Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

September 8, 2008 -

Frustrated Spore users are slamming Will Wright's new release with poor, 1-star reviews on Amazon.com.

Of 642 user reviews posted as I write this, 586 are of the 1-star variety, hardly what one would expect for such a hotly-anticipated game. The negative reviews invariably mention the digital rights management (DRM) system built into Spore. This one, posted by Amazon user dwemer22, is fairly typical:

I was EXTREMELY excited about this game... Then I got on Amazon and noticed that a large number of the forums devoted to Spore were complaining of something called "SecuROM." I did a little digging and discovered that SecuROM is a piece of [DRM] software that is installed along with the game to prevent you from installing the game more than three times, in an attempt to combat piracy.

 

I was fine with that. I then read further through the forums and the Wikipedia article and discovered that SecuROM does a number of other things too, including sending mysterious packets of data back to the company from your computer (identity theft, perhaps?), prevents you from using certain programs, such as DVD and CD burners, makes it impossible for you to modify your root drive and, worst of all, will NOT uninstall without the help of a third party application. So I canceled my order...

 

I encourage EVERYBODY to not buy this game until the SecuROM Digital Rights Management is patched out or removed from later releases. On a final note, the SecuROM didn't do a thing to stop the pirates: the day after it was released in the UK, a pirated copy was to be found on the internet, SecuROM and price free.

 Via: gamesindustry.biz


Comments

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

I was looking forward to this game - actually it was going to be my number one priority game purchase this year - but not anymore.  I'm getting beyond tired of this DRM nonsense - I'm not a pirate - I've never pirated a game in my life, so I don't see why I should be limited to three installs.  With a limited amount of room on my hard drive I often find myself uninstalling games when I tire of them and reinstalling them later when I want to play again.  With this latest form of DRM not only am I treated as a pirate by the game manufacturer, but even if I use the game legitimately I'm going to be stuck with an unusable game within a year or two.

It's about time we customers protested these DRM practices and made the game developers understand that we're not going to take this BS anymore.  The way to do that is to refuse to buy these games.  I'm certainly going to do that with Spore.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

You're correct. Bioshock was 2K Games, not Electronic Arts. Yes, it also featured SecuROM "protection". Additionally, Mass Effect also included SecuROM "protection". I despise both. Both cause more problems than they are worth in addition to doing absolutely nothing to prevent cracking. Spore is a perfect example. It was available on "The Scene" and on BitTorrent trackers in less than 24 hours. Additionally, yes, the Steam version of BioShock does include SecuROM which makes absolutely no sense to me.

Anyway, I don't think companies get it. Nothing, and I mean Nothing, will protect them from being copied. As I say, the greater the protection, the greater the personal ashamedness a person will experience when their "uncrackable protection" is decimated.

It also pisses off their customers. Look at Spore. Supposedly it's a darn good game, but people are slaughtering the rating due to it because they refuse to curse their computers to the hell known as SecuROM. I personally agree. I'll also tell you why this is bad for EA which already draws poor consumer response. As a consumer and a person who's dealt with advertising agencies, I know that bad ratings do detract from sales. It also hurts review websites who state one thing when consumers say something else. A reviewer is seen as having been paid off or of writing an illegitimate review. I'm sure we all remember the GameSpot incident over Kane & Lynch which wasn't quite the same but was a perfect example. I'm sure we also remember the questioning of GTA IV's perfect ratings.

The fact of that matter is that "Copy protection" is a farce and provides little more than a false sense of security. It's about as effective as putting a sign on your lawn that say "Protected By Brinks Home Security". Another example is Assassin's Creed, specifically the PC version. Ubisoft prided themselves in that they had made it so persons who got an illegitimate game could not get past a certain point but could play up to a point that it may entice them to purchase the game. Well, the retail version which some legitimately purchased had problems as well and thus Ubisoft needed to provide a patch. However, less than 24 hours after the discovery of this problem, it was cracked by the same persons who initally cracked it and out for all to download with no problem. Ubisoft ended up blaming a "lack of sales" on the cracking of it and blamed their distributor for a leaking of the game.

Publishers and Developers are always looking for someone to blame but what they need to do is learn that the old models do not work. They need to move on with the times. The RIAA needs to do the same thing. All corporations need to learn that Consumers will no longer stand for this and will not only refuse to buy their product but refuse to allow others to do so as well for their own good. For the sake of their own livelihoods, business' need to learn this fact or else they will not survive in this new era.

Speaking of embarrasments, anyone remember the absolutely embarassing situation when Sony's Audio CD copy protection was defeated by a Sharpie back in 2002? Now that was absolutely hilarious.

----
Papa Midnight
http://www.otakutimes.com
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

----
Papa Midnight

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

sry for the double post did not finsh my thing

then when that going to happion to consoles the  companys will start making outrages poliecys that will make us the customers not able to do anything since we are the one buying their console they can do any thing they mostly want to it but since  DRM puts a virus and it is a virus that can make some  computers crash should be against the law.

Thanks again

Zaruka

Video killed the Radio Star

Every piece of DRM reinforces the console's place in the gaming world.  I guess it's a good deal; we're paying console companies to keep their batshit crazy DRM on a piece of hardware we don't otherwise need and can't otherwise be harmful.

Re: Video killed the Radio Star

yea then when pc gaming dies from this it goes from no one making pc games to becoming consoles then what happions

mods

chips

hack

to console

it dont matter in history there will be people able to get something free

it never change pirates will be there always but making your paying customers suffer is what gonna end them eventualy

 

Thanks

Zaruka

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

lol people are just now noticing EA's treatment of loyal customers as pirates?

bah, i'm officialy not buying ANYTHING with the "EA" logo on it, and by anything i mean ANYTHING, even console titles. Not untill they drop this little charade.

pirates are getting the upper hand with this bullox. and thus far i've already recruited several people to my cause in my area alone, and i'm seeing i'm not the only one pushing a boycott of EA products now :) kewl.

 

why did i do this? before it gets asked, simply put, i was locked out of my Crysis install by this DRM, and they "had a problem on their end" that forced me to open a second EA.com account so they could credit me a new free copy of the game. as well as recently i've been locked out of my PC version of Mass Effect just because i installed it once on my comp, once on the family comp, and then tried to install the Bring down the Sky content package on my comp. apparently the DRM mistook that as a new install and locked me out of BOTH copies of my game, despite it claims i'm allowed THREE active copies.  so yeah, i've had my run ins with this bullox DRM and i'm sick of being treated as such.

any EA game i get from now on is comming second hand from ebay or gamestops used shelves.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

I do appreciate the negative effects of piracy but I don't agree with this particular remedy.  It is a bad business decision and as much as I'd like to pretend it isn't because it is a game released by a major publisher I know that I'd simply be lying to myself.  I think the consolidation of all these companies is going to negatively effect video games in similar manners so we need to be extremely vocal about such things.  Speak out by either opening your mouth, closing your wallet or lending your support to smaller independent developers.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Ive got to say though, it isnt piracy harming these developers...

 

its their publishers insistence on using draconian DRM that is hurting them.

 

If a customer decides NOT to buy their game no matter what, out of principal, wether they then pirate it or not after that decision,  it doesnt matter, the developers arent having money taken out of their pockets as there was never a chance of a sale in the first place, the DRM saw to that,  so the pirated copy isnt a lost sale.

 

I mean i completely agree, stealing isnt justified no matter what , and personally, pirating isnt for me. Never have done it, never will. BUT i wont sit here n pretend that somebody who ISNT going to buy the game due to the DRM , n then pirates it in protest is actually 'lost sale because of piracy'. its not. its a lost sale because of DRM.  And they cant be losing money if there was no chance of them getting it in the first place.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

DRM dont work simple as that mostly causes problems for the customer while pirates just keep on playing.

 

if i do buy spore im gonna have to crack it so i dont have the drm crap.

 

ant that sad

Thanks

Zaruka

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

This SecuROM thing is total crap. It doesn't stop piracy in anyway, and only puts my privacy and livelyhood at risk for the sake of EA's ego. Unfortunently I already purchased and installed that game... I suppose I should look into the SecuROMless version. I paid my money. I didn't order some psuedo-virus. I ordered a game.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

This makes me want to write a FireFox plugin that links to an amazon review section and keeps an constant count of the reviews.

Today I have seen everything from 100 1 starr reviews to GP's 640 1 star reviews.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

I just took a look at the Amazon page and all the reviews are gone. Amazon has done it again.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

 Amazon wasn't the only one who deleted reviews on Spore over the DRM.  Apparently, GameSpot deleted a review over the DRM and even sent a warning to the reviewer.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmb_tinsley/2837814820/sizes/o/

 

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Nice to see Amazon practicing censorship. Even funnier to see reviewers continuing to spam it. I just observed it and it's still at 1 star with a total 817 customer reviews.

----
Papa Midnight
http://www.otakutimes.com
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

----
Papa Midnight

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

The Amazon Spore thing is a protest and as you say they are spamming the page with reviews. I'd hardly call it censorship. Its no different than posting on these boards and having your message pulled. Case and point, think of the number of press releases JT has had removed from this site; some may be relevant to the topic at hand, some may not.

 

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

That may be true but I seem to recall times that Amazon has pulled legitimate 1 star reviews from products, the example of this I saw was some faux science book I think.  The name escapes me at the moment I may look it up later.

Yeah but you know...

Amazon may have a nonchalance attitude about erasing the negative opinions, but the feedback system is a malediction in a way, so they will get to deal with this again and again...

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

So, we've gotten to the age where companies are going to protect their mediocre games with viruses and malware, eh? 

God I hate EA.  Everything they've done lately is shit anyway.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

 I don't see why EA takes so much flak for this. They didn't create Securom, and they weren't the first ones to use THIS version of it - that honor goes to Take Two putting it on Bioshock.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

EA has fielded countless complaints from paying customers over Securom since they started using it but they continue to inflict it.  They deserve all the flak they're getting.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Bioshock has a much smaller target market than Spore.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Because many of the people that played Bioshock played it on the 360. With Spore, there is no such other option (which I would choose in a heartbeat), making it quite noticable.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Yes, SecurROM installs under the radar and yes, you can't delete it from the Registry Keys. Tried it, didn't work.

Also uninstalling the game doesn't get rid of it.  It came with Creature Creator as well.  After I uninstalled CC but before I installed the full version of the game (yeah, I took the risk with it, so sue me) I tried to get rid of the SecurROM folder.  Wouldn't let me do it. 

I have heard that there are third-party programs that will help get rid of it.  I'm all in favor of this.  Rather than pirating the game (which just encourages more DRM) or all-out boycott (which, honestly, I don't think is possible since not enough people will get behind it) I'm all for programs being created to help get rid of these stupid DRMs.  It may be skirting the law in terms of modding the product, but it isn't "theft".  BTW, does anyone know of any reputable products that get rid of SecurROM?  At the very least I'd like to get rid of the crap if I decide to uninstall Spore.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

well when i installed spore i didnt get ANY notification it was goig to be installed, or option to say no.

So 99.9% certain it installs under the radar.

 

In other rumours somebody told me that if you find the securom folder, you CANT delete it, and if you format your drive it can protect itself and remain there.  It aslo causes many hardware problems with CD/DVD writers.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Absolutely. There is many ways that software can delete proof itself in a Windows environment. Viruses and spyware do it all the time. There is some software out there that will help you remove such folders and files, but I bet that if you did remove it, Spore would cease to function. It most likely checks for that folder and specific files within it at start up. IF they are not present, the game won't run.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

There are some forms of software which tie themselves directly into Windows System Files which are required to run such as rundll, system32.dll, ntdlr, explorer.exe, etc. These programs (typically rootkits, viruses, and trojans) are nearly impossible to remove and require nothing short of a complete reformat to correct.

----
Papa Midnight
http://www.otakutimes.com
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

----
Papa Midnight

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Question:  Is Securerom installed noticably ? Can you see if Securerom is installed ?

I'm asking this, because SecureRom I think is illegal in the Netherlands, because of some court order (It's allowed to have 1 backup copy of the game, and programs are not allowed to alter the function of a PC without permission)

 

 

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

I believe that Securom installs itself under the radar. I have no experience with it, so I couldn't say exactly.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

SecuROM exhibits the same patterns as a root-kit when it is installed, even going so far as to actively disable daemon-tools.

I personally got tired of carrying around all my disc and ripped my copies of WarCraft II, StarCraft, GTA, etc. to my HDD. I use Daemon Tools to mount those ISOs because I get 4 Virtual drives. This makes my life much easier since I don't have to carry around my case full of CD's and DVD's.

Now when you have a program actively disrupting the actions of others, I believe we refer to that officially as a virus.

----
Papa Midnight
http://www.otakutimes.com
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

----
Papa Midnight

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

No, it's only a virus if it replicates.  Securerom doesn't do that (yet).

It's malware.

 

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

There is no external notificatino that Spore has SecuROM specific copy protection, and like any other installation for DRM, it's completely silent.

---- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians. http://www.goteamretard.com

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

You are not notified during the installation that SecuROM is being installed on your computer. However, it's easy to tell if it's been installed--just do a file search on the word "secuROM" and you'll find a file with some .dlls in it as well as a text file telling you not to remove the directory or its files or you'll lose your digital rights to the program.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Yes, the DRM sucks.  Blame EA. 

HOWEVER. There were hard-working people who worked on this game.  Most of them had no say in the DRM methods.  Pirating hurts them too.

If you don't like the DRM, don't buy it.  But don't pretend you are justified in stealing it either. 

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

I agree that we shouldn't pirate in protest. That said, the people who have made the game have already been compensated. The only one hurting for a return on their investment is the publisher who forced the DRM.

Of course the dev team may be less likely to get a green light on any similar game in the future which could hurt them.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

By not pirating the game and not buying the game, will accomplish the same thing.

To lose ones morality for the sake of spite, who is the real loser?

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Well, in light of the fact that I did in fact buy it..I will not feel any remorse on getting a copy to play without having to worry about it.  They got the money from me (for the PC, DS, and even the damn book since my wife likes to use them) so i think I deserve a working, non-screw-me version of the game for the money I paid.  I don't agree with just stealing it, but I want what is fair for those of us that bought it.  One of the guys I work with admitted that he pirated the game and has no problems.  That just PISSES me off to no end.  And that was my rant...I feel better now

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

I hadn't decided for sure to buy Spore, but this has decidedly put me in the 'against' camp.

I'll just wait for the Wii version.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

IMO it lives happily in the one-to-rent basket. Like B&W and The Blair Witch Project. You should try it, it has some cool stuff in it, but it sucks. Each of the slices are way too simple.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

It's amazing that these companies think they are fighting piracy and all they are doing is pissing of legitemate customers.  Pirates know that patching around DRM stuff is a cake walk, I would have to believe companies like EA should know the same thing.

Those that pirate are going to pirate and those that don't want to expect a flawless running game without headaches.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

And those that want a flawless running game without headaches but found out about this crap EA is putting on, pirate. I still say pirate then mail money to Maxis, no joke.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Maxis made the decision to go with EA. They're a part of the problem too. Besides, EA wants money. You pirate and we'll be right at square one, where we'll stay if we don't work with the producers to find a solution to piracy that doesn't unduly burden the consumer.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

We should just take over EA by force, and then take what we want. Then it's perfectly okay eh

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

Guys, please, do not download Spore just to spite EA, please. Theft is theft, and it doesn't really indicate that the consumers would have willingly bought the game anyways. There is a way to come to an agreement between consumers and publishers, but piracy is not it. Please, do not become theives out of anger.

Agreed, don't even play pirated copies if you hate EA's DRM

Don't reward the company in ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.  Piracy is still rewarding the company...there are plenty of other games out there to play.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

I agree. By Pirating the game, you are just telling EA and all the other game companies that use restrictive DRM, that they need to step up their efforts to fight piracy. They see that there was a legitimate desire among gamers to own the gme, but they would rather have it for free than pay for it.

The best thing that you can do, is not buy the freaking game. Don't download the freaking game. Let them know that you will not own any game with restrictive DRM at any price. If you do this, it will get the message accross. The Game companies will see that their audience would rather deal without than play DRM laiden games.

Boycotts are the only way to get the message across. I mean a complete boycott.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

You mean like people are boycotting the ECA?

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

I agree with you 100% of the way on this one. As I see it, a boycot has more personal meaning if you 100% refrain from dealing with the problem product / company. Pirating the game even though you disagree with DRM just of selfishness.

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

The problem really is that people want the experience. That's what they are wanting more than just the game as is released.

The argument to "Not buy the game" is a difficult one to focus on mainly because certain titles can be seen as a "I'll never see this experience in the future."

---- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians. http://www.goteamretard.com

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

I am sorry. There is no game on the Earth that nobaody can live without.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: Gamers Vent Spore DRM Frustrations via Amazon.com Reviews

E. Zachary Knight said, "I am sorry. There is no game on the Earth that nobody can live without."

*GASPS*

*Grabs Infinity Engine Games and Fallout Series*

Block your ears my loves; it's crazy talk, it is!

 
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