Ron Gilbert should require little to no introduction. Known for an adventure game that has captured the imagination of millions of video gamers for almost three decades, he is long term celebrity of video gaming, if there are any. His most recent project, DeathSpank and it’s sequal DeathSpank and the Thongs of Virtue, are hits on the PSN and XBLA console stores. And yesterday he ranted about corporate censorship.
He makes clear that he isn’t complaining bout producer censorship. That is the people who hand video game studios money to make a game, and then come in and ask for some creative control. After all it is their money. No he is complaining about censorship by hardware platforms, and uses Apple as his primary example. Apple has always had a monopoly on Apple products, however with the invention of the iPhone, and the mixture of computing and the totalitarian rule of Telecom companies over our cellphones, Apple leaped forward and created a mobile computing platform that is so censored, it makes China proud. Ron hits upon a lot of the features that explain why, when people ask me if I like my iPad more than my laptop, or if it replaces my laptop, I have to say no. And why I describe my iPad as a gadget, not a computer.
The question is, does Ron really have a leg to stand on, expecting Apple not to take as much control over their hardware platforms as they can? I think, sadly, the answer is no. But I would like to think Apple, and every other hardware vendor, should look past IP control and cash intake, and try and keep hardware platforms as open as possible. I think it should be expected of Apple to create products that are highly functional, even if, in reality, they don’t have to. I think Apple could be served just as well by having an open App store while also maintaining an exclusive, Apple approved, App Store, which goes through Apple censoring, and has all the chic of being an Apple thing.
What do you think?