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Thread: Consumer Protection Act VS Video Games.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Consumer Protection Act VS Video Games.

    Controversially video games may not be that important for most people but let's not forget that it is one of the main drivers in the PC market especially. Most gamers will spend easily over R10000 to play their games smoothly and with the highest detail they can get.

    Also the game industry itself is well within the billion mark. However there is a grim picture is unfolding as more and more games becomes online dependant. Some games when you buy them you have to do a 4 Gigabyte update and it will continue to update every time you play the game.

    To be fair 4 Gigabytes and updates may not look like much but consider the costs in South Africa. A game "new title" will set you back R600+ 4 Gigabytes of data will set you back between R300 to R400 easy "depending on provider/ contract" and then you still need to be online to play it.

    If the game developers get there way and they normally do, "play-stations" will follow soon and even there games will demand to be permanently online…

    The fact is our consumer council did very little to protect us against these developers and there growing set of requirements. If a game needs a 4 gigabyte update just to play then was the game sold as a complete product, because it cannot function as a complete product on its own.

    The real scary part is your children are communicating with whom exactly? Fact is most games can no longer be played over a standard network thus there is no control for a parent.

    Thus there is no protection for children at all… This seems to be ok because the designers seem to want this as it gives them total control over their product while being used. Why is such heavy control needed? Clearly it is no longer a question of just piracy as they claim it to be.

    It is about utter control and fact is we have no control over them at all. Thus the biggest question of all comes to mind. Why have the consumer protection act failed the gaming population in such a horrific degree?

    Many more questions needs to be answered and for the most part games are not without glitches most of them have some type of cheat code if the player gets struck but because there are no regulation cheat codes are purely voluntary and there are many games with glitches that becomes unplayable because they failed to add simple cheat codes to aid the product when it fails.

    Now most people will argue "that is why one have 4 Gigabyte updates " but it is simply not true. We updated a popular title and we still get stuck at a particular stage in the game and seemingly there is no other option available other than giving up and then you wasted over R1000 on a game? How is that even legal?

    Yes it is true that there are support sites but we find them to be slow to none responsive at best.

    In the end you can't sell a car without the engine? Why can games be sold without the ability of being stand alone? How can they not include basic cheats to combat basic bugs within their products? Why isn't any of this regulated after all we do pay tax on it?

    Fact is most gamers have to use trainers that can introduce viruses on their systems and even lead to data being stolen. But again the Consumer are not protected against any of this? Considering the amount of money we spend on it and the tax we pay on the product is it not fair to ask our government to protect us against such abuse?

    the fact is there are laws protecting the gaming industry...

    Sadly we as customers have little to no protection at all...
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tec0 View Post
    It is about utter control and fact is we have no control over them at all.
    Yes you do. It's called your wallet, or credit card (or mommy and/or daddy's card in some cases).

    I think it's early days when it comes to consumer protection here in South Africa, but I was wondering - surely if the consumer is being abused this has come up in other countries where fairly advanced consumer protection has been in place for some time already?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Make a request for a 'charge back' from your credit card company, and state the reasons, and they invariably will reverse the transaction.
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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    This is actually an interesting issue, I have considered a similar scenario regarding this recently cell phone updates etc.
    Where it interrupts the game there is possibly a claim for unfair marketing and/or defective product.
    Regarding viruses - it should carry a warning that updating uses XYZ bandwidth and may expose to risk. etc , etc
    Where the upgrade is new stuff it would be seen as a "new" purchase. The payment issue would be interesting and again the contract and terms and how the permission is given would be interesting. the supplier can't be liable for the parents failure to control the child, BUt of course the supplier needs a system that requires the adult to make a decision...The upgrade could be considered direct marketing which would give you the cancellation option
    Anthony Sterne

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    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    I know in most first world countries they don’t share our problems as there internet is uncapped supper fast and above all cheap! So for them to say online indefinitely is a real world solution for them. There hardware is much cheaper thus they don’t feel the restrictions like we do.

    That said I fear that there law system is more accessible than ours and I think that is why they have very little problems with this concept in general. That said we were forced by the gaming communities to accept the laws they wanted but I am yet to find a law that protect us against them.

    And I must agree the same is true with the mobile industry, phones constantly wants to update actually to a point where I got rid of my smart phone. See our telecommunication industry is factually forcing us to stay connected constantly and look at the cost!!!

    As I said we as customers are being enslaved by these industries and there is ZERO protection for us. It is always we have to agree to their terms and conditions or we can go jump in the fire. We have no say over the contract conditions at all.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sterne.law@gmail.com View Post
    ....Where the upgrade is new stuff it would be seen as a "new" purchase.
    Games, as with much software, are often released in what would have been considered the beta stage a few years ago. Most of the 'updates' are patching sloppily written code, security issues, reliability issues etc. If it were the car industry behaving in a similar fashion such an action would be classed as a full safety recall.
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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Anyone of us knows that we must deliver to our customers or we get the brunt of it. We lose business get a bad name and ultimately the business flops. Not so much for the gaming industry. It is ok for them force an individual to become a lifelong customer and if they close up shop then none of your games will work ever again. How is this considered to be legal in the first place?

    The truth is this is a very serious problem and it seems that most people will just laugh it off. But is it not true that most if not all PLC "Program Logic Controllers" software is factually on a permanent licence and lease? Is it not also true that this software is so expensive that training on it is impossible thus again outsourcing jobs? How can this be beneficial to our country?

    Software licensing is one thing but this is blackmail in any and every degree. The only reason why it is tolerated is because the law was forced to tolerate it. Where did we the people have a say when these laws where placed into practice?

    Yes now it sounds like BS, because we the people must just go with the flow of technology… The truth is right now our technology is not serving us it is enslaving us. It is time for the people to ask the right questions.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    But we all allow Windows to update itself whenever and however it wants....Google installs all sorts of add ons and stuff whenever it feels like.

    I agree with Dave, speak with yor wallet, if you don't like it then don't buy it. Nobody forces you to, just like Windows, if you don't like the way it works then buy Linux.

    With regard to kids, the law can't protect people against their own stupidity. 90% of kids have cell phones and 90% of them are either on BBM or MxIt. You can't stop them from talking to strangers and even if you try they just use their buddies phone. It all goes back to values taught by parents, kids have to be taught to take responsibility for their own actions. Who stops a kid from buying drugs from another kid, nobody except the kid themself.

    I don't want to live in a nanny state where the government gets to dictate how I wipe my butt. It's your choice to buy or not to buy, its your choice to speak to strangers or buy drugs. The government can't make people think for themselves, damn, the goverment can't even think for themselves...
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    This is not about government getting involved in how you use your toilet paper. It is about consumer protection. Why must I make the choice not to be entertained? Why is that my only choice? Truth is I want to be entertained I want to buy the latest game and the latest PC hardware to play it.

    What I don’t want is for someone I don’t know to force me to download crap I don’t need. For example my OS updates are disabled also my Internet explorer can't download anything unless I tell it too. The programs in question gave me a choice.

    I don’t have a choice when it comes to my smart phone, I don’t have a choice when it come to my games. Why is it so wrong to want to be able to buy and play a game? Or to disable updates on my smart phone? Why must I suffer?

    Secondly consider this you say it is our stupidity that makes us vulnerable. No it is not… If the system allows for people to get hurt then there is something wrong with the system. Then by design the system can be made safe but because we as consumers have no rights there is no need for these systems to be safe.

    People always say it is our own fault? I no longer think it is… Why can social networking be used for slander? Because there are no prevention systems and yet they make millions? Why? Because the laws failed the people. If the law forced them to take responsibility then there would be no slander. It is a simple truth.

    Part of paying your tax money is to make sure that the products get regulated and is made safe. Even your toilet paper must be made safe otherwise you will get an infection and end up being ill and or dead for what ever reason.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    But if you don't need the crap then don't download it. Simply disconnect your PC from the net. Interesting about the smartphone, my tablet and my smartphone doesn't download anything unless I allow it.

    Why should social networking not be used for slander, it's your choice, you can walk down a street and slander anybody, you can write a letter to a newpaper or phone a radio station, it remains our choice to do so or not. Prevention systems for what, I have a right to free speech, I can call Malema a twat using whatever medium I choose, if he doesn't like it then he is free to take me to court. The law cannot force me not to call Malema a twat, it's it is my right to do so.

    The problem lies in the definition of the word 'safe' should the goverment ban screwdrivers because people stab one another with sharp pointed objects, should the goverment ban telephones because we phone 702 and call JZ a twat. Nee ou broer, we still have one luxury in this country, well to a large degree and that is hardwon freedom. I refuse to be governed by a nanny state because some people want protection from using their own judgement.

    BTW: The wonderful thing about slander using a social network is that we can all choose to participate if we want. Go check out News24 if you want to see slander, its great fun too, people get to air their views and blow off steam. We have already slandered that buch of ignorant clots who are forcing people to buy etags in more than 500 posts. We will continue tomorrow and the day after because we have the freedom and right to say our piece.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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