I must admit that I find a degree of a humor in the various ways game sites try and siphon some cheap hits by spinning the context of story and its title in a more controversial and dire light or resorting to cliche flame bait topics. Examples of the latter are sites like Kombo becoming increasingly known for their inane lists that usualy revolve around what supposedly is or isn't overrated while peddling their painfully narrow views.
They repeatedly hit the same old targets in usually blatant efforts to get a rise out of notoriously rabid fanbases of the proverbial sacred cows of gaming like Zelda: O.o.T either in individual posts or among their little lists. Yet another group of petty antagonizers that fail to acknowledge that no one would waste time debating a game's merit over a decade after the fact if it wasn't actually worth debating.. all the while conveniently forgetting to ever even raise a voice in the direction of today's popular shooters.
Essentially they are trying to obtain both the added views that flame wars inevitably bring while still trying to avoid alienation of their intended core audience. Too bad that amidst these stunts sites like Kombo lose any and all credibility, if there was actually any to begin with that is.
Anyways my main focus is actually more towards the sensationalism that more and more games sites are falling back on with increased regularity. All it takes is one site to overhype a story and it spreads like wildfire throughout the rest of the internet's gaming news sites trying to grab hits. One prime example is the recent story about new court rulings in the Vernor v. Autodesk case and how it apparently is a sign of the apocalypse for used game sales.. and to the surprise of no one, GS was among those that took it and ran.
Where they the worst offender? Certainly not. But when a mainstream game news site posts a headline reading "Court ruling could affect pre-owned game sales" for an article that is really making a stretch of the possibilities and is quite slim on providing a truly balanced account of the story overall, you know damn well what they are aiming for.. to create a stir amongst the easily agitated, impressionable and uninformed to generate those precious hits.
Don't get me wrong, I know that business is business, but I can't help but think these stories are only dropping the already lowly bar of online game journalism. The article was pretty typical of what to expect nowadays, a slightly sensationalistic title followed by either a biased or generic explanation that usually misses the overall point.
Yeah, they 'tried' to explain the connecting of the dots of why the various rulings from the Vernor v. Autodesk case involving the secondhand sale of software 'could' affect the used videogame industry in efforts to justify the article's existence on the front page, but they really don't take the time to clarify that it is a case that is years in the making.. one that has had (and will continue to have) multiple appeals.
They among many others failed to convey the various boader details and just how long the legal process for a case like this can be, not to mention the fact that not only was this a ruling from the 9th district court(one that is infamous for having its decisions overturned), but there are numerous other similar court cases that refute Autodesk's type of EULA related claims.
Whether you support the ideal of used game sales or not let me make something very clear.. if our court system erodes to the point of allowing corporate EULAs(End-User License Agreements) to circumvent our country's various fair trade and copyright laws, used games will be the absolute least of our problems.
Here are a few case rulings that I like to place focus on:
Applied Info. Mgmt., Inc, v. Icart (1997) held that the sale of software is the sale of a good.
Novell, Inc. v. CPU Distrib., Inc. (2000) The first-sale doctrine applies to software.
Softman v. Adobe (2001) The first-sale doctrine applies to software and can not be waived or taken away through an EULA.
Whether the game publishers/developers and the opponents of businesses like Gamestop like it or not(you can still believe in the ideal while hating the store as I do), the gaming industry is not special. They are not exempt from following the same laws and legal precendents that the rest of the US's economic industries have to adhere to.
Unless an individual is illegally replicating the disc(digitally / creating multiple physical copies) OR trying to illegally profit off of intellectual properties contained on the disc, the industry needs to stop pouting because their entitlement ends at the checkout line. After they recieved their deserved initial profit in full off of an individual copy of a game, they have no place in future private transactions.
I realize that the eternal lust for continued money and power is a natural part of business, but perhaps for once they should spend more time and money at the planning table to try and get a more creative profit out of individual copies of a game than simply trying to pick gamer's pockets through the legal system.
Yes, we get it. The economy is rough and it's certainly wise try to and maximize earning power to survive, but it's a tough environment right now for everyone. Showing favoritism for a whining entertainment industry trying to further pad their own growing wallets is not going to help anyone.. and if enough policies are not changed to keep more people in their homes, and more jobs + manufacturing within the country why should any focus be placed on going above and beyond to further enrich game makers?
I think an ironic angle is while these developers b*tch and moan about the Gamestop and eBays of the world taking away from their added profit, they are thinking that if laws were magically rewritten for them to recoup any supposed lost profits from the sale of a used game that any significant amount would actually get to them personally.. and would somehow not be quickly pocketed by publishers and other higher on the corporate food chain (most of the money would probably still not make it to those who actually created the game as most payouts are fixed amounts not conditional on sales).
Do they not realize that if the courts actually 'did' crack and allowed special arrangements for continued profit off of secondhand sales that it would only lead to increased piracy.. as well as snowball into even worse problems if everyone got in on the EULA game? It would only create a circle of bullsh*t with loopholes within loopholes inevitably disrupting the entire process thanks to the anarchy allowed by little EULAs bypassing fair and established law.
Anyways, my overall sentiment is this game industry: get over it. I'm all for cracking down on the likes of piracy, because thats were they are truly being robbed of deserved profit, but giving you special rights to invade people's private transactions to shut you up is not on the agenda.
In a fair trade market you got to take the good with the bad, you can't selectively play the capitalism card only when convenient. While used game sales may seem like all bad for developers initially, in the grand scheme of things it is a necessary and legal "evil" that keeps the industry's wheels turning.