WarlokLord, something that puzzles me: how is it that someone who makes $10 a month in disposable income can afford a computer at all, let alone one capable of running newer computer games? If buying a game costs 6 months of disposable income, buying the computer to run it must have been a 10 year investment!
All too often here in the US I see people who "can't afford" health insurance, or car insurance, or whatever other necessity they are doing without - yet these same people make more than I do, live in a better house, and drive better cars than I do. Frequently, people define expenses to be necessities when they are not - they simply choose not to reduce their standard of living in one category in order to raise it in others. I'm not saying this applies to you in particular or your country in general, but it does apply to too many people over here. They'd rather keep the nice things they have and bitch about the others until the government steps in to help the "needy".
Good point. I`ll offer some counter-argument in a moment, but first I am compelled to say I am Canadian and not in the financial boat I have constructed/depicted in my recent posts. I *do* however have a lesser sense of what it is like in such a circumstance. My work is part-time but I seem to be pulling full-time hours, so there I am fortunate enough to have the income necessary to support my own capable PC rig. Prior to such fortune however, and prior even to such employment, I endeavoured to devote 95% of my meager finances to maintaining my primary hobbies: gaming and music. I endeavoured to at least stay functional in the face of new PC fare, because I enjoy it so much. I am not pressed at all to accept that a good many students (to suggest a specific category of folk) find themselves in a similarly peculiar predicament, wherein despite great debt and meager incomes, they manage to prioritize a new computer system or at least a new computer system component... possibly at some critical expense (Kraft Dinner anyone?...). But truly this is both normal and understandable sacrifice given the modern Media Age in which we live. I would parallel this to the time when owning your own vehicle was a grand thing for a teenager/student; I cannot imagine most younger people trying to get by without a computer in modern times.
Abroad, many countries populations are impoverished by our standards, and yet many gravitate to some of the more extravagant trappings of western society, such as aforementioned automobiles. I doubt anyone would claim that a typical Chinese factory worker is quite in a position to purchase a new automobile, and yet car ownership is on the rise. I submit such purchases *are* as you say far more critical to them - you can`t simply "cut & paste" an iso/archive of a car - and yet still within the realm of modern reason. I can easily envision a computer purchase of say something you and I upgraded from in the last 2 years as being a possible feasable target for a *family* or household to acquire.
That said I concede absolutely that there is a point regarding the means one must have to play, for example, Crysis. If one cannot afford the game, surely one is hard-pressed to afford the hardware that runs it. A tempering thought. On the other hand, look at the pace of technology markets and how quickly prices fall: my old Q6600 Quad core cpu is now selling for less than half of what I paid for it a number of months ago.
I must reiterate a point, and maybe make it more eloquently. We are essentially driving through foreign mechanics' garages with our limousines daily, advertising to the world how wonderful limousines are, and then we are surprised when the mechanics who help our limousines run develop a taste for them.
Regarding foreign boycotts of goods, I argue that western producers simply discount such populations. The primary revenue streams are not predicated upon whether or not any third-world consumer respects an honour system, they are derived from 1st-world markets. I think what I`m trying to say here is that any substantial vendor of software doesn`t care what goes on in a third-world country`s marketplace, so long as their activities don`t serve to foster consumer advocacies here in our 1st-world countries.
CobraA1, your comment about working harder to improve one`s lot is a truth only in a non-globalized economy. In an ideal capitalist system, unplundered and unconsolidated, I agree there are opportunities, but today we are not a frontier anymore. We compete in close & vicious proximity to each other, and often our way is carved out of the capacity of someone else. I contend it is a drastic simplification to say that by working harder one can overcome the colossal market forces at play - there are now after all over 5 billion of us, all interconnected and aware.
In my own circumstance I piratted my OS: Windows XP. I swore when I had the means to do so I would go legit. XP was necessary to everything else I needed to do: work and play. I could not afford $300 for a backbone component. Yes that was a judgement call, but one made in the face of many other reasonable considerations. Now that I have been working, garnering a wage substantial enough, I did what I had vowed to do, as I always intended. I bought a copy of XP, and it sits here in my room. It took some time, but you do what you have to do when you have less funds rather than more.
I honestly believe that and agree with those who say DRM does more harm than good. Companies should focus more on quality of product and quality of service rather than on mechanisms of marketting & market control, which is when you boil it down a sad and culpably detestable gimmick surrogate for said qualities.
CobraA1, Willythemailboy, btw, good discussions. Any further thoughts from Ironcladsmen or Stardockians at this point?