[Dtoid community blogger Jinx 01 shares his love of everyone's favorite meta game. Want to see your own words appear on the front page? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon]
I usually spend the Christmas holiday with my family at my grandmother's place. Unfortunately, this leaves me with no Internet access during the Steam Holiday Sale. For the last few years I've been running out to McDonald's or Starbucks with my netbook at 2:00 PM every day to check the new daily deals. Yes, I have sat in my car outside a closed McDonald's on Christmas day to get online to check Steam sales.
Last year my friend Kelly texted me each day's deals so I'd know whether it was worth driving out to hunt down WiFi. This year will be different, though; I have a Galaxy S2 and the Steam app for Android, so I can browse the deals and make purchases instantly over my phone. I am so excited about this I could burst.
Why all the excitement over the app? And why would I go so far out of my way to check the Steam sale every day?
How so? Because Steam is about more than playing games. It's about collecting games, and getting the best deals possible while doing so. It's a shopping game, I suppose, almost the opposite of Recettear, because in this case it's Gabe yelling "Capitalism, Ho!" as we scramble to get the best deals on software we may never use.
It became clear to me that Steam was about collecting games at least as much as playing them when I found Lambent Stew's Steam Profile Analysis page earlier this year. While Steam Calculator is a great way to see how much your Steam catalog is "worth" (I'm over $3,400), the profile analysis tells you how many of your games you have actually played. (Mind you, even starting a game once will put it into the "played" category; that's pretty generous.)
But here's the thing: Steam is a damn fun game. I enjoy checking compulsively for deals on Steam and other sites. Part of the fun is seeing how good a deal you can get on a game, even if you could afford it at regular price. And playing "The Steam Game" can have benefits for your gaming diet in general. I find myself more likely to buy and play outside my usual comfort zone because most games eventually reach impulse-buy price levels. Some of my favorite games over the last few years have been indie games I picked up on sale, and if I'm unsure about a $60 AAA title I can always wait for the price to drop a bit so it's less of a risk. Finally, from an industry standpoint, purchasing more games but at lower prices "spreads the wealth" a bit more between AAA publishers and smaller developers.