So earlier, a friend had posted a link to this article over at Tom’s hardware: . If you were to go to the actual forums and see what is going on, you’ll note that this user was most likely banned because of a remark he made, and someone didn’t like it. They must have reported him using the “report this” function. From reading the various posts and comments, it would appear that the user banned from the forums. However, he happened to also be banned from he game as well. Apparently, a “community ban” can also lock a user out of the game, essentially not allowing the player to access DLC or the game itself. This is the result of how the game operates. I think in this case, however, he wasn’t able to activate his product in order to play the first time. I personally am at a loss since I play the game through Steam, and my content (excluding DLC) is already activated and didn’t really have anything to do with EA or Bioware.
EA had come back to the player and told him that this was a result of an error. I think an overzealous forum moderator had “hit the wrong button” if you will and community banned him instead of a simple forum ban (which should have been done). Aside from the free speech issue of you should be able to speak your opinion, this raises the question: How far is too far? If EA/Bioware can control when or if you can play your game, what’s the purpose of even buying it? Why would you buy a game where you can play it as long as the publishing company is happy with you? The EA Umbrella indeed. They’re becoming synonymous with the Umbrella Corporation of Resident Evil/Biohazard fame.
However, if you don’t like the practices of a company, there’s no reason you should buy anything from the company. Would it be deserved if you bought a product only to be banned from using it for libel against the company? I’m not entirely sure if all this is necessarily good business practice. If you are banned from the community, should you be banned from using the game for 72 hours? Do we give forum moderators such powerful roles? There is inevitably going to be abuse of power. This is evident in almost anything. But giving such power to forum moderators unless the moderator is a direct employee of Bioware or EA is foolhardy I think. I admit, I don’t know how Bioware chooses their moderators and “official” Bioware forum users. However, reading the forums, I honestly hope they are not necessarily employees who have been chosen for these roles. I admit that sometimes, they sound like overzealous teenagers abusing their powers.
Does this mean that EA or Bioware is going to ban my forum account now? Making me unable to play the game? Surely they wouldn’t even consider reading this article. I already know that they will not comment on this issue. This tells me they are not acknowledging the issue and if they cover their ears enough, it will just go away. Sound kinda silly? Well if EA/Bioware can do it, then I can too. OK, this all is immature on my part, but hey, what the hell?
What’s your take on all this? Should software companies be able to control how or if you can use their software?