The importance of open source gaming

How important is open source to your gaming experience? Especially if you're under 25.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

I've learned one important thing from my 19 year old.

Gaming is important to his generation.

It wasn't to me. Yes, I knew Steve Jackson (right) at Rice, but he seemed an unusual person. To my son Jackson is a God -- it's like I went to school with Randolph Scott.

Many in my son's generation feel the same way. Gaming is a big deal to them. It's like TV was to my generation, like the Internet is to both of us.

But gaming is not like the Internet in one important respect. It is highly proprietary. It is far more proprietary than the worlds of PC and enterprise software, where I make my living.

Most people my son's age have more respect for game companies' "stuff" than their parents' "stuff." (He's not constantly bumming $20 off Electronic Arts, I can tell you that.)

Which brings me to projects like PSGroove, a "jailbreak of the PS/3 game machine that lets you make copies of your games and gain ownership of them. It means you don't lose your games when you lose or break the disk (as people my son's age are wont to do).

How important are open source projects like this, and to what extent do kids follow them?

The answer, in my house, is disappointing. My son is terribly inconvenienced by Digital Rights Management, and sometimes even complains about it at dinner. But he accepts the concept and has never tried to get around it. He says he's not a programmer. (Most people my age don't produce TV shows, either.)

Is he typical?

A poll here at ZDNet might get misleading results, because the fact you're reading this site means you're interested in technology, and the fact you're reading this blog means you're interested in open source. The sample is skewed.

But some of you doubtless know some people under 25. My son won't believe this, but I suspect some of you may even be under 25.

So how important is open source to your gaming experience? Have you tried to jailbreak a machine, perhaps because you lost one too many disks or wanted to share something the DRM said not to share? Do you follow the efforts of open source gaming, even a little bit?

Or is the proprietary nature of gaming just something you accept?

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