said “Civilization IV.” When I asked him why he hadn’t bought Civilization V, he said because that game has a DRM feature that forces him to connect to the Internet in order to play it, even in single-player mode (he doesn’t yet have WiFi in his apartment).
He also mentions how DRM can be harmful to game development companies because of the high stigma which is associated with DRM. Customers end up getting put off by their product due to insufferable DRM issues. I personally experienced this with many of EAs games which require you to be constantly connected to the EA servers in order to play.
Several game developers have realized the damage that DRM is doing to their relationships with their consumers and have stopped using it. For example, Stardock’s Brad Wardell (a frequent target of SJWs for his libertarian political views) became notable a decade ago when he declared that Galactic Civilizations II and Stardock’s other games would not have DRM. He took this stance because he realized that sales of the games would increase if customers could play them without being hassled.
Fornet, Matt. “How DRM Is Strangling The PC Gaming Industry”. Reaxxion.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 Apr. 2016.
Brightman, James. “EA: “DRM Is A Failed Dead-End Strategy””. GamesIndustry.biz. N.p., 2013. Web. 9 Apr. 2016.
For week twelve I have decided to choose an article which discusses the ethical issues revolving around free-to-play games as well as an article discussing the ethical issues arise when certain types of DRM is added to games.
The first article I chose to write about was an article titled : – Developers question the ethics of F2P design at GDC Online
The article shows some of the comments developers made during a GDC Online event in 2012. Many of the comments are brash yet entertaining and seem to hint at how some developers feel about the freemium gaming models. An example: –
“This whole concept of freemium play, in my opinion, is the most radical form of entertainment socialism since Obama got elected” Dodson quipped. “You’ve got a whole bunch of one-percenters paying for a bunch of freeloaders.”
Pearson, Dan. “Developers Question The Ethics Of F2P Design At GDC Online”.GamesIndustry.biz. N.p., 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
Comments on the issue – With a utilitarian outlook one would surly praise those who leaked the papers and see it as a very ethical deed. One with a more Aristotelian view may think other wise, believing that it was the wrong thing to do simply because hacking is largely viewed as an unethical thing. In my view I believe it was most certainly the right thing to do as it exposed a very effective way of tax avoidance which the wealthy have been using for years.
Cowen, Tyler. “Was It Wrong To Hack And Leak The Panama Papers? – Marginal REVOLUTION”. Marginal REVOLUTION. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
This weeks reading –
Ethics in the Virtual World:
Chapter 8: Virtual Virtues, Virtual Vices.
Do you see the relationship of STAs to POTAs more like Aristotle or Nietzsche? Explain.
There aren’t many similarities between Aristotle’s and Nietzsche’s philosophy. “What the introduction of Nietzsche’s philosophy is designed to highlight is simply that different approaches to virtue ethics exist, and arguably none is more opposed to the Aristotelian view than Nietzsche’s”. [Page 94]
When it comes to the relationships betweens POTAs and STAs the answer can partly be “determined by what the game perceives to be a vice or a virtue.” [Page 96] Aristotle’s comments highlight that POTAs are vices and are not related with the choices of virtuous people. [page 90]
Overall I would say that I see more of a relationship between is more like Aristotle. With more innovative games being released however it may soon come a time where Nietzsche’s philosophy takes over.
Young, Garry. Ethics In The Virtual World. Durham, UK: Acumen Publishing Ltd, 2013. Print.