Monday, December 29, 2014

An Argument Against Pirating Because You Can't Afford It

As a youth, I considered myself very anti-establishment. I didn't dye my hair green, or rock liberty spikes, but I always stood against big businesses, which I felt were entirely corrupt. So it's a little strange to be here writing this now, arguing against the little guys who found a way to stick it to the man, but here I am nonetheless.

I still believe businesses are corrupt, but I also believe that piracy has given these same businesses a smoke screen to take more heinous actions. Think about the SOPA and PIPA type laws that have been created under the guise of protecting businesses from piracy. Individual pirates aren't really sticking it to the man, they're giving the man an excuse to invade privacy, and install dangerous software on customer's computers.

So what's the reason? Why pirate anything? The two most common excuses I've heard are, "Because they don't deserve my money" and "Because I can't afford to pay for it!" These two excuses seem to be the most acceptable, perhaps because they have an air of nobility or a hint of desperation. The problem is, neither excuse is a very good one.

If you don't want to give your money to the company behind the product, simply don't buy the product. There's a logical issue here, the company is undeserving of your money, but they've released a product that you must have? That doesn't make sense. I, personally, am not a fan of Apple, and to this day, I've never owned a single Apple product. It's that easy. If you don't like the company, just don't use their products.

Now, the more heart-wrenching of the two excuses, you just can't afford it. This is a frequent one among video game pirates. While it is a tad difficult to argue that you can't afford a ten dollar CD or DVD, dropping sixty dollars on that new Call of Duty title can be a bit hard on the wallet. Here's the issue, it isn't that you can't afford it, it's that you can't afford it right away. The price a video game tends to drop severely after the first six months of release. So that expensive new title will almost certainly drop to $19.99 in the first year of its release. You could also wait for a Steam Sale, where titles frequently drop by 50-90% off. Then there's Humble Bundles,, Black Friday, etc.

There's just too many avenues that you, as a gamer, can take to avoid paying full price to argue that you pirate because you can't afford it. I, personally, own over 420 games on Steam, and I've paid less than four grand for the lot over the last five years. If you're not sure how to buy games on the cheap like many gamers do, visit these websites (which I'm in no way affiliated with).

Cheap Ass Gamer
Reddit: Game Deals
Humble Bundle

It's as simple as that.