One Way To Fight Back Over 2142 Spyware

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Hardware' started by DasFox, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    Someone mentioned the best course here is through the purchasing power.

    I agree this is a very effective method, so then in what ways do you all think this can be accomplished?

    This is not about standing outside a store making a scene, or badmouthing anyone, it's about educating a consumer.

    So we're clear here. This is about just talking to people and letting them know what is going on, then let them decide.

    But there needs to be a better understanding by those wanting to invlove themself in a matter like this, and what this type of thing with spyware in gaming can turn into in the future.

    If you want to control people, companies, and countries you take away their money, and standing out at stores is a simple approach for reaching the massses and the media at trying to take away money, and hopefully get the consumer into not spending.

    There are many issues here at stake. There is alot more going on here then most people realise. It's more then just some simple spyware and ads.

    Also talk to friends and family, talk to store managers and see what their take is on this, Costco, Walmart, Kmart, BestBuy, GameStop, etc... Tell it to the masses!

    Is it TRUE there is no mention of this on the outside of the box? This is bad especially when stores will not take back an open box. I've known of stores that have this type of policy that won't return it open boxes.

    EA needs to MARK this on the outside of the box.


    Here is my take on this:
    -------------------------------------

    I look at it this way, we are the PC geeks, and the average PC consumer is clueless to this, and will not even bat an eyelash over this matter.

    Personally I think those of you that have purchased this game, especially you, so you can show people your game with this slip of paper to explain this to them. And any other hardcore PC geeks, gamers should do the same.

    When you get free time go down to your local game store in the shopping mall and stand outside and let the people know who are going in and out of those stores, and ask if they have bought the game and let them know about this, and explain to them what this means.

    And let them know about this for any other games, then ask them how they feel about this and give them an email address and tell them to contact the companies in question, EA, not to send in nasty letters, but as consumers letting them know how we feel about this.


    Also possibly some of you live in small towns and know the local News stations, and possibly they might just be looking for some news and they can follow you to the game store and film this while you stand outside the store.

    I haven't located any good email addresses for them, in the meantime here is their toll free number for USA/Canada: 866-543-5435

    ALOHA


    NEW UPDATE: Windows security update Needs Removal.
    http://www.totalbf2142.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4893
     
  2. pigwalk

    pigwalk [H]ardForum Junkie

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    'm wondering, with the in-game adverts, are they even making money off people who pirate the game?
     
  3. Jap1987

    Jap1987 Limp Gawd

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    Im not sure about that I think they just came up with a set price (we will pay you this much to have our ad in your game kinda thing). If that is the case, well than EA beat the system.
     
  4. ivan_gromov

    ivan_gromov Gawd

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    Well, EA has been making one bad desision after another. NBA Live 07 is a pos, now bf2142.... very dissapointing.
     
  5. dotK

    dotK [H]ard|Gawd

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    99.99% of news stations won't care. They're too busy filming people flocking to the latest Jesus-on-a-stained-underpass-wall site or something stupid on ebay.

    A lot of people who play the BF series also won't care. They just want to play more BF. Also, game stores are really scaling back on the sale of PC games so standing in front of a Game Stop probably wouldn't be that effective.
     
  6. Riddlinkidstoner

    Riddlinkidstoner [H]ardness Supreme

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    I already printed out copies of the EULA addition found inside the game box and posted it all over my college and I told my friend at best buy to warn people about it before they purchase it (he is the manager there so hes going to meet with the staff and discuss this).

    Time we take a stand and fight EA! Lets take it to the media! Call Fox, CNN, everyone! :D
     
  7. WhyYouLoveMe

    WhyYouLoveMe [H]ardness Supreme

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    FYI - You can't get a live person through that phone number unless you already own the title. The "ask a question about any EA game" option gets you nice recording with a "Good-bye" at the end of it.

    Just don't buy the game.
     
  8. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    Yes as I mentioned you take away their money, don't buy the game.

    I edited the post, the "green". Look back up at edit.

    One small thing everyone is missing here. As PC geeks we understand better about this world of spyware/viruses/malware, etc....

    But the average consumer is troubled by this, and by making them aware of this will help them to better understand and most likely if you are a good sales person will convince them not to buy this product.

    This all gets down to ----> Do you care, should we care, who cares?
     
  9. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    Good one! ;)
     
  10. Riddlinkidstoner

    Riddlinkidstoner [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm serious about taking it to the media though...if this got on the news and obviously if we explain its clearly NOT marked on the box that SPYWARE (define: spyware = what they are doing) however they must agree to this insert inside the box to install/play the game or else your SOL, ontop of that you cannot return open software. It seems illegal to me...or should be.

    I'm sure any news network would take this seriously if it had the name "Internet" "spyware" and a major company in it.
     
  11. Booby McNipples

    Booby McNipples [H]ard|Gawd

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    Excellent my good man! I'm calling my bro's right now.
     
  12. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    OH nothing is marked on the outside of the box?

    Yes this is bad especially when stores will not take back an open box. I've known of stores that have this type of policy that won't return it open, hmm

    Yes EA needs to MARK this on the outside of the box.
     
  13. Riddlinkidstoner

    Riddlinkidstoner [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've contacted CNN with a list of websites that have been discussing it thus far and a picture of the insert inside the box. I've also explained to them that this is not printed on the box itself
    and consumers are required to comply by this or not to use the software which in turn is not returnable. I also commented on the spyware involved in this and the advertisment monitoring that will happen without the consent of the consumer before purchase.

    I dunno if it will do any good but I gave it a shot.
     
  14. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    Well most people think to go for the throat as in this case contacting the BIG media a good thing, sometimes it can be, but in this case, they'll most likely toss it to the side.

    A BETTER angle is a local media station in your area that CARES for its locals.

    If you can find a media station that is hardcore for it's local community and you can do a take on this as for example ----> Look what's happening to our town, our people etc... Then hopefully as it hits local news it will spread from there.

    Get the local community involved....


    GL ;)
     
  15. HellMaX

    HellMaX [H]Lite

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    My office is 2 floors above EA's office (I'm in Montreal). Maybe I could drop a word about it or something.
     
  16. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    WOW now that is great.

    The best approach of course is good diplomacy, as in hopefully your company and theirs has a relationship of any kind, or at least mutal respect for each other. Use this to your advantage.

    ALOHA
     
  17. Martyr

    Martyr 2[H]4U

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    how to make the news:

    Step 1: make a blog.
    Step 2: you are now on cnn
     
  18. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    I want to stress on what Riddlinkidstoner mentions about open boxes.

    Consider this for a moment. Do you think that EA games is ignorant to story policies over returning open software boxes?

    If they deliberately kept this information off the outside the boxes in an attempt to manipulate getting greater sales in fear of this information on the outside of a box and what it might do to sales, then this possibly might be looked upon as an illegal attempt at fraud.

    There is no mention of this on the outside of a box, and most companies once you open a box and try to return will not give you a refund. They only exchange for the same item if it was defective, not just because you don't like it.

    You're being sold something you don't know about until it's to late, and that is not good and can be the real issue here.

    ALOHA
     
  19. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    I would love to hear how this game fairs in Norway, because did you know they outlawed any form of advertisment to children, and with a game pumping out ads I don't think they'll be able to sell it there.

    I don't think we realise this, but this is exploitation on the youth that play this game, and that is totaly wrong!

    Exploitation here could form a real lawsuit.

    ALOHA
     
  20. VoodooChi|d

    VoodooChi|d [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm telling my friends who are interested not to buy it. I don't have the time or the energy to "fight" EA. Are there any consumer protection groups that you could contact? They would have lawyers and "ins" with the media to get this more exposure.
     
  21. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    VoodooChi|d just take a few minutes when you can and call and speak to store managers of gaming stores, Walmart, Kmart, BestBuy, etc...

    Share with them the issues of spyware, the possible deception of EA not to mark this on the outside of the boxes, possibly in fear of loosing sales, and how this traps the consumers into being stuck with purchases especially when companies have strict return policies over open boxes.

    And last what is clearly exploitation for ads and making sales to the youth who play these games.

    This is clearly exploitation. :(

    ALOHA ;)
     
  22. VoodooChi|d

    VoodooChi|d [H]ard|Gawd

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    Seriously... contact a consumer protection agency... I'm sure they can either help your cause or tell you the best way of going about it...
     
  23. BladeVenom

    BladeVenom [H]ardness Supreme

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    Don't buy it. If you do return it. If they won't take it back, contact your state attorney general and see if they can do anything. If they get enough complaints they'll take legal action.
     
  24. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    These sound like good ideas, but also talking to the people that make decisions at the corporate levels in these stores that we buy from will also have an effect and will possibly end right there with the removal of these products from the shelves.

    ALOHA ;)
     
  25. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    Just heard this over at Widescreen Gaming Forum

     
  26. arentol

    arentol 2[H]4U

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    Stores do not have to take the game back. They are selling you a box and the contents of that box, which you have received exactly as agreed upon. This contract has nothing to do with EULA, except for the aspect of the EULA not being revealed to you at that time, which forces the next situation....

    The EULA is a separate contract, and if you do not agree with it then the PUBLISHER must take it back because they did not reveal the full details of the contract to you prior to purchase. So in this case you must contact EA directly and as for your money back. If they refuse to give it back THEN you can talk to your SAG office. However, EA will take them back because they are well aware of the relevant laws. They will however likely make it kind of tough to get hold of someone who can actually tell you how to return the box of stuff and get your money back.


    I personally don't really give a rats ass though. As "spyware" goes this stuff sound pretty damn mild.... Tens of millions of people have installed spyware and adware completely unknowingly and had their PC's seriously hosed by them. Hundreds of millions more have "Mild" spyware that simply report on their habits, but does not install or cause specific adds to pop-up. The vast majority of these people do not know this because nobody tells them in a clear manner what is about to happen when they open an email, click a link, or install some "free" software.

    Meanwhile, EA is telling you in a clear manner before you install what this "spyware" does, which alone puts them miles ahead of any other kind of "spyware". Then on top of that I am pretty certain the information they gather will all be aggregated and used to entice specific advertisers to the game in general, not to actually figure out that "Joe-Loser", specifically, likes to visit porn and gambling sites. The gathering of viewing angle and time-in-view is just general marketing information that is also needed to sell the advertising. They also are not very likely to be installing additional spyware on your PC, and no adware either, so its not like it will hose your PC or destroy a DVD drive like Starforce. So again that is way better than a lot of spyware. In addition, the information for blocking this software from reporting while still playing the game itself is readily available, which greatly reduces my concern.

    I have to admit I personally am not a big fan of ads in games. The Splinter Cell game a while back that had Axe and The Longest Yard crap all over some levels was very annoying. But if they make the advertising actually fit the theme of the level then it might add some dynacism to the game that could be kind of interesting at times.

    Overall though, I don't care about this issue enough to complain. I personally believe in self-correcting systems. If Massive pushes this kind of thing too hard (at least the "spyware" side) then eventually it will bite them in the ass and things will change... Much like has been happening with Starforce and it's reducing popularity with publishers.
     
  27. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    arentol you make a very valid point, it's not the fault of the merchant you bought from it's the publisher, but hopefully people will get a sympathetic supervisor, or manager that will return it for them.

    I mentioned this before.

    Consider this for a moment. Do you think that EA games is ignorant to store policies over returning open software boxes?

    If they deliberately kept this information off the outside the boxes in an attempt to manipulate getting greater sales in fear of this information on the outside of a box and what it might do to sales, then this possibly might be looked upon as an illegal attempt at fraud.

    There is no mention of this on the outside of a box, and most companies once you open a box and try to return will not give you a refund. They only exchange for the same item if it was defective, not just because you don't like it.

    You're being sold something you don't know about until it's to late, and that is not good and can be the real issue here, besides exploitation towards the youth across the world.

    Now America might not care about a matter of exploitation since we regularly exploit the youth in American into buying things all the time, but take Norway for instance, did you know you can't advertise to children in that country, because they did it to protect their children from companies such as this that try to exploit them into buying.

    Now this is a T rated game and exploitation of ads to promote buying just isn't acceptable, corporations need to look to different means of making a buck rather then trying to target our kids.

    And back to a matter of returns, you can hardly find people in America, or other countries for that matter that are not always busy and on the go. If they are not going to be able to get a refund at the store of purchase, there are not going to be many people pursuing the publisher for a return and waste more of their time, they consider more valuable then wasting on a game, and that is the flip side to this.

    With nothing listed on the outside of the box, I'm betting EA took a shot at this figuring most people aren't going to bother.

    EA looks quite deceptive here in more ways then just one. :(

    ALOHA
     
  28. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    I just looked at the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

    http://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_guide.jsp

    T for teens I guess in their view, a 13 year old is an acceptable age for advertisment exploitation.

    Possibly another approach to this is contacting the ESRB and getting there take on this from the angle of exploitation on children for the benefit of profit to a company.

    Maybe the ESRB won't be happy with this if they understood this.

    They don't list a phone number on their site, but they are in NewYork. If anyone can please get a number for them please post it.

    ALOHA
     
  29. raz-0

    raz-0 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I didn't buy the game because BF2 wasn't properly patched yet and therw were in game ads.

    However, I have some ideas on how to do this.
    1) Attempt to return your opened box to the store. When they say no, then...
    2) Contact EA and ask for a full cash refund including sales tax if applicable. They will either say yes, or...
    3) When you have found out you cannot return the game for your money back, get in touch with other gamers form your state in the same boat. Gather pertinant information such as names and contact info. Forums can be helpful here. Heck, set one up jsut for this with a subforum for each state. Any legal noise from EA just makes this more and more newsworthy.
    4) Contact the retailer's HQ with copies of said information and inform them that this is the customer base that has been pissed off by the EA games they are reselling, and that you wisht hem removed form the shelves due to invasion of privacy. I suggest the analogy of the peeping tom. The peeping tom may not know who is on the other side of the window, but that does not make the behavior acceptable. Contact every major retailer carrying the item. Wal-mart, best-buy, compusa, etc. Tell them you will no longer buy software there if they do not get warnings put on the outside of the box that can be seen before purchase. Just like the sony rootkit.
    5) Contact EA's HQ/legal department with this information.
    6) now here's the reason why you organize by state. For each state, the organizer submits the info to the state attourney general. Individual complaints take time to pile up, but lots at once all packaged up with some phonecall heads up to let them know it coming goes a lot farther.
    7)Get some victims who don't mind taking one for the team. Get them to play and catalog ads served. Publish the list on the aforementioned forum.Send your compiled list to the sponsors that buy advertising, and let them know that you consider this advertising metho ABSOLUTELY unacceptable and will avoid their product.
    8) If someone goes through with these steps, at this point it will be fairly newsworthy. Contact the news.

    Heck, if someone wants to get really organized, set up a form letter you can press a button on to send to your senators and congressmen that PRotects consumers against software publishers. It should require the EULA to be printed in full on the exterior of the package. The packaging should also disclose any copy protection software included with the program, and any software that may transmit any information beyond game data to any system by any means. There are no other products I know of where you can be forced into a contract before reading it, without receiving a salable product, or being able to get your money back.
     
  30. ivan_gromov

    ivan_gromov Gawd

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    i WIll post what EA Tech Support has said about numerious iof bugs in Live 07. They said "they had no idea".... Either way, they are bsing you, it is rediculous. I bet it was an experiment from them, that failed miserably.Either way, at least EA is making a patch for live 07, hope they will make one for bf2142, untill then I have no intention of buying that piece of shit.
     
  31. Shark-MegaByte

    Shark-MegaByte Limp Gawd

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    If the ESRB were to alter the rating based on exploitation of children for advertising profit, they would probably have to uprate some other games from franchises (such as Pokemon) which blatantly milk children for profit from endless lines of toys and junk merchandise :rolleyes:

    Edit: I just mentioned the BF2142 spyware flap in an IRC channel I frequent, and another user looked up an article which led to him deciding NOT to purchase the game tomorrow. Keep putting the word out.
     
  32. Riddlinkidstoner

    Riddlinkidstoner [H]ardness Supreme

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    Apperently to play the game you have to uninstall one of Microsoft's security update patches...which is security for kernal access, which in turn (according to MS), someone can completely take control of your computer.

    Now why oh why would EA need kernal access just to let us play a game? Hmmm....

    If thats not spyware, i don't know what is. Hell, the game itself could be a virus.


    Microsoft should get word of this and tell people NOT to uninstall it.
     
  33. 133

    133 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not that anything will probably happen, but i went to foxnews.com and they have a submit news box on the left side of their page.. so i input the following

    "Video game giant Electronic Arts is compromising the privacy of its customers who install its new PC title "Battlefield 2142". This is causing an uproar in the PC gaming community and should be investigated further by a professional news team."


    would be cool if they checked into it..
     
  34. Tolyngee

    Tolyngee [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes, but if BF only wanted to sell me other BF-related items, they wouldn't need to look at any info about me to advertise that to me, now would they?

    Can a 13-yr-old legally agree to any EULA?

    I know this starts to get really grey as to who is responsible here, but if an adult uses the computer for 'net browsing, then the teenager gets ads directed at them in-game from data about the adult's surfing behavior, that's not so good. True, you can blame the adult for buying the game, and allowing access, and for the use of the computer, etc., but if the adult is fully informed, and decided against purchase based on all of this, then that cuts into EA's profits.

    Lost profit is lost profit. And unfortunately the buying decision wasn't based on the quality of the product as a game, but based on the usage of the product in a way that isn't even mentioned on the outside of the box.

    Then again, as someone already mentioned, with all of the isues with BF2 (no proper patches!? A beta patch fixes the issue, but no official patch is ever released, so your only choice is beta-servers, which aren't typical?), I don't understand why people are buying this game.

    I've never played any BF game. But I do wonder just how "733t" (or whatever) this franchise must be if people are willing to pay $50(?) for a game that isn't much of an update of a product that users are already fully aware of that isn't supported by the people who should be behind it.

    The fact that it now uses info about me to advertise to me to try and bring in even more profit for those who don't support my desire to be entertained by a quality product, well, I don't understand why this isn't a complete no-brainer?

    FWIW - I dunno about this, but is BF2 not mod-friendly? If y, why not just make mods that effectively turn BF2 into BF2142? IF not, then I am surprised this franchise has such a following. Everything I play seems to have a plethora of mods/etc available for it...

    Maybe I should Youtube some BF vids and see what I might be missing...
     
  35. UltimaParadox

    UltimaParadox [H]ardness Supreme

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    EFF is a conumer based group, but I doubt legal matters can be used since they have the insert, but its worth a shot

    www.eff.org
     
  36. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    Wow great input guys KEEP it up!

    SPREAD THE WORD!

    ALOHA
     
  37. DasFox

    DasFox Limp Gawd

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    WHAT, where did you get this information from?

    If this is real, this can be a big attack point on this.

    Please show us some proof to this.

    THANKS
     
  38. dR.Jester

    dR.Jester 2[H]4U

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    Installed the game and it worked just fine on my PC with all the latest security patches. Also running on x64 via 20 inch widescreen, which of course is not even supported with the final product.

    I help admin a ranked server and we are currently in the top-40. As it stands now, we probably won't be switching over to 2142. Simply because of this current news regarding the spyware, but the intrest just isn't there. Oh and EA is charging trusted providers extra compared to regular BF2.

    EA has three points (4 soon) of profit.

    1) Trusted Server providers. These guys allow you to purchase player slots for a RANKED game. Currently priced at $4/slot.

    2) The game itself. EA gets a large peice of the pie when the game is purchased from retail outlets.

    3) Ads/Spyware - Only EA knows what kind of lucrative deals have been put in place for your high dollar information.

    4) Expansions and Booster-Packs - doesn't really count because none have been announced (yet).
     
  39. Susquehannock

    Susquehannock 2[H]4U

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    Did my part and e-mailed all my gaming buddys about this issue. Only they can decide how to react.
     
  40. Susquehannock

    Susquehannock 2[H]4U

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    Agreed. That would be quite significant. Would like to know if that is in fact true or not.

    - edit -

    Just found this in the bf2142 demo ReadMe file :

    "Players who have the Windows security update KB917422 installed may suffer from an application error when running the Battlefield 2142 demo. This error can be solved by uninstalling the KB917422 update."

    This is what Microsoft.com says about update #KB917422 :
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...FC-BC4D-4666-998B-49857007E539&displaylang=en

    " A security issue has been identified in the Windows Kernel that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it."

    So, we have established that the kernel security update "may" need to be uninstalled to play the demo. Question is, does the same apply to the full game?