Let used videogames alone!

Photo of our polemic CEO by M. Concepcion to examiner.com.

There is a lot of fuzz lately about second-hand videogames sales, specially after Quantic Dream’s CEO, Guillaume de Fondaumiere, stated “And my calculation is, as Quantic Dream, I lost between €5 and €10 million worth of royalties because of second-hand gaming.” Quantic Dreams is the company behind Heavy Rain, a game widely known for encouraging players to play it only once.

I could go on and on about the matter, pointing out pros and cons in each side of the dispute as serious journalism demands us to. But, guess what, that’s not a journalism blog. I won’t do anything like that. Instead, I’m going to write here: books.

Yes, you read it right, books.

Books are one of the first kind of mass-produced creative work to be available to sale in a good quality. Unlike paintings or sculptures, which were a handcraft artistic piece of work for a long time, since Gutenberg created the movable type printing, in around 1439, nearly every piece of word could be mass published and mass sold. Being mass printed, however, didn’t mean one or a group of creative minds wasn’t in charge of creating the content of the book, pamphlet or gazettes.

As printed material, videogames are also the mass reproduction result of a creative composition. They also involve a team of skilled workers that will use the best of their intellectual production in order to create a cultural piece. So, both the player and the reader will buy not the intellectual property of this creative work but instead a material reproduction of it.

However, in one of these industries, selling the used material reproduction was never actually questioned and is a common practice. In the other one, never the less, is being pointed out by some developers as a “shot in the foot” or a way by which some clever gamers use to not play a cent for the poor developers.

Needless to say one of this industries is using the wrong approach around the matter. Would it be the one with almost 40 years of development or the one that is around 500 years entertaining humans? When I find it out, I’ll let you guys know.