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Voice acting reboot

Spore on trial

Spore_wallpaper03_2 I wonder if it's possible to have a reasonable discussion about the Spore DRM controversy? I've been looking for one online, but the hostility and vituperation surrounding the issue has tended to drown any real opportunity for useful discourse on many sites I've visited. Spore's official forums have been riddled with malicious attacks by angry gamers and accusations of censorship by EA against dissenters. The ad-hoc avalanche of negative reviews posted on Amazon took on the appearance of a viral virtual riot.

I thought about posting a "Whaddya think about the Spore DRM brouhaha?" piece, but it occurs to me there may be another way to isolate the arguments related to the issue in a somewhat less charged environment.

I begin with the premise that there are, in fact, two sides - at least - to the issue. I do not believe EA exists as an evil empire; nor do I accept the notion that gamers are grubby pirates hellbent on stealing anything that's not nailed down. I believe it's possible to make dispassionate arguments for either side, and I believe doing so will enable people curious about the controversy to make informed judgments about it. This isn't simply a rhetorical exercise. The DRM question, and all the issues surrounding it, have a direct bearing on gamers and the gaming industry going forward. If there were no stakes, EA wouldn't bother with DRM, and gamers wouldn't get worked up about it.

So, I'm opening two separate pages: one for commenters who wish to make the case FOR Spore's DRM; the other for comments AGAINST. I'm aware the online community of gamers is likely to be heavily weighted to one side, and that's fine. But, as I like to remind my students, a properly educated person should possess the ability to argue either side of an issue with equal persuasiveness. Perhaps even some of you who vehemently oppose DRM can craft arguments for the opposition, if you're interested in such a challenge.

I will insist on only a couple of guidelines: 1) Post rational arguments based on claims you can support. 2) Be respectful and as dispassionate as possible. I will delete angry rants and diatribes. Feel free to remain anonymous if you prefer. That's it. If you're interested in making your case, click on one of the links below. Or, if you have mixed thoughts about the issue, post on both!

The case FOR Spore's DRM

The case AGAINST Spore's DRM