There’s a special kind of madness originating from the Steam Christmas sale.
Tons of games suddenly become so cheap that it feels like sheer stupidity not to buy them. As long as one might find something interesting about a title, it will be bought. Why not? You might want to play it later, on a rainy Sunday afternoon or during a boring trip somewhere. And if there’s nothing special about the game, rest assured it’s part of some package, a collection of games so incredibly cheap it would be criminal to ignore.
If you are anything like me, your Steam list is cluttered by games never played, never installed and some you don’t even remember. Perhaps this seems like a luxury to the average gamer. You’ll never run out of games to play. Yeah, that sounds pretty great. To me, however, it’s stressful just to look at the list at this point.
Know this about game designers – they need to play games. They seek deeper understanding of mechanics, attempt to be on top of trends, and have a general overview of the competition. There’s always the notion of not playing enough games, of not getting enough insight into what others are making. Having a long list of games you’ve bought but never played whispers in your ear, each time you’re glancing at it, “you’re not doing enough research, buddy”.
I had a solution this Christmas. I never even looked at Steam. How will they sell me games if I put my fingers in my ears and shout “la-la-la-la-la I’m not listening”? This, surely, is a problem Valve will have figured out for Christmas 2014. They always do.