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The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 17, 2014

Last year, Greenheart Games released a game called Game Dev Tycoon in which you run a company that makes video games. As an experiment, they secretly released a cracked version of the game for pirates to download…with one small difference: players in the cracked version would always go bankrupt because of piracy issues.

The cracked version is nearly identical to the real thing except for one detail… Initially we thought about telling them their copy is an illegal copy, but instead we didn’t want to pass up the unique opportunity of holding a mirror in front of them and showing them what piracy can do to game developers. […] Slowly their in-game funds dwindle, and new games they create have a high chance to be pirated until their virtual game development company goes bankrupt.

Did the pirates learn anything or feel bad? Not really:

Pirates On Piracy

(via @djacobs)