Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Rant About Game Copying

Now, I guess I don't give myself enough credit. With age and increased geekiness, I've learned to take care of my stuff. When I was a teen, I had god knows how many ps1 cds scratched into inoperability. But with my current console of choice, the Wii, I've been pretty careful and haven't had a game mess up yet. The only one game that does sort of mess up is The Wind Waker for GameCube, and that's because I bought it used.

But what if I screwed up and inadvertently drove a car over one of my Wii games? That might sound a little absurd, but it could easily happen to anyone! You take it to a friend's house play it there, set it on your trunk to get out the groceries, and then the next day: Destroyed Wii game. What recourse would I have? That's physical damage. If it's a first-party game, Nintendo will not replace it. My only real option is to go buy a new video game. Hopefully it was one of the NintendoSelects titles and I'll only be out twenty bucks.

But Fair Use is supposed to give us another way in making a backup copy. Alas, however, all of the copying devices for video games are illegal. We have the right to make the copy, but we do not have the right to actually purchase device that enables us to make the copy. Presumably, the only "legal" way to do it is to build the device yourself. There are also other considerations. The game discs probably have a specific property which prevents you from using just any dvd or whatever.

Anyway, the whole point I'm getting to is that discs aren't as durable as cartridges. I never once needed to make a backup of a cartridge based game. The technology, "superior" as it may be, is certainly much more flimsy. It would all too easy to go and break one of my Wii games now, but would I have the same luck breaking a NES game or a SNES game? Seriously, I really did drive a car over Super Metriod once. It cracked, but the game still plays to this day.

But I digress yet again. I think that companies like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft should come with up some method of backing up games that wouldn't decrease their sales (or worse increase them because I have to go buy another game!).

On a final, final, note: Why is it easier to just rip a game to your computer and play it on an emulator than it is to make the (hopefully usable) copy you're legally allowed to make? The world is crazy! You'd think they'd be more comfortable with the hypothetical product mentioned above than the (arguably) legal method that eliminates the need for a console.

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