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August 17, 2012


Ahab Qvetcher

You may be interested in this wikipedia article:

The part about November 2011 hack is especially encouraging.

Siana Gearz

There are a few thousand games on steam, including many non-violent games, and many independently developed, non-large-studio games. Either are of course a minority. Second Life coming to Steam will probably place it in F2P category, where it would rival around 25 games, many of which are more suited and better known for violent gameplay.

Steam accounts are very valuable. For an average gamer, they harbor hundreds of dollars worth in purchased games. Guess what they would stand to lose. I don't spend much time playing games at all, but even i have 16 games purchased on Steam, which amounts to a few hundred dollars.

Steam is also majorly a social network, something where people can join each other in common activities. Marketing SL through Facebook backfired massively due to basic level incompatibility. I'm 30, and pretty much all of my RL friends, male and female alike, are members of Steam. I don't think that much negative impact is to be expected from Steam.

Let me go to the stat page and analyze what we have there:

Position 2 is DOTA, a tactical strategy game. You could say it is violent, but in a very abstract sense.

Position 8 is Sid Meier's Civilization V, which is a development strategy game. Certainly war is one of games scenarios, but not a primary one, and cannot be because of the balance of resources.

Position 14 is Garry's Mod. It's not a game, at all. It's a creative sandbox where game environments can be loaded and objects and avatars from a number of popular games can be positioned and scripted. Nothing more. People use it to make funny or silly movies or compose pictures. To own it, you need to own one of a few other games, none of which are free, and pay extra 10$. Not only many people own it, according to stats many people spend time in it.

Position 20 is Terraria. This game isn't non-violent per se (although the violence is rather low-key), but it contains strong creative elements in the gameplay.

21 is Stronghold Kingdoms, again a tactical strategy game with abstract/low-key violence.

25 is Portal 2, the most popular puzzle game. It's non-violent, and is distinguished by its storytelling.

Of course the rest of the games are more straightforward and violent, but i thought you'd find this selection interesting. By the way, my definition of violence is that classic Lemmings ( is a violent game in principle, which i'm probably get laughed at for in this day and age.

Here is what i can find about steam demographics:

Apparently it's only slightly skewed towards young, male, childless audience.

I don't quite remember how Steam handles age verification, if at all, but i can write when i do remember.


Gamers known as Raiders/PvPers/meta-Griefers who all may be the same or a little interchangeable are concerned with questions of class.

It's a class thing.

As in they are under the ridiculous assumption that they are a higher class of game player. Really. They believe this and that all games should cater to their style of playing. Never mind that the games that do cater to them (Eve Online, for one) are considered hell holes by the rest of the low class game world.

Second Life enrages them because it does not have game parameters. It occupies a hazy place between games and real life. As in real life, these elite gamers are nonentities in Second Life. They can't show off their elite status in new gear or how they grief other elites/developers. Because SL requires a minimum of social sophistication.

That being said, griefers in Second Life consider themselves a higher class of gamer than griefers in World of Warcraft. I wonder if they consider themselves a step above the trolls in Eve Online? Hmmmm. Eve Online still has the crutch of game play whereas Second Life does not. So maybe they trump EO players too.

Maybe I should write a blog post about this, if I could get over my laziness.


26 more than 16.... the average steam gamer is more like in their 30's ..they have a pretty mainstream catalog.

same gamerz intellect though...

beavis and butthead came back to mtv last year...


Fervent and blatant wishful thinking on your part and LLs', there isn't going to be a massive influx of new players. Steam players don't and wont ever give a toss about SL even if it were hand delivered with a 20$ bill. It isn't entertaining enough to dl let alone grief. Last gasp of a dieing company and delusional interpretation of a desperate lonely old woman. Usual crap on this blog hey?

Chis Norse

Shorter Prok: "I don't know or understand what STEAM is, so it must be bad."

You and I often disagree, but this time you are right on! Steam will attract few serious SL residents but it will open the gates to a new class of griefers who feel entitled to do as they please.
Better bone up on your banning and ARing techniques.

GreenLantern Excelsior

I can't see how SL would be of interest to anyone who gets a link from the Steam website. The army groups might get a few new members, but the majority of Steam visitors will look around for five minutes and then uninstall the viewer. It might be nice not to have to download 10 gigabytes of data before you can get started, but one look at the default newbie avatar with its herky-jerky walk will be enough to send a Steam gamer elsewhere.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

I think you're spot on a few things, but not on all :)

1) Aye, a lot of Steamers *will* try SL out, and, like in the CSI days, find nothing else to do but... to grief. It's a strong possibility. Let's see what LL comes up with in the next months (before Steam integration is complete) in terms of anti-griefing tools. No matter what they have in store for that, it's never too much to nudge LL and remember we're still waiting for better tools, and this is the time and place to show something that *works*.
2) Between those, a very few are the ones liking to tinker with "games". They're modders: they get more fun out of tinkering with applications and create new stuff than on actual gameplay. These are the market for Second Life: even though SL might not be technically so sophisticated in order to look as cool as most modern games, it definitely allows *any* kind of content to be deployed. So, yes, if someone created a supergun to be used on, say, Portal or Half-Life 2 or Skyrim, they can import the mesh — and all the maps — on SL, replicate the functionality, use it there, place it on a shop, and make some L$ out of it! Cool! A place where modders can actually make money out of their mods! Woo-hoo!
3) Modders are not that many, but they share a lot with SL content creators: they have patience, they do NOT have short attention spans, they are constructive (and not destructive like griefers), and they are not indifferent to what goes around them (even though they enjoy tinkering in peace). In fact, I postulate the hypothesis that "modders" and "SL content creators" are the same niche market: a small group of people who enjoy learning how to do stuff and are prepared to take some time doing so. The difference is that many modders never cared much about SL or don't even know it's still around or have never dreamed of uploading their mods to SL because, for almost a decade, this simply wasn't possible. Now it is. So, yes, there will be a marginal increase in modders/content creators in SL.
4) "Bloodlines is about community". So is Steam. A few are on Steam because it allows community — not only buying a game, downloading it, installing it, and playing in isolation. While obviously not all millions of Steamers are much into community, many are, and they are used to 3D environments. Many — not millions, but many — will quite understand the novel idea (novel for them) to run around in a 3D environment where they can hang out with friends wearing your Skyrim character. A web page with a mugshot of your Skyrim avatar simply doesn't have the same appeal as SL.
Remember Sony's "Home"? It was a failure, but had an interesting theory behind it: play Sony games, then hang around with your favourite character on a social virtual world. Well, for a lot of SL residents, that's exactly what they do, and some Steam users will understand that.
5) The difference between Steamers and, well, whatever griefers still are around, is that *they are used to pay to get quality entertainment*. Oh, of course some Steamers are more than willing to pay to join a new game to grief; I'm sure there are crazy people like that. But I would guess that the majority is really not like that. Instead, these are people who are not miserly that they cannot afford a handful of dollars to have some fun. But a handful of dollars goes a long way in buying content in SL. So while obviously the majority of new Steamers entering SL will only join SL because it's free, a few will be willing to exchange some Steamer Credits to buy something nice in SL.

Note that all the above points are about "a few" or "some". No, it's not about getting 40 million of paying Steamers suddenly buying islands in SL :) I think nobody believes that. Instead, it's about a few — perhaps 10,000, perhaps 100,000, who knows, maybe a million — who might join SL, find it interesting enough to spend a handful of dollars to buy some nice-looking content (specially content designed to look like their favourite mods on other games!), perhaps join a RPG community or so, and be semi-active in SL. "Semi-active" just means logging in every now and then to see what's new but spending a few L$ here and there.

@GreenLantern these days newbie avatars are actually rather COOL! I believe you haven't seen newbies recently, have you? Just try to register for a new account — you'll be surprised at how nice the newbie avatars look these days, and switching avatars in Basic Mode is really, really easy...

But I suppose that LL could be clever and design — or, rather, co-opt — a few "gamer avatars", drawing inspiration from typically popular MMOGs out there. Even a Minecraft avatar would look rather cool :)

Gwyneth Llewelyn

*kicks herself for not being thorough in her research*

There are already Minecraft avatars in SL:

Lovely :)

Brache Spyker

Okay how about i clue you in on what Steam REALLY is- one of the world's best DRM management systems for games. It's not some video game housing for old and decrepit games, it's a very indie friendly platform for games, the original house for Source engine games, and you know, while I'm at it, why don't you look up The Bilestoad and its story. That one I'm not doing for you.

Prokofy Neva

How about I clue *you* in Brache: Second Life isn't a game.

And I'm not the one who said that Steam was a place for old games to go to rest -- other bloggers said that games that were too niche to succeed big time or were old and maybe able to get a re-tread would go there. And we've been told now by multiple sources that Steam is having a new section of developer/creation tools and SL will go in there. Hmm, we'll see. I am not looking up Bilestoad today.

Tiffani Ninetails

Steam is a platform which encompasses many games. It is not a place where "old games go to die". New popular releases are available through steam.
I suspect there will be a huge influx in numbers towards second life out of curiosity, but very very few will stay. It will frankly be very boring for them, and the only "positive" thing that some might take from SL, is the ability to pay money to friends who are trading or selling games (or in-game items).
SL would be better than paypal in a sense, because there are no chargebacks. Once you pay someone lindens, that is it.. there is no recourse to get the money back. On paypal however, for both gifts and for payments there are ways for the buyer to claim fraud and get money back... whether there was a fraud or not.
So, for SL, this potentially could be a positive thing economically for them; because although I suspect very few "players" will stay and hang around SL for recreational purposes; I also suspect that many will take advantage of the ability to receive L$ without the worry of someone taking it away at a later time. With SL taking 3-4 % of that, that can amount to an extra lifeline for what might be a dying product.

Brache Spyker

Couldn't agree more that SL isn't a game, but just because a service primarily holds games doesn't mean it doesn't hold other stuff, Source Filmmaker included.

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