Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Penny Ivory Arcade

I'll be late to the party and comment on commentry...at penny arcade.

If I am purchasing games in order to reward their creators, and to ensure that more of these ingenious contraptions are produced, I honestly can't figure out how buying a used game was any better than piracy. From the perspective of a developer, they are almost certainly synonymous.
I wonder if Tycho thinks buying used cars is grand theft auto? (Wait, was that a word play on my part?)

I'll repeat a comment I made elsewhere - So he’s buying it to reward creators.

Okay, so how does that matter in some bigger picture?

Woops, my middle class ivory tower radar just went off – he’s acting as if he’s some sort of patron of the arts when he buys a game. And if he’s doing it, then that’s what everyone else is doing or else.

Sorry bud, perhaps some people are buying objects, not funding starving artists. And by the way, no, THQ doesn't know you even if you do buy a game. Go donate enough of your clearly disposable income money to some charities so that, with what you have left, you don't feel in a 'donate to artists/creators' mood, but still feel like gaming. Your feet might touch the ground then.



  1. Good call, man. I can appreciate his underlying desire to show his support for artists he appreciates, but all he's effectively doing is trying to lionize consumption of entertainment.

    I do appreciate that he's a sort of gamer-activist, paying attention to the shenanigans of corporations and to issues of free speech and the like, but this particular instance rings very hollow indeed, and is a reminder of the limits of, well, gamer activism. More fundamentally, the limits of consumption-as-social-change. Verrryyy middle-class indeed, my friend!

  2. Hi Zac, thanks for your comment!

    Yeah, I think he didn't need to return all those gamers for store credit/money, he could have just used his disposable income. I think he feels a little guilty at failing his own reasons for buying games but is aiming it at everyone else as if they failed.

    Good point noting there are limits on consumption-as-social-change. It often gets touted as some sort of capitalist 'voting'.

  3. It *is* capitalist voting, which is why I daresay (and here I go, showing my colors...) it doesn't actually work! ^_^

    To unpack that a little bit more, and in a less, ahem, partisan sense (if that matters to you!), it's akin to a severely republican system, wherein we could imagine it's almost impossible for the average person to meaningfully determine who actually runs for office. Okay, so capitalist voting is akin to ancient Roman voting - you can cast your vote for whichever marketplace item you like, but you have no say in which items end up IN the marketplace.
    So it's a lot like what we've got now in the States. Ba-zing! *rimshot*