Island Dog sends news that shortly after Valve showed off their new anti-piracy methods in Steamworks, Microsoft and Stardock were quick to demonstrate their new, similar technologies as well. All three companies are bending over backwards to say that this is not traditional DRM. Stardock (the company behind the Gamer's Bill of Rights) calls their system Game Object Obfuscation (Goo), "a tool that allows developers to encapsulate their game executable into a container that includes the original executable plus Impulse Reactor, Stardock's virtual platform, into a single encrypted file. When a player runs the game for the first time, the Goo'd program lets the user enter in their email address and serial number which associates their game to that person as opposed to a piece of hardware like most activation systems do. Once validated, the game never needs to connect to the Internet again." Microsoft's update to Games for Windows Live has similar protections. "You can sign in and play your game on as many systems as possible, but you have to have a license attached to your account. Of course, this only works for online games."
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