Well, it looks like Electronic Arts has just taken the first step in what might be the biggest incitement to pirate computer games since the invention of the floppy disk. PC versions of Mass Effect and Spore are going to require a computer connection. Not so you can play online, they are single player games. No, they’re going to need a net enabled computer so they can CALL HOME EVERY TEN DAYS to re-authenticate their DRM! If this catches on I can see a future where every piece of software, movie, CD, toaster, hell, anything, will have to be online to work. Vista’s Big Brotheresque tendencies may spread like electronic kudzu to everything you own. I don’t know about you, but I’m not crazy about companies knowing more about my gaming and viewing proclivities than I do.
Oh, I know. Advocates of totalitarianism in the guise of piracy protection will say that EA isn’t going to keep tabs on individual gamers. And that’s probably true, if you believe that businesses would never do any thing unethical just because they can.
Hell, my DVR already keeps tabs on my viewing, my government monitors my phone calls and emails, my cell phone company knows who I call, and for all I know somebody is actually reading this blog. I thought is was illegal to install a hack on someone’s computer so you could monitor them. I can’t open my television to fix something without the possibility of violating some reverse engineering law but EA can hack my computer because I want to play a game they make? Guess that law is only for citizens.