PSN Banned

Opinion: Sony revoking digital games access goes too far

Posted on April 23, 2019 by Sergio

Listen to this Article:

Imagine if a representative from Sony were to come to your house and took away your physical games because you said racist stuff online. That’s essentially what happened to a PS4 user who goes by the name of “Rob” when Sony decided to revoke his access to his digital game collection for a week.

Now, this is not to garner sympathy for Rob. He clearly violated the terms of use and service when he posted homophobic and racial slurs online. He also reportedly doubled down on his posts when Sony reinstated him from his suspension; this could result in a permanent ban. This means not only will Sony block access to his PSN account, but it can block his digital access to games forever.

It’s easy to understand why Sony would do this. But, again, what were to happen if this happened to your physical games as opposed to only your digital account? One might say Well, if Rob wasn’t such an idiot by posting racist and homophobic content, he wouldn’t have had this problem to begin with, right?” (Linked article contains some racist and homophobic language).

Well, yes, one should lose access to online privileges such as purchasing games, online gaming, and chats. But racist/homophobic or not, he did purchase those games legally; by all rights he should not lose access to it. Rob’s example was extreme and this type of permaban is highly unlikely to anyone else. However, who’s to say that gaming companies won’t pull off something like this from a more innocuous offense?

This isn’t about the First Amendment or free speech in general. This is about corporate overreach and how they decide to take away your right to play games that you legally purchased. Why should game companies treat digital access differently from physical ones when you paid the same amount, if not more?

Rob is clearly a bad guy, but hopefully those companies don’t become worse in the name of fighting evil.

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Currently attending Mt. SAC for a certificate in Video Game Design. Really enjoy old school games. "Part-time" writer, forever gamer.