I have something to admit. I am a video game pirate. Or at least, I used to be…
Now wait, before you lose yourself in a fit of internet rage. Let me explain.
My gaming life started at the ripe old age of six. I was a silly little kid that was smitten by anything on the TV. When I found out that, via the Atari, I could interact with the said television, well let’s just say my heart was stolen. At that time, things were easier to get so my gaming balls dropped when I got the Golden China system.
Or is that the NES? But I never owned a NES. I owned a Golden China system. I owned a pirate system which had games pirated for it. I owned cartridges with 88 different versions of Bomber Man on it. All while doing this, I had no idea that this was something illegal. We still have NES clones for sale in our stores countrywide actually. All legally… but also illegally? I won’t really pretend to know the actual law behind it. I could mail a lawyer and ask him too, but I am also lazy so I won’t.
A few years later I got myself a Playstation. This was one of the biggest jumps for me in gaming. I loved that machine. I learned that you could have it “chipped” in order to play NTSC games which were a lot cheaper. However this was another clever way of saying pirated games. As in, this is illegal little boy! I did that and purchased a lot of shady games. I had them all and could play games to my heart’s content. But I only really ever finished a few games, which just so happened to be games I rented from the local video store. Those were the days. You could only rent a game for a day, so I would go early on Saturday, then play till late that night to finish it. The next day I would give the game back finished.
LIKE A BOSS.
When I moved to the Playstation 2 my piracy days were behind me. I met a friend who bought all his games as original and I would lend some of his games and then buy the ones I really wanted. This was a different era of gaming for me. I only really understand now in hindsight, but back when I was able to get 50 games a month for free, I never really appreciated them. But once I started buying my own games as well as buying a few gaming magazines, I really got into the gaming culture properly. I am not going to swing some BS story about how I appreciated games more because I spent my own hard earned money on them. I honestly think it was more related to the quantity vs quality issue. That is something piracy opens you up too. You just get more and more games for cheap and you never really get around to playing any of them. But when you do research and spend some cash, you really start to appreciate the games you got. You play them more and, well, you actually finish them. You might finish them more than once even.
I am a pretty easy going dude and I don’t want this to seem like I am anti-piracy or even pro-piracy. All I can say is that from my own experience, the games I didn’t pirate where the games I enjoyed more.