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

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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RE[2]: Good Old Games
by ssokolow on Wed 11th Sep 2013 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Good Old Games"
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I'd say it violates the trust 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 version of a game.

While I agree that torrents of 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 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

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