I figured I’d pull this out of “comment land” and actually talk about it. Chris makes some very valid points, and for the most part I agree. Except….

“video game piracy for the consoles and computers costs these games companies billions of dollars a year, and that is the reason for the banning these modded boxes from the network.”

I have no doubt that it is, thats actually what I figure the real reason was when I read the article, but it’s a little backhanded to say that your reason is to quell/prevent cheating when you’re really trying to stop piracy.

“The thing about identification and trusted computing is that it has both good and bad sides. obviously, you are siding with those that see it as a bad thing. at the same time, there are many different technologies in place that currently use unique identification to keep things running smoothly, such as cabe modem access, who map MAC addresses to accounts so that they can control access should things go awry. hell, the IP system is essentially a way to identify and control network and internet connectivity.”

True, but my IP address doesn’t know/contain the serial number of my harddrive, the amount of storage it has on it, if I’ve over-clocked my processor or not and what games I might be playing.

“ultimately, the people who will shape the future of computing will be the customers. It happened with the pentium III serial number issue. customers didn’t like it, they made an uproar. they didn’t buy it. Intel and all the manufacturers freaked out, and disabled it. While it didn’t make sense to customer, this was a perfect fit for the corporate customers, who use asset management to make sure that the IT infrastructure at the workplace is all sound.”

I agree completely. I think that hardware IDs might be a great idea for government offices, the military, game companies with leakable demos placed haphazardly on laptops (Doom 3), places with sensative information and so forth. If I’m a government office and information gets leaked about something important, I want to be able to find out where that information came from and stop the spy in my midst. But I hardly need or should need a valid hardware ID number to send my girlfriend a file across a network.

“things like uinique IDs many times don’t make sense to the individual, but when you look at the big picture (which anyone trying to make money through these types of ventures does), you’ll see that a lot of these things make a lot of sense. It’s all about protecting investments.”

Again, I agree, but consumers aren’t trying to make money from themselves so why bother signing everyone up for an ID number and making sure everyone’s in line… unless of course all consumers are being treated AS EMPLOYEES and they’re “protecting their investments” by making sure I don’t have any illegal programs installed. In that case, where’s my software for free and where’s my damn paycheck? 🙂

IDs are good in a corporate setting where things are based off the information that hardware or software happens to hold. They’re about as good for consumers as ATM fees. Sure, giving your bank $2 is great… if you’re the bank, but when you’re just trying to buy some food with the $20 you paid $25 for, it’s a little stupid. It doesn’t help anyone but the bank. I guess that’s my main concern. Not ID numbers, not software, not spyware, but just some basic consumer appreciation/rights/love. I mean, we are the ones paying for all this. We ARE the source of income that the corporations are trying to get at. Why not treat us a little nicer? The consumer gets screwed so many countless ways today that it’s just sickening. Whether it’s because people are more stupid now or they’re just not noticing, I don’t know. But it’s at a level that we’ve never seen before. I just want a little appreciation given back to the people that make this sick capitalistic machine run… US.

I digress, I’ve spun off onto some wild tanget about capitalism. I should probably stop. Actually, I’m about to engage in on of my more capitalist activities… video games. Now, admittedly, I don’t buy every game that I play. I also don’t buy every album that I have an MP3 for. So be it. I’m a bad person. But I treat these things as demos or previews anyways. Obviously an MP3 of a song isn’t going to sound as good (it doesn’t, except it) as it’s CD counter-part. On the same coin I don’t expect a game I “found” to play as well as it’s retail version. Hell, I don’t even expect it to be playable half the time. But with your average “1 level, 2 enemies” demos these days, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into when you buy a game. BUT I do buy the games I truely enjoy. I played Battlefield 1942, Medal of Honor, Civ 3, Unreal Tournament, GTA 3 all as warez copies before I purchased them. I’m glad I did. Medal of Honor crashed every time it loaded a level but it was so entertaining that after 20 minutes I was on my way to Best Buy. The games I don’t buy I just don’t play. Seriously, I downloaded The Thing last month, played 2 levels and thought “sweet jebus this game blows”. I just saved myself $50. You can’t return opened computer games anymore and demo levels are inadequate. I also buy CDs that I’ve heard first on MP3. If it weren’t for Chris’ DJ Tiesto MP3s I never would have found such a fantastic DJ. I’ve purchased 4 of his CDs in the past 6 months. I think that’s a pretty good track record. If people would stop making such crap, like The Thing, then I wouldn’t have this problem. I digress again, I’m not at all on target with my ramblings today. I was actually going to mention some games that I’ve either played and will be purchasing any moment now or games that look so damn tasty I’m just going to buy them the moment they hit the shelves. Why don’t I just shut up and do that…

No One Lives Forever 2. The first game was so much damn fun that I can only assume a follow up would be nothing less. I don’t know why more people didn’t get into this game. It had one of the best, if not the funniest, FPS (First Person Shooter) experiences of 2000.

Tom Clancy’s Spinter Cell. Someone (Chris) is going to have to tell me how the XBox version is because the PC version doesn’t come out until January. For everything I’ve seen, this is a prime contended for Game of the Year for next year. Take Metal Gear Solid, James Bond, Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, but them all in a blended and hit “liquify” and this is the tasty treat you’ll come up with. Check out some of the screen shots and notice the beautiful T&L in game rendering. Holy Cow.

RalliSport Challenge. Now, admittedly I suck at racing games. This struck me as a nifty game after playing the demo the other day. It’s not realistic (Grand Turismo or Sega Rally) to the point of being unplayable and centers more on “fun, arcade style racing” which I can be in the mood for every now and again. After power sliding into a snow bank and wrecking my Subaru WRX I can say the if anything, it LOOKS fantastic. Snow, dirt, sun glare, all that fun stuff is there. Drivers heads turn, cars take damage, all the usually. This one really takes advantage of computer hardware and makes it more than just an XBox port.

Medal of Honor: Spearhead. Ok, I know it doesn’t count as a new game but any expansion pack to my personal “Game of the Year” is an obvious purchase. If you haven’t played MoH yet, check out the bargain bins because it’s probably about $20 at this point and it’ll be the best $20 you’ve ever spent. Hell, even multi-play is fantastic, especially if we’re comparing it to it’s WW2 game rival Wolfenstein. I’m sorry, the flame-thrower might as well be call the lag-cannon. MoH all the way.

Lastly, C&C: Generals. I’ve never actually played any Command & Conquer games but everyone that doesn’t can’t shut the hell up about them. The thing that sucked me into wanting this game was simply the screen shots. Damn! Have you people seen this thing. It’s like Total Annihilation on crack! I don’t know how C&C games “play” but I should probably find out before I get myself to pumped for it. But if it’s a RTS (Real Time Strategy) with kick ass graphics and fast game play I’m probably all over this one like white on rice.

Thats about it for now. Thanks for listening to my mindless ramblings over the past few days and I quite pleased with can have a very thorough discussion of this stuff. It makes me feel better. There’s not to many geeks down here at SCAD and talking this stuff over with you guys makes me feel like I’m not alone. Alrighty, time to get cleaned up for the day. Lauren and I have a party to go to tonight and she has some more work to do this weekend so I’ll be trying to help her as much as possible. Later.

Matt out.