QUESTION I’d like to play computer games such as Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5, but many require you to set up an online account with the vendor, rather than key in a licence code. I’m reluctant to hand over my details, and I have no interest in being able to download games or play in multiplayer mode online. Can I get around this? Mike Martin
HELPROOM ANSWER Online registration is mainly used by vendors as an anti-piracy measure, although it also enables you to play online against other players. Another benefit is that you can enjoy automatic updates and extra levels once a certain point in the game is reached. For some titles, it’s also necessary for installation – in Half Life 2, for example, a web connection is needed to decrypt and install the game contents on the disc.
There’s no getting around the need to register if you wish to play these games, but data-privacy laws are stringent – provided that you opt out of marketing emails and the chance to create an online profile, your details won’t be shared by the vendor.