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Vuvuzelas taunt Michael Jackson game pirates

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Narnia Island

Leading game publisher Ubisoft doesn't take piracy lightly.

Or quietly.

Anyone foolish enough to play an illegally pirated copy of
the company's newly released dance game, Michael Jackson: The Experience on the
Nintendo DS, will get a rude awakening, vuvuzela-style. Not only will the game
be unplayable, but the user will be greeted with the same droning horns that
drove soccer fans bonkers at the South African World Cup matches this past summer.

Behold the blaring footage as posted by Youtube user ctkxtreme:

Apparently, that's what happens when you pause the game.
Kind of catchy, actually, though I keep waiting for "Billie Jean" to
kick in.

[See also: Is Kinect the new Wii this holiday season?]

Ubi reps told Wired that the annoying horn blast was intended as "a creative way to discourage any tampering with the retail version of the game."

Pirating software on the Nintendo DS is relatively easy compared to other videogame consoles.  It's simply a matter of downloading an illegal copy of the game from a file sharing site, copying it onto a rewritable storage card, and loading that card into the DS.  As an anti-piracy measure, many games have built-in code that checks to see whether the game is running on a legitimate cartridge or on one of these makeshift workarounds.  Presumably, it's just such a piece of code that triggers the unplayable "vuvuzela" mode in this instance, although Ubisoft has not elaborated as to its specific methods here.

It's just the latest scheme Ubisoft has concocted to deal
with game pirates. Past efforts have included the use of controversial digital
right management (DRM) tools and, more recently, requiring that PC gamers have
a constant online connection to even play offline, single-player games. At
least this effort shows good humor.

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