Steve Jackson Gets It

As a teenager, I was a big fan of Steve Jackson Games. I loved Car Wars and Illuminati. Later, when I began browsing the web in 1994 via lynx on a shell account, their webpage was one of my favorite destinations. As an adult, I got into their Illuminati: New World Order card game (which I would still play if I had any partners.) I’m predisposed to like the guy, even if he did stand me up for a radio interview at Dragon*Con one year.

They have been thinking about selling their game books in digital form for a while. It makes perfect sense – printing is expensive. It would allow them to have publishing tiers where some smaller audience games that might not support the cost of paper printing could be “straight to download” games, older out of print games could be returned as downloads, etc. I was very pleased to see this passage on the most recent Daily Illuminator:

“Will the PDFs you sell be user-limited with some sort of digital rights management scheme?” No, they won’t. We understand this is a hot issue right now because another company just opened a PDF store with encoded, “protected” PDFs that won’t even work on some computers. We looked into that whole issue, and decided that copy protection would create far more trouble for our users than it would save for us. The l33t g00bs will break it anyway, and it annoys the honest people.

Steve gets it. If he went with DRM, it would just piss off the faithful and wouldn’t really prevent determined people from getting it. He has always been forward thinking on the internet (they had one of the earliest web pages on the WWW and they even started their own ISP a decade ago) and this just shows that he’s still got it. Way to go, Steve! I hope this works out very well for you.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

One thought on “Steve Jackson Gets It”

  1. Mark Taylor says:

    You don’t know me, but when googling to find out why the hell the Baja Fresh in Evanston has closed its doors, I found your site. I just wanted to let you know you have a really cool site! Per the first paragraph above, I too have Illuminati:NWO cards gathering dust in a closet (though I’m sure my wife would like to see that space reclaimed!)and I’d play if I had interested parties. I am an Evanston resident (former Chicago resident)and I am a network admin (Novell NetWare, Linux, Unix, ms) for MCI in Chicago. It’s very cool that you maintained Subversion for Cygwin! Thanks for clueing me in to “Fink” – that will be a future weekend install for my wife’s powerbook! I’ve never blindly left a comment on someone’s blog before – but just wanted to let you know to keep up the good work – it was fun to read about someone who has had similar experiences w/ Something Wicked and Cmx Rvltn., and to see some of my own thoughts about free comic day echoed. It was nice, too to read about someone who appreciated Brian Jonestown Massacre and other good bands and someone else who liked Love and Rockets comics (I have lots of old L&R’s and other comics and a good scanner).
    mark.taylor@mci ….

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