Steam Is The Digital Locker I’ve Been Looking For

A few years back it was hard to imagine that media whether movies, music or games could be purchased online without the need for a disc. The idea was that you could have them in your digital locker forever instead of having a physical copy which would be subject to wear and tear then eventually break or get lost.

I found it hard also because you had to download the game using a slow internet connection when it could be there already if you go and buy a physical copy. The only time I would download games would probably be for shady reasons over the torrents.

Then I got introduced to Steam.



Steam is an online distribution platform primarily for games. It’s from Valve, the makers of Half life, Portal, Left 4 Dead and Counter strike. It started out like that, but then their library expanded, and expanded, and expanded. Now they have thousands of games both from major publishers, and from Indie developers in their library. You go to their site, create an account, then install the client in your computer. Then you’re good to go.

I have been addicted to it since I signed up a few years back. Here are some reasons why I coming back to it:

Convenience
Everything is there at a touch of a button. I don’t have to go look for a game CD and I can uninstall any game at any time then just go back and reinstall it later on. There’s that wait to download the game, but there are ways to back up your data on an external drive so you can just install from there next time. Buying games is also so easy, just put in your credit card information then press go. It also accepts Paypal. GCash AMEX also works if you’re into that.

The Home Page always tempts you

Price
I’m Asian, so I always want the best price. Steam comes up with a sale every so often especially on holidays like black friday, Easter, or Christmas. And the deals are just insane. I bought KoToR 1 and 2 for a combined $5 last week. They also have publisher packs like Sega Pack and sell it for something like $50 then it has all Sega games in their library which is around 70 or 80 games. Insane.

Retro Gaming
Countless times I want to play an old game but it is nowhere to be found. If I do find it, I need to worry about system compatibilities, running it on windows 95 mode or doing some odd voodoo just to get it to work. Here, I just browse through the library, buy it then I’m good to go.

My digital locker never gets too full. There's always room for 1 or 2 or 20 more games


Background updates
As long as my PC is turned on, Steam automatically checks for installed games then pushes and installs updates on the background. No intrusions. Next time I want to run my game, I can be sure the latest patches are installed already.


Multiplayer
It’s so easy to play multiplayer games. I just log on and do matchmaking and it’s done. Some games I’ve done this for are the Left 4 Deads, Borderlands, Dota 2 and Counterstrike. And there’s always people to play with.


Friends’ list
Similar to a yahoo messenger or gtalk, Steam also has a friends’ list. You add up your friends who have Steam accounts then you can start stalking them. Steam tells you when they go online, what game they’re currently playing, what game they have been playing and for how long. Before purchasing a game, you can also see which of your friends already own that game. This is so that you know if you can play that game together or not.

The typical game page has all the info you need. Specs, features, price, friends who are playing it.


Cloud
Buzz word! If you play on multiple computers like me, Steam has a functionality where all your saves are stored in the cloud (as long as the game supports it), so you can pick up where you left off.


Statistics
Steam keeps track of everything you do inside its client. It’s both good and bad. Good because I know how much time I’ve been spending playing games. Bad because I know how much time I’ve been spending playing games.


Overall, Steam is a really good platform if you love playing games and don’t want the hassle of finding or keeping them in a shelf. Valve has created the near perfect online distribution platform which gives people zero reason to go to the dark side when wanting to play games.

If you’re already on Steam, add me up: seraph973
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