There are two schools of thought on pirating electronic information: Some say it's thievery; others believe it's all free for the taking. Regardless of your position, there is no argument it's killing the entertainment and information industries.
You can justify this kind of file sharing, but essentially what you are doing is illegal and immoral. You may say record companies are a bunch of crooks, but the musicians that produce the music you love are washing their clothes in public Laundromats. The same is true of independent game developers.
Large, iconic companies such as Midway are declaring bankruptcy. What hope is there for the smaller independents, the lifeblood of innovative games? Playlogic, the Dutch company responsible for Obscure II and Xyanide is gone, along with fellow Netherlanders Streamline Studios and Coded Illusions. Most recently, the team behind Project Zomboid is facing financial disaster as pirates have made the full game available via the use of an auto-download link. This full version includes all downloadable updates, and the studio is responsible for the cost of the bandwidth transference. Essentially, the guys who developed the game are paying for each pirated copy out of pocket.
I'm not trying to guilt or shame you. I'm not going to convince you or your friends not to download free games, movies, or music. The temptation is too great. Why pay for it if you don't have to? If you paid for all your free entertainment, you wouldn't have any money left for Slurpees and McNuggets, after all. However, if you have any interest in hacking, maybe I can appeal to your sense of greed.
If you're good at breaking into secure sites and messing up peoples' files, or you're just able to download everything to do with Twilight for free, then you're an idiot. Because you could be making big cash with such talent. Where you need to be concentrating your efforts is on encryption; not how to crack codes, but how to make codes uncrackable. Imagine having a coding system so complex, yet so simple to use, that it would be impossible to copy, share, or steal? Each file would be unique to itself, like an actual hard copy. It could never be reproduced. Never. That would save the world as we know it, and the future we are destined to live in. It would also make you one of the most famous and richest persons in history.
Creative people need to get paid for their work. Bottom line. Otherwise we will not see any new innovations, hear new music, or experience games we can only dream about. We'll be inundated with advertising as the sole source of revenue for such products. We will hear Ke$ha sing about Coca Cola in the third verse of every song off her upcoming album. Dexter will be shouting the praises of the new and improved Glad Garbage Bags he uses for the disposal of bodies. Or you're going to use the iPhone Revolver App weapon in Max Payne 4S: Shoot the Apple.
Once you jump off the sinking ship that is humanity and have a good look at those reprobates, you will likely lose any motivation to save the world. But do it for the money. Because if it weren't for the exciting, scintillating flavor of Marlboros, a real man's smoke, I wouldn't make a dime.
By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*