Punnage a little strained I feel this title. Anyway…

YMCA

So Garry’s Mod hits iteration 10 today, and also for the first time goes retail. Ten of your US dollars – or six of my english pounds – will now be required to use the latest version of perhaps the only Modding-Within-A-Mod tool ever. And for all the new features and the fact it’s being built from the ground up, people as ever are complaining about now having to pay for the latest version – which isn’t a new occurance or anything.

We like free stuff. Of course. Heck, whenever anyone gives you something for free, you probably like it more than the paid for version. But still, work is put into these products, and whether they are “games” or “sandbox” tools, they cost time and manpower to create. Now, I’m not trying to say that there should never be free stuff, but if Garry feels he should charge for the effort put into his product, then why shouldn’t he? I for one like to reward developers whom have done a good job. Garry’s mod is statistically the most popular non retail mod for Half Life 2. In esscence, that makes it the Counter Strike of this generation. So just as Valve snapped up the developers into their fold, and created a new version that would actually earn the creators money, so Garry is now using the wonderful platform of STEAM. And by the way, I say wonderful platform not nessceraily in the technical sense, but more in the opportiunity it offers developers like Garry the chance to actually sell their product to an absolutely huge audience – and the addition of PayPal this week to STEAM’s payment system can only help things.

It’s not the only thing. Recently (and not long after my post of praise) Toribash also went shareware, and it now costs to buy the full game. I was more than happy to pay this price for the full product. Sure, I’m a poor student with currently less than a hundred pounds of my own money to last me until January, but heck, it wasn’t even a tenner – and the game was good enough that I felt that Hampa fully deserved my money. Just because something only exsists on a virtual plane, doesn’t mean that real physical effort wasn’t exterted – and so should be rewarded – on the final product. Garry’s Mod and Toribash are more than worth your hard earned cash.

The progression in quailty of “homebrew” developers is absolutely astounding, and if you still really really must begrudge paying the money for these games, then do a little searching. The best part about this system is that it forces a standard that must be upkept, and therefore the free games are just getting higher and higher in quailty, because one day maybe they want to earn some money from their hard work. It really is breathtaking in how good free games are getting. When free games are getting so good they can become commercial products, the bar just keeps on being raised. And in the world of video games, this can only be a good thing. If you only do one other thing this week, download the freeware Narbacular Drop, then be all the more excited in the prospect of the upcoming Portal.

Business can be good too.

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