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PC Gamers get Bill of Rights

An amendment too far?

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A special Bill of Rights has been created in an attempt to secure every PC gamer's ten most fundamental privileges.

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The Gamer's Bill of Rights: don't expect it to become law any time soon

The bill was created by desktop utility software developer Stardock and games designer Gas Powered Games. It's basically a list of the ten “key elements that publishers need to adhere to in their games”. The two firms believe the game industry has increasingly strayed away from these principles.

So what are these rights? First up is the right to return games that don’t work with the purchaser's computer for a full refund. Fair enough, but shouldn’t a PC gamer know their machine’s specifications and then match these up to the system requirements listed on the game’s box?

But this is better: gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will adequately play on that computer.

The bill also states that gamers should have the right to “expect meaningful updates after a game’s release”, in addition to the right to play games installed on an HDD without having to insert the disc each time.

Brad Wardell, President and CEO of Stardock, presented the bill in a blog, where he said that PC gamers are entitled to basic liberties, which this bill seeks to state. He admitted that they are all “pretty common sense”.

It’s worth noting that Electronic Arts has already pledged to make things easier for PC gamers, by unveiling plans to release pre-configured PCs alongside big name videogame launches. It’s hoped, by EA at least, the machines will blur the boundary between high-end PC gaming and consoles.

The full Gamer’s Bill of Rights is listed below:

  1. Gamers shall have the right to return games that don't work with their computers for a full refund.
  2. Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
  3. Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game's release.
  4. Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.
  5. Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will adequately play on that computer.
  6. Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won't install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their express consent.
  7. Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.
  8. Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.
  9. Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the internet every time they wish to play.
  10. Gamers shall have the right that games which are installed to the hard drive shall not require a CD/DVD to remain in the drive to play.

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