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Spore Players Threatened with Ban for Discussing DRM

by Chris Faylor, Sep 23, 2008 6:42pm PDT
Related Topics – Spore, Internet Rage, PC, Controversy

An apparent case of "mis-communication" led to moderators on the official Spore message board threatening to ban posters from playing EA Maxis' PC evolution simulator if they discussed the title's controversial DRM.

After inquiring about the DRM situation on the official Spore board, jpfrostfox's thread was locked, with the following added by a forum moderator:

SecuROM as been discussed and discussed so much and it causes arguments in threads. If you want to talk about DRM SecuROM then please use another fansite forum. If there is any change you will be able to read it on the official Spore site.

Please do not continue to post theses thread or you account may be at risk of banning which in some cases would mean you would need to buy a new copy to play Spore.

In order to post on the forum, posters must sign in with the Spore account tied to their game, with players only allowed one account for each copy of the game they purchase.

Following the initial posting, moderator sporemasterladym stepped in, claiming that the above was representative of "a mis-communication issue somewhere."

"You are not going to lose your game for posting a comment," the moderator wrote in a separate thread found by Kotaku. "It is okay to discuss issues on this forum as long as it's done in a respectful manner and there are no personal attacks. This includes the DRM and other controversial issues. Just keep it civil."

Faylor's Take: As a former forum moderator, I certainly sympathize with the plight of those that have been tasked with watching over the official Spore forums.

I'm also familiar with the practice of empty threats, such as this. The implications of preventing a Spore owner from playing the game they legitimately bought because of something they posted on the forums are mind boggling, especially with a controversial subject like DRM, and there's no way that would fly once the higher-ups learned of it.

Should push come to shove, I can understand removing a user's posting privileges. In fact, I'm sure this has already happened multiple times. But apart from causing even more controversy, I can't think of one reason to even bring up the idea of removing a consumer's ability to play their $50 game because of a questionable forum violation.

Thanks to Leviathan41 for the heads up





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