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Steam Sucks 2021-01-25


Steam is an application that provides access to a number of games. It runs on a few different platforms [like Windows and Linux], and it also has a system that allows people to chat about, rate, and review games. People seem to love Steam because they can just install it and then accessing all kinds of games is as easy as "adding it to their Steam account". I hate Steam because it puts the people who own Steam in a position to control your access to each game you have paid for. It also puts them in a position to track your usage on a game by game basis. It knows what game you are playing, what time you play it, for how long, and with whom. If you do not have a problem with any of that then this post is not for you and clearly privacy and corporate whoremanship is not a problem for you, and you should just stop reading now.

Earlier today, a friend suggested I try a particular game. I had a look at it and thought it looked interesting. In fact, I noticed it was on sale at Humble and I bought it. When I made my Paypal payment I noticed that there was a small disclaimer saying that the merchant needed my physical address in order to complete the transaction. Why would that be? They have no need to ship me anything, they must need it for demographics... you know, that tracking shit I was mentioning before. Anyways, I gave them my address information and bought it. Then when the email arrived I followed the link and saw that the only option was to play it on Steam. That sucks.

Speaking of sucks... the apartment I live in right now [mostly against my will] recently carpeted the elevators. This building is mostly populated by elderly people and pet owners (since it is one of a limited selection of buildings that allows pets). It was less than a week and one of the elevators looked like this:

piss Classy.

Back to the story about Steam... I sent Humble a message via their web site asking if there was a way to remove all Steam-only games from the lists when I look at their site. I went on to say that a couple of times I ended up buying games I couldn't play because I failed to notice the very small difference in the icons uses to display DRM-free games and Steam games. I had not expected to be refunded for the game, but a couple hours later I actually got an email from Humble saying that it was not possible to filter Steam-only games and that they were refunding me for the game. I appreciate that, but frankly I am more interested in the filtering system than the few dollars I spent on the game. The bad news is, they are not interested in the filtering system. Why? Because pretty well all "gamers" use Steam these days, and Steam generates income for Humble. So fuck me and my silly attitude about privacy.

Was it completely my problem that I didn't see the different little tiny logo for Steam? Sure it is, but if you are one of the goofs who believes it is up to the buyer to constantly scrape through every little detail of every item they ever purchase online then you are one of the whores who was supposed to stop reading after the first paragraph. So suck it.

I guess it is possible Humble will add a "no steam" filter to their web site... and if they do I'll happily come back here and brag about them doing so. I'd probably wind up buying a few games as a result. But I am sceptical that they'll pay their developers to create a filter system that won't really affect their revenues. It disappoints the shit out of me that people are generally willing to trade their privacy, and are generally willing to provide corporations with advertising ammunition that targets them specifically, for quick and dirty access to digital stuff. Whether you are aware of it or not, your digital experience could be better, and it is less-good because you choose not to give a shit. And that disappoints the fuck out me.

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