Tuesday, August 23, 2005

To All Self-Righteous Pirates

Ever pass copied software among friends, or download from a file-sharing network or newsgroup? Scan artbooks or rip DVDs for illegimate cut-n-paste arwork? Do you play ROMS? Unfortunately, some people who do this lose perspective. They convince themselves that what they are doing represents absolute good and that those who enforce copyright are Satanic. Witness, for example, how Napster creeps attacked Lars Ulrich when he stood up for his rights. And we all know of stores that charge you money to burn you copies of new games. They act self-righteous about it: tell you it's “fair use” or that CD-burning takes electricity.

The Torque brings us a wonderful satire on this attitude. It's here:

Chris Taylor Refuses To Sign “Copy” of Dungeon Siege II

Stole?! It took us six hours to download this game from a newsgroup. Does he think our high-speed Internet connection pays for itself?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"Video Games Made Him Do It", NOT!!!

I want these links here for posterity. Devin Moore killed 3 cops and tried to clame that Grand Theft Auto made him do it. Well guess what? It didn't work. He's been found guilty, and the story has been documented by numerous high-profile news sites. Here are just a few:

History is repeating itself. In 1993, Ronald Ray Howard (his personal website) gunned down a policeman. He claimed he was listening to 2Pac at the time, and that 2Pac made him do it. It didn't work back then either; the jury ruled that Ronald Ray Howard, not 2Pac, had killed that policeman, and sentenced him to die. He'll be executed in October. From his conviction on, the media assaults against rap music began to decline.

If anyone ever claims that video games or rap music cause violence, tell them that the criminal courts are not on their side.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Why I Hate Microsoft So Much

Checking my collection of RSS feeds, I saw something that blew my mind. Slashdot is reporting that Windows Vista, the successor to Windows XP, will implement OpenGL by first translating it to Direct3D code and then executing it as Direct3D code. This means that Windows Vista will run Direct3D games much faster than it runs OpenGL games.

OpenGL is an open standard supported on Macs, Linux, and many other platforms. Direct3D is a proprietary non-standard that works only on Microsoft Windows and Xbox. John Carmack, considered by many in the videogaming world to be one of the greatest programmers alive, has written about the superiority of OpenGL and how much Direct3D sucks. In his 12/23/96 .plan update, he wrote that “OpenGL seems to work just fine for everything from quake to softimage. There is no good technical reason for the existance of D3D.”

Writing a game to support both OpenGL and Direct3D means writing the graphics engine twice. How many developers will bother? Essentially, Microsoft is now forcing game developers to choose between having their games run at decent speeds on Windows and being able to port their games to other operating systems. Furthermore, a Direct3D games cannot even be emulated properly on an OpenGL-enabled operating system like Linux or OSX, because translating the Direct3D instructions to OpenGL takes a noticeable performance hit.

This is a deliberate move by Microsoft to destroy a technically superior open standard, and force developers to use its inferior proprietary alternative, simultaneously cutting off their ability to port their software to other operating systems. And this is why I hate Microsoft so much.