Thanks for your thoughtful replies. I don't know whether or not you read my earlier posting #37 but you'll find that I don't entirely disagree with you. The problem with the analogies that everyone is throwing around is that none serve as a complete analogy...only so far as they serve. For instance, we have both used painting and car analogies. You say that comparing a car to a piece of software is ridiculous. In some respects you are correct. But it doesn't really matter whether I am talking about a car or a lesser piece of equipment if you insist on making it a price issue lets examine it this way: A piece of software=$50. A portable CD Player=$50. If you purchased a CD player from a reputable company and it played CDs well most of the time but occasionally simply wouldn't you would expect to be able to return it wouldn't you? And if you couldn't you would feel as if you were wronged wouldn't you? You say that you returned Ultima with no problem and I congratulate you. But it has been pointed out many times in this debate that increasingly many software chains don't allow return of a piece of software AT ALL unless the disc is defective. In which case you can exchange if for the same piece of software. This selling of defective product is NO less inexcusable then selling any other defective product and the producers should be held accountable. The law should be equitable on this front. If people can be thrown in jail and the key tossed for warez, then programmer who sell defective software should be liable for class action suits and pursuit by the BBB. The only reason we don't see this is that the general group of people who are effected by this fraud are young and not wealthy. If there were a bunch of 80 year old gamers out there supported by the AARP lobby then I guarantee things would change in a hurry. I did not intend to compare the life threatening nature of a defective car with software, but when people's harddrives are being wiped (increasingly many people's livelyhood is their computer) by errant code that is a VERY dangerous thing is it not? Now on to the painting analogy. Your is good but I think if you read my earlier posts you will see that mine is equally valid. I am sure that I am not alone in viewing great games as works of art. If I like a Van Gogh, I may purchase a print of it, but if I could own the original, I would. There is no denying that almost all rips take a great deal of functionality out of a game...voiceoverwork (although sometimes I wish I could take this out of the commercial version
) MOvies which are increasingly excellent, and music all bite the dust with warez. So I, and many gamers, understand that it is essentail to own the original in order to enjoy the full beauty of the product. So, in keeping with the analogy, I buy the poster to find out if I like the artist...if I do, I buy the painting.
p.s. I do realize that no one is going to suddenly do a 180 and change their minds on this but I do want programmers to stand up and start to realize that the non-functional games that are being thrown onto shelves have victims! And, as valid as the view that programmers deserve their fair share is (I agree heartily!), gamers need to stop getting burned.
(Pool of Radience, Ultima IX, Sin, World War II Online, Anarchy Online, Diakatana....the list goes on and on...)