Gamers Fight DRM, Used Games with Hashtags


Gamers are fighting back with hashtags. Taking to Twitter after a NeoGaf thread spurred the movement to life, people began hitting Sony executives with Tweets containing various hashtags, the popular ones being #PS4UsedGames and #PS4NoDRM, all aimed at lifting potential restrictions of the hardware. Backed by fury over Microsoft’s sordid Xbox One messaging, it would seem the community has finally had enough, and I support that.

This methodology has shifted the argument in one direction, as if the community believes PS4 is viable for consumers. That is likely not the case, as this is almost certainly a third-party movement, the likes of EA and Activision pressuring console makers for implementation. Commercial suicide is being the only console maker who restricts first sale doctrine. This will be industry wide.

However, this proposed restriction, whatever form it may take, is not a mere PlayStation 4 problem. It is a software problem, and one that has been brewing for an entire console generation. Are the people Tweeting these hashtags supporters of the online pass? That was phase one of a tested used game lock-out that a majority shrugged off as unimportant and supported. Battle lines should have been drawn when Diablo III went always on, but instead sold 10 million units. We should have levied action against the outrageous $15 map packs of Call of Duty, but those now sell well enough to earn advertising campaigns. Steam? Regardless of its deals, Steam does everything you’re asking Sony not to. Instead, most of the community lashed out and supported the corporations, leaving the rest of us “entitled, whiny babies.”

Our own economics, those of seemingly helpless video game buyers, have shown the community may rightfully complain, but in the end, they break. They buy and splurge on $60 games, even if they crimp our rights as consumers. Why wouldn’t Sony, Microsoft, or third-parties restrict used games now that the PR has worked through the veins of the industry? People have such an irrational hatred of GameStop, that they are willing to sacrifice rights to see the red, black, and white logo burn. They have become so hot-headed and blind to GameStop, they would rather never trade another game as long as the retailer closes its doors. GameStop has become an adjective for, “evil,” somehow a sign of everything that’s wrong, ignoring the thousands of indie retailers and invasion of personal space which would be required for the game giant to go under.

The likes of #NoOnlinePass and #NoToDigital needed to be sent long before #PS4UsedGames. We didn’t. We acted passe, and now we feel the brunt of the cost. We should have been speaking loudly to friends and co-workers, but we stayed silent. Game consumers are in desperate panic, a situation that will likely need government intervention to solve at this late stage. Hopefully it comes, and hopefully, we never hear the word entitled again. This is what those “entitled” gamers saw coming for seven years.