Gary Bowser, charged with paying Nintendo a sum he’ll never be able to afford, talks about his life after prison: ‘The sentence was like a message to other people’

Canadian programmer Gary Bowser was charged with severe fines and jail time after a Nintendo lawsuit accused him of “conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to traffic in circumvention devices”—piracy, to unspool the legal speech—in 2020. Bowser was a member of Team-Xecuter, a group of hackers who had facilitated the use of various ROMs (read only memory—shorthand for a pirated game program) since 2013.

Bowser was absolutely part of a criminal exercise—but he is also a 54 year-old man with chronic pain, one who will have to pay “25-30%” of his earnings to a massive corporation that reported a net profit of 271.2 billion yen (approx. $1.85 billion) over a six month period last year. As a company, Nintendo will barely notice—as a person, Bowser has been struggling.

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By asm3a