[STD] Why Some Gamers Are Smarter Than Others (Financial Wise)
Define STD: STD for The Underground Blog is short for Savvy Tech Dude/Dudette. The STD story is my attempt to share some insight into some of my practices, as well as others as to how they are using technology to make their life better, saving money, or perhaps bettering the environment. (Hopefully, I can find a female contributor… 🙂 )
Frequency of Story: When it feels right.
Personal Comment: I really love the STD idea, and with topics so broad, I can go anywhere with this series. The question is, how far down the rabbit hole do you and I want to go? 😛
In the meantime, I encourage all forms of interaction. Please sound off in comments, I’d appreciate it. If you have an idea, or want me to consider something different, I will. If you want to spread the word, be my guest. As time goes along, I’m asking for people to contribute, or if you want to be interviewed (I’ll protect your identity), then we can dig deeper. Please consider my offer, thanks!
So it has been over a year roughly since the last time I did an STD article, and I just felt that isn’t right. These articles are fun to write, so here I am back after a long absence. Last time around I dived into P2P and what that means for our society and how it is conducted. Now this article I am looking at a different subject, but still digital media relelated.
You could say that this article was spurred by the release of many games over the past 2 months, and I thought now is the time to share some dark, inside insight of the minds of gamers. In particular, the cleverer ones?
Do not expect me to go into hardcore detail on the methods or how certain mods work. This article is simply an overview to get your tongue wet. If this article interests you to explore further means, by all means do so but make sure what you are getting yourself into. The article below is a combination of many interviews with fellow gamers during my digital journey. To protect the gamers, lets call the person in the story Jason Sensation.
(Image source: http://blog.vortixgames.com)
[This is Jason Sensation’s Story]
Just like any gamer today, we all started young in our gaming roots. Maybe it was spurred by the invention of Atari, Jaguar, NES, SNES, or whatever gaming console that has graced your living room since the 80’s, 90’s, or 2000’s. Jason Sensation was no different. Having grew up with the original 8-bit NES, and playing almost every single console (SNES, Sega Genesis, Saturn, Sega 32X, Virtual Gameboy, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, N64, PS1, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Game Gear, Nomad, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Dreamcast, and lot of other forgotten devices) it is no surprise that Jason just loves games.
Would we be surprised if he owned many of these? No, but it is conceivable that he did get a chance to play many of these sometime during his childhood to present day. Now I (Versatile) am a gamer myself. I just love playing games as not only does it pass the time (in a good way), but it helps relieves stress.
In many circles, many claim that playing computer/console games enhances eye and hand coordination. Don’t you think so? I am sure there have been many psychological studies on this concept, and I believe that the gamers won in the test in eye/hand coordination when compared to the non-gamers in the same study.
To our parents or other people, they may not understand why we play games as much as we do. Perhaps you know a friend that sat in front of his computer, TV, gameboy or whatever for hours upon hours? In one way, it does seem like a waste of time, doesn’t it? But yet for the gamer, he is immersed into the game world and has a passion to beat the game. In these cases, the gamer is in the zone and the gameplay is so good it’s just hard to peel away.
(Image from: http://girlswhogame.files.wordpress.com)
Starcraft is a good example. Did you know that at least 95% of the Korean population plays Starcraft? It is no surprise that 10 years later Starcraft still lives in Korea, and it is still heavily publicized in tournaments and the top players are worshiped! Don’t believe me? Go on Youtube and see for yourself.
Where am I going with this?
In short, gaming is an expensive hobby. Think about it. You need to buy the game console (or whatever parts for the PC to turn into gaming machine). Next you need the games, and then any other accessories that enhance your gaming experience.
Even back in the 8-bit NES days, I vividly remember Ninja Gaiden 3 was at least $30 dollars at Toys R’ Us or even FuncoLand. Remember FuncoLand? It was the game store before it turned into GameStop basically. You can browse their selections, and ask to play a certain game on demand before you bought it. It was awesome, before they turned into corporate GameStop that you have today.
Anyway, gamers know that there is no point in having a game system if you can’t have the latest and best games out there. With PS3 and Xbox 360 games easily $60 a pop, it can add up real quick. Similarly, the same can be said for the PC too.
Now down the street lives Jason Sensation, and he owns a Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and a PS3. His PS3 game library is not very large at all, maybe 5 games such as Little Big Planet, COD 4, Cod 6, Far Cry 2, and Bioshock. What is more interesting is that for his Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360, he has a much larger library.
By larger, I mean at least 50+ games for both the Wii and the Xbox 360. He brags about it in class every now and then, and you start to wonder: If he has a combined game library of approximately 100 games, $60 a piece (excluding tax and variances in pricing), his game library is worth 100x$60 or $6,000 dollars! The funny part is, he doesn’t even have a lucrative, high position job?! WTF!
Jason Sensation and a lot of “clever” gamers around the world are engaging in what is believed to be console modding. What is modding you ask? In short, it allows the user to make a modification to their game console or handheld so it plays backed up games.
When I say backed up games, that means a backup copy of a retail game. These backups can be created as simple as ripping a retail game to a blank DVD, or download the game image from the Internet and burnt to a DVD to play on the console.
Aren’t you surprised that Jason showed you his 208 disc binder of Xbox 360 games only to see all of them as Verbatim Dual Layer Dvds with black ink writing titles? Where are the legitimate games you ask him?
He just smiles and says, “Hey look. Assassin Creed 2 is out in two weeks and I have it now. You want to play it or not?” You quickly throw morals out the window and say , “Ah hell yea!”
So as you start playing Assassin Creed 2, you watch the method. All Jason does is take the Verbatim disc, put it in the DVD tray of Xbox 360, and it loads it. Later that day, he shows you his copy of Modern Warfare 2 playing online, and he is not even banned?
How is that possible you ask him? “It’s called stealthing of course. It is a way to trick the Xbox Live system to believe you have a legitimate game and it doesn’t ban your account or your MAC address on your Xbox.” You just stare at him confused, because all of this is so new and you didn’t think it was possible. Yes, it gets better.
Jason shows you his Wii, and connected to it is a 1TB USB hard drive. He shows you the menu and a list of all the games on his hard drive. Your jaw drops, because he literally has hundreds of Wii games and ROMS to play on the system. It truly was gamer heaven.
Jason quickly explains with the use of the Twilight hack which involves taking the Zelda game and loading a hacked save level, you are able to modify the console to load backed up games and homebrew programs. In a way, it is just clever hacking for all the wrong purposes.
Ideally, people do this type of modifications to make legitimate backup of their retail games, but here we can see Jason is doing it for mischievous means, and so are thousands of people across the world.
The Xbox 360 can be modded? Any other systems?
In short, there are a lot of systems that can be modded. I am not going to go into all the methods, because it is quite an extensive and long list. Real short is how it can be done:
Xbox 360: Using CK3lite kit, it enables you to reflash the Xbox 360 to play backed up games.
PS3: No mods exist, sorry.
PS2: Use modchip, modchip, or exploited memory card to play backed up games.
PSX: Use modchip or codebreaker.
Nintendo DS: Use a custom NDS cartridge to play games off a microSD card.
PSP: Custom firmware using pandora battery.
Dreamcast: Uses a boot disc.
Xbox original: Softmod with AR MAX or modchip.
Is it right or wrong?
This article is not meant to be political in any shape or form. I am just simply opening your eyes to this dark side of modding. PC gamers also participate too you know, because they are smart enough to know where to go onto the Internet to download the latest games, and then figure out ways to play these games online. Type any hit game + hamachi and see what you find out.
*Modern Warfare and Hamachi
*Left 4 Dead and Hamachi
*Need for Speed and Hamachi
and the list goes on and on. You think the majority of people playing games on services like Garena, Hamachi, Tunngle, Gameranger, Wippien, and more are using legitimate games? My guess is that about 90% of them are using what is called cracked or illegal copies of the game. Am I sure about this? No, but when you start sitting in these conversations with the people, a lot of questions are about how to play game XYZ online. Hmm, this gets you thinking…isn’t it possible these guys are asking the questions because they have a cracked copy?
Logically, if the game is legitimate, why are they asking how to play online? 0_0
In summary, there are gamers out there who know the scene, and know how to modify their systems or use the Internet to their mischievous advantage to play games without having to pay for them. In some cases, it is due to lack of financial funds, or just morals or even perspectives.
If game XYZ is $60, and the reviews are horrible, why would you want to pay for it? Maybe you will download it to play through the sucky campaign, but isn’t that saying something to the developer? Gamers are not going to fall for garbage time over time again.
Why did so many gamers sign a petition for Infinity Ward to add dedicated servers to Modern Warfare 2? Why did Teknogods create an offline spec op co-op feature? It is because the game developer screwed the community, and piracy is a way for the community to say “screw you” back to them.
Is it right? Maybe. Is it wrong? Clearly. Will it ever disappear? No.
How about you? Do you engage in downloading games or participate in console modding? Why do you do what you do? Sound off in the comments and let us know!S
Posted on December 5, 2009, in Gaming, STD Story and tagged Console Modding, Dreamcast, Ethics, microsoft, Morals, Nintendo, piracy, playstation, SEGA, sony, STD, Xbox. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.