April 27th, 2006 by Potato

With games being so expensive, myself being so poor (particularly through say high school), and the number of truly fun, long-lasting games few and far between, it’s not much of a surprise when I tell you that I’ve pirated my fair share of games. The last few years I haven’t been to anywhere near the same degree: partly because I’ve got a bit more money to spend on them, partly because instead of “trying them for free” I just don’t bother at all with games I don’t think I’ll like, and partly becuase I just don’t have time for more than the one or two games I have installed right now.

Like many others, I’ll often buy a game that I really liked after trying it out… I first got WarCraft II, Command & Conquer, and Civilization III and IV as less-than-legal copies.

But three weeks ago, I took an interesting step: I set out to get a cracked copy of a game I already owned. Yes, when it came out I downloaded CivIV since I really wasn’t too sure of the transition to 3D models and the required processing power (and it still bogs down sometimes even on my desktop system; large and huge maps simply aren’t an option for my laptop). But it was a lot more fun than I was expecting, so I went out and bought it at Christmas…

However, I don’t usually have much time to play when I’m at home here in London; a lot of my gaming now is done on my laptop when I’m visiting my parents and everyone’s gone to bed. And I’m just sick of having to keep track of where my CDs are for the games I want to play. I often break the jewel cases in my bag, which makes me afraid for the CivIV disc since it only came in a paper sleeve. Transporting it almost every weekend has me worried that I’ll lose it. And finally, the CD drive on my laptop is really loud (it drains the battery too, but I only ever play plugged in). So, I went out into the dark corners of the internet and found another cracked copy and reinstalled it on my laptop so I don’t have to worry about the discs.

I know game companies don’t generally have games that work without the CD’s, since a CD read is one of the better anti-piracy methods (it’s fairly difficult to copy a disc with something like safedisc on it, and it’s not nearly as invasive as driver-level or registration-check-on-startup methods), and without that it becomes far too easy for even casual pirates to copy games by simply lending their CDs to their friends. However, I think it might be something they have to consider as gaming on laptops becomes increasingly popular…

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