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Great post, Chris!
What I find most confounding is how in the world Valve figured their system of forced registration would deter piracy? Especially coupled with the numbing download. The very idea of having to register software Microsoft-style before I can use it just makes me feel so powerless and alienated.
I’ve stated before that in my opinion software piracy (like many other illegal activities) ties into a lack of ethics, which is in turn directly related to the “lawlessness is cool” line of thinking being propagated through the media including many games like the NFS: Underground and GTA franchises. (You reap what you sow, eh game makers?)
I don’t believe in piracy, and I’d rather wait till a game is available on discount or I’ll buy it second-hand. However, I don’t plan on buying Half-life 2 (have played it on someone else’s pc however).
And yeah, post-Williams Sierra is dead. Luckily classic Sierra has managed to survive and lives on in the hearts and minds of all of us.
And now 3DRealms, the time is right, release Duke Nukem Forever! (And without any anti-piracy measures. Show us legitimate users that you respect us!)