A history of videogames, just as a history of any software “type” or “genre,” will reveal an open-source origin and a legacy of “borrowers” and “derivers” hoping to capitalize on what was originally free, whether through buying up copyrights or creating enhanced commercial versions. With an increase in the size of a software corporation comes a decrease in the level of innovation one finds there, until finally, in 2004, gamers are confronted at the videogame store with hordes of cloned videogames and programmers are threatened at the courtroom by battalions of lawyers frantically protecting someone’s “intellectual property.” The protection that intellectual property law affords software developers is possible only by seizing the rights of the users of that software, even those who legitimately purchase it. As corporate lawyers, CEOs, and investors further entrench themselves in the software market, gamers and programmers will find themselves in the same dismal position as the ship in a game of Space Invaders. —Matt Barton
—The Videogame in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Armchair Arcade)
I left a few (unrelated) comments on Tetris, Galileo, and the open source philosophy on the Armchair Arcade site.