When digital cameras first hit the market, they were kind of a novelty. My mother bought one, but she didn’t love it because it was just an expensive, complicated way for her to get a physical photograph. And that’s all that mattered to her – the physical photograph. The digital version was an annoying step in the process. My wife was the same way for a long time. Related to this, two years ago, I posted a short item about how global paper use is declining. In it, I quoted this: “Paper is no longer the master copy; the digital version is,” says Brewster Kahle, the founder and director of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library. This has also become true with pictures. We had family portraits taken a couple weeks ago. They turned out great, and my wife made an appointment with the photographer to pick the ones she wanted. She asked me which ones I wanted, and I was a little taken aback by the question.
The conversation began here, when THQ's Cory Ledesma stated that buying used games "cheated" developers. Then it picked up steam when Penny Arcade made a comic about it, as they do. Then it turned into a discussion between PA artist Mike Krahulik and a number of other people. The thrust of the thing is that when a gamer buys a used game they might save themselves a few bucks, but all of that money will go to GameStop and none of it goes to the developer. You save five, but the developer loses forty-five. (Or however much of the purchase price they normally get from a new copy.) The conversation has taken the shape of a battle between Developers and Gamers. This is a shame, since there are three actors in this equation. I don't like the idea of painting a Snidely Whiplash mustache on GameStop and declaring them to be our villain, but we should at least list them in our cast of characters.