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PA comic: Weds. August 31, 2011

Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited August 2011 in The Penny Arcade Hub
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The Next War
Scalpers will attempt to monetize any well-attended event; the event itself is irrelevant. We’ve always had trouble with the shadow market for the normal reasons but also because the show consistently sells out. This year, we saw something new: counterfeit badges of substantial cleverness and quality.

More people want to come to PAX than physically can. There were those who thought I was trying to manipulate them when I suggested they should pre-register, but it’s not true! I only say that because otherwise you literally won’t be able to fit inside the convention center. So what happens when people print more badges than should exist is that they create legitimate hazards.

The fakes are clever, and… qualitous, but it’s not impossible to determine their authenticity. I simply must grab the badge off your chest and flex it few times, tugging on your neck, maybe compare this sheet of laminated plastic to a proper one. I could do this while I sneer at you in order to really sell the suspicion. As I said at the show, I feel like the parallels with DRM are pretty solid. There’s lots of ways I can assert the primacy of official badges, and most of those ways result in a diminished experience for people who actually paid. Don’t worry, though, we are clever; we’ve got a few things in the works.

I have heard from more than one developer up to their elbows in the API that they have fun working with the Kinect, but that the tools make it very difficult - and this is a startling quote - to create “entertaining experiences.” That seems bad! Seems bad.

It’s not impossible, certainly - but sometimes you gotta wrassle with it. I was going to tell you that The Gunstringer is an example of a game that is actually fun, and actually funny, as well as simply novel, but since the demo is out now this is an assertion you can test yourself.

I want to see more of Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor - going for a hybrid system of traditional gamepad and IR magical weirdness, it seems like there’s a lot of tricks you could pull, even if they don’t have any intention of pulling any of those tricks. It takes the original’s World War 2 vibration and rides it further, with comparatively low-tech tanks with three-person crews.

The co-op possibilities on a single couch are hugely intriguing: the Kinect doesn’t even have to watch the person with the controller, that player’s crew could consist of two people on the couch with them. In multiplayer, it could gets even stranger; with your own screen, a Kinect player could poke their heads “physically” out of the vehicle to do rangefinding and target acquisition. They’re simulating a crew when they have an opportunity to create a co-op experience with asymmetric inputs that actively affirms the game’s thesis.

Munkus Beaver on
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Posts

  • jwalkjwalk frosty Registered User regular
    they don't use bar codes?

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    That middle panel makes me kind of queasy.

  • RehabRehab Registered User regular
    Crucifying counterfeiters privately just isn't the same.

  • gilraingilrain Registered User regular
    Rehab wrote:
    Crucifying counterfeiters privately just isn't the same.

    Historically, the free entertainment provided to the masses is a nice bonus.

  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul ~*special snowflake*~Registered User regular
    gilrain wrote:
    Rehab wrote:
    Crucifying counterfeiters privately just isn't the same.

    Historically, the free entertainment provided to the masses is a nice bonus.

    You'll need a pass for that

    Jormungandr? Damn near killed 'er!
  • jwalkjwalk frosty Registered User regular
    seriously, bar codes put an end to counterfieting pretty much.

    the only problem is people who buy a cheap ticket (section 50 row 2000, way in back/nosebleeds etc) then scan the ticket, photoshop the row/sec to say "PIT" then get into the pit, the ushers inside don't have scanners they just look at the section. it's got so bad lately that pit ushers have to not let people into the pit when it's too crowded, regardless of what it says on their ticket.

    I suppose a 3-day convention could present problems, but you could print 3 different passes for the 3 days, and then stamp people's hands if they want to in-out.
    (:winky:)

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Rehab wrote:
    Crucifying counterfeiters privately just isn't the same.

    The whole point of crucifixion is to be public.

  • LTMLTM Registered User regular
    The fakes are clever, and… qualitous, but it’s not impossible to determine their authenticity. I simply must grab the badge off your chest and flex it few times, tugging on your neck, maybe compare this sheet of laminated plastic to a proper one. I could do this while I sneer at you in order to really sell the suspicion. As I said at the show, I feel like the parallels with DRM are pretty solid. There’s lots of ways I can assert the primacy of official badges, and most of those ways result in a diminished experience for people who actually paid. Don’t worry, though, we are clever; we’ve got a few things in the works.

    Next year's PAX Prime to require constant internet connection for pass validation.

  • SquallSquall hap cloud Registered User regular
    jwalk wrote:
    seriously, bar codes put an end to counterfieting pretty much.

    the only problem is people who buy a cheap ticket (section 50 row 2000, way in back/nosebleeds etc) then scan the ticket, photoshop the row/sec to say "PIT" then get into the pit, the ushers inside don't have scanners they just look at the section. it's got so bad lately that pit ushers have to not let people into the pit when it's too crowded, regardless of what it says on their ticket.

    I suppose a 3-day convention could present problems, but you could print 3 different passes for the 3 days, and then stamp people's hands if they want to in-out.
    (:winky:)

    no, the only problem is that you have ushers at every single door out of the convention center who have a couple hundred people walk in and out every single minute all day

    scanning barcodes aint gonna work

  • HoukHouk Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    Yeah there is just way too much variety and spread for a person-by-person barcode scan to be at all feasible

    nipplessig.jpg
  • jwalkjwalk frosty Registered User regular
    LTM wrote:
    The fakes are clever, and… qualitous, but it’s not impossible to determine their authenticity. I simply must grab the badge off your chest and flex it few times, tugging on your neck, maybe compare this sheet of laminated plastic to a proper one. I could do this while I sneer at you in order to really sell the suspicion. As I said at the show, I feel like the parallels with DRM are pretty solid. There’s lots of ways I can assert the primacy of official badges, and most of those ways result in a diminished experience for people who actually paid. Don’t worry, though, we are clever; we’ve got a few things in the works.

    Next year's PAX Prime to require constant internet connection for pass validation.

    :^: I bet Khoo will come up with something.... something devious

  • jwalkjwalk frosty Registered User regular
    RFID tags.

    implanted in your skull

  • KochikensKochikens Lovely-Cuddle-Blanket-Stephen-Fry-Awesomer Registered User regular
    I wonder if it'll end up like SDCC

  • TankHammerTankHammer Extreme Ghostbuster Registered User regular
    jwalk wrote:
    LTM wrote:
    The fakes are clever, and… qualitous, but it’s not impossible to determine their authenticity. I simply must grab the badge off your chest and flex it few times, tugging on your neck, maybe compare this sheet of laminated plastic to a proper one. I could do this while I sneer at you in order to really sell the suspicion. As I said at the show, I feel like the parallels with DRM are pretty solid. There’s lots of ways I can assert the primacy of official badges, and most of those ways result in a diminished experience for people who actually paid. Don’t worry, though, we are clever; we’ve got a few things in the works.

    Next year's PAX Prime to require constant internet connection for pass validation.

    :^: I bet Khoo will come up with something.... something devious

    Would this work?:
    They scan your pass to let you in the first time and give you a holographic sticker to affix to your pass which signals that it has been checked and for which days it is valid for. Potential scalpers won't know what the sticker looks like until the day of the convention and won't have enough time to produce a convincing facsimile.

    4icmw.jpg TankHammer | 2zivq6q.jpg
  • EgoTerroristEgoTerrorist Registered User
    After @Official_Pax tweeted about the counterfeit badge, the ushers/enforcers were examining the badges by hand. However, I did notice hours later that they stopped doing that and just went back to the visual check. So it really is logistics issue, and one I hope they can take care of for next time because scalpers and counterfeiters break Wheaton's Law.

  • Romanian My EscutcheonRomanian My Escutcheon Two of Forks Registered User regular
    I say give Enforcers cattle prods, and set them loose in the streets.

    Not as fun as a public crucifixion, but it would deal with the scalper problem.

    2cf4m6f.gif
  • MilowMilow Registered User
    edited August 2011
    My wife was very disappointed when we missed out on PAX passes this year and so I was able to get a Sunday pass for her through an industry contact but wasn't sure I could get a second one for me to attend with her. On Friday night I looked on Craigslist and found what I thought was someone selling a couple of 3 day passes for people who couldn't attend attend.

    We used these passes to enter numerous locations during the day including the D&D game at the Paramount with no problems. It wasn't until 6pm on Saturday when entering the D&D area that there was a security guy with a UV light doing spot checks that we found out our passes were counterfeits. They were so good that the security guy initially only thought that mine was a fake and was about to let my wife go past when he double checked.

    I'd just like to say a HUGE thank you to the organizers who were so helpful and generous in treating us as victims of the scam and not perpetrators and provided us with real passes for the remainder of the weekend in return for information about the person we bought the passes from. My wife was in tears afterwards and so grateful as we had given up our legitimate Sunday pass so someone else could come, which would have meant she couldn't bring our 2 year old son as planned. Then we wouldn't have had this great moment: http://youtu.be/XNZuF03Ms7c


    I have no doubt next year they won't be able to do this again and will have to discourage personal sales of passes in the future which is sad.

    Milow on
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Maybe there's some sort of hazing process that can be done to the scalpers, while not being illegal in any way.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • jwalkjwalk frosty Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote:
    Maybe there's some sort of hazing process that can be done to the scalpers, while not being illegal in any way.

    Jail would be good.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    jwalk wrote:
    Henroid wrote:
    Maybe there's some sort of hazing process that can be done to the scalpers, while not being illegal in any way.

    Jail would be good.

    People ratting them out and directing the police to them? Yeah, that'd be a very good thing. So why doesn't it get done? I made scalpers run for the hills at baseball games when I just casually mention the cops.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    bar codes would really slow down lines and create bottlenecks at all the doors, plus probably drive up pass prices themselves a bit. It's unfortunate fact that there will be a negative element present for pretty much everything, but I'm actually glad PA has never gone full reactionary and ended up screwing over the legit guests

    bar-cc-1.jpg
  • jwalkjwalk frosty Registered User regular
    Counterfeiters that is, scalpers who are at least selling legit tickets aren't as bad. They are another brand of scum.

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    And thus begins the parallels with DRM even further.

  • agilemaniaagilemania Registered User regular
    Is scalping illegal in Washington and/or Massachusetts? I ask because in some places (like where I live in Missouri) it's not illegal as long as you are not on the venue's property. Here the scalpers just have to hang out on the sidewalk across the street from the various stadiums and concert venues.

  • agilemaniaagilemania Registered User regular
    I mean, obviously counterfeiting is wrong, but I'm curious about the scalping side of things.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    jwalk wrote:
    seriously, bar codes put an end to counterfieting pretty much.

    the only problem is people who buy a cheap ticket (section 50 row 2000, way in back/nosebleeds etc) then scan the ticket, photoshop the row/sec to say "PIT" then get into the pit, the ushers inside don't have scanners they just look at the section. it's got so bad lately that pit ushers have to not let people into the pit when it's too crowded, regardless of what it says on their ticket.

    I suppose a 3-day convention could present problems, but you could print 3 different passes for the 3 days, and then stamp people's hands if they want to in-out.
    (:winky:)

    Low tech solution: give ushers a calculator and make all pit ticket numbers divisible by a specific prime number.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Romanian My EscutcheonRomanian My Escutcheon Two of Forks Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    It's not illegal to scalp passes, but it is in poor taste, as they tend to mark the prices up to an absolutely ridiculous extent.

    Not to mention if you buy a pass specifically to mark it up, when somebody else could've bought/used it at normal price...

    Well, that makes you a rather large silly goose.

    EDIT: This is entirely based upon assumption, so take with a grain of salt.

    Romanian My Escutcheon on
    2cf4m6f.gif
  • jwalkjwalk frosty Registered User regular
    agilemania wrote:
    Is scalping illegal in Washington and/or Massachusetts? I ask because in some places (like where I live in Missouri) it's not illegal as long as you are not on the venue's property. Here the scalpers just have to hang out on the sidewalk across the street from the various stadiums and concert venues.

    It's illegal in most states to charge more than face value.

  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    I would think it would be logistically reasonable to not mail out passes.

    Just have registration open on Thursday so people can pick up their passes the day or night before. Part of the reason the counterfeiters were probably able to pull off such convincing fakes is because they had a week of lead time.

    This wouldn't prevent counterfeiting, obviously, but it would certainly prevent them from doing so in such large numbers. I understand it's fun to get your pass in the mail the Friday before PAX, but it isn't necessary.

  • Burden of ProofBurden of Proof You three boys picked a beautiful hill to die on. Registered User regular
    This is the problem with three panel comics.

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2011
    Scalping in Mass is illegal.

    However. You are allowed to re-sell at or below face value. You are just not allowed to "scalp", meaning make a profit.

    Unless you're Ace Ticket. Fuckers. Yeah, 400 dollars a seat in the bleachers for the Sox, I'll pay that for sure! Fucking jerkoffs.

    JustinSane07 on
  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    Taramoor wrote:
    I would think it would be logistically reasonable to not mail out passes.

    Just have registration open on Thursday so people can pick up their passes the day or night before. Part of the reason the counterfeiters were probably able to pull off such convincing fakes is because they had a week of lead time.

    This wouldn't prevent counterfeiting, obviously, but it would certainly prevent them from doing so in such large numbers. I understand it's fun to get your pass in the mail the Friday before PAX, but it isn't necessary.

    This is a valid idea. It would prevent some resellers as well, since they don't have the tickets in hand to resell.

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  • Jacques L'HommeJacques L'Homme Shoes for industry! Shoes for the dead! Shoes for industry! Hi, I'm Joe BeatsRegistered User regular
    Crucifixion is the best thing for scalpers.

  • AlphaLackeyAlphaLackey Registered User
    I'm glad that the parallels of glowering scrutiny to DRM were touched upon, but the parallels of anti-scalping laws to anti-second hand game sales measures? Completely missed. For shame.

  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo The Positive Perspective Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    I'm glad that the parallels of glowering scrutiny to DRM were touched upon, but the parallels of anti-scalping laws to anti-second hand game sales measures? Completely missed. For shame.
    Scalping is taking a limited product and abusing the fuck out of supply and demand. Second-hand sales are, generally, taking a product and selling it for less. The only parallel is when you have older games that have stopped being produced a good decade ago.

    GOr07uA.gif
  • AlphaLackeyAlphaLackey Registered User
    edited August 2011
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I'm glad that the parallels of glowering scrutiny to DRM were touched upon, but the parallels of anti-scalping laws to anti-second hand game sales measures? Completely missed. For shame.
    Scalping is taking a limited product and abusing the fuck out of supply and demand. Second-hand sales are, generally, taking a product and selling it for less. The only parallel is when you have older games that have stopped being produced a good decade ago.

    Yes, you sell it for less, but you sell it repeated times. Buying a ticket for $20 and selling it for $400 versus buying a game for $20 and selling the exact same game for $40 ten times seems to be equally abusive, except in the latter case it's abusing the fact that video games (up until recently) had very little degradation from one owner to the next.

    Both cases are regulating a free market, though.

    Incidentally, my biggest beef with anti-scalping laws is that they do not apply to Ticketmaster or "official" ticket resale outlets. If I can't sell my unneeded hockey tickets to make a profit, why should a third party be able to do it? Because they're clever enough to invent names for 20 different fees for their profit margin? I guess I need to get my name legally changed to Ticket M. Astor before I tell the judge that I'm selling my hockey tickets at cost but with a $2,000 convenience fee. Hey, what can I say, I hate being inconvenienced!

    AlphaLackey on
  • IoloIolo i not L Registered User regular
    Let the hoi polloi in to the private crucifixions? Then what's the point of getting the platinum level pass?

    UcOIsIH.gif
    Not buying or backing any games for myself in 2014.
  • incubusjaxincubusjax Registered User
    At 2010 Pax Prime there were some guys selling tickets in front of the convention center on Friday; the Seattle bike cops ran them off but I think only because someone complained about them.

    Pax has grown - in 2008 I walked into it and bought a Saturday pass at the event; three of them in fact. Every year past that I've purchased a three day the moment PA announces them, I figure the day I wait is the day they sell out before I get one.

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    Panel 4

    Send them to Tacoma

    <snicker>

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