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ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: DARKSPORE

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I'm very attached to the idea of high budget single player games not dying out and the whole world's gaming industry ending up like China's. Single player games there are literally less than 1% of the industry due to rampant piracy.

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As TSA proponents are very attached to the idea of the United States not being run over by violent insurgents.

And if they were totally right, with a lack of the TSA causing 90% of planes to get bombed and the flight industry to be extinct in the world's largest country, them your comparison would make sense.

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This thread has taken a very unhelpful turn... :?

 

It might help if people who felt uncertain what to write could have the option to write up drafts on this thread, especially if they don't want to use Ross's pre-made letter for whatever reason. If you have something in mind but aren't sure how you want to phrase a certain opinion or point, I for one would be happy to look at your letters. I'm sure others here could offer constructive criticism too.

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This thread has taken a very unhelpful turn...
Tell me about it.

 

And remember kids, Ross started this, so any crazy things one of us pull off could go on his shoulders and the poor man has no chances against 20 bloodthirsty EA lawyers

I think the extent Ross will be affected by this depends on how many people refer to him when sending letters, emails etc. It might be an idea actually not to refer to him. He can get involved by himself, along with other big internet names if they choose to. The people who make the most impact would likely become seen as the leader(s), and that may not even include Ross.

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Has anyone even started mailing letters? I think people would already have done that by now. I'll probably send a couple of letters in a few days or in a week or two and check back and see if there is a new "development" or some sort of response from game companies (and not EA in particular).

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This thread has taken a very unhelpful turn... :?

 

It might help if people who felt uncertain what to write could have the option to write up drafts on this thread, especially if they don't want to use Ross's pre-made letter for whatever reason. If you have something in mind but aren't sure how you want to phrase a certain opinion or point, I for one would be happy to look at your letters. I'm sure others here could offer constructive criticism too.

 

Hope i'm not part of the problem....well the problem here, not the "how can we tackle the letters idea" problem, this one i want to be part of. Anyway,i agree that people should share ideas for letters and all. Would be great to have letters in different languages too, it's unexpected and it gives a more global feeling to it...

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I think it's in our best interest to make the letters as cost effective as possible. As cost will be a limiting factor for how many letters we'll be able to send. Printer ink would probably be the main culprit in this regard so we should write the letters ourselves. Something like smaller size envelopes will help too. If we're to overwhelm EA by sheer volume then we need to take cost into account and be as economical about this as possible.

 

We should also have some sort of plan for how many letters we write per day. We don't want to do too many letters per day as this could possibly burn us out. But if we spread this out moderately between people then we'll get the volume we need in no time. Since a moderate amount varies from person to person keep trying to write letters and see how long it takes till you start to feel like you're going insane. That should give a nice gauge for how much a moderate amount is for you.

 

Alright now let's put out a possible scenario for how many letters we can write in total. Let's say we write 5 letters a day for 10 days. That would amount to 50 letters per person. Then lets say there are 10 of us that do write 5 letters per day then that would be a total of 500 letters. Over the course of 1 month we would've sent out a total of 1500 letters. Now this just one possible scenario as there are definitely more then 10 of us here. I just thought it might be useful to have an idea for what could happen outlined to give us a sense of scale.

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This thread has taken a very unhelpful turn...
Tell me about it.

 

And remember kids, Ross started this, so any crazy things one of us pull off could go on his shoulders and the poor man has no chances against 20 bloodthirsty EA lawyers

I think the extent Ross will be affected by this depends on how many people refer to him when sending letters, emails etc. It might be an idea actually not to refer to him. He can get involved by himself, along with other big internet names if they choose to. The people who make the most impact would likely become seen as the leader(s), and that may not even include Ross.

I'm afraid my letters do refer to the Gaming Dungeon episode in question, so I'm afraid Ross's name naturally comes up. I kept it entirely civil though. The most critical thing throughout the entire letter is my entreaty to all concerned parties that they don't allow EA to become an elephant's graveyard for underrated games. But I'm entirely in agreement with you and Bman shared worries in regards to what certain people might say and/or do in response to this rallying call. Gamers, particularly Youtube demographic gamers, aren't always the most reasonable or well-adjusted individuals.

 

Has anyone even started mailing letters? I think people would already have done that by now. I'll probably send a couple of letters in a few days or in a week or two and check back and see if there is a new "development" or some sort of response from game companies (and not EA in particular).

I'm sending mine out tomorrow, and I'm giving another user's letters a "piggyback" with my own outgoing mail. I do live in England though. so it might be a short while until they arrive in people's pigeon-holes.

 

Hope i'm not part of the problem....well the problem here, not the "how can we tackle the letters idea" problem, this one i want to be part of. Anyway,i agree that people should share ideas for letters and all. Would be great to have letters in different languages too, it's unexpected and it gives a more global feeling to it...

I wasn't trying to single anybody out I assure you, I was just surprised to see two new pages that weren't nearly as constructive as I had hoped. Your idea of having a multilingual response might be a pretty good step, it would certainly reinforce the idea that EA's modus operandi is alienating its customers on a global scale. Gamers might not have the self-control or moral fortitude to engage in a full-scale boycott, but we do know how to complain! ;p

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I'd like it if the videos mentioned dates concretely. For example: "If you're watching this after February 2016", "The 2016 Halloween video will be up soon!" If not that, I'd like dates that clearly indicate they're relative to the video release "If you're watching this three months after this video goes up."

 

I'd prefer for them NOT to use the format "If you're watching this in March.", or "I'll follow this up in December." I dunno, maybe I'm being silly since they do have publish dates in youtube. I just feel like when my brain tries to parse ambiguous dates it disrupts the narrative. Maybe other people would be bothered more by hearing the year mentioned.

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I think it's in our best interest to make the letters as cost effective as possible. As cost will be a limiting factor for how many letters we'll be able to send. Printer ink would probably be the main culprit in this regard so we should write the letters ourselves. Something like smaller size envelopes will help too. If we're to overwhelm EA by sheer volume then we need to take cost into account and be as economical about this as possible.

 

We should also have some sort of plan for how many letters we write per day. We don't want to do too many letters per day as this could possibly burn us out. But if we spread this out moderately between people then we'll get the volume we need in no time. Since a moderate amount varies from person to person keep trying to write letters and see how long it takes till you start to feel like you're going insane. That should give a nice gauge for how much a moderate amount is for you.

 

Alright now let's put out a possible scenario for how many letters we can write in total. Let's say we write 5 letters a day for 10 days. That would amount to 50 letters per person. Then lets say there are 10 of us that do write 5 letters per day then that would be a total of 500 letters. Over the course of 1 month we would've sent out a total of 1500 letters. Now this just one possible scenario as there are definitely more then 10 of us here. I just thought it might be useful to have an idea for what could happen outlined to give us a sense of scale.

 

I don't like the idea of continuously writing letters unless I have something new or novel to say, assuming I hadn't already said it in my foremost letters. I understand the effectiveness of alliteration of the same point by multiple individuals, but let's not forget that the people we are sending this stuff to will almost certainly have secretarial staff to cherry pick the most notable and pressing packages. If I keep on sending a stream of similarly themed letters to the extent that you are recommending, I can't help worrying that they'll rapidly decide to file my correspondence under "to be buried in a peat bog, never to be seen again by human eyes".

 

Besides, I've seen enough of your posts and threads here to know that you are more than capable of writing a distinct and noticeable letter to EA's biggest kahunas :3 Surely the mass strategy that you are proposing will be largely achieved by the pre-made letter Ross created. They'll soon realise that this fanbase and this particular group of gamers have a united interest in reiterating our pleas to stop this particular practice, all those different names and signatures purposefully repeating the words to meme-like effect. It will only serve to make the personal letters stand out more.

 

I'd like it if the videos mentioned dates concretely. For example: "If you're watching this after February 2016", "The 2016 Halloween video will be up soon!" If not that, I'd like dates that clearly indicate they're relative to the video release "If you're watching this three months after this video goes up."

 

I'd prefer for them NOT to use the format "If you're watching this in March.", or "I'll follow this up in December." I dunno, maybe I'm being silly since they do have publish dates in youtube. I just feel like when my brain tries to parse ambiguous dates it disrupts the narrative. Maybe other people would be bothered more by hearing the year mentioned.

Sometimes when I come across videos I've already watched on my favourite channels (especially those with a lot of regular updates) I see the annotation below that reads "this video was uploaded three years ago" and I have to stop and consider it for a while. I have a habit of assuming that videos I've randomly stumbled upon are brand new.

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Ross at the risk of sounding naive and candid, what do you think about the feasibility and impact of a boycott of EA ?

 

The major problem I think is not getting supporters here, but rather spreading awareness of the online game extinction. I don't mean to brag but you have a very sizable fanbase and I would be willing to bet a good deal if not most of us would be willing to follow through on a boycott. It could just be a seasonal boycott during summer or Christmas or even a yearlong blackout. Even with a fraction of us boycotting, it may be enough to get their attention especially when paired with the petition.

 

But maybe I'm being overly optimistic . I just admire your commitment. Don't be afraid to speak out in what you believe.

I just don't see it as realistic. Hell, Battleforge was a free to play game, how do you effectively boycott that? Hell, even if a boycott were to work, it can easily misfire. Say a ton of people boycotted a game for being online-only, but then the message the gaming press writes is because the handling on the cars was too poor. Guess what will happen? We'll have an online-only sequel with better car handling. Communication with EA is what's absolutely essential.

 

Ross, I am 1,000,000% on board with this. I also suggest people adopt my "Fuck EA" policy of just pirating any EA game that they want, because fuck EA, and fuck giving EA our money. It's not a real boycott, but it'll hit them just as hard, and we don't even have to give up playing their games.
While I think there are sometimes a few legitimate uses of piracy, piracy as a form of PROTEST is not one of them. It sends the wrong message entirely. The message they get is "we like your game, but don't want to pay for it, therefore you should add even more restrictive DRM." That message is what got us here in the first place. I think the concept is stupid honestly. I'm not saying you're stupid, I think you're just impassioned, but to the best of my knowledge, piracy has never positively influenced anything as a PROTEST. The only time I 100% endorse piracy is for abandonware (piracy in regions the company refuses to sell in I think is more a grey area, depending on the timespan). I think piracy has proven itself to be absolutely necessary for preservation, but brand new and popular games are where it's least needed. Again, communication with EA on how you don't like their practices I think is the only potential solution. Letters to executives send a louder message than a pirated game (and one not open to misinterpretation).

 

I have a question, should I send all of my letters to one important person like or should I split the letters up? Which method would be more effective for the operation? For example Peter Moore would be overwhelmed if he got 300 letters in one day but on the other hand would giving 4 people 75 might give the operation more coverage.
I would send them to as many different people as you feel like. If you're sending multiple letters to the same person, I would split them up over time.

 

RandomGuy, your support for DRM is incompatible with Ross's opposition to killing games. Tactics that majorly inconvenience legitimate customers in exchange for minimally inconveniencing pirates are not a legitimate response to piracy; they're a power grab.
No, it's not, actually. For the record, I am not actively AGAINST online-only DRM to protect against piracy. It can be smart. I of course don't LIKE it, but I can appreciate their reasons for doing so. What I'm adamantly against is SHUTTING DOWN THE GAME. Unfortunately, that goes hand-in-hand with online-only DRM about 99% of the time, but it doesn't technically NEED to if the company has an end of life plan. I don't want EA to think I'm being unreasonable, I just want a solution, no matter how it comes about.

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I don't like the idea of continuously writing letters unless I have something new or novel to say, assuming I hadn't already said it in my foremost letters. I understand the effectiveness of alliteration of the same point by multiple individuals, but let's not forget that the people we are sending this stuff to will almost certainly have secretarial staff to cherry pick the most notable and pressing packages. If I keep on sending a stream of similarly themed letters to the extent that you are recommending, I can't help worrying that they'll rapidly decide to file my correspondence under "to be buried in a peat bog, never to be seen again by human eyes".

 

Besides, I've seen enough of your posts and threads here to know that you are more than capable of writing a distinct and noticeable letter to EA's biggest kahunas :3 Surely the mass strategy that you are proposing will be largely achieved by the pre-made letter Ross created. They'll soon realise that this fanbase and this particular group of gamers have a united interest in reiterating our pleas to stop this particular practice, all those different names and signatures purposefully repeating the words to meme-like effect. It will only serve to make the personal letters stand out more.

I agree with the conclusion you've about the personal letters, I think I will wait and take my time to write the absolute best letters I can. I want my rhetoric to as sharp as a sword with which I will strike. After all they won't expect to find a vigorously sharpened Zweihander amongst a pile of dull butter knifes if you get my meaning. :twisted:

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Just a heads up: I'm done typing up the subtitles for this. I will time and format them soon. Thanks for your patience, everyone.

 

Thank you, daniel! :D

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I gotta say, right on about the approach here. I've been saying for years that starting online petitions is literally worse than doing nothing because they encourage people who want to make a difference to sign those — and then think they've "done their part" — instead of doing something that actually works. If I could make a suggestion, I'd say maybe forward this along to Jim Sterling, because he's pretty much Consumer Advocate Numero Uno in gaming circles. Who knows, he might devote an episode to promoting it. He's big on the "boycotts don't help anything; making noise might" angle I'd do it myself, but it would probably mean more coming from you directly, since you're the kind-of-well-known video game person.

 

As far as avoiding buying games from the "evil" game companies, I doubt it really does anything to send a message, but anything that results in them getting less money has to be a net positive for all parties involved. And ultimately, refusing to get the game at all is probably better for this than piracy for two reasons. One, it's stupidly easy to find out how many people are pirating their games — they just have to pull up a torrent tracker. So they probably can tell the difference between a game that's pirated to all hell and one that just isn't selling, regardless of whom they choose to blame at the next meeting. Two, piracy can still result in additional sales indirectly; if you go tell your friends about this amazing session you had last night, they might be encouraged to pick it up.

 

Frankly I don't see how it's so damn hard. I've never bought anything from Ubisoft or Konami, and I haven't bought an EA or Warner Bros. game since Mirror's Edge and Arkham Asylum respectively, and I don't feel like I've missed out on anything important.

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I agree with the conclusion you've about the personal letters, I think I will wait and take my time to write the absolute best letters I can. I want my rhetoric to as sharp as a sword with which I will strike. After all they won't expect to find a vigorously sharpened Zweihander amongst a pile of dull butter knifes if you get my meaning. :twisted:

Hell, if you can write your own name without falling over and hurting yourself, you're already doing a better job than most Youtubers! ;p I sent my letter to six of EA's heads this morning, par avion. I threw in some amusing Grayson Perry postcards too, to stand out a little.

 

Frankly I don't see how it's so damn hard. I've never bought anything from Ubisoft or Konami, and I haven't bought an EA or Warner Bros. game since Mirror's Edge and Arkham Asylum respectively, and I don't feel like I've missed out on anything important.

Some people are more swayed by good marketing more than others, in a sense I don't think anyone is entirely immune to the siren call of advertising, some of us just possess more honed "bullshit" detectors. Boycotting never seems to make much headway in gaming circles, because no matter how many morally indefensible moves a big developer makes they'll eventually announce something that will be of pertinent interest to a substantial number of gamers. And as boycotting requires an equally substantial amount of time to force a CEO's hand, self-discipline inevitably frays.

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I think it's in our best interest to make the letters as cost effective as possible. As cost will be a limiting factor for how many letters we'll be able to send. Printer ink would probably be the main culprit in this regard so we should write the letters ourselves. Something like smaller size envelopes will help too. If we're to overwhelm EA by sheer volume then we need to take cost into account and be as economical about this as possible.

 

We should also have some sort of plan for how many letters we write per day. We don't want to do too many letters per day as this could possibly burn us out. But if we spread this out moderately between people then we'll get the volume we need in no time. Since a moderate amount varies from person to person keep trying to write letters and see how long it takes till you start to feel like you're going insane. That should give a nice gauge for how much a moderate amount is for you.

 

Alright now let's put out a possible scenario for how many letters we can write in total. Let's say we write 5 letters a day for 10 days. That would amount to 50 letters per person. Then lets say there are 10 of us that do write 5 letters per day then that would be a total of 500 letters. Over the course of 1 month we would've sent out a total of 1500 letters. Now this just one possible scenario as there are definitely more then 10 of us here. I just thought it might be useful to have an idea for what could happen outlined to give us a sense of scale.

 

 

How about we write 10 letters in one day (or much easier print them, 10 pages is not that much considering an average black & white printer cartridge can go between 200-500 pages), seal them in envelopes and write the addresses. Then every day after that, we just walk down the street and mail it. You can do all the work on a lazy Saturday and then mail one letter per day Monday-Friday. That covers for about 2 working weeks of spam, at which point if we'd like we can repeat the process.

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The thing about internet twits, emails, etc. that is so easy to filter and block is the fact that they follow a pattern that is easily recognizable by both humans and machines. This is the same with physical letters.

 

So, if you were to send 10 identical mails, you can be sure that 7 out of those 10 will be dismissed. Variation, both in content and sender/recipient combination, is key.

 

Also, as someone who worked as a postman for some time, I can tell you that some post offices (in fact, most post offices, seeing the decline in use nowadays) only send a mail truck only on certain days - mostly Monday and Wednesday. So even if you send a letter once a day, the outcome will be that 3 identical letters will reach the recipient at once. For a constant stream of letters, you'd need to send them from different locals, which is a bit of a problem due to postage.

The next best thing would be to find someone in Redwood City, California and mail the letters to them. They could regulate the outflow of mail, as inner-city mail doesn't deliver mail in bulk but rather by FIFO.

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The thing about internet twits, emails, etc. that is so easy to filter and block is the fact that they follow a pattern that is easily recognizable by both humans and machines. This is the same with physical letters.

 

So, if you were to send 10 identical mails, you can be sure that 7 out of those 10 will be dismissed. Variation, both in content and sender/recipient combination, is key.

 

Also, as someone who worked as a postman for some time, I can tell you that some post offices (in fact, most post offices, seeing the decline in use nowadays) only send a mail truck only on certain days - mostly Monday and Wednesday. So even if you send a letter once a day, the outcome will be that 3 identical letters will reach the recipient at once. For a constant stream of letters, you'd need to send them from different locals, which is a bit of a problem due to postage.

The next best thing would be to find someone in Redwood City, California and mail the letters to them. They could regulate the outflow of mail, as inner-city mail doesn't deliver mail in bulk but rather by FIFO.

 

Different paper sizes, envelopes, different colours of paper and different text would help the message get across?

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