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Second Life and Open Source

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 18, 2006 20:00 UTC (Mon) by jmorris42 (guest, #2203)
In reply to: Second Life and Open Source by mikov
Parent article: Second Life and Open Source

> Plus, to be honest TPM on a game console isn't limiting my freedoms
> in a significant way.

Because you are ignorant and don't see it doesn't mean you didn't hand over a big chunk of your freedom when you bought a Playstation/X-Box/Gamecube. I'm still amazed that Atari V Activision was tossed in the recycling bin without a whimper.

I'm sure most of the readers here don't remember the Atari 2600, but many do. Now imagine the 2600 without any of the Activision and Imagic, etc. games, only the 'official' Atari released titles. Now you know why console development is stagnating now, just more polygons on the same old sports, fps and gangster games. Because a small hungry shop can't release a new innovative game and turn the industry on its ear like Activision did all those years ago.

Because even though you see other names and logos on those boxes in Walmart, each and every title was created by a publishing house hand selected by the console vendor and who understands their right to release is subject to removal at the whim of the vendor without any right of appeal. Each selected house must aleady be a major player because the price of entry is huge.


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Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 19, 2006 2:48 UTC (Tue) by piman (subscriber, #8957) [Link]

> Because a small hungry shop can't release a new innovative game...

Apparently you haven't seen what Microsoft, of all parties, is up to with Xbox Live Arcade and XNA, then. It's designed around letting small hungry shops release innovative games with as little overhead and as large a market as possible.

I think you're really overestimating how much "hand selection" goes on. Yes, if Sony or MS is your direct publisher they'll care. But in general, they want more games, not fewer, to be released for their console. In general, the game developers also have business contracts, making it not exactly "the whim of the vendor".

Really, the problem is the consolidation of publishers, not console makers.

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 19, 2006 16:44 UTC (Tue) by JonoPrice (guest, #23155) [Link]

Apparently you haven't seen what Microsoft, of all parties, is up to with Xbox Live Arcade and XNA, then. It's designed around letting small hungry shops release innovative games with as little overhead and as large a market as possible.
It might look like it is designed around that, but it isn't really. In order to be able to play games developed under XNA, you need a PC and a subscription to Microsoft's service that allows XNA games to be played on an XBOX360. Then Microsoft selects the ones that it wants to publish more widely - how is this any more likely to produce innovation than the current situation.

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 19, 2006 3:49 UTC (Tue) by zlynx (subscriber, #2285) [Link]

"Because you are ignorant and don't see it doesn't mean you didn't hand over a big chunk of your freedom when you bought a Playstation/X-Box/Gamecube."

What crap.

Before buying my GameCube, did I have the freedom to play Zelda? Nope. Did I have the freedom to write my own 3D game with a cute character? Yes. Did I? No, it's too much hard work.

After buying the GameCube, can I play Zelda? Yes. Did I *still* have the freedom to write my own game? Sure I did. I could even stick a PowerPC CPU and an ATI GPU together in a small box for myself. What did I lose by buying the GameCube? Absolutely nothing except about $200. $200 in job hours is *infinitely cheap* compared to theoretical hours spent writing my own Zelda.

All of those hours I would have lost writing a "free" game are now mine to waste as I like. Freedom!

If you're talking about the freedom of small independent developers who can't afford to push games onto the consoles, well, it isn't like they have nowhere to go but consoles. PCs are still going strong and they are still open.

It's like complaining that the cover charge in the good clubs is limiting your freedom when you can go drink somewhere else and dance in the park. Or it's like you're a band complaining none of the good clubs will let you in. Whichever. Maybe dancing in the park is not as good, but the goodness is what the cover charge / house percentage is paying for.

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 20, 2006 5:33 UTC (Wed) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

After buying the GameCube, can I play Zelda?

No. You need modchip, CG Linux and snes9x. Oh, the mean some other Zelda ? Also don't work if it's Japanese Zelda and I have U.S. GameCube (you need FreeLoader for that.

I fail to see why I need to pay for another console just to play games I legitimately own...

It's like complaining that the cover charge in the good clubs is limiting your freedom when you can go drink somewhere else and dance in the park.

Nope. It's like complaining that "the good club" forbids you to drink "bad stuff" in your own home. I've bought the damn console - why the Microsoft, Nintendo or SONY should decide what I can do with it ?

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 20, 2006 18:57 UTC (Wed) by zlynx (subscriber, #2285) [Link]

I really don't have any sympathy for people who buy game consoles and expect to use them for anything but playing games. It's a cool hack if you can get into the system, but you bought it eyes open.

You bought the console and it does what the manufacturer built it to do. Expecting anything else is like buying a Kia for off-road driving. You might be able to rebuild the Kia for off-road but complaining it doesn't do it from the factory is stupid, and Kia doesn't owe you anything to make off-road custom Kia's easier to build.

If what you really wanted was an open system with a PowerPC and a ATI card, you can build that. You just can't have it for the price of a GameCube. Tough.

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 22, 2006 9:08 UTC (Fri) by JohnNilsson (guest, #41242) [Link]

I find it ironic that you speak about freedom to use a particular console, when the console it self is non-free.

Before buying your GameCube, did you have the freedom to play Zelda? Nope. Did you have the freedom to buy anything else but a Nintendo GameCube to enable you to do so? Nope...

Second Life and Open Source

Posted Dec 22, 2006 18:14 UTC (Fri) by zlynx (subscriber, #2285) [Link]

You obviously use different definitions of freedom than I do. And at any rate, I was arguing about how buying a console affects *my* freedom not if the console itself is "free" in an open general purpose system sense.

I'm free to do anything I like with my Gamecube. It is physically in my possession. All its atoms belong to me and I can examine and rearrange them as I like.

Just like Open Source software, the people who actually build a thing get to decide what it does. You didn't build the Gamecube, you don't get to decide.

You can rebuild that Gamecube to do *anything* physically possible to fit in there. It's *incredibly difficult* but it isn't illegal. Or at least, most things you can do with it aren't illegal.

And if you're careful with the law, you can reverse engineer, build and sell a GameCube clone that plays GC games. It's the copyrighted ROMs that kill emulators, not the emulation itself. If they put in the effort to clean-room the ROMs, they'd be in the clear. Again, it is *difficult*, not *illegal*.

So you see, I *am* free to play Zelda without a GameCube. Eventually. After way more work than it'd be worth doing.

In order to me, myself, to be "not free" in a computing sense, my government would have to pass laws preventing me from building and programming general purpose computing machines. Neither Intel nor Microsoft nor Nintendo can take away my freedom by not providing what I want. They cannot prevent me from having an open computer system. Given a textbook and a big enough breadboard I can build a 4004 or 6502 clone. With a FPGA I can do a lot better.

The only thing that truly takes away freedom is coercive violence, which is a thing governments jealously reserve for themselves.

I will note that I do believe laws governing real property rights and copyrights *do* limit freedom. However, I believe we all benefit from reasonable limits on freedom. My freedom ends where your nose begins, as the saying goes. Or your dog, or your car, or your lawn, or your computer program.

That said, show me the violence inherent in the Gamecube system and maybe I'll agree with you that it somehow limits my freedom. :)


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