There’s been a lot written, one way or another, about DRM lately. These posts have been occasioned by the strong protests, especially on Amazon, over Spore’s “protection”.

I discussed DRM last year in Copy Protection: The Useless Feature, and I think that pretty well covers the matter from a general standpoint. This post is a personal statement.

I’ve been playing computer games for a long time now. In the past, I’ve put up with all manner of “protection schemes”, from code words to code wheels to manual lookups to key disk (disk in the drive). At worst, they were somewhat annoying.

None of them, however, required me to “phone home”, install malicious software, call up and beg for “another installation”, or limited how many times I could install a program in the first place.

Right now, I have Diablo 2 on both my systems. The older one has D2 + LOD, the other plain D2. And the game has been reinstalled several times on the older machine; at least four instances. Add in the one on my “newer” computer, that makes five. Imagine if the installs had been limited to three? Ha, I’d have run out years ago.

Did any of those early reinstalls hurt Blizzard in any way? Of course not. I had a legitimate copy; they certainly weren’t losing any money. And this is an eight-year-old game I’m still playing.

Yes, I have to have the CD in the drive to play either of those games. So what? Of all the DRM schemes, this is the one I can live with. It is really a very minimal requirement. No limitations, no “phone home”.

So I’ve decided to pass up any game in the future that requires online activation, and/or limits the installations, whether that product comes from an “A” publisher or an indie. I’m not going to pay for the “privilege” of being treated like dirt. No game is that important.

Which is a strange thing for me to say. I never imagined in the past there might be a time I’d skip a game because of CP. Well, that time has come; in fact, it’s been here for awhile.

I’m not going to bother about the issue any further. If I consider a game’s DRM to be odious, I’ll cross it off my list, however good it may be. Will that hurt? Maybe. But no one ever said that sticking to your principles comes without pain. Sad, but true. The only thing sadder is necessity of doing this. ’nuff said.