Friday, August 19, 2005

games, freeware, and pay-per-click

Something I've noticed on a number of sites is the desire of the Flash animator to protect his/her work by forcing the user to play it on their site. While I understand the urge to prevent copying or copycatting a game (I'm pretty sure it's possible to "decompile" a Flash file) I also think it makes it harder for the user. I have a crappy connection that has a tendency to drop, isn't very fast, and I don't want to be tying up my phone line having to keep the connection open. If the game is something I expect to spend a fair amount of time with, I'll snap up the cached file and play it offline. I also think making it available for download would tend to make a game more popular.

Money might be another reason to bring users to the site. Some sites rely on traffic and clicks for real money. As an old-style internet user, this boggles my mind. Very rarely will a site come out and say "this is how I make money, please visit." That's a refreshing level of honesty I can go along with. But the overwhelming majority just sneak it in. Often you can see pay-per-click site names if you watch the status bar on your browser while a page loads. I've read about people being hired specifically to click banners to generate income for a site. They can also be hired to click on a site's competitors' banners, stealing income away. And can you take a wild guess as to how these clickers are paid? Free p0rn.

Crazy.

I don't intend to take bread from people's mouths, but I'm not a Flash animator either, and neither are the bulk of people who play. I prefer to play at my personal convenience rather than having to search for an internet connection first. Undoubtedly nothing I say will make an effect one way or the other. But the internet's origin, Arpanet, was based on the free and open exchange of information. The change in ethic to where the bottom line is the only goal is something I still haven't gotten used to.

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