A Top 10 List to Make You Think

As the year comes to an end, there are top 10 lists all over the place.

  • Top 10 New Blogs;
  • Top 10 Educational Blogs;
  • Some people are even identifying the top 10 blog entries in their blog; (geesh)
  • Top 10 Educational Twitterers;
  • and so on.

You get the idea.  I don’t typically read these types of posts.  They tend to be written in an egotistical manner or as the result of a popularity contest.  But, that’s just me.  I think everyone’s blog is great.  If someone has taken the time to put their thoughts to a post and then share it with the world, they’re aces with me.  I don’t care if they have three or three thousand readers.

But, there was a top list that I did spend some time reading and thinking about.  Beyond the list, there are some things to really ponder.  First of all, it’s not really a popularity contest – it’s based on verifiable numbers.  Secondly, it’s an eye opener as to the state of being online and sheds some light on ethics.  When we think about the lawmakers that want to legislate against piracy, a common argument made is that these people wouldn’t know the difference between a mouse and a joystick.

The list I’m referring to is “Top 10 Most Pirated Games of 2011“.  In the post, you’ll find the top five pirated titles by machine type – PC Games, Wii, and Xbox 360.  Each of the titles are ranked by the estimated number of downloads via BitTorrent.

The number one title in the category of PC Games is Crysis 2 by EA.  If I was interested in a purchase, I’d run out to BestBuy and lay down $39.99.  According to the chart, this title has been downloaded approximately 3 920 000 times through BitTorrent.  Doing the mathematics, this results in revenue lost of $156 760 800.  That’s a lot of money for software vendors and software developers to be interested in recovering.  Factor in sales taxes, and that’s a lot of money for governments to be interested in recovering.

That’s for just one title.

Extend that logic to the dollar figures for all of the software and it gets to be a pretty impressive number.  Then, let’s throw in productivity titles.  Then, let’s throw in movies.  It helps me understand at least part of one side of the SOPA discussion.  This isn’t the place to get into that – I would need to understand all sides better.

In these days when we’re reading the “best of” lists, or in my case not reading, I found this one to be particularly significant in terms of making me think.  Shouldn’t that really be the purpose of a “Top 10 List”?

This represents the last post that I’m planning for the year 2011.  It was a wonderful year for me on a personal level.  I got to meet so many new people online; I was fortunate enough to meet many of you face to face; and I was so fortunate to be able to work and plan and talk and just think with so many others.  My profound appreciation goes out to all of you.  I wish everyone a wonderful 2012, full of learning and discovery and full of health and happiness.

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8 thoughts on “A Top 10 List to Make You Think

  1. Doug, I always enjoy reading your posts and appreciate the fact that you are always trying new things, gadgets, ideas, you name it, and you are generous in sharing this experience with us here. Happy New Year!

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  2. A very interesting post, Doug, and it definitely did make me think! I always enjoy your blog posts, and I wish you all the best in 2012! I’m glad that we got to meet in person in 2011. It’s been great putting the real person alongside the online presence that I learn from all year long. 🙂

    Happy New Year!
    Aviva

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  3. Your respect for others is, as always, tangible, as is your respectful examination of issues. Thanks for pointing out the value of taxes; it’s because of what taxes bring that we can read, write, be safe, be healthy….

    Looking forward to your 2012 blogs!

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  4. Your analysis makes two assumptions (which I think are both flawed):

    1. Those people who downloaded the games would have paid for them.
    2. The people who downloaded those games did not make other purchases.

    Music industry profits on a whole are UP since piracy, but those profits are increasingly going to the makers of the music, the musicians, and not the producers. Video game and Hollywood profits are also similarly way up. People want to preview a bad copy of a movie, but then they’ll go to the movie theatre and watch it in person for the higher quality experience.

    Quite often, at least from the research I’ve read, people who download movies and music are among the biggest paying customers for both music and movies. Many of my students, for example, will download a game to test it out and get frustrated trying to break the DRM, and give up and buy the game, but tell their friends that they ‘hacked it.’ They also will tend to buy app-like games for their mobile devices because they’ve developed a taste for a game from the ‘free’ version.

    I’m not saying that I agree with piracy, I’m just saying that the relationship between online piracy and profits is not as straight forward as you make it seem.

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  5. Thanks, everyone, for dropping by the blog and taking the time to leave a comment. They are appreciated and I hope that you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve.

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  6. David, I’m not sure that I had drawn any conclusions overtly in the post – it was just one that got me thinking. While I can see your points, respectively, I’m not sure that they would account for the astronomical numbers in the article. As you know, “lies, damned lies, and statistics”. The numbers could be challenged on author bias, the source, people downloading an object more than once, and so on.

    I would suggest that there are other motivating factors for purchases such as YouTube trailers, legal online streaming of content, samples from services such as iTunes, teasers on artists’ websites, etc.

    Factor anything that you want into the equation and I would suspect that it’s only a small delta of those who are doing real piracy.

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