back to article The gaming habits of Reg readers revealed

A recent research study carried out by Freeform Dynamics we looked at the activities of Register readers with respect to smartphones, tablets, gaming and TV viewing. In this article we willf ocus on what you told us about your gaming habits (that’s gaming in the sense of playing electronic games rather than gambling). In total …

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MJI
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I think I did this

I think there is a lot of overlap, I use PC and console, also a handheld.

Also what is hardcore?

I play for a couple of hours a day and that is it, not interested in phone games, but I need my MP fix.

As to older players, experience does help, we not be as quick but we plan a lot more.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I think I did this

Ditto, I play console as it's relaxing, sometimes a little desktop and sometimes a little tablet.

Can fully vouch for the oldie gamer skills! My 10 year old has been obsessed with Rayman lately, basically a platformer. She's sometimes asked me to cover, saying such and such level is impossible when she gets really stuck and I was surprised how all that practice on the old 8bit platformers put me in good stead to teach her a thing or two about playing platformers, often easily completing a tricky level in one or two goes. Nothing has changed much in 30 years!

I personally only 3D RPGs these days as I like something I can sit back and think about when I'm not kicking 7 bells out of soemthing nasty!

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It would have been interesting to see the number of gamers using Linux operating systems

Although understandably the number is going to be smaller than those using Windows systems, it would have been interesting to see exactly how much smaller.

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Married vs Hitched

I suspect the difference between the 2 - even in this day and age - is that marrieds are more likely to have offspring who limit both in terms of sheer time, and also content. ie does my 2 yo really need to see my one shot sniper kill?

Gawd knows I had enough of a problem the other day explaining why the Pigs were getting it in Angry Birds!

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Joke

"does my 2 yo really need to see my one shot sniper kill?"

He does if you ever expect him to get good at the game!

Me, I'm sensing a man desperately trying to delay the inevitable day whe he gets pwned by his preschooler...

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Re: "does my 2 yo really need to see my one shot sniper kill?"

Preschooler, not quite, but I recall a previous employer showing me a phone video of his 5yr old kicking ass and taking names in CS Source.

And trash talking. That was the hilarious bit, where he ran up and knifed someone sniping on the grounds that they were "dirty campers".

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Re: "does my 2 yo really need to see my one shot sniper kill?"

My daughter regularly took out RealWorld[tm] Gophers and Ground Squirrels with her Ruger 10/22, starting when she was almost 5 years old. She doesn't play computer games at all. Never has. She restored her first "old" computer for her Senior project in High School. Today, she is the Senior Member of the Technical Staff for a Fortune 125 (maybe 100, I can't be arsed to look). Her Honeywell 316 is alive & well in my machineroom/museum/mausoleum/morgue.

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@Gordon 10 Re:"does my 2 yo really need to see my one shot sniper kill?"

Indeed that is a bit of a problem when it comes to sharing one's experience with the sprogs - the ubiquity of tech in the average home makes establishing the outer borders/limits in relation to younger children something of a challenge.

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FAIL

So some people are now calling themselves 'Hardcore Gamers' because they play on farmville every day on their smartphone.

B Please

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Anonymous Coward

No suprises in any of that.

Mobile tablets are for casual gaming, throwaway 99p games.

PS3 and Xbox are for proper gaming.

PC is for the people that like to consider themselves hardcore gamers.

What is Interesting, is PC gaming sales have declined so much, it's clear the vast majority of those hardcore PC gamers are also pirates. 80% of all PC gaming is using a cracked copy according to recent studies. No wonder it's on life support.

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Re: No suprises in any of that.

With respect, and without in any way contesting the percentage offered, there's likely to be a difference between PC gaming (single player, local, standalone) and PC gaming (multi-player, online).

As a rule, it's harder (not impossible - not that I'd know of course) to use a 'cracked copy' to play MMOs.

Account stealing, whether through password hacking or otherwise, is different. And likely has a different percentage.

Yes. I'm probably being picky (blush).

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Re: No suprises in any of that.

"What is Interesting, is PC gaming sales have declined so much, it's clear the vast majority of those hardcore PC gamers are also pirates. 80% of all PC gaming is using a cracked copy according to recent studies."

What studies?

Actually, you don't really need to answer. If you think that PS3 or XBox games performance is equal or better than on PC and if you think that using a controller is a "proper" gaming, your credibility is 0, anyway...

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Stop

Re: No suprises in any of that.

Tablets are great for emulators and replaying Final Fantasy whilst stuck on a train for a extra 2 hours due to power line failures

Laptops are great for those evenings working away from home (I can't go out every night!)

Consoles are great when you're in your early 20's and have unfettered access to a widescreen TV which isn't constantly tuned into some reality TV shite by the Mrs

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Pirate

Re: No suprises in any of that.

I'm not sure I believe that PC gaming has declined so much. AFAIK Steam and the like do not release their sales figures, so these digital downloads are not reflected in the sales figures released. It's been many, many years since I've even thought of pirating a game. With regular Steam sales with up to 75-80% off I own hundreds of legitimate games and have no desire to pirate.

After a year of ME3 MP I still play it almost every night. 413 hours on-line* says I've got my monies worth and you need a legit copy to play - well worth it. (*That's just for that game, and yes, I am happily married!)

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Re: No suprises in any of that.

That's actually very odd, I've never pirated less games and bought more games than today, mostly due to Steam.

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Mushroom

Re: No suprises in any of that.

I clearly detect some bitterness in this comment. I'm afraid there's no getting around the immutable fact that no joypad offering has yet come close to the speed an precision of a mouse and keyboard.

I used to be a UT champion back in the day, and watching people play COD on the consoles, it's like they're swimming through treacle. I used regularly spin 180 degrees mid jump and instagib 2-3 players, and I wasn't the fastest! The console world is a far cry from this, as sweaty thumbs mash away at laughibly inaccurate "analogue" nipples, and turning a full 360 takes longer than reading the sunday supplement. This is why they seperate PC from console players in the vast majority of online gaming.

The other genre which console players seem to be laughibly oblivious to their unweildiness is racing games. I really enjoy a good blast round a track now and then, but do so rarely because it means I HAVE to unpack the steering wheel. I won't play without.

I've even had people try to argue that the joypad is superior. If the joypad really was better, or even if it wasn't suicidally dangerous, someone would have fitted a real production car with one, as the novelty value would sell.

If the thought of someone using a playsation controller to guide a 1 ton vehicle down the outside lane of the motorway give you cold sweats, clearly you're not a serious gamer of you use one for the digital variety.

No, the real reason the PC is in decline is because the serious gamer is in decline. A PC gaming rig is expensive to buy, and maintain, requiring constant upgrade, so requires serious incentive to invest. Now look at the games market. Nothing but repetetive sequels as the games giants are too afraid of taking risks, due to the massive cost of development these days.

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Re: No suprises in any of that.

Typical PC gamer onanistic twaddle.

I've built successive PC's, specified purely for gaming - does that make me hardcore? But I don't play on PC any more because there are too many aimbot script kiddies.

I play everyday for a couple of hours on the PS3, does that make me less hardcore because of the platform?

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Re: No suprises in any of that.

I own a tremendous amount of PC games due to Steams nefarious sales.

I've even finished some of them.

There is however a large shift in gaming time from single player "pay and play" style games, where you can expect someone to buy a game for £30 and play it for 27 hours then buy a new one, to games where people will quite happily play co-op or pvp multiplayer for weeks, months, even years (including MMO's in this).

People playing these games don't have the same motivation to buy a new game every few weeks.

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Amen

Although I blame Steam sales for the piles of great games I have in my library, which I've never even got around to loading.

Currently I think my plan is to spend the first decade of my retirement working through the backlog.

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h3
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Re: No suprises in any of that.

Depends what type of games - Stuff like Super Meatboy or Streetfighter sucks with a keyboard.

I like stuff that is hard so you can play it for just a bit of time. Or fun (I will probably play it through once).

e.g Contra 4 - DS game / Space Invaders Extreme - DS game / Super Hexagon - PC (Or tablet - the iOS version is better than the Android one but I don't use iOS) / Super Meatboy - PC / Streetfighter 4 - 3DS / Super Mario Bros lost levels - 3DS Virtual Console. (You know playing it online in the none kiddy mode that it is fair (Someone using an arcade stick will almost always win otherwise because it is just as easy to do hard x than the other two).

No interest in FPS's really - used to like Action Quake and Unreal Tournament - Serious Sam is ok.

Play some JRPG's (Snes style though not the 3d ones that are all cutscenes).

Phone / Tablet games tend to be all graphics and awful AI (And stupidly easy and hence boring).

I won't touch adware either.

Most of the ones that are actually decent games are in the Humble Android bundles.

Super Hexagon is great.

(Dunno whether I am serious or not probably not I play games to keep my memory working / reactions quick.)

A game would have to be really good to make me want to use a keyboard / mouse when it is not work related.

Any game that has or needs a tutorial I won't play either. (If I want to kill a bit of time the last thing I want to do is use it to complete a snails pace tutorial.)

I will probably play Arodyne when I get my steam key from them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No suprises in any of that.

PC Piracy:

http://www.slashgear.com/thq-pegs-pc-piracy-rate-as-high-as-80-0410576/

And a little newer:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-09-30-piracy-ruining-pc-forcing-it-online

I'm guessing it's not gotten any better, only worse, as more of the freetard generation have grown up only knowing piracy, and thinks everything digital is free.

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Meh

Re: No suprises in any of that.

" I'm afraid there's no getting around the immutable fact that no joypad offering has yet come close to the speed an precision of a mouse and keyboard."

This why FPS devs have been forced to include the "auto aim" feature to accommodate console controllers. Quite an insult to anyone who prefers gaming with a mouse+keyboard.

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Silver badge

Re: No suprises in any of that.

"80% of all PC gaming is using a cracked copy according to recent studies."

Who says cracked = pirated? I routinely cracked legally purchased games in the days before digital distribution so that I didn't have to juggle discs all the time.

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Windows

Re: No suprises in any of that.

PS3 / Xbox360 games are generally better for the simple reason you have no stupid annoying DRM crap impeding what you should be doing, which is playing and enjoying the game. Not screaming at the monitor because your internet is down, or you have a virtual CD mounted. Both of which cause most games to flag up and refuse to launch....

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MJI
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Re: No suprises in any of that.

If you want to try something different with FPS try Playstation Move. More accurate that twin stock controllers, easier to move than WASD.

Mind you - you can get picked on for being a Move user as you sit at the top of the score screen with most kills, best KDR ect.

In a particular game I was vs 2 other players, I was not playing any of my best classes and I owned the other 2, one of them reckoned he was the best player in the game, a friend joined me and we won for a few more games.

My friend was winding him up something rotten

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MJI
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Re:PC Issues

Not had any issues with Steam

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No suprises in any of that.

"That's actually very odd, I've never pirated less games and bought more games than today, mostly due to Steam."

Steam is bloody lethal. There are so many ninja-discounts that I end up buyign far more games that I could ever have afforded on a console, or probably that I have time to play.. Also, so many excellent games in the last few years, be they AAA or indie, that I have trouble deciding what to play next, a lot of the time.

(Damn you, Steam!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No suprises in any of that.

"People playing these games don't have the same motivation to buy a new game every few weeks."

No, indeed. The economics then shift, to adding "boosters" and things to increase resource gain, or even crazy cosmetic addons.

Weirdly, Sony did a really good job of all of this with the amazing Planetside 2 (which is a free download, and perfectly fun to play even without spending a penny). However, it is possible to really piss off player base by nickle and diming them stupidly- by crippling the game instead (hi there, EA).

It's a relatively new phenomenon, and finding its own level. Interesting times.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Amen

Hah, yes, fuck Steam, seriously. I hardly dare peek at my library now, and have trouble keeping track of what I do and don't own without doing so. Far too many games, picked up for a few quid a time in various crazy sales.

I am currently playing through XCom, having picked up a Steam key for under a tenner from greenmangaming- I am torn whether to play it through again with fewer strategic mistakes right after, or actually run up one of the as yet unplayed games that I have grabbed since then.

It's getting silly now. An embarrassment of riches.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No suprises in any of that.

"If you want to try something different with FPS try Playstation Move. More accurate that twin stock controllers, easier to move than WASD.

Mind you - you can get picked on for being a Move user as you sit at the top of the score screen with most kills, best KDR ect."

This doesn't demonstrate that the lamentable Move controllers are any good, just that using analogue sticks for shooter is rubbish, too, and there are plenty of lowest common denominator players in public games.

It's a gimmick, with bags of latency and bugger-all accuracy. There is a reason that they are generally reserved for casual party games- well, another one other than they look like a hasty redesign of the famous Hitachi mains vibrator..

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MJI
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Re: Move controllers

Have you actually tried them?

I have, I know what I can do with them, and I am only average, I know how good some other players are, in fact if there was cross platform play and the game was well enough set up, I would actually bet on on of a small number of players who are phenomemal with Move, against KBM players.

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Go

Re: No suprises in any of that.

Agreed that PS3/Xbox is for proper gaming ... but PC is for even more proper gaming and hardcore gaming.

Thanks to Steam, most of my games library is back to 100% legal. And it isn't the only platform out there for PC gaming: Blizzard's own battle.net is necessary for the StarCraft games. Which I also own legally, even if my High School StarCraft days were fuelled by pirated SC.

Games are now easier to purchase on the PC/Mac scene, cheaper and given that I also have much more $$$ for discretionary purposes, the need to pirate is gone.

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Re: No suprises in any of that.

I agree completely with what you say for the most part. I've gamed at a reasonably high level (Represented my country on a small scale in Counter-Strike, lan competitions, and so forth) and the joypad just doesn't hold a candle to the mouse for shooters.

However, gaming PC's are arguably a little cheaper now than they were, at least for what you get. Decent monitors, memory and hard-drives are cheaper and there is a wider, better selection of gaming capable processors and GPU's compared to, say, 2004.

But yes, the serious gamer is in decline. Even professional gaming outside of SE Asia is nothing like it once was - I remember massive compeitions where the prize was $100'000 regularly for Counter-Strike. now it's unusual to even see $10'000

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No suprises in any of that.

@cornz 1

Once they've done the PC gamer, they'll be back for consoles don't worry. They don't like your second hand sales, depriving them of a sale. They've already proposed the key system, I think Sony patented one based on RFID which when the disk is put in phones home and only allows access on that one console, barring temporary passes if you want to take it to a friends. That's just boggo DRM by my book. And it's only a matter of time before old sales disappear from Sony or Microsoft libraries because they just aren't compatible with the new system. But when you come to it, the console itself can, and already is a form of its own physical DRM, and the entire platform is locked down. The same people run these companies, so don't be surprised when they try and shaft you too.

Either way, I play mostly RTS and FPS both mediums which in my opinion work best with a mouse. Due to slow spin in FPS and borderline impossible use for an RTS with a pad, it's an easy choice. I do have a 360 pad though for some driving games I play

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No suprises in any of that.

Last time I checked, gaming was supposed to be a fun pastime...... Not an excercise in how quickly you can turn 180 degrees.

Games are games whether you play with a mouse/keyboard, joyad, touch sceen, motion sensor, whatever. The PC gamer who criticises the 360/PS3 player for NOT having the accuracy of a mouse/keyboard is nothing more than a PC "Fanboy" and very much out of touch with modern game players.

Just ask a five year old playing angry birds on an iPad whether they care about PC v 360! Who cares!

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Holmes

IMHO piracy is not the only reason sales are down....

Simple question. What difference does it make to the software houses if I pirate games or buy them used from Game / CEX/ Ebay and so on?

In both cases unless I go and buy extra content (ala DLC) the games houses don't see anything out of me, no sales numbers and no money to them either.

Arguably there was an orignal sale of the game to someone which would not happen if it was a pirate copy, but it's not as if they lost a sale to me because I use the 2nd hand market, it's so infrequently I buy something when it's just out (maybe a game a year) because years of playing has told me to wait and either let others review it and say it's crap and leave it, or wait and buy it cheap, (read sub a tenner), and I don't generally have time to suit and play a game when it comes out. so may as well wait tillI do and the price drops.

Piracy is not the only think harming the market, it's the plethora of low quality games with high quality price tags, Does the industry not remember the Atari ET game burial. High licencing fees and crap gameplay saw truckloads of carts go to Landfill. Games are not cheap when new, and people want value for their money not another clone of something already on the market, and no amount of pretty trinket to decorate an avatar is going to make me preorder a game these days..

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Unhappy

Where does addiction to Freecell fit in to this?

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Coat

over there.

I think there's a special ward for people like you.

Here's your special i-love-me coat.

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Anonymous Coward

In a nice warm bubble bath with a Kenny G album playing.

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Happy

Minesweeper madness?

Nothing about this scurge of society?

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Pint

Publishers...

are making consoles slowly but surely irrelevant. At least in their traditional model of licensing fees for the privilege to develop for their platform. With almost every AAA game being launched for every platform (except for Nintendo's for various reasons) the exclusive game title is a dying breed and that was really the driving force behind consumers buying one console over another.

It seems to me console companies have conceded to this reality by making their next gen consoles largely glorified PC's with their own attempts a secret sauce (read cloud services) sprinkled on top. That's not to say the form factor is going away, but the lines between console and PC are blurring. That's why you have valve talking about the Steambox. When most of the home platforms are running x86 processors it will be easy than ever for Publishers to push for releases on all of them.

At any rate it's kind of a shame, but in theory it will give the consumer choice over which platform they want to game on. The only problem would be if the market consolidated and someone ended up with a monopoly.

Here's hoping an open source operating system becomes the platform of choice so that we can BYOH if we choose.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Publishers...

Exclusives will be more rare for Microsoft, not counting Kinect casual titles, but Nintendo and Sony develop plenty of their own exclusives and will continue to do so.

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Re: Publishers...

Sure there will be first party games (mainly nintendo), but will it really be enough? These days you hear things like publishers making games exclusive for a limited time and that's of course due to sweet heart deals by the console makers.

Nintendo has traditionally had the strongest first party titles but insist on a formulaic rehashing of existing game properties. Not to mention their games are primarily marketed towards the younger crowd as evidenced by their lower ranking in this poll.

Sony has been bleeding money so throwing money at developers en masse would be foolhardy. I'm not even sure if they've retained all their own game studio's after making necessary cuts for the bottom line.

Microsoft... well Microsoft has a history of failed hardware platforms so I don't think they really care at the end of the day if the nextbox is successful as long as windows remains the gaming platform of choice on PC.

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MJI
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Re: Publishers...

I have plenty of platform exclusives, a few are system sellers, got a well known racing game, possibly the best third person shooter/action adventure series, a couple of good FPS series, some platformers.

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Flame

I suppose

I must be a hardcore gamer

Team fortress nearly evry night... occasional blasts at something else.

But the writer is correct for us old pharts.. what we lack in reaction time is made up by gameplay, knowledge and evil intent.....

Making a push for final cap? lets drop out of my hidey hole in the rafters and set everyone on fire from behind... ahh the pretty yellow flames.. they flicker and flicker and dance all day long..

Boris

<<<wondering when they'll drag him off the hospital laptap and back in his room with the crayons again

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MJI
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Re: I suppose

Sounds like me with my KZ3 MP addiction along with blasting through other games SP later in the evening.

I have seen a lot of TF2 so understand the experience vs reactions

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Bronze badge

The choices:

Is it just me, or is ordering a game online and having it arrive on the doorstep a few days later a vastly superior experience to:

1. Waiting 10 mins for a PFY to go "into the back" (read: for a poo) to find said game at the supermarket and holding up everyone else behind you in the queue

2. Paying through the nose to download said game from xbox live/equivalent (later googling the "new" price on amazon and physically crying)

3. Going into a "gaming retail store", in 2013, wearing a beard, and dropping lies about your purchases being for "the damned kids".

4. Crying "Oo ar me arties! Pieces of 8, pieces of 8!" whilst having your timbers shivvered by several large sweaty gentlemen on cell block 4, while the other half gets busy with "Bill from next door". Then recalling the price of said download on xbox live and thinking "what a *** bargain!"

5. Buying game from "that shifty bloke down the pub" then finding out it is actually a poor cam recording of "Sex and the City 3 : return of the gilfs"

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Happy

Re: The choices:

Totally with you there, Foo. These days, if it's not on steam, I won't play it. This is especially true for the backlisted games that get those 5-10 dollar sales, it's the best thing to ever happen to pc gaming.

I had to make an exception or mass effect 3 because I played the first two on steam and wasn't going to miss the finish. I don't regret that (howler monkey fans aside, it was a great game), but I was sticking up my middle finger at the screen every time Origin started.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The choices:

"I had to make an exception or mass effect 3 because I played the first two on steam and wasn't going to miss the finish. I don't regret that (howler monkey fans aside, it was a great game)"

I was tempted to do that, because Shep and I had some unfinished bidness with the reapers.. but the Origin dickmove put me off too much. Would have been a day one preorder on Steam, but I don't want to have to have an account with every damn publisher. There are an awful lot of them..

By the by, I just avoid EA and Ubisoft games in general now, don't buy them, wouldn't accept a pirate copy. I don't feel like I have lost a thing.

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What piracy ?

I have to admit that I am now numbered among the ranks of the 'Silver Gamesters' but I don't have any pirated games.

The most I will admit to is having a couple of No-CD cracks for old sims that were never meant to run on a 64 bit operating system, but I bought the basic software. I also have a bunch of add-ons, most of which are shareware or freeware, but I also I have some for which I paid hard cold cash.

Chris Cosgrove

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