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JingLBabe

Gaming Ross Scott's "StopKillingGames" Campaign

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Hey guys! Just wanted to share this with anyone interested.

 

Ross Scott, aka the creator of the Half-Life comedy series Freeman's Mind, has started up a campaign to fight against the practice some gaming companies have of killing their online only games. A staunch supporter of the preservation of gaming history, Ross has had enough of the destruction of so many games, particularly by good old EA.

 

Ross has a show called Ross's Game Dungeon, and the last third of this video details his plan to fight against this practice he hates so much. I recommend watching the whole video. Helps with context. But you can read his pre-typed form letter for a faster (albeit less entertaining) summary of his points: http://www.accursedfarms.com/downloads/other/letter_to_EA.doc

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2pdvh4uiaM

 

Now I'm not the most avid gamer in the world, but I am all aboard with this plan. The destruction of gaming history is as harmful as the destruction of the history of any other art form. And Ross couldn't make this any easier for casual viewers to help out.

 

So yeah, give the video a watch if this is something you're interested in and see if you'd like to help out. I'm just doing what I can to spread the word a bit. Even if no one helps, I'm glad to promote Ross' channel in general. He's an endlessly entertaining man.

 

Have a great day everyone!

#stopkillinggames

Edited by ShadOBabe

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This is a great idea. While online-only games doesn't always means it's online only forever(as modders will eventually crack the games to make them accessible to everyone), it's still shitty practice that can kill good games

 

Ditto with multiplayer only games that can turn games into coasters once servers go down, specifically if they're console games(like Chromehounds)

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This is probably the last place I'd expect to see Ross-senpai mentioned

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Its a shame that companies don't see the value of preserving the history of games and just trash their own IP's like that. At least sell it off to a third party or something :(

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This is a great idea. While online-only games doesn't always means it's online only forever(as modders will eventually crack the games to make them accessible to everyone), it's still shitty practice that can kill good games

 

Ditto with multiplayer only games that can turn games into coasters once servers go down, specifically if they're console games(like Chromehounds)

That's why modders are seen as heroes.

And it's even bullshit that with some offline singleplayer games you have to login. Look at the Diablo 3 controversy.

 

Maybe it's time to create some kind of new online gaming system.

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This is kind of a mountain/molehill situation.

 

The majority of the games which have been terminated, or risk termination in the future, are MMOs which can not be run offline. Star Wars Galaxies and City of Heroes are two prime examples of dead MMOs, and SWG actually has private servers still running with questionable legality. These games can not remain online forever, nor can they feasibly be played offline without redoing the gameplay from square one. The Secret World, which Ross mentioned, fits squarely within this category. Saving it forever is practically impossible.

 

Another significant chunk is games which were simply designed to be multiplayer only, and never included a single player component for some reason or another. the PS3 game M.A.G. is a great example of this. It was a console FPS that touted massive battles with up to 256 players on the same field. That was the game's entire selling point. Even if they had included a single player component, nobody would have given a toss. These games, again, can not stay online forever. Servers cost money, and there's a point where it no longer makes sense to keep them up.

 

The last tiny handful is the few PC exclusives with always-online DRM: A practice that saw sporadic, occasional use earlier in the decade, but has largely died out ever since the SimCity catastrophe. This is the category that Darkspore fits into, and it doesn't have much company. As piracy is not considered a major concern on consoles, always-on DRM was only ever applied to PC games, most of which already had an unaffected console equivalent. Assassin's Creed II had an offline console release, and can not be destroyed in the future. Because of the policy's limited use, only a very small handful of games will ever be truly terminated thanks to always-on DRM.

 

Telling devs to "stop killing games" is unbelievably naive. Many games are simply impossible to keep alive indefinitely, and the few that are unnecessarily killed are so small in number and impact that it's laughable to call this the "greatest problem in gaming."

 

Fact is: There was a recent span of a few years, where a very small number of pc exclusives were shackled with terrible DRM that may eventually kill the playable form of the game. Even in these extreme cases, recorded footage will still exist, such as old Let's Plays, as will the music in most cases. In some cases, it is even possible to crack the game in order to run it offline, as was demonstrated with SimCity before EA officially added offline support.

 

Some games can't be saved, and it's not worth acting like a bunch of jackasses just to try to.

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Some games can't be saved, and it's not worth acting like a bunch of jackasses just to try to.

 

One, you'll make better headway in your arguments if you don't act condescending.

 

Two, I don't think customers voicing their dislike for a practice of destroying games through mailing letters is "acting like a bunch of jackasses". Better than keeping your butt rooted to your computer chair and swearing at them via Twitter/YouTube/email. A physical letter on your desk that an actual human being took the time to seal in an envelope, stamp, and GET UP to go put in the mailbox is far harder to ignore than a message that can be deleted with one click.

 

EA wants to know how to regain trust?

Stop being the "worst company in America"?

I think they can stomach a few letters.

Edited by ShadOBabe

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One, you'll make better headway in your arguments if you don't act condescending.

 

Maybe you shouldn't have joined a harassment campaign, if you're so against condescension.

 

 

 

Two, I don't think customers voicing their dislike for a practice of destroying games through mailing letters is "acting like a bunch of jackasses". Better than keeping your butt rooted to your computer chair and swearing at them via Twitter/YouTube/email. A physical letter on your desk that an actual human being took the time to seal in an envelope, stamp, and GET UP to go put in the mailbox is far harder to ignore than a message that can be deleted with one click.

 

My post had nothing to do with the benefits of snail mail in comparison to e-mail. You're yelling at a wall. 

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Maybe you shouldn't have joined a harassment campaign, if you're so against condescension.

 

My post had nothing to do with the benefits of snail mail in comparison to e-mail. You're yelling at a wall. 

 

Not sure I consider it a "harassment campaign".

I'm sending a letter saying, "Please stop destroying artwork."

 

God, I'm such a monster. Poor EA, such a victim.

Edited by ShadOBabe

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I don't think that there is anything wrong with "killing" online only games, especially MMos. I mean, you can't really expect them to run the servers for ever. 

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I don't think that there is anything wrong with "killing" online only games, especially MMos. I mean, you can't really expect them to run the servers for ever. 

 

Really what Ross hates is the destruction of art.

When these games die, so does all the artwork that went into their creation.

The visuals, the music, the characters, all of it is gone forever. Unless it's saved my modders.

But as many people have said before, we shouldn't have modders doing what the companies should be doing in the first place.

Edited by ShadOBabe

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Really what Ross hates is the destruction of art.

When these games die, so does all the artwork that went into their creation.

The visuals, the music, the characters, all of it is gone forever.

I fail to see your point. You still can't expect them to run the servers for ever. 

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Not sure I consider it a "harassment campaign".

I'm sending a letter saying, "Please stop destroying artwork."

 

God, I'm such a monster. Poor EA, such a victim.

 

29:40 "Honestly, this is all a longshot, but being a royal pain in the ass that makes EA executives dread coming into work... that, I think we might be able to do."

 

 

The visuals, the music, the characters, all of it is gone forever. Unless it's saved my modders.

 

Or let's players. Ross actually saved that planet he liked so much just by recording it. All that is ever lost is the gameplay.

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Or let's players. Ross actually saved that planet he liked so much just by recording it. All that is ever lost is the gameplay.

That's the thing though. Footage, pictures may be floating around the internet, someone may have uploaded the music on Youtube, but the game itself is gone, which is kind of the main draw. You may hear music, you may see footage, but it's from a game you may never get to try even though you want to, or it's a game you love that you may never get to play again. You'll never get to experience the real deal, and that sucks

Edited by ChicksDigGiantRobots

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I fail to see your point. You still can't expect them to run the servers for ever. 

 

But is there NO WAY to preserve the work that went into these games?

 

Why are there no end-of-life plans?

Why are there no preservation efforts?

I mean I know WHY. It's because most game companies don't see games as art, but only exclusively as money makers. They have no appreciation for the creativity and intellectual content. Once it is not profitable, it's into the garbage bin. But why is that okay?

 

 

29:40 "Honestly, this is all a longshot, but being a royal pain in the ass that makes EA executives dread coming into work... that, I think we might be able to do."

Or let's players. Ross actually saved that planet he liked so much just by recording it. All that is ever lost is the gameplay.

 

Ohh, noooo, they have to come to work and do their joooob!

Their customers aren't just contently nodding their heads at everything they do! What a terrifying prospect. Those poor, poor executives. How heartless can I BE, voicing my dislike of one of their practices?! I'm just such a bully.

 

Actually Ross didn't get to record his experience. He had to get footage from other let's players. But still, refer to the comment I replied to above. Why is it our job to preserve their creations? If games are art, why don't their creators preserve it? And really, if I'm assessing things correctly in the industry, some companies don't even like us preserving that content.

Edited by ShadOBabe

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That's the thing though. Footage, pictures may be floating around the internet, someone may have uploaded the music on Youtube, but the game itself is gone, which is kind of the main draw. You may hear music, you may see footage, but it's from a game you may never get to try even though you want to, or it's a game you love that you may never get to play again

Oh, of course. All I mean is that the "game" still exists in some form, even though it can no longer be played. And again, most of these games just can't be saved in playable form.

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But is there NO WAY to preserve the work that went into these games?

Of course there is. There is screen shoots, let's plays and in most cases the soundtrack is still there. A full offline version of the game on the other hand, no. And that doesn't exist because in most cases it's almost impossible to make one. 

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Of course there is. There is screen shoots, let's plays and in most cases the soundtrack is still there. A full offline version of the game on the other hand, no. And that doesn't exist because in most cases it's almost impossible to make one. 

 

It's cool, I see some people's logic in that nothing needs to be done because the community is already taking care of it (even if I don't agree that it's the community's job).

 

But you know, Ross points out in his video that this isn't about PAST mistakes, this is about future mistakes. Stop making games that are just on life support. If a game has online features that's great, but don't make these games unable to be played ever again after the online features have to be eventually cut off.

Edited by ShadOBabe

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It's cool, I see some people's logic in that nothing needs to be done because the community is already taking care of it (even if I don't agree that it's the community's job).

 

But you know, Ross points out in his video that this isn't about PAST mistakes, this is about future mistakes. Stop making games that are just on life support. If a game has online features that's great, but don't make these games unable to be played ever again after the online features have to be eventually cut off.

So you want no more MMOs at all then? 

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So you want no more MMOs at all then? 

 

I play MMOs by myself all the time.

Is it impossible to cut the servers, but still let the games run?

Sure I won't have people to play with, but I never really cared to anyway.

I usually play MMOs for the story and the art, and a little brainless fun as I hack away at countless monsters.

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But is there NO WAY to preserve the work that went into these games?

 

The art, story, and sound can be preserved in a let's play. Some games still have private servers running, if you're dead set on playing them. That's the best you're going to get.

 

 

 

Why are there no end-of-life plans? Why are there no preservation efforts?

 

Does fucking Darkspore really warrant this?

 

Those things cost money. You can't ask someone to sink a shit ton of money into "preserving" decaying MMOs.

 

 

 

I mean I know WHY. It's because most game companies don't see games as art, but only exclusively as money makers. They're have no appreciation of the creativity and intellectual content. Once it is not profitable, it's into the garbage bin. But why is that okay?
 

 

You care that much about Darkspore, then pony up. Start a private server project, like SWG has. Sink your own time and money into "preserving it" instead of expecting somebody else to.

 

 

 

Ohh, noooo, they have to come to work and do their joooob! Their customers aren't just contently nodding their heads at everything they do! What a terrifying prospect. Those poor, poor executives. How heartless can I BE, voicing my dislike of one of their practices?! I'm just such a bully.

 

Now I'm the one talking to a wall.

 

 

 

Actually Ross didn't get to record his experience. He had to get footage from other let's players.

 

I didn't see anyone credited.

 

 

 

But still, refer to the comment I replied to above. Why is it our job to preserve their creations? If games are art, why don't their creators preserve it?

 

Because it isn't their problem. How would you like to be chained to something you made for the rest of your life, forced to maintain it and keep it alive just because people don't understand inevitability? 

 

 

 

And really, if I'm assessing things correctly in the industry, some companies don't even like us preserving that content.

 

Depends. Let's Plays are widely accepted nowadays, but complete backups of the entire game run into iffy territory. 

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I play MMOs by myself all the time.

And that's great, but you lose a lot of the content if you do that. 

 

Also, if you care so much about preserving "art history" why don't you pay for it yourself instead of telling other people to?  

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So you want no more MMOs at all then? 
 

 

Just because a game is an MMO doesn't mean it can't have a competent or seviceable offline mode that keeps the game safe when the main servers go down. Just look at Phantasy Star Online

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Does fucking Darkspore really warrant this?

 

I don't give a flying flip about Darkspore itself (though that art IS really nice and I'm sad that those that do really care won't get to experience it anymore). Ross says in the video that if it was JUST Battleforge and JUST Darkspore, he could live with it. But the practice of destroying these games eternally are what is disliked. To quote Chicks...

 

That's the thing though. Footage, pictures may be floating around the internet, someone may have uploaded the music on Youtube, but the game itself is gone, which is kind of the main draw. You may hear music, you may see footage, but it's from a game you may never get to try even though you want to, or it's a game you love that you may never get to play again. You'll never get to experience the real deal, and that sucks

 

 

 

Because it isn't their problem. How would you like to be chained to something you made for the rest of your life, forced to maintain it and keep it alive just because people don't understand inevitability? 

 

Who says they have to maintain it?

If you're never going to touch it again ever, why not just release it to the public?

You aren't making money either way. Is it a pride thing?

 

"Okay, you kids had your fun. Now we're taking out toy back. We're not going to use it for anything. We've just decided it's time for it to die and that no one can have fun with it anymore."

 

 

 

Now I'm the one talking to a wall.

 

I think you need to chill a bit hon.

You're coming to this thread with a lot more negative emotion than anyone else here. I'm not going to sit here and let you call me a harasser for mailing a letter to someone politely voicing my discontent with the eternal destruction of artwork.


And that's great, but you lose a lot of the content if you do that. 

 

Also, if you care so much about preserving "art history" why don't you pay for it yourself instead of telling other people to?  

 

Well for one thing I'm poor. That's why I say in my first post "I'm not the most avid gamer", because I can't afford that many games. I have to be more concerned that I have food as gas for my car. But it doesn't make me any less sad that these games will never again be experienced by anyone, especially those that loved it.

 

And for another, my purchases wouldn't matter in cases like these anyway. I want to spend money on something I can play forever (when you have no money, the few times you get to spend it matter). Even if I bought a copy of Darkspore right now, the game would be dead before it got to my front door (and yeah, I'd have to buy a physical copy, they stopped selling the digital ones).

 

People seem to think I have a very personal stake in this.

I don't. But others do. And I understand their discontent.

That's why I'm spreading this around.

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I'm not going to sit here and let you call me a harasser for mailing a letter to someone politely voicing my discontent with the eternal destruction of artwork.

You seem to forget that the goal of this campaign isn't to politely voice your discontent with the eternal destruction of artwork but rather try to be such a huge pain in the ass for them that they will listen to you.  After all, didn't he himself say something along the line of "Honestly, this is all a longshot, but being a royal pain in the ass that makes EA executives dread coming into work... that, I think we might be able to do." 

Edited by Yamet

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