Posts tagged: r4

Nintendo DS and the r4 card

Wow, that sounds like an impressive title. Its funny how even things designed for fun and games can seriously impact the world of law and even morality. Games have a history of doing this. They help simulate what is possible, and their content sometimes makes people uncomfortable. Look at games like Grand Theft Auto and the backlash against people pretending to cause violence against others.

 

Another avenue where gaming comes into contention with the law and the fabric of morality in our society is not through the content of the games, but the buying and selling of the games. Central to this discussion and even help leading it is the Nintendo DS.

 

Originally released in 2004, the Nintendo DS has seen half a dozen iterations since that original date, and has over the course of a decade become the leading portable gaming device currently on the market. It is not the most graphic intensive gaming platform. In fact, it has few things that are the best in any particular field.

 

The reason for the popularity of the DS and its importance is because of how open the platform is. The Nintendo DS allows for individual software to interface with the DS. This has lead to a significant amount of interest and is the reason for the DS success. However, it has also lead to pirated games.

 

 

The Problem of Morality In Gaming

 

The R4 allows for people to install their own games onto the device, and then play them on the DS. This was seen as an amazing step in consumer satisfaction, as it allows for people to play what they want. However, this quickly turned sower. Many countries, including the UK and Japan, passed legislation regarding the sale of the R4. It seems that since a few people were using it to pirate games, no person would be allowed to use it, even for perfectly legal reasons. Now, doing something harmless became a crime.

 

 

Where does that leave us?

 

The R4 and similar Cards are not wrong or bad. It is what people decide to do with them that make them lawful or immoral. Our law regarding copyright sets the moral standard. The only difference between morality and immorality in gaming then are a set of laws that can change.

 

 

With all of this to consider, it does not make sense to ban R4 sales, because they are inherently not bad, and cause significant loss of freedoms to people who were otherwise using the product legally.  

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