Playing video games is an expensive hobby. Game consoles have dropped in price over the years, with a PS4 bundle currently is cheaper than the latest iPhones or flagship Android phones. Isn’t that exciting? Compared to the days where buying a PS2 on launch costs RM2000 and a PS3 was at an absurd RM4000 price tag, now more people can share the same hobby and passion!
Yet game prices are steadily increase in price, and some games are harder to justify a full RM200+, only to have not as many features as expected, content gated in the form of DLC, really fancy collector’s edition, and sometimes, broken, bug-ridden or even missing features on launch.
So there lies the question: in the dire economic state Malaysia is suffering through, how much would you be willing to pay for games?
As a Malaysian, if I were to be asked on what’s interesting about my own country would be the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur with its pretty skyscrapers, and.. the historical city of Malacca, where the remnants of colonialism for the West is well preserved as a tourist trap attraction nowadays.
So, it’s interesting to see that some parts of Malaysia made cameos in Civilization V, a strategy, or more accurately a 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) game using elements of world history. In the game, you can be any of the huge selection of historical civilizations, and try your best to build the civilization that can stand the test of time. There are also City-States, small, unplayable civilizations that do not compete with you, but may help or hinder progress, and two of them are Kuala Lumpur, and.. Malacca.
With the introduction of a new civ, Portugal in the last expansion: Brave New World, now you can create the signature trademark of Malacca, the A Famosa (pictured in the header) in your very own Civ V game!
Literally googled “pirate game malaysia”- this is the first image.
Back when I call the small town of Teluk Intan, Perak my home, on some weekends dad will bring me and the family around the small town (now a growing, albeit poorly planned city in my opinion) and visit this one small shop at the Aik Aik Complex, a shop thrive full of CDs: games, movies, Malay telemovies, albums: you name it. The shop’s boss even recognized us, being regular customers and such. Never managed to brain how to get PC games working (don’t how to ‘crack’ it) so I spent my time with PS1, and later PS2 games. Games were dirt cheap: less than RM10 per CD, so at times when new releases start piling up, I asked a handful of titles in one go.
Those were the good old days.
Although the level of piracy is still astronomically high in Malaysia, there has been some awareness on the whole thing: raids by customs, local artists ranting they aren’t getting enough pay, yet using pirated software and materials are still commonplace.
But get this: there are legitimate reasons we do so.