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The Gamer's Bill of Rights 272

Edge Magazine is running a piece by Brad Wardell, CEO of game developer Stardock, in which he presents a "Gamer's Bill of Rights." Stardock teamed up with Gas Powered Games to develop a list of ideals they think all game publishers should follow. Some are rather basic operational guidelines (not requiring a disc to play, minimum requirements that make sense), and some are aimed at repairing the damaged relationship between game companies and customers ("Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers"). Wishful thinking or not, it will be interesting to see if they manage to get other publishers to sign on.
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The Gamer's Bill of Rights

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  • Right #11 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kwabbles ( 259554 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @10:10PM (#24805303)

    Gamers shall have the right to modify their games to alter their singleplayer experience.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29, 2008 @10:23PM (#24805413)

    "#9 Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the Internet every time they wish to play."

    I don't want to EVER have to connect to the Internet to play a game after I buy it. Product activation, DRM, Steam - these are all the reasons why I have stopped buying games. And I used to buy a lot of them.

    I'm still curious as hell over whether Half Life 2 is as good as Half Life 1. But I'll never know, because Valve doesn't want to allow me to buy it.

  • DRM vs. Impulse (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mincer Lightbringer ( 979840 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @10:30PM (#24805469)
    It's nice that they're saying that... but doesn't their Impulse digital distribution platform contain DRM? Their own site [] doesn't seem to say either way, the Wikipedia article [] says it's a DRM platform and this post on their forum [] suggests that Impulse supports DRM but Stardock doesn't take advantage of it in their own products.
  • by Psychotria ( 953670 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @10:36PM (#24805503)
    Well that's crazy. I have, sitting on my desk, a purchased copy of Rainbow 6 Vegas 2. I uninstalled it about 30 minutes after installing it. My computer far exceeds (as in 400% or more) the minimum specifications. The game still ran like crap. So I took it off and will never buy a game from that publisher again. I am not going to go through the hassle of trying for a refund. I am not going to go through the hassle of telling them I will never buy one of their games again. They won't listen anyway. So, it will sit here on my desk with my beer on top of it. Expensive coaster? Yeah, but I don't care :-)
  • In a perfect world: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TehZorroness ( 1104427 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @10:44PM (#24805567)

    0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose
    1: The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
    2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
    3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

  • by Broken scope ( 973885 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @11:02PM (#24805721) Homepage

    What? They won't let you download shit off their servers unless they can verify that you paid for the game?

    Boo Fucking Hoo.

    They basically gave the game out for free. A fully functioning and playable game for free, a game me an my roommates spent countless hours messing around with for a few weeks, un patched.

    Pardon them for not letting the people who didn't support them with a purchase suck down their bandwidth too.

    Jesus fucking Christ people are never happy. It's never enough for some people unless they can have what the want and maybe if they are feeling generous toss a few bucks to the creators.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29, 2008 @11:04PM (#24805739)

    I'm still curious as hell over whether Half Life 2 is as good as Half Life 1. But I'll never know, because Valve doesn't want to allow me to buy it.

    I was really pissed when I heard about Steam, and then about a year later I caved and played HL2. After having built up a lot of resentment toward the system, I found it was shockingly problem-free. In fact, I would hold Steam up as an example of, "If you insist on using DRM, this is how you should do it." It's not very intrusive, and actually makes it very convenient to get access to your games once you've bought them.

    Now, I understand refusing out of principle anyway. I'm just saying that, as far as practical concerns go, Steam is actually pretty well done.

  • by Carbon016 ( 1129067 ) on Friday August 29, 2008 @11:15PM (#24805843)

    Yes, because 10mb patches take so much bandwidth. I'm sure it wasn't piracy hurting them, just all those pirates downloading patches! How dare they.

    If the unpatched game was functional, the argument might have merit. However, you and your roommates were the exception - plenty of paying customers had sync errors and crashes.

    I don't give a shit if they want to implement whatever DRM they want. I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing that white-knighting them as a savior of the gaming industry as they do that is stupid beyond belief.

  • Linux Rights. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @12:07AM (#24806207)

    What about the right to play the game under Linux or Mac? Trust me, Game developers hate Linux with a Holy passion.

    Its a religious thing.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:06AM (#24806685)

    That's the business model on how to cope with piracy. Release a product, and only let legit users update the product. Pirates will just have to keep downloading new versions of the product (or find someone distributing the patch).

    I see nothing wrong with this - patches can be considered "support" and pirates don't deserve support. If they wanted support, they can buy the product and get the updates with no issues, or just log onto their favorite site and grab the update that way.

    They know people will pirate their software. So they make it worthwhile to be a legit owner - patches, updates, etc. Let the cheapskates get their way, and let the legit owners know they're appreciated. In effect, it boils down to, is your time hunting for updates (and fixing any viruses/trojans/etc that get installed) on your favorite pirate sites worth it compared to just buying a copy and having it do the updates for you without any worries. Seems a fair trade.

  • Re:Gamers shall... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BlueBat ( 748360 ) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @09:28AM (#24809531)
    Actually, I hate not being able to go directly to the menu and choosing to play the movie or going to a scene or even seeing the extras. After the second or third time that you have put the movie in, it gets VERY annoying that I can't skip all of that crap. The first time is fine when I want to see the trailers and such but after that, they are just annoying. Let me watch what I PAID for and stop bugging me you jerks.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle