As much as we enjoy not paying for things, we here at Joystiq HQ are vehemently opposed to piracy. Partly because we think cheating music, film, and gaming companies out of their hard-earned recompense is a despicable act, but mostly because we don't like equating paltry key-cracking to the visceral thrill of high seas swashbuckling. Apparently, Nolan Bushnell shares our disdain for modern-day "pirates" as well -- in a recent speech to a Wedbush Morgan Securities conference, the Atari founder discussed a new encryption chip which will "absolutely stop piracy of gameplay."
The stealth encryption chip known as TPM will appear on the motherboards of many computers currently being produced, according to Bushnell, and will allow game developers to imbue their future titles with completely uncrackable, unsharable activation passwords. We've found that e-pirates
are a resourceful lot, so the prolonged effectiveness of this measure is questionable -- still, it could rejuvenate PC gaming in areas of the world where piracy runs rampant
. Lord knows the industry could use a booster shot in Tortuga