One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.
What is DRM what do you need to know and why do you need to care?
What It Is: DRM = A copyright protection system for digital media, including games, films and music.
Why You Care: DRM is a catch-all term for any number of anti-theft technologies that prevent players from making copies of games they own. DRM is a thorny topic in video-game communities. Though it is ostensibly intended to prevent piracy, DRM attempts are often implicated in game-breaking bugs, and there have been a number of scandals in which DRM technology is used to implement planned obsolescence, to selectively “curate” player communities, or to install spyware onto player computers for “research”/corporate espionage. Thus there are many factions in the debate over DRM, including both camps who object to any kind of DRM on idealogical grounds, and those who agree with the spirit of DRM as a measure to protect the livelihood of games creators, but are wary of its misuse. Intrusive DRM often cited as a reason for pirating games, with a significant number of players going so far as to legally purchase a game, then download a hacked “DRM-free” copy instead of their actual purchase. “DRM-free” is a selling point for many players, who will actively seek out marketplaces which offer legitimate DRM-free versions of games and boycott companies or services that have persistently been implicated in DRM related scandals.