Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged Games

The creator of the family friendly tower defense game Childhood’s End has had to make changes to his game after Apple has said that his game is a tool for pedophiles.

“The Apple rep at first asked me what the purpose of the app was supposed to be,” Pixel Brain’s Steve Hunn told Eurogamer in an email. “I didn’t understand what she was getting at and said something along the lines of ‘its just a game – I want people to play it’.

“She then asked me if I knew about Pedobear. I quickly put two and two together but played dumb so I could hear her explain it to me. She basically said that the combination of the game’s (original) icon and one of the submitted screenshots plus the title ‘Childhood’s End’ made someone along the review chain think that the game might be a recruiting tool for paedophiles(!).”

Hunn duly changed the icon, tweaked the offending character design and the game is now back in the App Store.

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Tap Fish Dealer

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Aasif Mandvi interviews a family that learned an expensive lesson about bringing fish back to life.

Link for the Canadians.

Via reddit.

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I understand that video game publishers do not like the used game market. This is mostly due to the fact that they do not get any revenue from said sales. I have never understood why this could not happen as game retailers know when they’ve sold a used copy and could easily ship a percentage of the sale off to the publisher. Capcom, however, has taken a step to try to kill the used game market, which will, eventually, drive more people into piracy.

It’s been confirmed that Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D for the Nintendo 3DS is a game that once finished, cannot be reset for complete replay. According to both the U.S. and U.K. game’s instruction manual “saved data on this software cannot be reset.”

Basically what Capcom has done is make Mercenaries 3D a one-time play affair. Once you’ve unlocked all the goodies and played the entire game, you will not be able to erase the game’s save data and start fresh as if it were a new copy.

By doing this, Capcom has made it so that you cannot even loan the game to a friend or a relative as well as making the game useless to yourself should you want to play it again. How many times have you played a game through more than once? Now, think about the fact that, with Capcom’s strategy, you have to pay for the game again each time you want to replay it.

By acting the way they are, Capcom is losing sales and preventing gamers from playing games that they should own. Any sort of DRM prevents full functionality of a game. This results in either gamers never purchasing a game or heading down the piracy route so they can make their game fully functional. If this is the future of gaming, there are going to be a lot less sales of games in the future.

Anyone who has been to my house has seen my game collection. Yes, I replay many of them. As a matter of fact, I’m on my third time round of the original Tomb Raider. In Metal Gear Solid there is a scenario that, if you submit to Revolver Ocelot’s torture, Otacon will give you his stealth camouflage at the end of the game and you could then replay it while invisible. If I can’t replay them, I’m not buying them.

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Bioware forum poster, Arno, recently had his account suspended by EA for 72 hours because he complained on their forums. Arno could not even play his Dragon Age II game in single player mode because the DRM that comes with the game won’t allow it unless you connect to the server first. So what did Arno do that was so wrong? He said this:

On EA Live Chat they told me that that I said: “Have you sold your souls to the EA devil?”

While this is hardly worth banning someone for three days over, the bigger picture is the fact that you cannot play a game in single player mode without checking with the appropriate server.

How is this possible? When a game is purchased through the EA Store, one of the things the buyer pays for is the “licensed right” to access DRM which EA has made necessary to play their games. In the case of Dragon Age II, a single-player game, the DRM takes the form of an online authentication upon installation and then periodically afterward. While this form of Digital Restrictions Management is sometimes seen as less intrusive, this incident shows it can be more crippling than the average person perceives.

EA has since reversed their decision, but questions remain. Why would you want to force people to have DRM that periodically checks your authentication if you’re only playing a single player game? This is type of DRM is what played a large part in why I stopped purchasing video games. I have no desire to play games online and/or with other people. If I want to play in single player mode, I shouldn’t have to have my computer connected to the internet, pinging EA’s servers to do so.

With EA, you never actually own the game. You are simply purchasing a license to play the game. Once their servers shut down, for whatever reasons EA will give, you can no longer play that game.

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Info-film explaining the origin of the UK’s nationwide Curfew.

The Curfew, a new adventure webgame from Channel 4 and Littleloud, written by Kieron Gillen, released Summer 2010.

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