Infoworld discovers Steam

Reader’s eight-year-old can’t play his HL2!

Once again proving that even technology journalists are woefully ignorant of the adult gaming market or the game ratings system.

I love this part.

Mostly, though, the reader wonders if it is the intent of Valve’s DRM to restrict even family members from sharing a program. “Is Half-Life 2 the first ‘user-limited’ software?” he wrote. “I buy a book, my son can read it. I buy a movie and my son can watch it on his TV after I watch it on my TV. I buy software, and I can’t let another family member use it?”

Its like hey jackass just set Steam to remember your password, then anyone who uses your machine can play. Also you can install it on other machines just make sure you use the same login.

When his kid goes psycho on his classmates with a crowbar claiming they’ve got crabs on their heads we’ll know who to blame. Damn Steam!

Does Steam prompt for stuff like this during install? Valve should try to make it more multi-user friendly during the install if it isn’t like that already.

The problem is that Steam validation and password-protected game sessions are new to the market, at least for single-player games. It’s confusing, obviously, to casual gamers. Steam should remind users that they can install the game on multiple PCs in the home and also remind them that they can set it so that the password is remembered so that other family members can play.

And of course Steam’s install should default to the “don’t connect to Steam to play single player games” setting. The player shouldn’t have to manually configure a single player game to skip connecting to the Internet.

Even at that, Steam is too much of a PITA for casual gamers. Especially since HL2 is the only game out there that uses it. Why mess with Steam for HL2, when there are at least a dozen good shooters available from the past year or so with none of this online validation crap at all?

Its just like Instant messaging programs (AIM, MSN, etc.) a checkbox at the login screen to remember password.

Below is the login screen.

Over the holidays one long-time reader bought the retail version of the hit game Half-Life 2 for his eight-year-old son.

Ummm isn’t HL2 rated M?


Here in NZ it’s rated R16, which I think is fair enough really.

I wouldn’t let my 8 year old play (if i had one). Maybe if it was all aliens and green blood… but… not with humans and friends getting blasted or eaten.

Yeah he should have changed 8 to like 16 or just not given the age of his son. Its totally irrelevant to what hes trying to say, but its so stupid that pretty much eveyone in the comments section at that site are talking about him buying it for an 8 year old rather than discussing the actual point of his article.

that reminds me, there’s a doco on thursday night here about EVIL VIDEO GAMES and how they are CORRUPTING OUR YOUTH!!1!11 one one!

At least, that’s what it looks like.

Ahh, I miss the BBC :(


Well, the point is that if he’d read the box, he would have seen both the M rating, and the “internet connection required” in the specs.

Whatever’s wrong with Steam, it’s like this guy complaining that he bought his eight-year-old son Windows-based lesbian porn and it won’t run on his Mac.

I love this. DVD-ROM drives have been the standard for sixty years now, and getting a game on DVD is still like pulling hen’s teeth. But when it comes to ramming down our throats something that could be even more easily introduced gently, it’s all, “damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead! Time to upgrade! Read the box, motherfuckers!”

I finally got around to finishing HL2 last weekend. Having experienced the slap in the face that the end of the game represents, I’ve never been happier about not paying for something. I can’t wait for HL3 to be sold exclusively as a pay-per-minute subscription. Gonna be GotY then, right? Right. Suck it up!

Why would a parent let their 8-year-old play HL2?

How are either of these relevant? I wasn’t aware that “internet connection required” somehow meant “You must remember a password to play this game and are also being denied first sale rights.”