Getting your games the green and easy way!

Steam

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I love games and so does almost everyone I know. So there is no wonder that the game industry these days generates more revenue than Hollywood does. But getting your hands on your game isn’t the easiest or safest way, and it’s far from "green".

First you must take your gas guzzling car to the local super mall. But somehow that super mall isn’t so local because you have to travel by car to the areas outside your city. If you are lucky some cities have a good public transportation system but you will still need to spend time, money and oil to get there.

When you have arrived to the store you quickly search and find the game you want. You pay for the game and put it in a plastic bag marked with the stores logo. Then your hurry back home, the same way you got to the store.

Once home you take out the game from the plastic bag, unwrap the plastic around the plastic case (much plastic here indeed) so you can open it up and get that CD/DVD-ROM that contains the install files for your game. Once installed you play the game the whole day and you enjoy every second of it. The next day you get up early to play the game. But oh no! The game won’t start! Somehow you have managed to scratch the CD/DVD-ROM so that the computer can’t read your disc. "What a bummer, oh well, let’s head back to the store", you think for yourself.

You could have done it that way. Or if you had the knowledge needed you could have downloaded, "Arrrrr", the game from a torrent tracker or another file sharing site or program. That way is way better for the environment but unfortunately it’s illegal and some say it’s even morally wrong.

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Steam Store ThumbnailSteam GameSteam: My Games
So what should you do if you want to get your games the safe and green way? The easiest, safest and most effective way is to get them from Steam, from the folks over at Valve.

Steam is an application that lets you easily browse through hundreds of new, older and even free games. Once you have decided to buy a game you easily pay for it with your credit card, PayPal or ClickAndBuy. After you have paid you head over to the "My Games" section where you can download you newly purchased game. Don’t worry; the download process doesn’t take forever. I recently downloaded three games, the Orange box, and it took about one hour until all the games were finished downloading.

While you are playing the game you can easily interact with other Steam users via the game community.

But maybe the best thing with Steam, from my own perspective, is that you can access all your games all the time, no matter where you are. Think about it like this: You are far away from your home and you feel the urge to play some games. If you had bought your games the ordinary way you wouldn’t be able to play them. But because the games are linked to your Steam account you can easily login and download the game you want to play.

So to sum everything up, why should you use Steam? Well, in short it’s cheaper, better, has a neat user community and its more environmental friendly than buying the games at your "local" store.

So head over to Steam and create a user account and maybe we’ll meet in a Team Fortress 2 match someday. And no, you won’t be able to beat me. ;)

CONTEST: Win two award-winning games from Steam!


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Simon Leufstedt
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Guest Steve Barker

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Even with a global product, such as computer games, I believe it is good to have local shops that sell over the counter. Try cycling to the shop, and refuse the plastic bags - and chat to a few people in town as you go - and contribute to keeping your local community vibrant! Our Wii and DS came from a local shop, and helped keep a couple of nice young local people in jobs, where they can talk much of the day about things they find pleasurable. PS Now that the Wii browser can support a USB keyboard I must say that I really enjoy surfing on the Wii.

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