When is it okay to steal a digital game?


I think this is a sound argument.

I do think it's a weak out to call something morally questionable but then engage with it anyway for fear of missing out.

@“edward”#p105581 The one flaw I see in my argument is what someone said about the latest King of Fighters; that the guy who now owns SNK swooped in right before the game released.


I mean, there are always going to be so many edge cases, especially when you're dealing with an industry dominated by multi-billion dollar multimedia conglomerates.

I just find it tedious when someone grandstands about Hogwarts Legacy or whatever but then ends up playing it for 50 hours. Especially if they brag about pirating it.

If its a Nintendo game


This kind of heresy will not stand!

I will never steal from my daddy.


@“edward”#p105600 I will never steal from my daddy.

Whoa, I didn't know we were cousins

I made this thread last night when I was annoyed (at work stuff) and stressing. My plan was to be very snarky but I will not do that.

I will say:
You shouldnt buy Cave Story from Nicalis.
"Voting with your wallet" is one of the worst phrases of current times.
Games are ultimately frivolous, you should never feel you _need_ to play a game.
We should be more focused on what and how much media we consume.
Game Developers don't make much money,
A studio will go under if no one buys their game.
The studio hires and pays the developers before the game comes out too.
Developers should receive some percentage of the net profit.

This was prompted by a coworker getting a 3ds and modding it. With the eshop closing in a month, it feels strange to actively priate/steal/etc digital games while theyre still purchasable. It's like bad manners, _at least wait_ for the store to properly close lol. If we can still support these developers on this dying and slightly obscure console, shouldn't we do so?


@“beets”#p105619 This was prompted by a coworker getting a 3ds and modding it. With the eshop closing in a month, it feels strange to actively priate/steal/etc digital games while theyre still purchasable. It’s like bad manners, at least wait for the store to properly close lol. If we can still support these developers on this dying and slightly obscure console, shouldn’t we do so?

Where I draw the line is with, say, the legacy Sony stores, which are technically still up but are virtually impossible to consistently purchase from, and which had already been garbage for years beforehand, during the period where they were allegedly still primary services—if acquiring games the platform-endorsed way is not only less practical but openly deficient to other avenues, and if the vendors selling them have made it clear that they're never going to stop half-assing their service, they're not getting my money. Even 3DS and Wii U are cumbersome to buy from, just due to how slow the storefront is compared to modern alternatives, but at least they function.

@“beets”#p105619 fwiw it hasn't been possible to actually spend money on the eShop for half a year now, you can only use the balance you already had added, which for most people is $0, so your co-worker is in clear imo

@“frog”#p105626 not exactly—if you‘d linked your account to the account system used for Switch, you can continue to buy things using that shared balance, which you can top up a few different ways, but yeah, you haven’t been able to link your accounts for ~ 6 months now.

In all seriousness… there should be a piracy jubilee for anyone under the age of 21 for all media - movies, music, games, etc. Pirating stuff is useful for socialization and can gives kids an escape from tough times in their life. As Tracy beautifully put it, it can deepen someone‘s enjoyment of the medium and help find media that resonates for a lifetime. For young people, I don’t make the distinction between an old rom on a legacy system or cracking a cd-rom iso of the newest third person action adventure (is that still how it's done these days?). Especially since there is so much being done to funnel kids into free-to-play games with predatory monetization, gambling mechanics, or toxic communities, I think the kid pirating Spider Man is going to end up more well adjusted then the kid begging his mom for a league of legends skin.

If there's no way to get a game (or the preferred version of the game) other than the resale market, then I don't have any problems with pirating. Resellers didn't really _do_ anything except speculatively buy the game, store it, and hope for scarcity and demand. If you're personally invested in reselling your own games then I suppose you should support other resellers, but for digital games what are you going to do, buy an NFT or a hacked or stolen key on G2A? What are we doing here?

After that, if you are debating pirating a game vs not playing it due to financial issues then the game is the least of your concerns. Do what you need to in order to feel normal and hopefully you can channel that energy into getting things back on track. When things get better, try to support the art and creators who got you through the harder times.

Finally, if you're an adult who has the means and the game is available on a storefront... just wait for a sale and buy the damn game. Buy it once and your conscience is clear forever to make copies of it, hack it, play it on different devices.


@“Mnemogenic”#p105547 Stealing is one of the coolest things you can do

Stealing is cool.... but Grand Larceny is cooler. It's bad karma to steal 1 game. It's historical preservation to steal 10,000.

@“gsk”#p105631 oh shoot! my bad, I might actually swoop in and pick a couple things up before the shop closes then since I know my accounts are linked. thanks for the correction!

I would argue that another reason to “justify stealing” digital games is when the whole video game industry isn't designed for the place/market where you live in.

For most of the world (aka outside of "first world countries") the price of new AAA games can be extremely prohibitive. anywhere from 1 week to a month (or more) of minimum wage just to buy a single game. that's why (among a ton of other factors) you see a lot of developments in piracy coming from places like russia or eastern europe since they are places where if you make enough money to be middle-ish class you can perhaps save enough money to acquire a PC or a console but not enough money to buy (commercial) games on the regular.

Granted there are so many free to play games that you could theoretically just play those games if you can't afford anything else (especially since most of them are designed to be the only game you play) but obviously that won't satisfy the tastes of everyone.

I've read some writing on this topic mainly regarding music but when it comes to aspiring artists, in this case developers, it is extremely often the case that being well versed and informed on the current trends of the medium can be almost impossible for a lot of people outside of places like the U.S. and Europe without some piracy . And sadly making a living out of making video games often depends on being in touch with the current trends.

That being said bless steam and their regional price adjustment feature which makes games more accessible (for me steam games here in mexico can cost me half of what i would pay if i paid for them in american dollars) and fuck the big publishers that don't use it. Ironically, most big publishers have stopped doing this regional price adjustment and it is mostly used by smaller publishers and indies now.

I‘ve been considering the sort of backwards case lately. Consider the PS5 store, which just added A PS1 Harvest Moon Game to its digital storefront. Now this is game I pirated before it was available on anything via a ROMSet. Am I now morally obligated, or at least encouraged, to buy it? The creators of that game don’t own the IP for it anymore, does that matter? What if I'd rather play it on a MiSTer than my PS5, does that matter? Am I now obligated to buy every PS1 game that gets added to the PS5 store in perpetuity under the same reasons? (Note: This is maybe not a bad thing to do anyway if you want to convince Sony to keep these games available to people other than hardcore enthusiasts).



"Voting with your wallet” is one of the worst phrases of current times.

Very strongly agree. I hate it so much.


@“穴”#p105636 For most of the world (aka outside of “first world countries”) the price of new AAA games can be extremely prohibitive.

Piracy as a method to circumvent digital neo-colonial extraction is A-OK by me lol

quick thought (i might write more later though):

is it ok to pirate a game if only to play a mod or hack of it? like, super mario world has many elaborate hacks, and if someone only wanted to experience those, and not the original game, would it be immoral to download its rom only to patch it?


If Mario himself doesn't care about laws, why should we?


Every time I play Ikaruga I go “why did I buy this??” So the answer is: when it's Ikaruga.