Hijacked Christmas – Criminals Steal CODMW3 – Why you should care?
It’s true, over the past weekend french news site TF1 reported a truck carrying 400,000 Euros worth of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 stolen by two people using tear gas and knives. After hitting the shipping vehicle with their own car, and tear gassing the drivers, the two masked robbers fled with their bounty. But what does this mean to us? To me this means two things 1) a possible cry from people who still think that games has something to do with violence – which it doesn’t 2) The end of console games.
To explain my first concern I have to say that these two individuals do not in any way represent gamers who play shooters. The common reader would easily perceive this incident ironically since it was a daring robbery. Other game sites like destructoid.com even said “In a theft so ludicrously staged that it could have been its own Call of Duty level”. Well I’m here to set the record straight! Gamers, industry and academic, casual and hardcore, fight together against the unjustified stigma (violent games breed violent players) that comes with playing violent video games so when something like this happens it is extremely important to recognize that the perpetrators are criminals first.
Tactical Mask Perk
This violent stage of theft is an indicator of many other issues begging the question of fairly priced games, demand and popularity of franchises influencing cultures and industry practice world wide, and don’t forget the safety of transporters of all gaming products during the holiday season. We can see all of these issues clearer by reading the user comments. The most commonly repeated comment from readers of the original TF1 article is “It’s Christmas!”. With the economic distress reigning over the world this past year and high price of video games there’s no wonder why people are putting more games on their Holiday wish list instead of buying it for themselves. But we can’t say that it was over priced video games that motivated the violence. Destructoid.com also featured an Ebay Ad that markets CODMW3 purchase at over a thousand U.S dollars purchased before the release of the game – even with Stephen Tolouse (@Stepto) of XBOX policies Tweeting out a warning to buyers of early copies legit or other saying “Clarification: dblchk’d with Activision. Mw3 pre-release play not authorised. So pls be patient. Playing early may impact your account!”. In essence this all means people are willing to pay hard earned dollars on games we love. These two criminals are not Robin Hood figures stealing from the corporate publisher but criminals who just robbed you of your Christmas present.
Do you collect games?
As for the end of console games, the industry and fans clash in the issue of the cloud. Major and minor publishing companies increasingly support the digital distribution of games to save costs to the publisher and consumer – actions like the ones made by these two masked men are supporting their claims. The cloud model allows for publishers to cut the cost of creating and distributing hard copies (including transportation of product). As a fan of hard copies and collectables I say digitally distributing AAA games will create a cultural disturbance in the intrinsic value of game collecting – this truck load of games is actually a truck load of money to the publisher but a truck load of cultural practice and value to gamers. The money lost and people physically harmed by these criminal actions is fuel to endorse the dangers of transporting valuable product. When danger becomes a part of the equation, inevitably we see the transportation costs as not worth the risk for the publishers since contracted transporters now have a means of raising costs – hence the end of console games as we know them. Even if the newest consoles developers warrant hard copy games I won’t be surprised if new publishers refuse to distribute offline. So why should you care? Changes in the industry can be made for an infinite number of reasons…let’s make sure that violent criminal behaviour isn’t one of them!
Are you a game collector? I want to see what you got SO post pictures of your Collection in the comments section or simply let us know what you think!