Bill of rights aims to straighten out PC games market

Proposals to regulate the industry as consoles threaten sales

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If you've ever bought a spanking new PC game and rushed it home only to find that it runs about as fast as a snail on Prozac even though your machine meets the minimum specs easily, then you'll surely vote for the Gamer's Bill of Rights.

The idea comes from PC developers Stardock and Gas Powered games and aims to put an end to the unsatisfactory experience of what they see as dishonest marketing.

10-step plan

Among the 10 proposals that the 'Bill' hopes to see adopted by PC game makers are points such as, "Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will adequately play on that computer" and "Gamers shall have the right to return games that don't work with their computers for a full refund".

On top of that, the suggestion that – shock! – companies only release games when they're actually finished and not bother customers with endless patches to download will ring bells with many.

Console threat

The two developers clearly have an eye on preventing hardcore gamers migrating to the newly powerful consoles, where similar guidelines already exist and are policed by Microsoft, Sony et al.

While the games-playing public is sure to love the ideas in the Bill, the difficult step will be persuading other developers to sign up en masse. If that happens, then the PC may just have a future as a gaming platform after all.