The Leader of the Luddites


A few lines from wikipedia@luddite:

The Luddites /ˈlʌd.ts/ were 19th-century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour-saving machinery from 1811 to 1817. [...] The movement can be seen as part of a rising tide of English working-class discontent in the early 19th century. [...] By meting out harsh consequences, including, in many cases, execution and penal transportation, the trials quickly ended the movement.

That was a labor movement at a time when living conditions were pretty harsh. I think it's important to show some respect for the history of those people and what they were about and in retrospect it was not about rejecting a way of life - it's just they had lost their jobs and there was most likely no placement office. So what were they supposed to do, buy an Xbox?

I haven't cared much for consoles in a long time, and frankly I don't care much about consoles DRM policies and what not. It's just there was lots of attention on those policies with the product from Microsoft. So I was reading the comments and I understand people are angry because of lost console features, and that's all right, but there's like a trend in the spiteful comments. Here's a mix of some of the comments that surprised me a bit but it's really not about pointing fingers, it's just to illustrate. In a way it's quite funny but it's also quite sad:

They simply should’ve said, ‘If you don’t keep a consistent internet connection, this device ain’t for you.’

The luddites who are now zeroing in on the Kinect remind me of all the idiots I see who put stickers over the integrated webcams on their laptops and tablets.

If this whole Xbox One DRM change removed the family sharing plan they were talking about, then every single person that whined to Microsoft about the DRM stuff is going to be a personal enemy to me.

[...]stupid backwards non-internet having “I want to sell my games because I like to cheat MS out of money” fraktards. Now I have to take my games with me wherever I go, because I have to have it to play my own game.

That sense of entitlement, that idea that privacy concerns are trivial, the hostility, the weight of those disks... But what made my day was really this one comment:

I think a $500 video game console with $60 games is probably the last thing someone who can’t afford internet should be worried about. Thanks, though, for bringing your poverty-stricken luddite ideals to bear in holding back console video gaming for at least one more generation. (my italics)

The thing is that basically 2/3 of the World doesn't have internet access. This will change with time. Now among the 1/3 who do, how many have the sort of access that simply allows them to pop up all over the place at their friends and trigger multi-GB downloads(the games are not streamed right?) to showcase a game they're playing etc? I really thought gaming was something universal, not about status or wealth or achievement on the boards? Or is this is a hardcore NA console/entertainment/social device for a niche market ? I don't know where this is heading...

Many people don't have much confidence about the mid-long term future of their games when it relies on a back-end component, be it for authentication purposes or content. Maybe strong-arming the issue wasn't the most advisable course of action, if that really was the case. Or bad PR, or timing. Honestly whether people were not ready, or simply some vocal minority had traction over at Microsoft, I wouldn't really know.

What I know is that there's peer pressure to instill confidence and reliance on what amounts to hosting solutions for data and now gaming, for the sake of convenience and immediate access and play on multiple devices etc. It's just no one knows for how long our data will be hosted and what will happen to the businesses which host that data in the future. Maybe you have to live dangerously? Maybe they could have offered different solutions for different people? But otherwise trust is built slowly and better be straightforward and informative than dismissive. Questions are warranted and everyone could be more tolerant, as we have to survive until the next time we'll be debating all that... tomorrow I guess.

In any case lashing at the Luddites is just prejudiced and wrong.

Have fun with your console!