This thread is not specifically about Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Instead, it discusses an aspect of video games contained in Future Soldier: the Online Pass. Yes, it is quite long, but it's definitely worth a read.
I'm a college student. I'm in my third year, still working on my Economics-related major. College has been a pretty interesting experience, I suppose. I've always enjoyed learning, but it's just far too expensive, and unless you're studying to be a doctor or lawyer, having a degree doesn't even begin to try to imagine to guarantee you a job in the field you have a degree in. But that's not what I'd like to discuss in this thread.
In this last year or so of my classes, one aspect of the college experience has really begun to get on my nerves: text books. They're getting more expensive every semester, while simultaneously being used less by both me and my professors, even though they're always a 'mandatory' accessory to a class. But more and more, I've been seeing the greed of the text book publishers rear its ugly head in the form of the Online Pass for text books and classes!
We are all familiar with the Online Pass for video games -- the $10 fee you absolutely must pay to the developer of the game you're buying used. Developers use this to make sure they always get a profit when their game is sold, no matter who's selling it.
Well, the way this Online Pass for text books works is, a professor teaching a particular subject is assigned (or chooses) a specific text book to associate with their class. Now, instead of the professor teaching the class through the text book, the text book is teaching the class through the professor. The text book, whether it be a physical copy or a virtual one, comes with a code to 'activate' the class online.
Most classes I've enrolled in throughout the past few semesters have used the following system:
- Purchasing a new copy of the book (or used copy + online activation separately) is required to participate in the class. No matter which route you take, you will end up paying the price for a brand new copy of the book. The book itself, if bought used, is typically around $200 (for me, least), with the online activation costing $100. If you wanted to purchase a new (or digital) copy of the book, which includes the online activation, it would cost about $300.
- Class assignments are turned in through the text book publishers web site, only accessible through the online pass. This presents even more of a problem, because instead of professors teaching their students based on the material, professors now just assign a reading of the digital copy of the text book accompanied with assignments found and completed on the web site accessed through the online pass. What am I paying thousands of dollars in tuition for, if the professor isn't going to teach?
- These text books are now mostly un-returnable. No one wants to buy an expensive book without the activation code, and still have to pay $100 later to activate it.
In case it isn't clear how this Online Pass is used, I will briefly summarize it: I enroll in a class. My professor sends me an email stating, "Please activate your BlahBlah account to participate in the class. A code to activate your BlahBlah account can be found in a new version of your text book. Alternatively, you can purchase a code separately for $100." So I buy a new version of the book, and I use the code to activate my account (code is now useless). The professor's job from then on is to post on the school's web site, once a week, which assignment on the publisher's web site to complete. I complete that assignment and turn it in through the publisher's web site, which is graded automatically by the publisher's web site. The professor then simply transfers the grades over from the publisher's web site to the school's web site's database, and the class is complete, with the professor doing absolutely NO teaching.
So it's clear that this Online Pass system causes quite a bit of damage in the areas of education and finance. Let's recap:
- Makes textbooks more expensive
- Encourages professors to let the book teach for them
- Encourages publisher greed
- Renders text books unnecessarily mandatory
- Cheats students out of ridiculous amounts of money
...and all because the text book publishers got tired of people buying their books used. The only solution to their hunger for cash was to include an Online Pass with new copies of their books, which are rendered useless after being used once. However, they realized that practically no one would buy text books if this were the case, so they hooked up with the colleges and professors and just made it mandatory for certain classes. The professors' jobs are made easier, and the publisher gets more money. Problem solved.
Except the student gets completely effed over! Now the professors don't even teach, and students are expected to shell out massive amounts of cash for text books that are absolutely mandatory, but aren't that great at teaching.
Anyway, that's my story. I just wanted to share with you guys my perspective on how this whole Online Pass thing is starting to ruin more than just gaming.
What do YOU think about this?