A discussion blew up on the blogosphere as I was getting ready for a cross-country trip: the ethics of buying games used. It started when a a THQ employee rather tactlessly pointed out that used games don’t support developers, and truly exploded when Penny Arcade said what most people interpreted as “used game buyers = dirty pirates” (and not the cool bottle-of-rum kind).
As with most emotional arguments, a lot of it seems to be a misunderstanding. I think the core of the issue here is one that people don’t understand well: the economic consequences of their actions. Let’s take a look at “pre-owned” games from a developer’s standpoint.