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Content ID matching is a topic that I haven't keep up on, but know it's been around for a while. Basically, it's something that YouTube does to YouTubers who make income via advertisements on videos that contain content held by copyright owners. Instead of taking the videos down, they redirect any ad revenue generated away from the content producer and to the copyright holder. So, anyone who makes a Let's Play video and received income from the ads now loses it to the publisher, provided they claim it. Nintendo has now laid claims.
Personally, I feel Let's Players should be left alone. I don't think copyright law particularly applies to this situation, as I see it differnently than animated music videos or recut films. For a song artist, they can potentially lose a sale of their song because someone can hear it off of YouTube. For a movie, someone can watch it off YouTube. For a game... you can't really play a game off of YouTube. And honestly, if someone just wants to see the game played without playing, they're still not going to buy the game, regardless if the LPer gets ad revenue or not.
Let's Plays are valuable sources of information. Not only do they demonstrate a game being played to help out a person struggling through a specific level, but it's also a resource that a consumer can use if they're researching a potential purchase. Stealing away an LPer's income source for making these videos is akin to charging writers for reviewing their games, or for writing FAQs and strategy guides.
Should Major League Gamers be charged for training on a publisher's video game? Should a portion of the prize money be allocated to, say, Capcom because someone won a tournament playing Street Fighter X Tekken? Now, I know what you're thinking. "No, because they're sponsored." or "No, because it's promotional; they're advertising the game." Well, Let's Players are also promoting these publishers' games. The publishers don't have to pay these YouTubers to talk about their games, but instead are stealing their income for doing so. This is like CBS signing over checks to Square-Enix every time a GameSpot employee talks about Tomb Raider.
Here's an interesting thought. Why not Sony charge whoever plays the game that's being shared to them over the PS4? Why should some guy on the other side of the country be able to play someone else's game for free? "That's unfair!" Right, and so is taking ad revenue from LPers, who BOUGHT the game in the first place! And in case you don't want to read the article I linked, I'll just pluck a quote out of it.
"Theyre [Let's Plays] a great form of advertising and sadly, the way Nintendo is punishing people for playing their titles is going to do more harm than good, when it comes to exposure for their games. YouTube personalities will be less inclined to make lets play series based on Nintendo games since they get no revenue, which decreases exposure. Word of mouth exposure has always been one of the most premium forms of advertising for games."
Exactly. The only difference is that these LPers are making a few dollars doing it. They're taking time out of their day to spend playing YOUR game, which they BOUGHT, and spreading the word. If you as a publisher are really bothered by that, then how about you pay them instead? You didn't play the game for them, so how dare you take away what they earned?
I know this is a grey area, and I can see exactly how copyright law would apply to these situations, but that doesn't mean I think it's right. I don't like the way it works, and I think it needs to be reformed. It also sucks for me personally, because I was thinking about doing this in the future. Now, not so much. If I really have to agree with this copyright law, then I figure I how about 100 different publishing houses money, because I earn a living shelving their books in my library.
Bonus Content: Rich's take on Nintendo's claims.
Before I begin, please take a few minutes and watch this. If you've already seen this, please then advance, or if you don't want to watch, please skip to the quote, because that's really all you need to know.
"You paid up to 60 dollars for a game; you should have some option to experience all the content. ... If you paid for content, do you not have the right to all the content you bought? What if books spontaneously combusted if you didn't understand certain words, or movies refused to unpause until you took a quiz to prove you knew who all the characters were?"
What brings this blog about is my current experience with the first Fire Emblem I'm playing for the GBA. 10 years later, the series FINALLY gets a casual option that turns off permadeath and allows you to save anywhere. Why, oh why, did it take 10 years for that to happen?
"But... but... permadeath makes you think harder about where you're moving your guys!"
Sure, it does. What I don't enjoy, however, is the random death that can happen to even the smartest of people. For instance, that sorceress hidden under the fog of war that can reach out 10 blocks and vaporize your character because she scores a critical on you? How about your knight, who never should have missed, misses and the swordsman with the Killing Edge, who never should have hit you, hits you with two criticals in a row? Or how about you execute a perfectly laid out plan only for it to become a clusterfvck because the game spawns 10 new enemies you weren't ready for?
Of course, part of this frustration is my fault as I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. I cannot accept losing a single character, so if I lose one, I have to start the mission over. Even if I've spent 45 minutes and about to finish the chapter but lose a guy to the boss, I will start it over. Even if I lose a character I don't use, I will start it over. It would have been nice had someone 10 years ago realized that not everyone who plays Fire Emblem truly appreciates this so called "difficulty". The game isn't that hard for me, more as it's just a time waster. I will still end up beating the game; it's just going to take me longer.
And that's the thing. I don't have as much time as I used to have. I found myself with more games coming out this generation that I want to play, but I haven't gotten to yet. Again, it's sort of my fault for adding more pressure to my hobby, because I've decided to focus on my backlog of games. Every time I view a loss in Fire Emblem, I think of how much extra time I have to spend on it it when I could be applying that time to a different game.
Now, this goes back to the argument of hardcore vs casual where the "true" fans don't want to see easier options to make the game appeal more to the casuals. If you watched the video, then Jim has debated that point far better than I could have done. The thing is, you still get your hardcore experience, and the casuals get their casual experience. If a "noob" beats the game, why does that bother you? YOU beat it on a Ultra Mega Super Hardcore Of Which Makes Me a Bad Ass Mother Fvcker mode. Pat yourself on the back.
But honestly, Jim's point about paying money for a game and not being able to enjoy it because it's too hard is a great freaking point. This is entertainment, and this particular medium - video games - is all about fun. What happens when someone of a lesser skill level gets frustrated with the game? That fun decreases. Not finishing a game you paid for is like not finishing a tasty steak or tofu burger if you're a veg; it's a waste of money. So, I'm glad there's an Easy mode in Dark Souls; I'm glad there's a casual difficulty in Fire Emblem: Awakening. It means more people are able to experience those games in their entirety.
In fact, I'm almost tempted to say that microtransactions are a good thing, which would contradict something that I'm adamant against, but I understand more now why companies put them in. They want to attract more people, the less skilled or the more impatient players, who can unlock things at the ready - for a cost - so they can skip through all the bullshyte that the rest of us go through to really enjoy our games. Of course, Dead Space 3's a bad example of this, because they redesigned their upgrade system specifically for microtransactions, and I won't play it because of it. I still view microtransactions as capitalizing on the less skilled and more impatient gamers, but at least they have the option to breeze through the game at their leisure.
This isn't just about difficulty, though. I also think that every game needs a subtitle option for the hearing impaired (most already do). I think there should be more lefthanded controllers and handheld consoles. I think there should be standard options to save wherever you want, even in the middle of a cutscene, because you never know when something comes up. You can always pause a movie or bookmark a book; why can't you do that with video games? I would also love to play a Rockstar game that allows for more tha one save slot, because I may not be the only one in the household interested in playing it. And I always want to see an option to play as a character that you yourself want to see. If it doesn't make sense within the game's story, at least you have the option to make it nonsensical.
Of course, we can't change the fact that vampires sparkle in Twilight. We can't write in more meaningful dialogue and character development into a Michael Bay movie. We can't put more zombies in Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride Prejudice and Zombies. This is where games differ from movies and books. Yes, we pay money for movies and books, and everyone who starts them can finish them. That isn't the case with games, and that's not how it's supposed to be. Since many games have shown that you can customize certain features, you can actually have a better experience than the game maker originally intended. So, instead of making optional options an option, let's instead make them a standard.
So, on my journey to finally get some old games that I've owned finished, I come to Fire Emblem. I started it back on the Game Boy Advance back in 2003, and now 10 laters later, I'm returning to it. As it turns out, I stopped at Chapter 15. If I stopped because it proved to be too hard or I got distracted with another game, I'm not sure. I do know why, though, that it took me so long to return to it. Gameplay wise, I hate it. No, seriously, I can't stand it.
I love strategy based RPGs. My favorite series of this genre so far has been Disgaea, closely followed by Final Fantasy Tactics. I have two reasons why I strongly dislike Fire Emblem, though, and the first has to do with the fact that characters do not return once they're killed in battle. I understand why this is, because it forces you to be extremely careful, but the unfortunate downside to this kind of play style is that battles tend to drag out. Instead of you overwhelming the opposing forces by sacraficing your men, you have to stay back and let the enemy wear themselves out on your strongest players.
The second reason why I dislike this series is limited use weapons and item management systems. For several chapters, you are stuck having to waste turns trading items and equipment among your units. You only only get money every four or so chapters, and you have to wait for a level that has venders and armories to stock up. I have yet to run into any problems with equipping my guys, but I hate knowing the fact that you can render a unit useless by having them run out of weapons. It's an antiquated system, and I sincerely hope the series doesn't continue its usage with its laters titles.
Those two issues aside, I am having fun with the game. I love it when my characters attack twice in a row, and I love how enemies try to hit me through forests and mountains and I just sidestep and counterattack, killing them on their turn and not mine. I like the story, and I think the writing is excellent. I definitely enjoy the way they use older style wording. I'm currently on Chapter 11, I believe, so I've finished Lyn's story, and forgot entirely how the chapters worked. I look forward to experiencing Eliwood's story next.
Now, this game has brought painful memories to the forefront due in part to another Intelligent Systems game Advance Wars. I never finished that game either, mainly due to the fact that the game kicked my ass. The final level seriously turned me off on the game. I pray that Fire Emblem does not have a frustratingly difficult final level, because I hate spending 30-40 minutes on a mission only to lose and start all over again from the beginning. I think the next Fire Emblem game I have is Sacred Stones but I don't think I'll start that one right away. I have a feeling I'll need a break from the series after I finish this game.
My Recent Reviews
I review the new Cherry 7-Up Antioxidant
I rattle off a bunch of unopened games I own.
This talks about what I purchased from Best Buy for Tuesday, December the 9th.
May 18, 2013 6:07 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Let's Pay: Stealing the LPers' Income
May 13, 2013 9:01 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Options should always be a standard
May 13, 2013 7:34 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted in the topic Has ACIII gotten any DLC yet? on the Nintendo Wii & WiiU board
May 12, 2013 5:27 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted in the topic So yeah, anyone who loves hip hop should buy the new R.A. The Rugged Man on the Off-Topic Discussion board
May 5, 2013 11:36 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Now Playing #124: Fire Emblem
May 2, 2013 6:39 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted in the topic Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly of Kriss Kross found dead at 34 on the Off-Topic Discussion board
Apr 27, 2013 3:05 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Now Playing #123: A Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Apr 25, 2013 8:16 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Nintendo communicating differently
Apr 23, 2013 2:23 am GMTJustPlainLucas posted a new blog entry entitled Now Playing #122: Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins
Apr 21, 2013 4:41 pm GMTJustPlainLucas posted in the topic Two shot at 4/20 rally in Denver on the Off-Topic Discussion board