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Ten Golden Rules of videogame piracy

7:52 AM on 08.24.2008 // Jim Sterling

If you're reading this, then chances are good that you're what we might call a "hardcore" gamer. You love games. You love buying games. You want to have more games. However, unless you are Roman Polanski, it's highly likely that you don't have the kind of ready cash to consistently splash on such decadent items.

Why should a lack of funds, however, act as a barrier to your enjoyment of things? Why suffer the pain of unfulfilled desire when you can just take what you want? That's right, I'm talking about piracy. It's okay, we're all friends here, nobody's going to judge you. Take my hand, I've got a revelation for you.

Piracy is a magical process whereby you receive goods without paying money for them. It's a bit like stealing, except it's not because everybody knows that you can't steal the Internet, and that's all you're doing really. You're just taking bits of Internet for yourself, which you already pay for anyway. Sounds great, right? That's because it is.

So, now that you've definitely decided to be a videogame pirate, you're going to need to know how to do it right. You're going to need some Golden Rules. Ten of them, in fact. Even lawlessness has its laws, so come with me as we learn the Ten Golden Rules of videogame piracy.

1. You're going to buy it later:

First and foremost, even though you just got a videogame for free, you are definitely going to needlessly spend money later and buy it. Everybody else just pirates and leaves it at that, but you are a very special person that thieves a game just to see if it's worth spending money on. Once this is deduced, you will get rid of the game you have and then spend money to have it again. See? Not all pirates are bad. You are one of the good pirates who merely tries before they buy. Sometimes you go into the grocery store and take a few slices of bread home with you, to help you decide if it's worth going back later to buy the whole loaf. 

2. You're not going to buy it anyway:

Remember what we just said about you definitely buying the game? Well ignore everything to do with that, because you were never going to buy the game. This is a great way to justify your piracy, because it makes what you do 100% innocent. The basic reasoning for game theft is that you were never going to spend the money on it anyway, so technically the publisher of said game hasn't lost a sale. Logic prevails, and you now have a game that the publisher is perfectly fine with you owning. 

It's a logic that has saved many a man from the chopping block. Mike Tyson, for example, was never going to ask Desiree Washington if he could have sex with her, so technically he didn't rape her. He was instantly welcomed back into society for his wanton act of innocence. 

3. Act like a righteous freedom fighter:

The information wants to be free! You are a great liberator, saving the world from fascist copyright protection and bringing us one step closer to a perfect society. As a videogame pirate, you must always maintain that you are some sort of hero, and do it as obnoxiously as possible, to ensure that the people flock to your cause. 

Self-styled social heroes are the most popular people on the Internet, especially when they use such heroism to defend illegal activities. After all, Electronic Arts is an evil faceless mega corporation, which means you are allowed to steal that indie game that costs five bucks.

4. DRM made you do it:

DRM is designed to stop piracy, which is why it causes so much piracy. It's a bit like saying "I killed that cat because this cat is dead" but nobody will ever call you on your completely backwards logic. You were forced into a life of piracy because people tried to stop you from pirating things. It sounds like a ridiculous argument, but it is actually a brilliant one, with examples all across society -- drug addicts, for example, only shove cocaine up their ass because there are so many laws stopping them from doing it. Also, because it's so difficult to get a gun in the United Kingdom, there are ten times more shootings there than in any other country in the world.

If there was no DRM, and it became so much easier to pirate games, you bet your ass that NOBODY would steal another videogame. The first recorded theft in the world happened in 1996, the same year as the Content Scrambling System was introduced to DVDs. Nobody had even thought of stealing until DRM existed. Besides which, it doesn't work anyway.

5. The R4 is for homebrew:

The R4 is a perfectly legitimate tool and nobody has ever used it to completely rip off the Nintendo DS' game library. You can use it to play (legally purchased) movies or listen to (legally purchased) music on your DS. The main draw, of course, is all the homebrew that you totally use in between playing games that you own all the carts for. In fact, if you DO have any games on your R4, they are all definitely backups of games you already own. You just can't deal with the aggravation of putting all those unwieldy carts into the DS slot so it's handy to have all the legitimately acquired software in one place.

It amazes you that anybody would want to use the R4 for piracy when there are so many other legal applications for it. You're not even tempted.

6. Same goes for custom firmware:

And anyone who says you do anything illicit on your PSP is a fucking liar!

7. Going to the store is too much effort:

Imagine the scenario -- in order to legally purchase a videogame, you first have to fight your way out of bed, your bed being a vast whirlpool that threatens to suck you into its spongy clutches for all eternity if you don't use a system of weights and pulleys to winch yourself to freedom. After that, you must navigate your way through treacherous thorned paths and Jim Henson's Labyrinth to locate the shower, which spews molten liquid at your face and disfigures you for life. After you've endured the agony of showering, your next task is to put on some clothes. The clothes are made of poison. Once that is done, it's time to ride to the game store on the back of one of the Colossi from Shadow of the Colossus, which of course is an almost impossible task. 

If you've survived this life threatening trek to the store (some journeys are over an entire mile long) you have to find the Colossus' weak point and kill it, and then kill fifteen more. After that, you must then knock out the guards, Mirror's Edge style, because everybody knows that game stores are protected from outsiders by Shinra soldiers. After you have finally entered the store, you must find the game you want from a thirteen-mile long corridor lined with game case upon game case -- all of them without covers or labels. You must walk from one end of the corridor to the other, opening every single case and checking the disc inside to see if it is the game you require. Once you have finally found the game, a Sphinx will descend from the ceiling and demand that you answer a riddle before you are allowed to buy it. If you can solve the riddle, deemed so difficult that it has driven sane men mad and mad men sane, you may finally purchase the game.

From Lucifer. 

With a credit card that weighs eighteen thousand tons.

Then it rains for forty days and forty nights and you take the game home in a boat made of paper.

Is it any wonder that piracy is so rampant?

8. Piracy is good for the games industry:

In keeping with this image you have of yourself as a modern day John Rabe, you must argue that you are actually doing the games industry a service by stealing from it. Piracy is good for the games industry, and you don't need any facts backing that up because everybody knows it's true, like the existence of God.

In fact, if everybody in the whole world stole videogames and didn't pay for them, game companies would instantly make $100 billion from doing nothing.  

9. Games are so expensive:

Games cost a lot of money, so that means you're allowed to own them for free. Everybody has a right to have everything they want -- it worked for Communism, and it works here. Your theft of software sends a very powerful message to game publishers, who will be so rocked to the core by your principles that they will lower game prices by 90% and then games will be cheap enough for you to buy them ... and you'll certainly buy them, honest. 

In other news, golden crowns and cars made out of Fabergé eggs are also expensive. That means we should all have those for free as well. 

10. Never tell the truth ...

That you just like having shit and are too much of a cheap fuck to pay money for it.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

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