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Pirates: A Brewing Debate

Pirates: A Brewing Debate

by Bradley DeLorenzoSeptember 18, 2009

pirate flag

I’ll be honest with you. I like Pirates. I dig the whole wooden leg, parrot on the shoulder, eye patch thing. I am down with Davy Jones (No, not the singer from the Monkees).

However, if we are talking about video games, then, all of a sudden, being a Pirate is well, less glamorous. It loses it charm and it puts everyone all up in arms ready to debate you to death with their moral compasses and what not. I get it. There is a moral issue with pirating stuff. Hell, there is a *legal* issue with pirating stuff. So, why does it still happen? Are there gamers out there that are just that cheap? Or that devoid of moral character? Or is it something else—is there just a population of gamers out there that just don’t see the legal/moral dilemma?

I’ll be honest with you. With the saturation of information from the interwebs, the prolifieration of kits/devices, and the ease of getting all of this stuff—it isn’t like being a pirate is only open to the elite few. You want to pirate something and you have access to Google and 15 minutes—you can do it.

There really is no debate when it comes to straight pirating. It’s just wrong. And for those gamers out there that say they are just “testing” out the game to see if they want to put down the cash to buy it are only fooling themselves. I am sure you plan on purchasing that game after to play through it. It’s just like a long demo, right? Right.

So, if we can be (sorta) in agreement with the absolute black of pirating, where do we fit in the brewers? The group of folks who take a system and rework it to play those indy games from other developers? Here’s the thing. Homebrew is not evil. It’s not something Nintendo openly welcomes. Brewing, as well all very well know, void any warranty. And Nintendo is always ready to attempt to “break” the brew with every update it puts out. It appears then that the problem with brewing, at least in Nintendo’s eyes, is that it is the gateway drug to pirating.

Naturally, if you can brew, you can pirate. But, if you brew, you don’t necessarily pirate. Logistics aside, Nintendo isn’t one to trust the hearts of those innocent brewers out there and would rather shut down the whole thing in general. And can we really blame them for that?

Understandably the arguments out there for Homebrew are many. And many good ones. There is absolutely brilliant work being done. And, for all intensive purposes to all intents and purposes, it is on the straight and narrow. Enhancements to already owned games, awesome applications, and truly innovative self-made games. So how do we reconcile the brewers with the pirates? And how can we openly discuss these subgroups of gamers without igniting a firestorm of comments accusing one and another of being down right dirty pirates who want nothing more than to steal the intellectual property of game designers?

I guess we all need a bit of clarity. We need to step back and see that yes, there are those dirty, dirty pirates out there. Those who just don’t care or who could care less. Friends, their soul is black and there is nothing we can do for them. But, there are those out there that do just brew. They don’t brew to break or subvert. They brew to explore—to take advantage of the system and see where they can push it. And, in doing so, they should not be lumped into the category of pirates.

For the purists out there, I can see why it would be hard to find a place in your accepting hearts for brewers. It just doesn’t seems right that something Nintendo tries to stop can possibly be okay. It doesn’t seem right that those who have the ability to pirate, just won’t. And, well, maybe you’re right. But the fact of the matter is, there does happen to be those few brewers out there who are decent people. Who do love Nintendo as much as you. And who, just s you do, think that those people who abuse the rights of developers are black soul scurvy pirates.

There’s room for purists and brewers. And for the pirates out there—well, if the tunes of “Don’t copy that floppy” didn’t convince you to fly right, I’m not sure what will.

UPDATED: Arrested by grammar police. Fixed. Thanks.

About The Author
Bradley DeLorenzo

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