Steampowered Hoarding

 I am staging an intervention. Yes, for you. I know, odd that you just randomly came to this site and realized that there was in intervention just waiting for you? Don’t leave – stay. Here, I wrote a letter about my feelings and I am going to read it to you. One moment, Dr. Drew is just in the other room, entering now.

Tell me how you really feel…

Dear You,
 I am here today because I love you. Throughout my blogging life, you have supported me in everything I have wanted to do. You stood proudly in the comments section – even when I wrote bad posts, replied to me in your own comments section and even put me on your blogroll.  I always admired your sunny outlook on life and love of helping people. Over the last 12 years your involvement with blognation has been inspiring. It caused the whole interwebs to take notice providing us with an opportunity to become closer as we did something good for others together. I miss doing this with you.

Person, your Steampowered Hoarding has become a problem that you cannot control on your own. It is affecting your relationship with the whole blognation and me. Friday night, when James, Mike and I came over for dinner, you smelled like alcohol when you answered the door. You bought a humble bundle while we ate, and you kept sneaking back to the computer room to buy Friday night steam sale titles. By the end of the evening, you had mixed up all of our names, and the names of the games you had just bought.

We have reserved you a spot at a treatment center. They are expecting you tonight. It is not far from here, and a taxi has agreed to drive you. I have already packed a suitcase for you; it is waiting in the car. And, you don’t have to worry about finances, the treatment facility has contacted Anook and arrangements have been made. All you have to focus on is getting well.

You won’t have to worry about the house, the dogs, or the blog. Willhelm is perfectly capable of taking care of the dogs and Bhagpuss will do the housework on his own and Zubon will come by to help with everything. Your Steampowered hoarding doesn’t have to go on any longer, help is waiting for you. Please, will you take the treatment that is being offered to you today?


what your Steam Library looks like

Letter outline compliments of writing an addition letter 411

 I try not to use STEAM too often. Ever since that fateful day when they stole $18 out of my wallet and refused to give it back. I started looking at them for what they really were – an enabler! They assist people into the sick, sad and pointless Steampowered Hoarding and once you start, it takes a full intervention to get out.

Looking at my own Steam library is what showed me the light. Here are games I have yet to play (or even install) because I got such great “Deals” on them:

  • The Witcher 2
  • Skyrim
  • Batman Arkham City
  • Dota 2
  • FEAR 1
  • FEAR 2
  • FEAR 3
  • Guardians of Middle Earth
  • War in the North
  • Mortal Kombat Kollection
  • X-Com Enemy Within
  • …. and more if you count less than 10 hours played…

I know that list is nothing compared to most, because I only STEAM socially. I’m not a heavy user like most. Some weekends, the odd party during the week. I’m not addicted – I don’t wake up in the morning and STEAM or anything like that.

The solution is clear – just don’t buy unless you plan on playing the game in the next 14 days. It’s a simple rule. If you haven’t bought it already there is a reason for that. If you are only buying it because it is on sale, then you probably don’t really want it to begin with.

The best here is that it will ALWAYS go BACK on sale on Steam – so if you miss it once, don’t fret – you will have ample opportunity to buy it (and probably not play it anyway) when it goes back on sale again another time when you aren’t playing or planning on playing it anyway.

Steam does a great job of giving such great deals that hey – you are silly NOT to buy. It’s like I tell my wife – if it’s on sale don’t buy it for the sake that it is on sale – buy it if only you really want or need it. You still have to spend $20 even if it is %50 off from $40 – and you don’t gain the difference in your pocket – $20 isn’t magically appearing in your wallet when you buy it.

Please – if you or someone you love STEAMS, call the hotline. It has to stop!


5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Brilliant!

    In my unpublished-and-staying-that-way post on payment models I was working round to making a point about the Death of Ownership. Steam was implicated.

    The future for all entertainment and information that can be digitized is either free or for rent. Spotify, Netflix, Wikipedia, those are the models. Music, movies, TV, Comics, – all already available on demand for a set monthly or yearly fee. Amazon and Hachette are in a battle over the for-rent future of ebooks, which Hachette will lose. It’s inevitable.

    After books come games. EA and SOE already have in-house packages but there needs to be an aggregator. Steam is a prime candidate. Instead of all those pointless individual purchases, a subscription. Play anything, any time. It’s the future.

    Subscriptions are dead. Long live subscriptions.

    1. @bhagpuss: Glad you enjoyed it =)EA’s new sub model “The Vault” could be an entire industry disrupter – it’s akin to subscribing to HBO on tv. Yes, you pay specifically for that channel but by doing so you get access to all if the content that channel provides.

      If EA does this correctly, and has a LOT of content (current and future) included, it could really make things different. You wouldn’t buy games anymore – you would subscribe to publishers.That could hurt steam in the long run.

      @Izlain: Steam convinces us to buy things we may never actually play or really want because of the “Deal” and that in itself is very brilliant from a merchant perspective. Humble Bundles make us feel even better about ourselves because the money goes to charity to boot! Look, we can help people and also get a bunch a games we may/may not care to ever play. It works really, really well. At the end of it all it is very good for the consumer – IF the consumer is mindful of the sales ploy in play and can control themselves. Gamers are bad at controlling ourselves, for the most part =) There is also an argument here about the true value of a digital product – just wait out the hype-launch and you’ll get the game for 75%+ off. Sure, it has been a year, but I did just that with the X-COM expansion. I didn’t miss out on a thing!

  2. You’ve successfully passed the first step: Acceptance. Now you just have to be strong.

    Seriously, Steam is a bastard in that way, but it doesn’t matter, we’d still buy games anyway. I used to regularly spend $60 per box, and then sometimes add a sub fee to that. Now I spend $50 a year on PSPlus, and usually only buy games on sale. We’ve been spoiled by the options and sales, but really, we’d still be gaming no matter how things change.

  3. I wonder how much of it is due to our age. A lot of us who have massive Steam libraries now, grew up with games in physical form (cartridge/disk) and the prices that came with them. I know that when I first came across Humble Bundles, I went out of my way to buy them for even one game that I was vaguely interested in, because I could not believe they’d be able to do it more than a couple of times per year. As you said, now we know that these games/bundles will always come back around, so there isn’t that pressure any more if you just stop and think about it.

    But the first couple of years of Steam membership, and the first year or so of Bundles, I realise that subconsciously I feared that all these games would go back up to the old $60+ ($80+ in Aus) prices, and so I hoovered up these “must buys” to hedge against those future price hikes. Now that I rarely spend even $20 (Aus) on a game, it’s easier for me to resist sales because I know they will be there later for a very reasonable price.

  4. @Dahakha – really good point. When Steam first launched there were deals that we so weren’t used to, that it was compelling. Now that it’s “the norm” it is now just “wait until it goes on sale again..”

    I am sadly becoming a bit untrusting of Valve – I think if enough people put their game on their Wish List in Steam they will automatically put it on sale to drive consumers to buy…

    Tinfoil hats! =)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: