Goodbye, Steam

Disclaimer: As of 3/21/16 I have returned to using Steam.

Longtime readers of my blog will no doubt be aware that I am not particularly fond of Steam.

Indeed, I stated in that article that I was sick of Steam and would jump ship to another distributor were another one worth jumping to. Because I owned a large number of Steam games, however, and other distributors didn’t have the same catalog, my hands were tied. Valve had a monopoly on PC gaming, and as someone who primarily played games on PC I was bound to continue using their service.

A lot has happened since April, however.

The laptop which I used to play the majority of my games decided to finally quit, and all but refused to take any sort of charge. Left without a reliable way to write or play games, I found myself buying a discounted tablet laptop on loan and using that instead. I preferred the portability of it compared to my old laptop and enjoyed the overall design of it, but was initially saddened by the lack of power and inability to play all but the most basic of games on it. I initially spent my time playing smaller games on it, but found myself falling into the same rut of not really playing anything on it.

What I initially felt as constraint, however, soon turned to freedom. I spent more time getting out and writing in places other than my apartment. I began exploring other interests besides games, leading to me getting back into anime and discovering a love for Gunpla. I also refocused much of my writing around anime and LGBTQ/feminist topics as they relate to anime and manga. I still felt a nagging in the back of my head, though, which said that eventually I’d get a proper computer and would play proper games on it.

After getting my first paycheck and getting a 3DS, that feeling all but disappeared.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’d still love a stronger computer. But I felt less and less desire to return to the world of PC gaming and to get back onboard with Valve. I had gained other interests and had tried other ways of playing games, and felt little to no desire to build an expensive gaming computer that I didn’t really need. Still, I kept checking Steam every so often and kept entertaining the notion that I’d play something at some point.

I stopped entertaining that notion after several months of not playing games and getting more and more depressed each time I opened Steam. I eventually realized that I was unlikely to play any of the games installed on my laptop, and that I had better things to spend my money on than a new gaming PC. Beyond that, I got more and more aggravated by the annoying curators and the constant awful game recommendations, and the ever-worsening quality of games released on Steam.

On November 14, I finally decided I’d had enough and uninstalled Steam.

It’s unlikely that I’ll ever truly be free of Steam, as I may one day build a computer I can play games on. But for the moment, so long as I have my 3DS and a laptop that cannot play games, I have no intention of suffering Steam’s awful service and lack of quality control. I have better things to do and better ways to spend my time, and much as I might criticize Nintendo, I will take their backwards policies and lack of modern features of Valve’s lack of caring any day.

Valve may have a monopoly on PC gaming. But for the moment, I am free of it.

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