Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Sep 2013 19:21 UTC
Games

Steam Family Sharing allows close friends and family members to play one another's games while earning their own Steam achievements and saving their own game progress to the Steam cloud. It's all enabled by authorizing a shared computer.

Sounds neat, but it does look convoluted and complex. I have a simpler system, which is quite revolutionary. It's called physical copies and I can just give them to friends. It's magic.

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Thom, Thom, Thom ...
by p13. on Wed 11th Sep 2013 19:47 UTC
p13.
Member since:
2005-07-10

Waarom zo pessimistisch, jongen? :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Thom, Thom, Thom ...
by earksiinni on Wed 11th Sep 2013 19:52 UTC in reply to "Thom, Thom, Thom ..."
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Sounds more like a cranky old man to me ;-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Thom, Thom, Thom ...
by p13. on Wed 11th Sep 2013 19:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Thom, Thom, Thom ..."
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

No, he has a point, but he sounds too frustrated.

Reply Score: 1

Revolutionary, indeed!
by earksiinni on Wed 11th Sep 2013 19:51 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

Is multiplayer on psychically distributed games done via ESP?

=P

Reply Score: 5

RE: Revolutionary, indeed!
by p13. on Wed 11th Sep 2013 19:53 UTC in reply to "Revolutionary, indeed!"
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

Uhhh ... you host your own or use community servers? Like it's been done since ... forever?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Revolutionary, indeed!
by earksiinni on Wed 11th Sep 2013 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolutionary, indeed!"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

It's called psychical copies

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Revolutionary, indeed!
by p13. on Wed 11th Sep 2013 20:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Revolutionary, indeed!"
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

I just fell of my chair here. Bravo ...

Reply Score: 1

Good Old Games
by ptman on Wed 11th Sep 2013 19:58 UTC
ptman
Member since:
2005-08-08

gog.com has no DRM! I'm able to install games on several computers and even install them on family members machines for multiplayer action. Is it wrong? I don't know, but it is convenient.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Good Old Games
by Morgan on Wed 11th Sep 2013 20:11 UTC in reply to "Good Old Games"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd say it violates the trust GOG.com places in you to not do what you just admitted, so yes, I would say it's wrong. Given how cheap the games are on that site, you could probably outfit your entire family and circle of friends with legitimate copies of a game for around the same price as a console game that can only be played on one screen at a time.

They advertise DRM-free games to attract those who oppose DRM-laden software on principle, not necessarily those who would take advantage of their model. Though I'm sure they are well aware that customers who "cheat" the system do exist. More than once when searching for info on my favorite old games on Google, I'd come across a torrent link to a GOG.com version of a game.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Good Old Games
by ssokolow on Wed 11th Sep 2013 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Good Old Games"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I'd say it violates the trust GOG.com places in you to not do what you just admitted, so yes, I would say it's wrong. Given how cheap the games are on that site, you could probably outfit your entire family and circle of friends with legitimate copies of a game for around the same price as a console game that can only be played on one screen at a time.

They advertise DRM-free games to attract those who oppose DRM-laden software on principle, not necessarily those who would take advantage of their model. Though I'm sure they are well aware that customers who "cheat" the system do exist. More than once when searching for info on my favorite old games on Google, I'd come across a torrent link to a GOG.com version of a game.


While I agree that torrents of GOG.com games aren't very nice, they're not really anything special when you consider how easy it is to find non-GOG games with NoCD cracks.

While I accept that multiple simultaneous players off a single GOG.com copy is iffy (though I respect nobody more than "up to three players per Warcraft 2 CD"-era Blizzard on that front), just installing it on multiple PCs at once isn't anything special.

As long as everyone is playing different games, it's just the modern version of buying a bunch of Gameboy cartridges or CD-ROMs to share among your family members... and if you disapprove of that or think it can be stopped, you're either blinded by privilege or a fool.

(Heck, my brothers do that with their Steam games. One will log onto his Steam account, then go offline. Then, he'll tell the other brother his password so he can log in and go offline.)

Even if I did agree with your philosophical viewpoint, that assumes that we actually can afford to pay more. There are a lot of working poor in the U.S.A., Canada, and various other locales.

(I stopped watching Extra Credits when I encountered the apalling sense of entitlement and disconnection from normal people's budgets that they displayed in their episode on piracy. Not everyone can justify buying a new $60 game every month!)

Second, if I did somehow agree with your viewpoint enough that I was unwilling to risk installing a GOG game on more than one PC in case two people might accidentally play it at the same time, I'd either buy used CD-ROMs (since they tend to require the CD in the drive to play) or not buy games at all. (After all, no matter what the EULA says, everyone with any sense knows it's ludicrous to expect a family to only install a CD-ROM that already does a "disk in drive" check on a single PC at a time when you can treat them like GameBoy cartridges.)

Of course, since most of the games I play these days are from Humble Bundles, I don't think that's an issue. They actually mention installing on more than one machine in your house when explaining why "DRM-free" is a reason the Humble Bundles are good... if that's not implicit approval, I don't know what is.

...though, honestly, I play games so little these days that the $5-15 per month I spend is more as a patron of the arts than anything else. My main source of entertainment is stuff that the creators give away for free like fanfiction and webcomics or hobbies I can engage in for free, like learning new programming languages.

Edited 2013-09-11 21:06 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Good Old Games
by darknexus on Wed 11th Sep 2013 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good Old Games"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

(I stopped watching Extra Credits when I encountered the apalling sense of entitlement and disconnection from normal people's budgets that they displayed in their episode on piracy. Not everyone can justify buying a new $60 game every month!)

Fine, then you don't need it. Find alternate games (which it seems you do) or go without. It's not a life necessity, and I'd say those who claim they should pirate it because they can't afford it are the ones displaying a sense of entitlement. You're life isn't going to end because you have to wait a few months to buy a friggin' game. First world problems, indeed.

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: Good Old Games
by ssokolow on Wed 11th Sep 2013 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good Old Games"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Fine, then you don't need it. Find alternate games (which it seems you do) or go without. It's not a life necessity, and I'd say those who claim they should pirate it because they can't afford it are the ones displaying a sense of entitlement. You're life isn't going to end because you have to wait a few months to buy a friggin' game. First world problems, indeed.


My issue was with the "everyone should give our industry at least $60 a month" part of their attitude, not the "people shouldn't pirate" part. (And I stopped watching because I no longer consider them credible enough to be worth my time without a list of citations.)

I firmly believe piracy is bad. If for no other reason, it muddles the producer's peception of demand and makes it easier for them to play to their biases to conclude things like "we have too little DRM, not too much".

Edited 2013-09-11 22:10 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Good Old Games
by darknexus on Thu 12th Sep 2013 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good Old Games"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"Fine, then you don't need it. Find alternate games (which it seems you do) or go without. It's not a life necessity, and I'd say those who claim they should pirate it because they can't afford it are the ones displaying a sense of entitlement. You're life isn't going to end because you have to wait a few months to buy a friggin' game. First world problems, indeed.


My issue was with the "everyone should give our industry at least $60 a month" part of their attitude, not the "people shouldn't pirate" part. (And I stopped watching because I no longer consider them credible enough to be worth my time without a list of citations.)

I firmly believe piracy is bad. If for no other reason, it muddles the producer's peception of demand and makes it easier for them to play to their biases to conclude things like "we have too little DRM, not too much".
"
Here, we are agreed. Appologies for misinterpreting what you said and for my, perhaps, harshly worded response. We've seen that time and again, and with far more than games be they console or pc. Hmm you know, the pirate/drm/more drm logic employed by the industry sounds an awful lot like the logic the disgraceful leader of my country is employing right now to attack other people, but that's another topic. Just pointing it out to show that, if one looks hard enough, you can see that kind of circular logic throughout life.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Good Old Games
by lucas_maximus on Thu 12th Sep 2013 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good Old Games"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Most of the games on GoG are less than what I spend on my lunch on a Friday.

I spend as much on a triple-AAA game as a night out on the town mid-week with my friends. The night out cannot be replayed without more investment weekly.

You go to the cinema and pay 1/6 of the price for 2 hours entertainment you can't see again without (legally) purchasing a disk for a similar or higher price.

Games aren't expensive when you actually compare them to other forms of entertainment.

Edited 2013-09-12 22:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Good Old Games
by Morgan on Wed 11th Sep 2013 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good Old Games"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

As long as everyone is playing different games, it's just the modern version of buying a bunch of Gameboy cartridges or CD-ROMs to share among your family members... and if you disapprove of that or think it can be stopped, you're either blinded by privilege or a fool.


Actually I agree with you on this, and I'm pretty sure GOG would too. My reply to ptman was simply providing a viewpoint in answer to his question. I never said I was right, just that it was how I saw the situation.

And I'm with you on the insane price of console games too, though actually it's always been pretty high; I remember my brother and I saving up money for weeks to buy Final Fantasy VI (FF3 here in the US) for the SNES for $70, and we took turns playing the same save game since we both "owned" it.

And hey, maybe I'm just as guilty: A few weeks ago my 12 year old niece wanted to start playing "real" Minecraft (she had been playing on her tablet but was curious about the PC version) so I logged in on her computer and showed her around, and never even thought about deleting the game afterward. According to my sister she still plays on my account, though she is saving up for her own account. Since I haven't logged in and played for a couple of months on my own computer, I doubt Mojang even cares...but you could say that that makes me just as "guilty" as ptman and his family sharing of GOG games.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good Old Games
by ssokolow on Wed 11th Sep 2013 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good Old Games"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

And I'm with you on the insane price of console games too, though actually it's always been pretty high; I remember my brother and I saving up money for weeks to buy Final Fantasy VI (FF3 here in the US) for the SNES for $70, and we took turns playing the same save game since we both "owned" it.


Agreed. Most of my games as a kid were shareware like Commander Keen 4 that I bought for a few bucks at the local K Mart and then never registered because I was unwilling to mail my allowance to another country and wait an eternity (weeks).

In fact, most of the PC games I did buy in full versions were from the $15-30 "we've made our money and are trying to monetize our back catalog" classics bin.

As for consoles, I think, over the entire course of our ownership of it, we had maybe a dozen SNES games at most... all begged from parents after we concluding that they would hold our interest long enough to not make continued rentals from the local Microplay cost-effective.

...now that I think about it, that's probably the biggest difference.

At high prices, a lot of cash used to flow to rental stores and now stays out of circulation as piracy is used as a "try before you buy" that makes it possible to "try forever without buying".

At lower prices and emboldened by newfangled things like YouTube reviews, people are more willing to take a chance on the convenience of just tossing a few bucks at each developer via Steam or GOG or what have you. (Hence gaben's statement that piracy is a service issue.)

Edited 2013-09-11 23:33 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good Old Games
by Savior on Thu 12th Sep 2013 10:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good Old Games"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

I don't know... Theoretically speaking, while RPGs, adventure games or other genres that have a story and an ending might be problematic, I think Minecraft and similar games are very much like physical games in this regard. As long as you don't log in and play the same time as your sister (is it even possible to do so?), it's the same as lending your brother one of your LEGO sets (or model airplanes, or whatnot). And nobody has ever wanted to outlaw that now, have they.

With a story-based game, the picture is not as clear: if you have already finished it, you've got everything that you wanted from it, so giving it to someone is kind of cheating, as if you could give a bottle of coke that you've drunk to someone, and they'd be able to drink it again, too.

Then again, books tend to go around like that, and nobody complains much about people lending books to one another, so I don't see why other sectors of the entertainment industry should be entitled to do so.

Finally, I believe that the (nuclear) family can well be considered one unit (it is, in many respects, by law), and I've never felt any scruples against sharing my stuff with my brother, or nowadays, with my wife. It would be completely insane if we had to buy every book, movie and CD twice...

Edited 2013-09-12 10:13 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Good Old Games
by osvil on Thu 12th Sep 2013 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good Old Games"
osvil Member since:
2012-10-25

Books and also movies. If you buy a DVD/Bluray/whatever and you see the movie, then you got all it had to offer. You can hand down to a friend and he also gets to get the story, like in a RPG. In fact, I'd say that is part of the value of buying such products... being able to share them with friends, giving them access to something you've liked.

IMO the move by Steam is great. I will for sure use it to share my library with my brother-in-law. He likes strategy games, just as I like them. I have several of them on STEAM. I do like grand-strategy games, he hasn't tried them so this will give him a chance to try. This will add quite a bit of value for me over their previous offering.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good Old Games
by Soulbender on Thu 12th Sep 2013 11:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good Old Games"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

but you could say that that makes me just as "guilty" as ptman and his family sharing of GOG games.


Sure but...put your hand up if you never copied or borrowed a friends CD, LP (ooh, good old days), DVD, VHS, book or whatever. Seriously, sharing with your immediate friends and family is something that everyone has done forever. It's called being a normal person. As long as you don't share with the world...who the fuck cares? Only some kind of insane, soulless version of Duck McScrooge could care.

But hey, home recorded tapes will kill the record industry...

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Good Old Games
by Novan_Leon on Thu 12th Sep 2013 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good Old Games"
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

I'm an avid gamer and I've never understood the complaints about the price of games. After taking inflation and other factors into account, we're actually paying less for games now than we've ever been, not to mention having full access to an indie scene that sells games for considerably less than the usual $60.

People regularly pay $10 for a 2-hour movie. How we can balk at paying $60 for 40+ hours of entertainment is beyond me.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Good Old Games
by Kivada on Sat 14th Sep 2013 01:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good Old Games"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Not really, gaming, especially when buying physical copies is far more expensive then when I was a kid.

I'm 28, when I was a kid I never paid more then $25 for a a brand new game, but the vast majority of my purchases where at the 7 different used game shops around my area, where I could get some games for literally $0.05 I was looking for something that was widely available and for an older console or was an older DOS/Windows3.x, Apple IIe or Comodore64 game.

At those shops I averaged paying between $10-20 on most anything and could always trade back in for cash what I had beaten if none of my friends or family wanted it.

I remember how we used to go to Funcoland weekly for the newspaper they had with all of the stores current games and their prices, we all used to have a copy and used to pool our money to pick up certain games. Between me and my friends we had all of the major consoles and computers, we used to swap systems all the time and would often buy games for consoles we didn't own, because we knew we could borrow it from one of our friends and either trade it to them for another game or back to the shop.

I personally only owned an NES, Gameboy, PS2, a dumpster dived 286SX running Win 3.0 and a Powerbook 280c I picked up for $50 from the x wife of a lawyer that had ceated on her, she was having a yard sale of all his stuff and I happened by, Mind you this was in '95 and the 280c was introduced in '94 @ $3800... I dunno why she sold it to me for that little.

Compare that to today's physical media prices and the death of the used game shops at the hands of Gamestop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA1bLXjtIas

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Good Old Games
by WereCatf on Thu 12th Sep 2013 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Good Old Games"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I'd say it violates the trust GOG.com places in you to not do what you just admitted, so yes, I would say it's wrong.


I haven't read their ToS or anything, but actually I believe you're fully in your rights to share your games with your family-members. I really doubt the folks at GOG are against such. Hell, I'll ask them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Good Old Games
by Morgan on Thu 12th Sep 2013 17:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good Old Games"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You're probably right, I just wonder if they make a distinction between family under the same roof vs family across town, or across the country. I took the hard line in my response to ptman but really it's open to interpretation.

I'm really curious to know what they say!

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good Old Games
by WereCatf on Fri 13th Sep 2013 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good Old Games"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I got a response from GOG moments ago:
we offer individual licenses, so ideally only the owner of an account should be able to use the games. However, due to our DRM-free policy, we don't control or limit it, so you can share your games with anyone you want - we trust our customers not to abuse it. Moreover, in some countries (like in Poland, where our office is located) sharing media with family and closest friends is considered fair use ans is completely legal.

So, they would hope for everyone to buy their own games, but don't even try to pretend that it's illegal everywhere to share the games and accept that. Here in Finland you are legally allowed to make copies of stuff to family and closest friends -- something that most people are surprisingly unaware of these days -- and I think the limit was 5 or 8 people. Do other countries have similar laws?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Good Old Games
by Soulbender on Fri 13th Sep 2013 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good Old Games"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Do other countries have similar laws?


I think most countries have similar fair-use laws. Just imagine how absurd it would be if you couldn't "use" your spouse's book, your dads newspaper or your brothers DVD.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Good Old Games
by Morgan on Sat 14th Sep 2013 03:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good Old Games"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

The difference with software and "lending", according to content publishers, has always been that if you borrow a book or newspaper or DVD, the person you borrowed from no longer has it and can't use it. So, it can be assumed by the publisher that only one person is using it at a time. With software, you can install copies on both machines and (barring any DRM issues) play both copies at once. That effectively renders it a "loss" for the publisher.

Now, I'm not saying I agree with that line of thinking; after all, one can always copy a book, newspaper, magazine, CD, DVD etc. It's more difficult than software, sure, but it's possible and happens all the time, especially with CDs, DVDs, and books. Personally I see all of the above as shareable media, and while I feel on my own level that family sharing or even sharing with close friends doesn't really hurt anything, it is still against the law in many countries, including mine.

The more the lawmakers try to crack down on casual copying/sharing, the closer we come to a point where even talking to another person about the plot of a book/movie/game can get one in trouble for "copyright infringement". I want to see things move in the other direction, but I also realize how unlikely it is that we will see that happen.

Edited 2013-09-14 03:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Froyton
by Froyton on Wed 11th Sep 2013 20:30 UTC
Froyton
Member since:
2013-08-29

It's called physical copies and I can just give them to friends. It's magic.


While I wholeheartedly agree with the advantages of physical distribution, I have to at least give Steam credit for providing a system that finally lets me lend to my little sis-in-law without fear of her losing/stealing/damaging my games. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Froyton
by smashIt on Wed 11th Sep 2013 20:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by Froyton"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

that finally lets me lend to my little sis-in-law without fear of her losing/stealing/damaging my games. ;)


thats what backup-copys are for (never give away your original)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Froyton
by henderson101 on Wed 11th Sep 2013 20:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by Froyton"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Didn't read the article, but Steam has redeemable codes. I would see it possible to use that mechanism. Gift family members a code, the code is limited in number and revokable from the master account. Job done.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Soulbender
by Soulbender on Thu 12th Sep 2013 11:31 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

It's called physical copies and I can just give them to friends. It's magic.


So...uhm...ok. Awesome. Good for you.
Only Steam has never been a physical distribution medium so it's not really relevant.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Soulbender
by lucas_maximus on Thu 12th Sep 2013 22:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by Soulbender"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

This. Steam has never pretended to be anything else than what it is.

Reply Score: 2

Physical Copies get lost
by lucas_maximus on Thu 12th Sep 2013 22:00 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

One of the main benefits of services like steam is that you can login and just download the game again after a hardware failure (which I had recently with one of my hardrives). Also all my save games were downloaded from the cloud.

I give up some benefits of a physical disk and gain a load more in ways that suite me better. I think Thom you are taking a too narrow view of world as per usual ... and not seeing the benefits from another perspective.

My MGS disk got destroyed in a house move, had to buy it again. My half life original disk got lost when a friend borrowed it and then moved to Scotland. Physical copies get lost, those that are attached to a service do not get lost.

I'd rather have Steam, it is easier in the real world ... rather than your pretend one.

Edited 2013-09-12 22:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Physical Copies get lost
by Morgan on Fri 13th Sep 2013 03:28 UTC in reply to "Physical Copies get lost"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

One of the main benefits of services like steam is that you can login and just download the game again after a hardware failure


You can also do this with GOG, without the DRM. Just saying.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Physical Copies get lost
by Soulbender on Fri 13th Sep 2013 04:43 UTC in reply to "Physical Copies get lost"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Physical copies get lost, those that are attached to a service do not get lost.


hmm..I think it's more like they get lost under different circumstances. If, for example, the service goes out of business you lose all your games with the service. Same if you, for some reason, completely lose access to the account. While these may be less likely the impact of a single incident is larger.
In the end it's all about perceived value, balancing risks and making acceptable trade-offs.

Edited 2013-09-13 04:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Physical Copies get lost
by lucas_maximus on Fri 13th Sep 2013 04:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Physical Copies get lost"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Realistically, when do you think EA or Steam are going to go bust?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Physical Copies get lost
by Soulbender on Fri 13th Sep 2013 04:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Physical Copies get lost"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Realistically, when do you think EA or Steam are going to go bust?


Realistically? Not any time in the near future but on the other hand stranger things have happened. As I said, the risk is less and for most people (me included) it's a perfectly acceptable trade-off.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Physical Copies get lost
by WereCatf on Fri 13th Sep 2013 05:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Physical Copies get lost"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I dread the day when Steam goes bust. I've got 201 games in my collection, according to Steam, and even though I've gotten almost all of them through various sales and Humble Bundles it would still hurt my wallet quite a bit :/

Reply Score: 3