A few days ago over at Gamasutra, Kim Pallister put up an article about a stuffed bear. It got him speculating on a possible way to reduce software piracy.

The bears are custom-made at a place called Build A Bear Workshop, and apparently the process is a bit involved. However, like the Webkinz stuff, a bond forms between the child and the toy.

So Kim is wondering if something similar could be done with games. If there was a way to customize a game for each player to make it unique in some aspect.

Unique so that players would want their “own” version rather than ripping off someone else’s game. That’s certainly an interesting idea, but I dunno if it’s really feasible.

It might be possible with downloaded content, but I imagine the programming would be on the level of nightmare. How this could be accomplished with boxed games, well….

Well, maybe you’d have to – haha – log on to a server somewhere and do the customization. Of course, if/when that server was no longer available, you might have a few problems.

And the real question is, should this become possible, would it really put a dent in copying? Especially if customizing had no effect on gameplay in general?

We know that many players do like to customize their avatars, especially in the casual game sphere. But is that enough for the hardcore crowd? I have my doubts. Read the article and see what you think.

Stuffed Bears & Piracy on Gamasutra