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Shut Up. We're Talking.
Host: Darren and Karen
Darren and Karen present this commentary podcast covering recent topics found within the MMORPG Blogging and Podcasting community.

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Shut Up. We're Talking #69
Sun, 29 Aug 2010 18:07:07 +0000 [download/play]



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Episode 69 Discussion Thread

'Used Games' by gothwalk
Submitted on 2010-09-02 08:51:40 CST
One for Darren - if your brother is going to play Dragon Age on XBox 360, he's going to have to buy it used. I've just finished a long, long process of contacting every retailer I could reach here in Dublin, and finding that nobody has the new product in stock any more - nor can they order it.


'Resells, OK. First purchase content, OK. Just know what you are buying.' by Teviko
Submitted on 2010-09-02 20:32:29 CST
I have no problem with the concept of reselling games. If I have a physical product in my hand that I paid for, I should be able to do what I wish with that physical product, including re-sell it. The prospect that used game sales should be illegal because the developer doesn't get a cut is absurd. If that were true, then all second hand sales should be illegal for the same reason: used cars, yard sales, ebay, consignment shops, Goodwill, etc.

Game developers offering one time incentives, such as additional content, as part of the first sale price is smart, and I'm okay with that. They've found a way to live with the practice of reselling and make some money off of it for themselves. I would suspect that game reselling was one of the motivations behind companies offering DLC. They may only sell a single copy of a game once, but they can potentially sell the DLC for that individual copy multiple times as it moves from owner to owner.

The trick for the second hand game buyer is to know exactly what he is buying, and that requires a little more research. Is the price he is paying really a bargain? If that game included first purchase content, it's possible that the discounted cost of the used game plus the cost of buying the additional content separately would amount to more money than if he just bought the game new. In fact, that was crux of the Game Stop lawsuit earlier this year.

http://ps3.ign.com/articles/107/1079852p1.html



'used games' by Brent
Submitted on 2010-09-04 16:04:33 CST
I think the industry's answer to the concept of used games will be quite simple and we're seeing it happen as quickly as the market will accept it:

Digital distribution.

I'm quite certain that if download speeds were not being outpaced by the number of gigabytes an A-list title consumes, we'd be buying empty boxes in stores that simply have a download code. Clearly, Steam is already doing this. In a few short years, game DVDs on shelves will relics.

As far as the "right" to resell ... I feel people are confusing the concept between a physical product and an entertainment experience. If it is ok to resell a game, then it's also okay to bring a video camera into a movie and preserve that experience for yourself, and resell that experience to others. Clearly it isn't. But, because games have always had to be distributed as physical products due to technology limitations, we became used to the idea of used product. Conceptually, games are more like theme park experiences, plays, concerts... not to be re-sold 2nd hand.

I'm not saying that used games don't provide a value to us gamers, I'm saying, it wil go away because technology won't allow it much longer. Films on DVD and music is following suit, but will take a little longer.



'credit' by Brent
Submitted on 2010-09-04 16:05:48 CST
gee, I don't even get credit in the show notes as a host? /fires Darren.


'credit?' by darrenl
Submitted on 2010-09-04 23:57:47 CST
...opps.

Yeah....Brent was there.

/makes note that Darren owes Brent yet another beer.



'Retail Has a Long Life Ahead' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2010-09-05 16:53:22 CST
I have to disagree with Brent on the degree to which digital distribution is ascending. Right now services like Steam only appeal to people who are already gamers. If you're not into games in a big way, like almost anybody reading this, Steam has on impact on you at all.

This is born out by the fact that even Valve feels the need to put boxed versions of their products on store shelves. They know that, currently, there is no online experience that can replace physical presence on a store shelf to get customer attention.

Even Torchlight, a good example of a successful digital release, is now available in a box. I saw it on the shelf at Fry's the other day. Runic knows that there is a market out there that won't buy digital for whatever reason.

As with so much else, brick and mortar stores didn't go away with the advent of the web. They have changed, but they are here for the long haul.

Ironically, GameStop is probably helping digital sales by keeping such a crappy selection of PC games at their stores.



'Can an experience be resold?' by Teviko
Submitted on 2010-09-05 18:29:12 CST
@Brent: I agree that to video tape a movie in a theater, either to keep or sell, is not okay. However, that is NOT a resell. In this example, you are making a copy of the original and distributing it. That is piracy and that is not what we are talking about when we are talking resell. In a resell, it is the original that changes hands, as well as the ability to use/play/view that item. Unlike making a copy, the seller no longer has access to the game.

As far as selling an experience, I think that argument falls short, as well. When a person buys a painting and views it, it creates an experience for him. It may not be as deep or multi-faceted as a video game, but there are emotions, thoughts, real-life connection and memories that the owner has when looking at that artwork, and I would call that an experience. Should that owner then not be allowed to sell the painting to another collector at a later date? I would think he could.

In regards to confusion between a physical product and an entertainment experience, I believe the confusion is on Brent's end. Resell only deals with the physical product, mainly because you cannot resell an experience. An experience is an interaction between an individual and something else (environment, another person, book, game, etc.). Each experience is unique to the person who has it and cannot be accurately transferred to someone else. The video game itself is not the experience. It is only the catalyst that allows a unique experience to be created for each person who plays it. Using your comparison that games are like a theme park, I can have a theme park experience, but the owner of that theme park can sell it to another entertainment firm. I still own the experience. It is not what is being resold. With a video game, I am both owner and the one having the experience. Just like the theme park owner, I can sell the physical product but keep the experience.



'Nah, I don't think so, Brent.' by Checksix
Submitted on 2010-09-06 00:27:45 CST
So is Monopoly a game or an experience? How about Othello?

Ok so I'm assuming you said game so how about Monopoly on the computer? If I buy the computer version of Monopoly is it a game or an experience?

I think you're confusing the act of producing a game with a performance, it's not the same. Producing a game is the same as producing a book, or a movie or whatever. When I'm done with a movie that I've bought on DVD and sell it at a yard sale it was mine to sell. I owned it I sold it.

While it's true that medium does matter the fact is that X-Box 360 games are sold, mostly, on DVD. You own it, you sell it. Digital distribution will change that because in many ways DD will be associated with a service. If a game is offered as a service through a medium that I subscribe to, I don't own it and therefore I can't sell it.

So any time something is sold to me on a physical medium it's mine to sell. Plain and simple.

Oh and software licenses aren't worth the paper they are printed on. They rarely if ever hold up in court. Slashdot just ran an article this week on a lawsuit springing past the EULA as a formality not even a real legal challenge.