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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Piracy and other uncomfortable mall-related situations
airbrushed, thoughtful
kistaro
So I just got back from going with my father to Northwest Plaza. The most interesting device was for sale at a kiosk- one of the game system things that's just the controller with the chipset on-board, plugged directly into the television. And it was all Nintendo.

The people were not. This miraculous N-in-one for very large N device was, as stated in this news article, fully and entirely an instance of software piracy. There is really no faster way to piss off a programmer than to confront him directly with wholesale thievery of his sort of work, trying to make a fucking profit ofof other peoples' software. I'm against personal piracy (downloading your own copy without paying for it- I really don't give a flying fuck if you wouldn't have bought it anyway, you don't have the right to use it without giving the developer his due) moderately, but this is the first time I've been confronted with wholesale commercial piracy.

WANT MALLET SMASH SMASH SMASH.

Not having that availible to me at the time, I have made do by merely informing Nintendo of this additional branch of this company.

Something else interesting at the mall was the reversed minority demographic. It feels weird for me and my father to be the only visible white persons. Everybody else, no exceptions, who we saw at Northwest Plaza was of clearly African decent. It was, as they say, an interesting experience...

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Something else interesting at the mall was the reversed minority demographic. It feels weird for me and my father to be the only visible white persons. Everybody else, no exceptions, who we saw at Northwest Plaza was of clearly African decent. It was, as they say, an interesting experience...

It was like that at Underground Atlanta when Arkyan, Aranedlor, and I went there to see what was around.

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It's not a bad mall. The only things wrong with it are the pirated software kiosk and the quantity of perfume at the doors to the larger storefronts. (It's an allergy of mine.) The reversed demographic was somewhat disquieting, but only because I'm unused to being a minority- they're just people, acting like pretty much any mall crowd.

I honestly don't understand racism. From my experience at the Science Center, skin color has no correlation to liklihood to cause trouble.

And it makes no difference whether or not the people who are screaming about being ripped off are large corporations, and not the people who designed and made the stuff itself?

Not really, no. You can believe the programmers are probably really pissed off too, but it's not they who can afford the multi-million dollar lawyers and the public roasting of a massive intellectual property thievery group.

It does vary somewhat by the company. Nintendo, unlike the RIAA, is not openly hostile to their customers, making me rather more sympathetic to their plight.

I am not anti-corporation. (I know that's an ideological difference between you and I.) I am against corporations that abuse their workers. From talking to a few people on campus who have worked at or with the company in question, Nintendo is not one of those companies.

No, I don't think it makes a lot of difference that it's a corporation fighting for its assets rather than an individual programmer fighting for his or her code. Nintendo honestly bought the code, with rights, from the programmer, in the form of salary. And royalties. It is therefore their property- and I fully support their going out and defending what's theirs.

I suppose the reason why I'm as glad to see Nintendo doing this as I am is that software piracy, like most crimes involving intellectual property, is downplayed, because there's nothing physical stolen, and so no harm done, right? Most people simply don't appreciate the very real work involved- work that needs to be rewarded. And in a capitalistic society- which I do not call the ideal, merely what is currently set up in America and, to challenge it, should be done through channels other than hurting individuals, or individual corporations- the fairest way of determining the value of even intellectual work is finding out how many people will buy it.

It feels weird for me and my father to be the only visible white persons.

Feels like that every day, for me.

I know. I also know that, this life, I'll never be able to understand- simply because I'm in a different situation. I do know that the reversal was somewhat interesting- the feelings of explicit distrust, a form of "avoid these people", more than anything else, from those surrounding me.

Heh. Living in southern California all my life, I didn't know white people were a majority until my first history class. I know it intellectually, but I don't really BELIEVE it. It's when I'm surrounded by white people that I get the strange sensation that something isn't balanced right.

And just a week or two ago I had the opportunity to attend Wy's grandfather's birthday party; her father's side of the family is very traditional Hispanic. Being the stick-out is never a comfortable experience, even when you're among friends and good company.

Those all-in-one machines are over here too - same ones, I imagine. With that vast of a reach, either someone got license to sell these, somebody's committing an egregiously moronic act of commercial piracy, or someone's bribing the living heck out of Nintendo.

Maybe if more software was something other than overpriced, worthless crap; there'd be less piracy. My own habits are quite telling of the demographic; at least, IMHO. I'm quite happy to buy a $9.99 game out of the discount bin if it looks interesting, because chances are, if it's even remotely as interesting as it looks, I'll get $9.99 worth of use out of it. I flat out refuse, however, to pay $150+ for a poorly written OS or Office Suite. (to be fair, my current copies aren't exactly -pirated-, they're employee-use copies from my employer.) I've pirated windows in the past, and I'll do it again, and not feel a pang of guilt that I'm hurting some poor programmer. If you're worried about being paid, go work for some company that doesn't overcharge for underworthy software.

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