IDGAF about gaming, honestly. I play very few vidya games. Never had a computer or system as a child, so my go-to entertainments are elsewhere. But I almost entered the video game industry in the Seattle area, came close enough to learn a lot about how it works, and I catch some information about it from the gamer in my life.
Valve is the company that runs Steam – the biggest video game web platform in the world. People use its servers to play shooters and the like. More importantly, people can use Steam to buy and download games with no need of a disk. This is a big deal. Eventually all disk media is going bye-bye, because it’s unnecessary overhead for companies. The next time there’s a big enough collapse in the game market – and there will most definitely be one – the disks won’t pull through.
So in order to sell video games online, you need a storefront for people to peruse. And this is where Steam fails dramatically, where Valve fails as a company. There’s zero oversight of the storefront. They let anybody sell games there, which means literally thousands of people are selling literally fake video games.
What’s a fake video game look like? The scammers get a program for making games, like Unreal Engine or Unity, and they save out a crude template of a “game” populated with stock or purchased assets. These things can look like an army of clones with different names slapped on them, can be chock full of bugs, lack anything resembling game play, and in some cases crash while trying to load at all, or crash and even damage your computer. In some cases, there isn’t even a game in the downloaded package – no executable file to run.
And even without scams, you get class projects from junior high kids across the planet, half-baked vanity projects from twisted megalomaniacs who threaten customers, and you get games with plots like “protect the pedophile anime art from evil nazi muslims.” Steam’s storefront – Valve’s main interface with the world – is an ocean of shit.
This is why gamers should hate Valve: You know what it would take to fix the whole store, easily? Hiring ONE SOLITARY FUCKING EMPLOYEE. You’d think, hey, thousands of games go up on Steam every year. How would one person handle it? Trust me. When you see one of the fake games? You know it. They could eliminate the garbage in swathes by banning companies that put up fake games, leaving them time to deal with issues that require more thought, like how extreme of an ideology are you willing to see promoted in your store? One person could do this. Just one.
For years now, people have been dancing around the mulberry bush with Valve, suggesting this, asking for that, getting pat replies, half-assed actions, and ultimately it’s always the same shit. They try to rely on algorithms to filter the bad games, try to foist the work on some useless robot, because they aren’t willing to hire ONE PERSON, ONE SINGLE HUMAN PERSON to look at the shit, to make the call. To push the button.
It’s libertarian techbro philosophy in a nutshell. Am I losing a ton of money a year from people giving my service the finger? OK, but am I making any money at all? Cool. Then fuck quality, fuck customers, fuck the humans. A tech company should be a server farm that runs itself with zero oversight and occasionally shits out a dollar for the shareholders. Good enough!
I’m not a fan of gamers though. Some individuals are fine, I’m sure, but collectively? Seems like the level of respect they deserve. Libertarian bootlicks for the new robber barons, enjoy the taste my dudes. Lap it up.