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I'm a gamer and a regular guy. I like philosophy and debate a lot. I relax when not studying with TV and videogames. Contact me: obsidianspire@gmail.com

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Why PSN Gamesharing Is Good For The Gaming World.

Hello thar! You may be asking yourself, "isn't gamesharing technically illegal?" Why yes, good person, it is; but like so many other illegal activities, what the cops don't know about won't hurt them. ;)  Allow me to explain what gamesharing is for the people who don't know what it is. A gameshare is pretty simple, actually; what it is is 5 people share a PSN account that has downloadable games, content, and stuff on it. Because 5 people are sharing the account, they only have to spend 1/5th of the normal price.  Everyone has the same access to the account and can keep the games - play them on their main account and all that. All you need to do is make sure you keep the password and username safe and pay diligently. And that's gamesharing in a nutshell.  

Now, the drawbacks to gamesharing as stated by publishers and developers are these: less profit since 5 people now only have to buy 1 copy, illegal, and a punishable offense through banning from Playstation Network.  Here's why those reasons are complete bullcrap: 1. Many people who gameshare weren't going to buy your game unless it cost 1/5th the price, so you aren't losing any sales. 2. Legality of the situation is a little more complex- Developers and Sony can disable gamesharing by installing DRM if they choose to, but most of the time they don't.  They don't because it's designed for a "legitimate purpose" where people who either lose their first PS3 or have multiple PS3's can share their content across the different systems.  Legally speaking, once you've accepted the EULA from Sony, and occasionally Developers, you've agreed to their terms and conditions. 

However, conflicting information arises from within Sony itself and certain developers about gamesharing, partially because it was initially advertised as a feature of the PS3. Certainly not a feature they inteded to use for most normal people, I guess. Here's my counter argument, if it's illegal: keep track of PS3's and have them registered under each different person's name and then when someone has a PS3 registered under the name of someone else pop up on their console, you know they're gamesharing. Quite frankly, this approach would make gamesharing almost impossible to do safely for any PS3 actively connected to the internet, so bravo Sony for not pulling the "smart-ass" move on us.

3rd.Because they don't actively enforce gamesharing rules, gamesharing is riding that fine line between legal and illegal and will continue to stay that way till the end of the PS3. Banning someone's console from PSN is almost like removing the hardware from a computer that allows it to read 1's and 0's as machine code: it's a horrible, horrible outcome for most people.  Is it fair? No, but is it legal? Yes, yes it is. Sony's EULA clearly states they have the right to terminate any user's "privileges" to PSN if found doing illicit activities; however, I believe access to the internet is a right once you've purchased the hardware. Despite what you do with computers, no one has the right to take away your computer hardware once you've bought it (unless it has something horrifying on it, like child porn; I'm all for arresting pedophiles and molesters).  Do you believe in freedom of the internet and the right to choose what you want to do on it? Post your thoughts below.


  1. My last comment died on the operating table but here's what it was in a nutshell:

    Devs already agreed to Sony's terms. If they lobby against this, then they will have lots of bad PR (think GameStop v OnLive). It's too hard to stop without alienating legitimate users.

  2. A little bad PR for secure downloads against millions of "lost" sales? I think I'd prefer some bad PR. FOr example, Capcom may not be the most popular company with its DRM policies, but they still sell fairly well and just ignore the bullshit. Also, to implement what I suggested would only take a couple smart verification checks and an up to date database, so being too hard is a little silly as an argument. Sony already keeps track of what PS3's have been online and what motherboards, etc. are utilized for accounts, so implementing this would require a quick check on the database and then verified through either a human or a script that ensures the data is correct. Not too hard once you ensure there is correct information.