What’s the difference between piracy and used games?
I don’t know if that’s a question that’s often asked, but I find myself at a crossroads these days, when thinking about pirating or illegally downloading games. While in the past I willfully, nay, gleefully bought and downloaded pirated games, the fact that I’m now in the process of making one has given me pause when deciding to look for that torrent or visit my local pirate stall (one of many, as anyone who’s been to southeast asia can confirm).
I’m not here to defend my pirating or downloading of games, because the truth is I know that it’s wrong, regardless of the poverty gap between asian nations and the US and EU. Also, I have come to realize that no matter how you try to spin the half-truth that publishers are making most of the money anyway, and you’re not really supporting developers by buying their game, well, that’s just something we tell ourselves to assuage our guilt.
But lately, instead of buying or downloading pirated games, I’ve taken to buying used ones, or borrowing from my more wealthy friends. The net effect of this is almost the same as piracy, in that the developer/publisher makes no extra money from my purchase of a used game or my borrowing of a game. Downloading then, appears to be the lesser evil since someone must have bought at least one copy of the game to be ripped and shared on the internet, while in piracy the same thing has occurred but someone’s making money off of it. So can downloading be called mass borrowing? And if borrowing a game is ok then how can downloading a game on a torent, without paying money for it, be wrong?
Just a stream of consciousness discussion I’ve been having with myself, thought I’d share it with you guys.