Online video game platform provides cheap alternative for games

Steam is a downloadable gaming platform that allows gamers to play popular games on their computer.

Steam, an online video game platform, is revolutionizing the affordability and accessibility for college students to play video games anytime, anywhere, with hundreds of thousands of options.

Valve Corporation, creator of such video games as “Half-Life,” “Left 4 Dead” and “Portal,” created Steam to allow more people to play the games they love online at a cheaper price.

Gabe Newell, managing director of Valve Corporation, said in a press release he thought such platforms as the PlayStation 3 were “a waste of time (with) no long-term benefits. You’re not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they’ve created.”

Students may download Steam online, which takes up space, though the perks seem to counter the RAM cost.

Griffin Fisher, an entertainment technology major, said he first learned about Steam when he bought “Counter-Strike: Source.”

“I didn’t have a choice whether or not to install Steam, as ‘CSS’ was produced by Valve Corporation and required it to play,” he said. “This was just a gateway that would, over the course of six years, lead me to owning 136 games through Steam.”

Steam offers records for CD keys to games, thereby bypassing the need for users to keep track of CDs and serial keys, which is a perk for someone like Fisher who plays a large number of games.

“Another perk of Steam is the constant game sales,” Fisher said. “On holidays, full priced games sell for 75 percent off. They offer discounts regularly via Daily Deals, Mid-week Madness and weekend deals — there is always a discount.”

For those unfamiliar with the gaming world but are interested in pursuing the inexpensive prices and ideal platform, Electronic Arts’ Origin software may look perfect; however, Steam — with its flaws — may offer a greater long-term reward for some students.

 “I understand the shortcoming of the inability to launch in offline mode without Internet, but it’s an easy way to keep track of an entire game collection,” Fisher said. “Make an account — which is free — find a game you’re interested in and download. EA may have exclusive title releases, but that doesn’t compare with the third-party titles available on Steam.”

Valve Corporation has begun offering minor videos and trailers for games on their website.

“I’d recommend this platform to anyone,” Fisher said. “Steam has easy access, it’s easy to maintain and it’s got great deals. I’ve no reason to invest anywhere else.”