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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Default Tester : Issue : Games : Desultory



Steam is a web based digital distribution, gaming,  and social networking platform. Steams developer is a company called Valve Corporation. Valve also makes games. Valve makes games like Half Life, Portal, and Team Fortress. Not a bad pedigree. Valves boss is a guy called Gabe Newell, but everyone calls him GabeN.

In gaming terms a modification is the alteration of content in a video game in order to make it work different than the original version. For instance, a baseball game comes out and the field, crowd, and players look identical to a real world baseball game. A week later a mod is released that makes the baseball the size of a beach-ball, all of the players are terminators, and there are flying bats in the outfield that threaten to eat every home run. Mods are like that.

Mods live on the personal computer, and Steam has become the De facto place for people to buy games, play games, and discover mods on the PC. An important thing to note is that mods have always been free. Anyone that plopped down the initial 60 bucks or whatever it cost to purchase the game could download the mod free of charge.

A while back Steam updated their service to charge money for modifications, and the internet lost it's shit.

The people who made the mods were happy because they could finally get paid for the thing they made. The people who made the original game were happier because they took a cut of money the guys that made the mods made and they didn't have to do shit except make a whole game. And Steam was happiest because they got paid just for putting everybody in the same room. The people that now had to buy the mods were mad because where once they did not have to pay for a thing, they now had to pay for a thing.

The internet went to the internet's version of a town square called Reddit to voice their disapproval of the new mod system. And while they are doing this none other than the head of Valve, the man the internet lovingly refers to as Lord GabeN, walks smack dab into the town square, calm as you please. Lord GabeN pleaded the companies case to the torch and pitchfork crowd, and in a surprising turn for one so digital universally loved he is boo'd, cursed, spat upon, and downvoted.

This is not the say the internet didn't come with cogent arguments. The internet posited a donation button be provided instead of a service charge. Imagine you buy this album and love it. Later you are walking down the street and this busker is doing a rendition of a song you like from the album and you love it as much if not more than the original song. So you toss a few bucks into the guitar case to say thanks. A donation button is kind of like that.

Anyway... Oh right. So shouted down and bruised, LORD GabeN retreated to the ramparts of Bellevue.  It was truly a dark day for the pious. Shortly after, charges for mods on Steam was repealed. That wacky vox populi.

I hope information understands that it has taken more than four damn months for some grown ass people to sit down and break bread. I know we work a lot, but come the hell on. Oh what, tomorrow? Nah, I have that E3 meeting, but I have the whole next week clear after Cinco De Mayo. Unless, of course, I have some other shit to do. Also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Launch

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