This is getting tired and old where the gaming companies think we are all morons and stupid. When I buy a game, actually buy the physical disks for the game, to play offline or on my LAN ONLY I do not feel that I should have a damned game account to play it! So far the game companies are listening to all the whinny 12 year olds about how wonderful Steam is and how it has saved their gaming life. I could give a rats ass about them when it intrudes into my love of games and my ability to play them. I have been passing up titles because I actually go to the store to buy my disks and I see stuff like SecuRom or “Must have a Steam account” in the fine print. It is no wonder that the stores don’t want to carry the physical disks any more, too many of them are being brought back for a refund. I know that if I had a store I would make damn well sure that if the DRM was not listed on the front of the box I would put it in a section that tells the customer exactly what it is that they are going to be buying.
I have been playing video games for over 30 years and my love of them has been going out the window with all the game companies thinking that we are all just greedy pirates. I don’t want my computer infected will all your spyware and trojans. I find it amazing that we are required to shut off our anti-virus software to install a game. Did you ever stop to think why that is? It is because many of the DRM solutions are so invasive that the anti-virus software will see it as a threat to the system and will block its execution unless it can load into your system first. That’s right, the DRM wants to have more control of your system then you. I found that out the hard way when I tried to check the properties of a graphic file I was editing and the DRM software locked my system up and erased my boot record because it thought I was trying to hack something illegally. Since then I use nothing other then disk checks to play games that are online only. If it is online only then you expect to have to have an Internet connection and an account with the game company. It is is a simple disk check that the game itself initiates then it is looking for the disk and something that is specific to that disk and it doesn’t require you to go online and give away your personal information just to play the game.
I was looking forward to playing Civ 5 but had to pass on that because it REQUIRED Steam, which in the store was in print so damned fine that you would need a magnifying glass to see it. I so wanted to be able to play Shogun 2 Total War but am now going to have to pass on that as well. I refused to setup an online account to play a game off line. I even know some people that will not even let their strategy gaming rigs connect to the net for fear of virus attacks. I don’t blame them. Here are some of the reasons I wont use Steam and it is directly from their website.
Collection and Use of Information
By using Valve’s online sites and products, users agree that Valve may collect aggregate information, individual information, and personally identifiable information, as defined below. Valve may share aggregate information and individual information with other parties. Valve shall not share personally identifiable information with other parties, except as described in the policy below.
“Aggregate information” is information that describes the habits, usage patterns, and demographics of users as a group but does not describe or reveal the identity of any particular user.
“Individual information” is information about a user that is presented in a form distinguishable from information relating to other users but not in a form that personally identifies any user or enables the recipient to communicate directly with any user unless agreed to by the user in advance of such communication. This information may be used to improve Valve’s products and online sites, for internal marketing studies, or simply to collect demographic information about Valve’s users.
You give the the right to track what you do, search your computer memory to see what programs you have running. You are giving them the right to spy on you and what you play and do while you play. I don’t want anyone watching me so they know what to try and sell me or tell me if I am using a program that I shouldn’t. SecuRom will block games if you have a CD Burner software installed. Give me a break already.
Here is some information from their User Agreement that you have to agree to so that you can activate your software, can’t use a phone to do it, has to be online for an OFFLINE Game!
5. ONLINE CONDUCT, CHEATING AND ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR
Steam and the Software may include functionality designed to identify software or hardware processes or functionality that may give a player an unfair competitive advantage when playing multiplayer versions of any Software, other Valve products, or modifications thereof (“Cheats”). You agree that you will not create or assist third parties in any way to create Cheats. You agree that you will not directly or indirectly disable, circumvent, or otherwise interfere with the operation of software designed to prevent or report the use of Cheats. You acknowledge and agree that either Valve or any online multiplayer host may refuse to allow you to participate in certain online multiplayer games if you use Cheats in connection with Steam or the Software. Further, you acknowledge and agree that an online multiplayer host may report your use of Cheats to Valve, and Valve may communicate your history of use of Cheats to other online multiplayer hosts for Valve products. Valve may terminate your Account or a particular Subscription for any conduct or activity that Valve believes is illegal, constitutes a Cheat, or which otherwise negatively affects the enjoyment of Steam by other Subscribers. You acknowledge that Valve is not required to provide you notice before terminating your Subscriptions(s) and/or Account, but it may choose to do so.
So you can not cheat at the game or you will have your account terminated. If you do anything or have any software on your system that Steam deems is cheating or illegal they will terminate your subscription and your ability to play your game that you bought. But you didn’t buy anything, you have purchased a license to use the software only. What that means is that the right to use the software that you installed on your system can be revoked any damn well time they feel like. It also means that since you have to go online to validate that you did indeed buy the product that you have to have a perma connection to the net. If Steam ever goes down or there is a network outage you are just SOL and will have no course of action to follow because you agreed that they could bend you over when ever they want. There is no way in all the 999 levels of Hell that I am going to give a gaming company that kind of control over MY computer system.
You are guaranteed nothing by using Steam:
C. NO GUARANTEES.
VALVE DOES NOT GUARANTEE CONTINUOUS, ERROR-FREE, VIRUS-FREE OR SECURE OPERATION AND ACCESS TO STEAM, THE SOFTWARE, YOUR ACCOUNT AND/OR YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS(S).
They can terminate when ever they want!
13. TERM AND TERMINATION
Either you or Valve has the right to terminate or cancel your Account or a particular Subscription at any time. You understand and agree that the cancellation of your Account or a particular Subscription is your sole right and remedy with respect to any dispute with Valve.
When you look at the fine print of what is going on you are being required to give away all rights to what you have on your computer to be able to use Steam. If they don’t like what you have on your system your account is canceled. If they “Think” you are cheating your account is canceled. If you do anything that they don’t like or they decide to cut and run then your account is canceled and you are forever more SOL.
I welcome any and all gamers to comment on this posting and I don’t give a damn what Steam might have to say. If I am required to activate online for a game I play offline then that is draconian DRM