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Penny Arcade - Comic - The Other Blur

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The Other Blur!

Penny Arcade - Comic - The Other Blur

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

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    DirtyDirty Registered User regular
    While I do think game media preservation can be important, I do think it's kinda silly how this has been the go-to justification for piracy lately. Like, I'm not even against piracy. You don't need to justify it. Stuff is expensive. Retro games are expensive. The good ones anyway. But if your true goal is preservation and not piracy, the answer isn't distributing games in violation of copyright via ROM sites. The answer would be quietly archiving the games offline and only putting them up for download after they enter the public domain.

    Like, I use those sites. I just don't pretend it's some noble thing I'm doing for the sake of history.

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    LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Blur was a really good racing game, and I'm still bummed many years later that it never caught on commercially and ended up being the final game of Bizarre Creations before they were permanently shuttered by Activision.

    It was a kart racer disguised as a realistic racer with licensed cars. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    I don't think the idea is so much that pirates are intentionally serving the cause of media preservation, but that intentional archival is usually not as effective a way of preserving something as widespread use. People copying, sharing, and distributing stuff, whatever their personal reason, has the side effect of making that stuff last longer without requiring the devoted effort of a librarian. And there just aren't enough librarians to preserve everything we want to keep. (plus librarians can't archive stuff that copyright holders have determined they would rather have disappear than suffer the thought of someone benefiting without paying them money, so pirates provide that service by not caring about legality).

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    DirtyDirty Registered User regular
    But preservation is supposed to be about keeping an archive of everything, or at least everything with some level of significance. Leaving it to pirates means that only fun and popular stuff will be saved.

    Again, I'm totally cool with ROM sites. I just think the moral justification is ... shaky.

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    I don't think it's being used so much as a moral justification as an acknowledgment that it is leading to a positive outcome that otherwise wouldn't happen.

    The ideal way for anything to be preserved and documented is for one person to systematically save, catalog, and index everything according to a consistent system that makes retrieval easy and accounts for every metric by which anyone would want to sort it, while letting irrelevant metrics be disregarded. But that's never going to happen, so having some games be preserved because people like them and happen to make them available, patch them for use on modern machines, etc, while not as good as intentional archiving, is superior by virtue of being something that can actually happen.

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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    I think the Internet Archive is pretty much what you describe (here and here, for example). However, I think how accessible they've made them is going to probably eventually lead to their downfall.

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    ThawmusThawmus +Jackface Registered User regular
    edited May 10
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    Blur was a really good racing game, and I'm still bummed many years later that it never caught on commercially and ended up being the final game of Bizarre Creations before they were permanently shuttered by Activision.

    It was a kart racer disguised as a realistic racer with licensed cars. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.

    Yeah when I read the comic my first thought was, "Good! Blur was a good fucking game!" and then, "Wait is it public domain now or something?"

    EDIT: Oh hey it's on the abandonware site, that's cool!

    Thawmus on
    Twitch: Thawmus83
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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    It's also on The Internet Archive
    https://archive.org/details/blur-2010-video-game

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    GSMGSM Registered User regular
    edited May 10
    On behalf of the actual game history archivists I know, this ain't it, chief.

    What they do all day is mostly hunting down information about game development histories, because they know that in most cases the software has been preserved, but the stories and context around those games is what gets lost quickly. They regularly have to fight back against the "oh you just play games all day I bet" image, which this comic perpetuates. This is disappointing.

    Yes, people play the archived games from digital libraries, but they do that with the physical copies at their local library too, these days (see the recent Last Week Tonight if you want to learn more about the many services a modern library provides). I don't think that's a bad thing. And considering they recently had to argue before congress for a DMCA carveout for museums, this comic is especially poorly-timed.

    edit: one more edit to leave a link to Stop Killing Games because it's relevant to what the alternative is, which is not merely losing games to time and history, but having them taken directly out of your hands by the people you bought them from.

    GSM on
    We'll get back there someday.
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    LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    I mean, they're really almost two different things. Preserving the stories of development and the history of how certain games came together under the most crazy of circumstances is definitely valuable. Like the story of the original Resident Evil 2. That's good history to preserve.

    But also people just want to play games. And a person who loses access to The Crew because Ubisoft decided to literally yoink it out of their digital library, they just want to play the game. They don't care about the history of the game. They just want to drive in some races.

    They're both valuable, but they're also vastly different.

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    Emperor MegamanEmperor Megaman Registered User regular
    I don't think it's being used so much as a moral justification as an acknowledgment that it is leading to a positive outcome that otherwise wouldn't happen.

    And that would be a valid acknowledgement, but i can guarantee you that a lot (and i say "a lot" and not "the majority" since i obviousely haven't pooled the entire pirating population of the internet, but only for that) of the people using the preservation argument are really claiming that they pirate to preserve game, or at least claiming that they care a lot about preservation, as opposed to because they want to play games for free and preservation just happen as a happy side-consequence. You even have people using that argument to justify pirating a new, widely availaible, extremely popular game. The latest Halo, God of War or Zelda is never going to be lost to time.
    The same way if you ask everyone is only ever using emulator or flashcard to back-up the roms/savefiles of the games they own a legitimate physical copies, honest, fr fr.
    Also, If everyone was so militant about preserving stuff, they'd also make sure to purchase physical copies of everything (since having both a lot of physical copies as well as digital maximize the chances of preserving it).
    Or act for the creation of a system with some official authority like the british library requiring publishers to send copies of their books for archiving.

    Lucascraft wrote: »
    Blur was a really good racing game, and I'm still bummed many years later that it never caught on commercially and ended up being the final game of Bizarre Creations before they were permanently shuttered by Activision.

    It was a kart racer disguised as a realistic racer with licensed cars. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.

    i remember when realistic racers were popular, i said i didn't have anything against real cars (i didn't have anything for them either, of course) but just didn't find that fun and a friend recommended me blur. It was indeed a pretty fun time.

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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    edited May 10
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    But also people just want to play games. And a person who loses access to The Crew because Ubisoft decided to literally yoink it out of their digital library, they just want to play the game. They don't care about the history of the game. They just want to drive in some races.

    Interesting that you brought that up, since The Crew first stopped working when they turned off the servers (which were required even for single player). We need a whole different solution for those kind of problems.

    dennis on
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    LttlefootLttlefoot Registered User regular
    Do you think that all games that can be played single player should have an offline mode (in which you lose access to online features) or do you think it’s better to allow people to make their own servers when official ones go down?

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    DirtyDirty Registered User regular
    Why not both? The whole idea of a single-player mode not working offline is still bonkers to me. And if fans want to keep multi-player going even after official support dies, I think that should be encouraged.

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    emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
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    Emperor MegamanEmperor Megaman Registered User regular
    edited May 13
    that ad probably did them more harm than good. Think about it, who is going to enjoy Blur? The people who think that Need for speed gameplay is boring or annoying even if they like (or at least don't dislike) the "realistic cars" aesthetic, and that it would be more fun if it was wacky like Mario Kart.
    The people who think Mario Kart is for baby weren't gonna play Blurr. They were already playing Need for Speed.
    Like @Lucascraft said the genius of Blur was that It was a kart racer disguised as a realistic racer with licensed cars, their argument should have been "the grittyness of NfS, but fun."

    Also anyone who have played Mario Kart knows that racing is not about making friend, it's about crushing your enemies and friends alike and hearing the lamentations of your little sibblings.

    Emperor Megaman on
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    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Blur was the only racing game I ever bought besides Mario Kart.

    Had a lot of fun with it, the power ups were really cool, emps, shields, etc.

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