I was a game pirate 5 years ago. Alan Wake, Mass Effect 2, Just Cause 2, World of Warcraft running on private server – I’ve got everything installed on my mid-range desktop gaming PC. I liked it; and I even shared some of it to my gamer friends who also loved the aforementioned titles. Hell – I even downloaded and played Starcraft II without any intentions of purchasing it after my rigorous 3-hour gameplays.
Back then, my trusty aging Playstation Portable was also filled with .cso and .iso games; and my storage bin was bulging with DVDs for my JTAGged and “piracy” ready Xbox 360. I liked every bit of my games, but I never got to finish most of it because everything is dirt-cheap. Resale value of used and pirated games are almost worthless, but the entertainment value I benefited from the games is golden.
Looking back, I never thought how inconsiderate and evil I was to game developers and publishers. I robbed then off of their opportunity to earn, make a living and give life to their family and friends. Last 2012, one game brought me to a state of “metanoia”, which then encouraged me to buy games – play games the way it should be played. ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 was the catalyst to my almost abysmal vanity over pirated games; and since then, I have been buying games, downloadable contents and even top-ups.
Here are things that I have learned since the time I stopped pirating games:
- Ownership is a powerful term when it comes to buying games. It definitely feels more rewarding if the games you have in your library – whether digital or physical – are legally purchased. You own them; and even if – by any hint of chance – you sell or lend it to your friends, you will feel guiltless especially to the people who worked their shit to develop and make that game. [WPGP gif_id=”16544″ width=”600″]
- If you’ve got difficulty of “adjusting”, try to buy game bundles via HumbleBundle. As of this writing, you can actually get Amra Tactics, Arma 2 and Dayz Mod for less than $5 via HumbleBundle. Through the latter, you aren’t just buying games, you are also supporting American Red Cross and Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- If you don’t have enough money to buy full titles, download free-to-play games and make micro-transactions. These micro-transactions require credit cards, prepaid cards or via Gamex (using your mobile phone load).
- Try not resorting yourself to pirating mobile games either. Piracy starts of small, and it could worsen if you don’t stop now. Got a spare PhP50 to PhP100 load? You can actually enable carrier billing on your mobile phone so you can buy that mobile game.
- Tune in to Reddit’s gamedeals subreddit. It’s a page to behold! Watch out for game deals too on Steam and Origin.
While some would argue that buying games isn’t fitting for people who live in a third-world country like the Philippines, well here’s my two-cents worth: starting off with that argument is self-degrading and a conveyance of hopelessness to your current status and to the future of our country. Try to save-up for the game you like and love to play. A PC game would only cost you PhP1,800 to PhP2,300 per title; save PhP70 for 30 days, make a trip to Datablitz or iTech, then get yourself that game you want. Hey, you probably did the same thing before you purchased your gaming rig, right? Work harder, aspire to get promoted, get paid well and play harder. This may sound downright BS, but some who tried this would definitely agree.
Think of it this way: the only thing that you’ll lose when buying games is money; and it’s losing your money for greater purposes, i.e. giving due regard and justice to people who made that game.