Apr 28, 2011

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Is Anonymous Fighting For Gamers, Or Just Hackers?

Is Anonymous Fighting For Gamers, Or Just Hackers?

After the settlement Hotz had this to say, “I do not like censorship, and I do not like censoring myself. Rest assured I am still fighting the good fight, in the best way I know how.” His statement, of course, doesn’t mention the fact that the hack allows people to mod online games and play pirated games. So this begs the question, do Anon, or Hotz, or any hacker out there care that the hack allows gamers to pirate games? Do they even think about the developers or the people who work on creating the game for us? After some mixed feedback Anonymous received when they took down the PSN, one member was almost pleading with the PS3 gamers by saying, “Before you judge us, take the time to understand us.” Personally, I’m not really sure if we can do this, since they claim to be sticking up for our freedom, yet seem to be doing the opposite.

I think by “our” they really mean a minute portion of the gaming community that wants to hack their consoles to pirate games or cheat online. Like I said, I have no problem with that, but when it starts to affect me then I have a big problem with it. When anonymous took down the PSN, they left millions of gamers without the ability to play online, watch Hulu or watch MLB or NHL. Anonymous, in fighting for “our” freedom, ultimately took that away from us. By fighting for the rights of those who wish to exploit the system, they fight against gamers’ right to privacy and right to play games that we’ve paid for the way they were meant to be played.

In this most recent attack, we can’t be sure if it was or wasn’t Anonymous, but it is possible that the outrage over the Hotz lawsuit got the attention of other hackers. Furthermore, this new attack goes beyond cheating and pirating games, as Sony revealed that the hacker(s) has accessed the personal information of many Sony PSN users. So again, who are you fighting for, Anonymous? If anything, you should be coming out against the hacker(s) who stole our information, and do what you can to find out who did this.  After all, this current breach doesn’t affect Sony so much as a company as the consumers whose privacy they’ve invaded; the same consumers you claim to be fighting for.

I mean, really, what’s the goal here? Is Anonymous trying to show game companies that they don’t have the right to protect their consumers and developers from hackers? When is it going to stop? Why not go after the governments that made it illegal to sell R4 cards in stores? Why not go after Infinity Ward for releasing patches to stop people from using modded controllers? Why not go after Bungie for banning people who used the Halo 2 hack? Are they going to go after Microsoft for console banning all those who modded their Xbox 360s? Are issues such as these going to be ones that Anonymous plans to continue fighting?

The next generation consoles are on the horizon, and you’d better believe the manufacturers will be doing everything they can to prevent modding and piracy (in fact, the 3DS already allows Nintendo to supposedly brick a system remotely if it’s been modified or used for piracy), so will Anonymous continue to fight for hackers’ rights in the next generation of consoles? Ultimately, these attacks can cause companies to implement stronger security in their consoles or games, which could once again negatively affect the consumers Anonymous supposedly pledges to protect.

I’m just confused as to what the point of all of this is. PS3 gamers have been without PSN for just over a week now, and although Anonymous members say their attacks aren’t meant to shut down the PSN, can we believe them? Sure, it’s not clear what Sony is up to or if they indeed needed to shut down the PSN to find the source of the hack. But in the end, the only people that have suffered from the original mod, Anonymous’ attacks, and the most recent attack are the majority of gamers who don’t want anything to do with hacking.

Most of us just want to play games. Anonymous isn’t fighting for me or 90% of the gaming public who don’t hack their consoles; they are fighting for a small percentage of the population who ultimately want to exploit a system and when you do that, you should be held accountable. If Anonymous decides to continue to attack Sony, when will Anon draw the line? Is this going to continue to be a fight that they want to pick with every gaming company that wants to protect their games? We want to know what their real goal is. If Anonymous is hated by as many gamers as I think they are, why don’t they just stop all of this, if they really are fighting for us?