I've had some time to go over the stuff pizza said and it's actually in line with what I was told when I asked about it when I started.
So let's break it down.
No, VEM is a crucial system within WGT. I can understand the confusion surrounding this subject, so I sat down with the CEO (and owner of the patent) and he helped me decipher the legalese so that I may share it with you.
Essentially, the patent is for legal protection. It does give us the right to change the properties of clubs and balls, which we do often, but mainly it is for protecting the legal side of WGT. Whenever we exercise our right to change clubs and/or balls given to us by this patent, we do so unilaterally, and we tell the community about it. The only reasons we would do this is for balancing or bug correcting purposes.
VEM is an every day feature of WGT. When I called him a "mountain of wrong", which is a fun thing to say, that was in response to something he said where it doesn't get used at all. It does get used, but not in some evil "we're breaking your game until you pay us" kind of way.
Now, back to the question that keeps coming up "Does WGT have the capability to manipulate individual player's equipment?" The answer is yes, we have the capability to do nearly anything to anyone, any course, any time, anywhere. The next question you should ask is "Does the video game I play operate in such an underhanded way that they would practice this capability?"
Well of course we can change how the game works, the balance of a club, or just remove it all together. Every game that's been created since the ability to update via the internet can technically remove an item, or change the balance of the whole thing. Technically VEM could have the ability to screw up everything, but that's not what it's programmed to do.
Almost every game you've ever played has what they call RNG, or random number generator, what RNG does is simulate randomness. I've recently been playing a game called Dark Souls, and one of the things that RNG does in that game is randomizes an enemy's attacks. So last night I kept dying to the same boss, and each time I walked into the boss area the boss would hit me with a different attack than the time before. This is a simple example of RNG. In other games it may be enemy placement or hit point variance and things like that.
In many competitive online shooters RNG may be used to help a player who has died many times in a row to help them defeat an enemy. It's not a huge change, but it may give a little DPS boost to their gun or change an enemies damage area.
Okay so how does this translate to VEM?
VEM is in place to help, not to hurt. If a player is playing poorly VEM will kick in and do slight corrections. It's not going to save a ball aimed at the water, but it may give a small forgiveness boost to help. On the other end it's not going to make a terrible putt magically go into the cup.
Once the player begins to play a little better VEM will drop out and the player will be on their own again.
VEM does NOT target any specific player to make sure they lose a ball or have a bad round. It's quite the opposite. VEM is here to help.
Does this help explain some stuff?