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The anti-DRM thread

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OCNewbie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2000
7,600
24
81
I haven't read the thread (but I read the title!), but the one thing I don't like about GOG is that, in some cases, their gaming updates lag behind Steam's by a decent amount, or sometimes don't seem to get updated at all. That's frustrating. I really don't know how widespread or frequent that actually is, but just the fact that it's a thing turns me off to GOG. I would otherwise love to embrace them as I like their business model much more. Priority #1 for me is the everyday user experience though.
 

Igo69

Senior member
Apr 26, 2015
460
37
91
I decided long ago i was not doing the new client for each game bs, i use steam and GOG. Cant get the game there and it requires another service to be installed = i dont buy the game.
I do exactly the same.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
53,799
3,947
126
DRM is a big reason I don't game anymore, and I count Steam as being DRM. I also don't use Windows anymore, but Steam's available for my platform. yay :^| I have less of a problem with games being proprietary software than I do with software made for work, but I'm not interested in playing corporate games before I get to play the game I want. I also expect to play them when I want, and with no network access. GoG is on my radar, and I'll probably get something from them before the year's over. I still have a couple other games that need attention(but no network access!) before I buy new ones though.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
214
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DRM is a big reason I don't game anymore, and I count Steam as being DRM. I also don't use Windows anymore, but Steam's available for my platform... GoG is on my radar, and I'll probably get something from them before the year's over. I still have a couple other games that need attention(but no network access!) before I buy new ones though.
Assuming your "non-Windows platform" is Linux, this may be of some help:-

- List of GOG Games That Natively Work On Linux

- List of GOG Games With Native Linux Source Ports

- List of GOG Games That Run In WINE

- List of MS-DOS Games (that should run in DOSBox for Linux)

- List of ScummVM Games (that should run in ScummVM for Linux)

- List of Steam Games that Are DRM-Free
 
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PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
1,540
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DRM is a big reason I don't game anymore, and I count Steam as being DRM. I also don't use Windows anymore, but Steam's available for my platform. yay :^| I have less of a problem with games being proprietary software than I do with software made for work, but I'm not interested in playing corporate games before I get to play the game I want. I also expect to play them when I want, and with no network access. GoG is on my radar, and I'll probably get something from them before the year's over. I still have a couple other games that need attention(but no network access!) before I buy new ones though.
Definitely look into GoG. I have been GoG only for MANY years. Before that I would still not purchase any game with an online DRM component, as that leaves you vulnerable to have your game remotely disabled, or abandoned, or not having offline play, etc... It's like buying a car, that the dealer can remotely disable at their whim. No thanks.

While GoG obviously won't have a lot of new AAA DRM encumbered games, they have a lot of slightly older games in every Genre. There should be no hardship finding the type of game you want to play unless you live on the leading edge, and must play the latest hot game of the month, and since they share ownership with CDPR, they have some of the best modern RPGs of all time (Witcher series), and soon Cyberpunk 2077.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,034
305
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EA account worth thousands of dollars was silently deleted: https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/96e9j5/ea_deleted_my_origin_account_and_ea_help_is/

(The internet was telling us this sort of thing never happens).

FCKDRM, a new initiative from GOG: https://www.fckdrm.com/
Let's be honest here this is the equivalent of your computer room burning down or being flooded or something like that,you will loose all your physical media and the installed files as well,all your games gone forever,that is not really a DRM issue,even if they all were abandonware or public domain you still would have lost them,heck even if you loose your gog account because a hacker deleted it or took over it would be the same thing you would't be able to legally download your games anymore so anything you don't have backed up would be lost or you would have to illegally download them.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
214
106
Let's be honest here this is the equivalent of your computer room burning down or being flooded or something like that,you will loose all your physical media and the installed files as well,all your games gone forever,that is not really a DRM issue,even if they all were abandonware or public domain you still would have lost them,heck even if you loose your gog account because a hacker deleted it or took over it would be the same thing you would't be able to legally download your games anymore so anything you don't have backed up would be lost or you would have to illegally download them.
I think the whole point of GOG accounts is precisely that many more GOG users are more actively aware of what offline installers are all about, the much stronger culture of "game preservation" on GOG (due to the nature of older games and gamers), and we actually do make a backup (more than one) in numbers higher than your average Steam user. Eg, in the extremely unlikely event that my GOG account of +200 games randomly disappeared and my room burned down on the same day, I'd still have a secondary copy of all my off-line installers elsewhere for exactly the same reason I make sure I have multiple backups of other data that's either non-replaceable (eg, wedding photo's / financial / legal / medical documents (wills, insurance, house deeds, etc) or stuff that is replaceable but would take considerable time / effort (a +2,000 album music collection stretching back decades)).

Same goes with classic out of rights games unavailable to buy anywhere like No One Lives Forever - what happens if the original disc breaks? I simply re-burn a new disc from the backup ISO I already have ripped (or mount it with VirtualCloneDrive). In that respect, it does involve DRM as no-one tends to back up online DRM'd games in the same way precisely because they have zero value if you lose the account they're locked to. Likewise it's good backup discipline anyway to do more than one backup (then don't store all backup copies next to each other), gamer or not.

As for accounts being hijacked, people definitely need to enable 2-factor authentication on all of them as standard. GOG has that too. And even if they do get hijacked, it's possible to get them back via providing proof of purchase / photo ID (eg, Paypal / Credit Card statements showing the unique transaction number that's also identical to the Order # of the game purchased, photocopy of passport / driving license, utility bill showing proof of address, etc). That might be annoying but they usually aren't lost for good. EA's customer service may be woefully incompetent (and Steam's as responsive as an obese hippo with arthritis) but the one and only time I needed support on a GOG game, they got back to me in under 15mins.
 
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BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
21,639
468
126
Let's be honest here this is the equivalent of your computer room burning down or being flooded or something like that,you will loose all your physical media and the installed files as well,all your games gone forever,that is not really a DRM issue,even if they all were abandonware or public domain you still would have lost them,heck even if you loose your gog account because a hacker deleted it or took over it would be the same thing you would't be able to legally download your games anymore so anything you don't have backed up would be lost or you would have to illegally download them.
Sure, sure. And if Armageddon comes I'll also lose access to my games. :rolleyes:

Are you honestly drawing an equivalence between my room burning down and "this operation cannot be completed because the sever is busy"?

I have three copies of my data, two of which are permanently disconnected, and one of which is offsite in a waterproof case inside a large building with fire sprinklers. That includes ISOs of my physical media and the necessary working cracks. For non-Steam games, a simple copy/paste from Windows Explorer will restore them to a full working state. So even if my entire house burnt down I still have one working copy of everything.

My problem isn't backups, it's if Steam decides to lock my account. Vista/XP users already can't access their Steam games. This isn't a figment of someone's imagination, it's actually happened. In 2020 why should Steam have the right to lock out Windows 7 users out of their games? I purchased those games so it's my business what OS I want to run them on.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,034
305
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In that respect, it does involve DRM as no-one tends to back up online DRM'd games in the same way precisely because they have zero value if you lose the account they're locked to.
...
Same goes with classic out of rights games unavailable to buy anywhere like No One Lives Forever - what happens if the original disc breaks? I simply re-burn a new disc from the backup ISO I already have ripped
Sure a lot of people do this,arghhh,and yes backing up a legally owned game is also illegal.
Even if GOG or whoever else tells you otherwise,what counts is the law of the country you are in and the official licence that was made for the game by the rightful owners,if that states that there is to be no amount of reproduction without written content then that's that.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,034
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Sure, sure. And if Armageddon comes I'll also lose access to my games. :rolleyes:

Are you honestly drawing an equivalence between my room burning down and "this operation cannot be completed because the sever is busy"?
The link I responded to was a guy having "lost" his account,this yes I do see just as common as your room burning down,like in not at all.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
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Sure a lot of people do this,arghhh,and yes backing up a legally owned game is also illegal.
Even if GOG or whoever else tells you otherwise,what counts is the law of the country you are in and the official licence that was made for the game by the rightful owners,if that states that there is to be no amount of reproduction without written content then that's that.
For legal purposes, GOG's EULA determines what can be done with reissued GOG installers and that quite clearly states you can certainly backup installers for personal usage and even continue to use them in the event GOG closes as long as you don't distribute them to other people (Section 17.3 to be precise), ie, it's the whom not the how that determines legality. This isn't just in the user agreement with the end user, but also what publishers contractually agree to with GOG in order to be on GOG. For older retail discs, whilst you're technically correct about backing up ISO's falling under national law, first of all many nations do have fair use for format-shifting exclusions (eg, continuing to use legally purchased MS-DOS games / software that originally came on floppy disks from a backup stored on a HDD, or installing from a HDD / LAN for laptop's with no optical drive). Again, it's purchasing the license to use that matters more than being forced to use a different medium as long as only one copy in is use. Same reason you're allowed to burn your own DVD-R's / USB sticks of Windows install ISO's - it's who it's licensed to, not how it was installed that counts.

And secondly, as long as there's no piracy involved, literally everyone in the legal field ignores non-pirate backups for the same reason 75% of the population aren't going to go to jail for listening to ripped MP3's from legally purchased CD's on their MP3 players / phones, ie, there's zero real legal threat when there's zero money in suing and alienating your own honest customers who legally bought your stuff. It's nothing remotely like lawsuits targeting pirates for torrent uploads whereby they can start multiplying damages claims of "well you seeded a $5 CD to 10,000 people so $5 x 10,000 = we're suing for $50k"). None of my stuff was acquired that way and has never been uploaded / torrented, so "well it's still technically illegal to use stuff you paid for and in theory someone could launch a $1,000 lawsuit to reclaim $2.99 in damages that isn't even lost income" is really just a theoretical thought exercise along the lines of "but what if everyone who used an MP3 player to listen to their legally bought CD's went to jail", ie, 3-4bn people around the world are simply not going to jail for listening to their own legally purchased music in actual practise...
 
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zink77

Member
Jan 16, 2012
98
11
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Man there is so much idiocy in this thread...

The reality is the war was won when Ultima and all PC RPG's in development were rebadged mmo's and everyone fell over themselves to pay monthly for the same RPG. Once devs and CEO's saw how stupid the average gamer was, this set the foundation for Valve to give us the poison pill that was Steam in 2004.

The whole game industry is based on theft of software by patching it with drm so they control the software, not you. That was the whole purpose behind the big push to remove control of software from gamers. This all happened because the internet gave super powers to game companies to steal videogames by keeping parts of the game and files on their servers.

The reality is, Valve, EA, etc, are theives and they've been stealing software ownership from the first time they pushed Ultima to become ultima online and then all RPG's in development were rebranded and drm/server locked.

People were dumb enough to buy UO, Everquest, wow and guildwars, that normalized software non ownership to an entire generation of tech illiterate and stupid gamers. Paving the way for steam, League of legends, dota 2, and hats in TF2.

The fact is as soon as high speed internet penetration was high enough companies were waiting to remove ownership and most of the gaming public, kids and most of the public being too stupid and idiotic just kept giving money to valve and all the other game companies.

That's why games are literally being destroyed and why we don't get server exe's and level editors with the games anymore, why quake champions is a piece of crap locked down f2p game, instead of a full piece of software we own and control /w level editing, modding and sdk's.

The internet gave game companies access to the super rich, super dumb and super stupid.
 
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GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,217
598
136
-Whoa man that's some Best Of Reddit level copypasta right there.

I'm one of those old gamers that used level editors and what have you as a youngun, but nowadays I confess I really like the ease and convenience of a platform like steam.

Does it mean I don't "own" my games? Maybe. But really I only have games around to enjoy and take my mind off things, my ownership of them is kinda meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Not taking my Fallout CDs into the afterlife or whatever, so why care what format they're in?

Steam always leaves me in awe: I have friends that have to swap out consoles and controllers and all sorts of nonsense to play different games and here I have hundreds of games that span generations of consoles available to download and play whenever right at my fingertips.

Childhood me would be in awe.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
214
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Not taking my Fallout CDs into the afterlife or whatever, so why care what format they're in?
Game preservation isn't about "taking it with you", it's about pro-actively maximising long-term usability of the classics vs newer hardware / OS's, etc, by minimising the number of unnecessary intermediate stages (DRM checks, 3rd party launchers, etc) that may cause incompatibilities. Imagine if all DVD's, CD's, books, magazines, etc, prior to an arbitrary date, say 2005 just vanished purely because the high-street store that sold them or even the 3rd party company that manufactured the RFID security tags on the cellophane packaging went out of business. That would be utterly bizarre & unnatural. Yet some people strangely believe that should be "normal" for games when it's a completely artificial and entirely avoidable effect...

Steam always leaves me in awe: I have friends that have to swap out consoles and controllers and all sorts of nonsense to play different games and here I have hundreds of games that span generations of consoles available to download and play whenever right at my fingertips.
For me the best two things to happen to PC gaming over the past 10 years aren't Valve & Steam, it's GOG and amateur modders (compatibility patches, source ports, emulators, etc). Best of both worlds - all that convenience of +30 years of games in one box plus DRM-Free offline installers that are immune to a lot of problems that caused games with abandoned DRM (SecuROM, StarForce, GFWL, etc) to no longer be playable (purely due to the "wrapping" around the game rather than the game itself).
 

zink77

Member
Jan 16, 2012
98
11
71
Does it mean I don't "own" my games? Maybe. But really I only have games around to enjoy and take my mind off things, my ownership of them is kinda meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
And that right there is why modern gaming is gone to hell, I'm sorry to tell ya, as soon as people like you fell on their own swords, that is why gaming went to hell with lootboxes and microtransactions out the wazoo. As soon as you bought a piece of software you didn't control, now the company can do whatever it wants to you and insert anything into the game in order to further extract money from gullible people like yourself.

Now that companies control the software and it's getting worse with the rise of totally locked off software with mobile. Now even operating systems are being locked down with windows 10 just for people like you.

All the stuff we were worried about in the 90's with trusted computing as nerds turned out microsoft and big companies like EA and Valve only had to wait for the world to get locked down smartphones, buy into mmo's and steam, and now they are going to remove software for everyone by turning it all into a "service" where they bend you over because they've programmed the software in a customer hostile way to prevent you from having access to the software you paid for.
 
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TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,034
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And that right there is why modern gaming is shit, I'm sorry to tell ya, as soon as people like you fell on their own swords, that is why gaming went to shit with lootboxes and microtransactions out the wazoo. As soon as you bought a piece of software you didn't control, now the company can do whatever it wants to you and insert anything into the game in order to further extract money from gullible people like yourself.

Now that companies control the software and it's getting worse with the rise of totally locked off software with mobile. Now even operating systems are being locked down with windows 10 just for people like you.

All the shit we were worried about in the 90's with trusted computing as nerds turned out microsoft and big companies like EA and Valve only had to wait for the world to get locked down smartphones, buy into mmo's and steam, and now they are going to remove software for everyone by turning it all into a "service" where they rape you silly because they've programmed the software in a customer hostile way to prevent you from having access to the shit you paid for.
You (and pretty much everybody else here) never bought any piece of software you had control over.
You would need to hire a programmer and have a contract with him giving you control.
A company giving you a server.exe just means that that company didn't want to use the money or effort to make a server so they graciously made you the jackass that provided people with a service that they should have provided.
Giving you a level editor means they made people create levels for them because they didn't want to spend the time or effort to do it themselves.
Now they do all the work and they want to be payed for that work,you like the game?You pay for it!Don't like it?Don't pay!
If all the big MMOs became F2P/p2w and financed by stupids that buy lootboxes I would be very glad because I do like games but I'm not the type to spend thousands of hours on one game,so playing the games for free up to the point where you would have to start buying stuff would be cool with me.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
214
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You (and pretty much everybody else here) never bought any piece of software you had control over.
He's referring to the new "Software As A Service" model resulting in compulsory updates, etc. Eg, "Buy our game, we guarantee it'll be launched without any loot-boxes". Dev then waits 15 days until 14 day refund window has expired, inserts loot-boxes, forces update through Steam, openly LOL's at people's gullibility of what SaaS actually means, etc. People may never own the IP of the game, but by default you certainly do have 100% version control over GOG's offline installers / retail disc games that makes them immune to unwanted post-purchase changes.

If all the big MMOs became F2P/p2w and financed by stupids that buy lootboxes I would be very glad because I do like games but I'm not the type to spend thousands of hours on one game,so playing the games for free up to the point where you would have to start buying stuff would be cool with me.
Real life isn't remotely that simple though. As soon as F2P/P2W mechanics are introduced, they change the "base" mechanics of the game so it negatively impacts all gamers (including those who don't buy it). Eg, if it took 30mins to grind for something in a game designed without P2W, as soon as they introduce P2W, the first thing they'll do is change that "grind ratio" from 0.5hrs to maybe 5hrs for same thing to "encourage" more people to pay for "time-saving" (pay2degrind) MT's. "Increased engagement" is the industry code-phrase for it. It then ends up a tax on everyone - either in money or time, and over-grind that exists solely because of the option to use real money for "time-saver" MT's definitely makes a gaming experience significantly worse and negatively impacts everyone even without you paying a single cent.

And how about deliberately screwing up match-making, ie, instead of doing what it's supposed to, they'll intentionally pitch a free player vs a stronger one then advertise the "right" pay2win equipment to the free one needed to "equalise" it. This stuff has already been patented by both EA and Activision for future games (it's not in games now, but expect it to trickle in from +2019 onwards). All of a sudden "grind for free" just gets you shafted by AI "engagement" algorithms designed to deliberately screw over free players via hostile real-time modification of gameplay before the game even starts.
 
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ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
824
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Lots of rhetoric here. Sure DRM is bad, when it is bad. Steam isn't 'bad'. Unnecessary and sometimes an annoyance? Sure - but let's remember there are positives to it such as auto patching, easy game management and easily gaming with friends. Something that was NOT easy back in the day.

#1 falsehood - you never 'owned' your games (at least not according to the law)
#2 falsehood - it never mattered and still doesn't because you CAN get just about everything and more to run on todays systems just fine w/o the DRM. You would be very hard pressed to find a game that wasn't cracked at some point and for the most part, Steam is the only DRM it has. GOG has been a huge help in getting classics working, and it really is amazing that they've been able to get devs to give up a little control.

Some of the games of yesteryear were great, but they were not without their issues. DRM has not changed the landscape at all. Piracy is still huge - if not bigger than ever. Modding is huger than ever. Everything is easier than it ever was.

Additionally, anyone who thinks there are not great/amazing games today is off their rockers. Sometimes you have to step away from the mass marketed millions thrown at advertising AAA games and look at other stuff.

The real issues?

F2P - in some cases. League of Legends actually does it right. No complaints about that one.
Microtransactions and DLC that was clearly cut from the game to 'make more money'.
Legal battles resulting in games being pulled off stores (but those who bought them can keep them so it's really a moot point)
Multiple storefronts - this one is the most annoying to me personally. It negates a positive about digital DRM and splits the playerbase and/or forces more bloatware. People tryign to segregate to get their piece of the pie and yes, this one causes real issues.
Multilayered DRM - Ubisoft is bad about this with their account requirements
Cloud only saves - This one is good in theory, horrible in practice.

The problem is - most people are guilty of supporting all of the above in some manner...and there is no signs of it stopping even though everyone says they hate it. As usual you don't even have to look past these forums of people complaining about 'this or that' and saying 'but I'm still going to buy it day 1'.

Even if someone said "EA touched me innappropriately when I was a kid" and twitter went on a rampage people would still buy their games.
 
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zink77

Member
Jan 16, 2012
98
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Lots of rhetoric here. Sure DRM is bad, when it is bad. Steam isn't 'bad'. Unnecessary and sometimes an annoyance? Sure - but let's remember there are positives to it such as auto patching, easy game management and easily gaming with friends. Something that was NOT easy back in the day.
Steam took years to not be garbage covered drm, and it was forcefully inserted into half-life/counterstrike in 2004, nobody wanted it lets remember. Valve forced it into the game trojan horsing themselves through the theft of half-life/cs (aka taking a game you bought that was not chained to valves servers and chaining it to valves servers).

That being said, as soon as the internet was invented it undermined informed customers ability to hold any game company accountable. The myth of consumer power is prevalent in your post, sorry to tell ya but the free market is a fantasy. You can't have a market without any kind of accountability, and the internet undermined any ability to prevent such hostile practices from being forced upon us. If we had portal technology, do you think valves steam drm would have become a thing in 2004? Hell no. Because we can be close enough to the business to kick his butt and get the evil steam drm out of half-life, he got away with it because the man knows we can't reach him. Pre internet he was forced to give us complete software and couldn't bicycle chain it to servers inside his office.

Modern gaming is little more then defrauding the tech illiterate because informed customers have no ability to hold these companies accountable. You can't hold someone accountable when they are 100's of miles away.
 
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ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
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I agree about Steam when it first came around, but let's face it, once they hashed out most of it, it works. That was many many years ago. Hating on Steam now is just...well stubborn. There's much worse things in the world of DRM.

I didn't say anything about 'consumer power'. I said you can do about anything. That didn't mean legally in all cases. This has always been the case. You couldn't hold them accountable BEFORE the internet, and I"d say you have more power now than 30 years ago. If a game was broken, it was broken probably for good in many cases because you had to jump through hoops for updates - if they even came out. Hell sometimes just BUYING a game was impossible - if you even knew it existed.

I think you are looking through nostalgia, because gamers never had it great and had to work a lot harder to 1. get games 2. get things to run 3. play with their friends 4. keep up on hardware to play the things at a reasonable rate 5. copy games (this one is...eh debateable, but as far as access and modding is concerned, it is much easier now than then. The focus has switched however to a ton of online only type games. IF this is what you have an issue with - well that happened LONG before Steam and the solutions that were from that was simply to keep people from cheating at online gaming.

Most of what you state just sounds like you don't enjoy gaming in general or you feel someone screwed you over, but I think as I mentioned, your issue is mostly with online gaming, which is not the same as single player gaming. While I don't like many of the practices I mentioned above, I do that thing called consumerism where I simply don't buy anything I disagree with. I also stay away from most of the 'big' games which I'm sure you are really complaining about because they became stale and old decades ago. Games 30 years ago were fresh and original because everyone was still learning what could be done. Once people figured out what worked, they mostly stuck to it - and mostly did it worse. That's not the fault of Steam or the internet.

Bottom line, love or hate Steam - it didn't ruin gaming, it actually made it better. Sure companies suck at times with some of the stuff they try to pull to make money, and of course all of that discussion could go down a huge rabbit hole concerning piracy and sure I guess we can blame the internet for all the bad in the world now - since people are selfish pricks - but at the end of the day, I prefer the positives of today to 30 years ago. You CAN stick it to the man, just in different ways.
 

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