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Vaguely Related: ReDigi

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By Nelson Schneider - 03/11/12 at 02:28 PM CT

The advent of the digital marketplace has done a lot for intellectual property peddlers, drastically improving their ability to put media in front of consumers’ eyeballs. By cutting out scores of middle-men, digital distribution enables a la carte purchases where once albums and bundles reigned supreme, places Indies toe-to-toe with Big Media, and allows for overall lower prices due to the removal of physical packaging and minimum production numbers. These changes from the standard retail model are good for both producers and consumers.

However, all is not rainbows and roses. Thanks to increasingly desperate and tyrannical overreaching by the producers of intellectual property, the copyright system has become a legal minefield, shrouded in a tangled morass of poisonous webbing. While it may be easier to purchase intellectual property than ever before thanks to digital distribution, it is now more dangerous to even think about intellectual property than ever before thanks to the tightening legal noose. The laws that have been passed are terrible. The laws the intellectual property producers want to pass are even worse. Sure, it may be (relatively) cheap and (somewhat) easy to acquire digital “goods,” but the erosion of consumer rights has made it so, once we have “purchased” a digital product, we’re stuck with it, even if it turns out not to meet our expectations.

Enter ReDigi, a consumerist paladin, fighting for our right of First Sale and the way in which it applies to digital goods. Unfortunately for gamers (and videophiles, for that matter), ReDigi currently only applies to digital music purchases (and I see no evidence that ReDigi has any intention of expanding to other forms of media). But think of the possibilities if ReDigi (or an upstart, competing service) allowed us to sell our digitally-downloaded videogames, or buy said digitally-downloaded games second-hand at further-reduced prices: It would allow gamers to unload digital duds identically to how we currently unload disc-based duds. It would allow us to recoup some of our losses on digital purchases that didn’t pan-out and, most likely, re-invest those recovered funds into more digital game purchases. Success in this battle on the videogames front seems highly unlikely, however, as the game industry has recently developed a case of terminal greed and are endeavoring to crush the used market even for games on physical media.

But when I look at the MeltedJoystick staff and how much we’ve invested in digital games that we will never want to touch again, I can’t help but pine for a service that will take these turds off our hands, even if we’d only recoup a quarter of the money spent. Since MeltedJoystick is a site for lists, here’s one containing all of the digital games we would want to unload, should ReDigi (or a similar service) come to gaming:

Age of Booty – $5
Blaster Master: Overdrive – $10
Castle Crashers – $15
Dungeon Hunter: Alliance – $12
Echochrome – $10
Fat Princess (+DLC) – $20
Linger in Shadows – $3
Noby Noby Boy – $5
Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode 1 – $15
Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode 2 – $15
PixelJunk Eden (+DLC) – $16
PixelJunk Monsters (+DLC) – $16
Pokemon Rumble – $15
Super Stardust HD – $10 (true, none of us bought this, it was a PSN “Welcome Back” gift that none of us really wanted)
The Trials of Topoq – $5
Trine (+DLC) – $11
Wipeout HD (+DLC) – $25 (ditto the comment on Super Stardust HD)

Grand Total: $208

And this list isn’t based on the purchases of people who impulse-buy digital games willy-nilly, but of people who put effort into researching digital purchases because we know we’ll be stuck with them. People make mistakes, even when well-informed on a subject. This list represents over $200 worth of mistakes; if we got a quarter of that back, we’d have enough between us to purchase a new retail Wii game (or a lower-priced PS3 game, like the upcoming “Dragon’s Crown”). Despite the prices being lower than disc-based games, the fact that we’re stuck with them has made us leerier of purchasing digital games… Isn’t that counter to the point of the digital media transition in the first place?

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