Steam support sucks

For those that don’t know, Steam is Valve Corporation’s digital distribution software that’s used for buying, managing and playing games online. If you want to play any modern games these days (at least legal copies), it’s pretty much essential software. However, the customer service and support is almost completely non-existent.

Take this scenario. You get given a present but the item is incorrect; perhaps it’s a book that you’ve already got or maybe it’s a PS4 version of a game when you have an X-Box. You go back to the shop where it was bought, explain the situation and exchange it for something else or the correct version. Some shops might require a receipt but you’d struggle to find one that wouldn’t be happy to do the exchange and keep a customer happy. Continue reading

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E&R is three years old!

Technically my blog’s third birthday was on the 14th of October but, I’m ashamed to say, I forgot all about it this year. To make up for it, I decided to move the celebratory post, and future ones, back to the end of the year as it will hopefully be easier to remember.

There doesn’t seem to have been much change in the number of hits per week compared to last year, though this year seems slightly higher. I now have 188 followers (45 in the first year, 118 in the second year) and this is my 220th post (168 at the end of last year). I no longer consider PZ Myers as a good example of rational or free thought and have removed Pharyngula from the blogroll. There also seems to have been a remarkable number of spam comments recently; 9070 spam comments blocked this year, more than half of the total number.

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Gaming is not just mindless entertainment

One of my set work books in English at high school was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The class, myself included, weren’t interested, although now I expect I would have a greater appreciation of the novel. So what made me read one of the same author’s short stories; There Will Come Soft Rains? Was it a new appreciation of classic literature that came with maturity? Partly. Mostly it was that I learned that the story was referenced in Fallout 3, a game I enjoyed.

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Playing violent video games doesn’t make you a bad person

It’s strange that people are still looking at this sort of thing because I thought it was fairly clear that playing violent video games doesn’t make you a violent person. I’m not aware of there being any sustained rise in violent behaviour that can be linked to video games, in fact I think there’s been a decrease in violence over the period video games have become popular. When I think of high-crime areas and the people who live there, they don’t seem to be the ones that play video games. It seems like it’s just a knee-jerk response to seeing violence in video games to blame them for societies ills. In any case a study has been published that shows that violent video games don’t diminish prosocial behaviour or, more simply, you aren’t less likely to help someone after playing a violent game. Continue reading