Games and Gaming

Psychology

“We feel mental inertia to keep our thoughts in line with our behaviors, and if one changes we’ll often nudge the other so that they match. This means that faced with the fact that you’re a Marketplace user (even just that once), you’re more likely to change your attitude about how dumb the whole thing is.”

The Psychology Behind Steam Trading Cards

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Steam Trading Cards: Cynical Exploitation or Harmless Metagame?

Features, Games and Gaming

If you’re reading this, you probably know what Steam Trading Cards are. They’re a metagame recently introduced to the Steam platform, and they tie into the also-newish Market (where game items like TF2 weapons and hats and, to a lesser extent so far, in-game digital goods from other games can be bought and sold for real money that can then be used within the overall Steam walled garden). They also tie into the until-now pointless Badge system, where you are awarded icons on your profile for participating in betas or sales or interacting with the community or just buying MOAR GAMES, and include abilities to customize your Steam profile page with backgrounds, use emoticons in chats, and other silly crap like that.

Cards come in sets, like physical trading cards, can be ‘crafted’ to upgrade them, and are ‘dropped’ — like weapons and hats and other things are dropped in Team Fortess 2 — when playing games that have them. They can be traded, bought and sold. They are also dropped when voting on games to be offered at discount in the current, massive Steam Summer Sale 2013, and more worryingly, when buying games. And that’s where things, for some, get a little… icky.

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My Steam Library Makes Me Crazy

Games and Gaming

We’re deep in the midst of yet another Steam sale. This time, I thought it a near certainty that Valve would have nothing to offer that I don’t already have. For what must make for a dozen-sale-long streak, I was wrong — so very, very wrong.

During the routine task of checking my email on my phone, I got an email letting me know that a game on my Steam wishlist was on sale. Given the sheer number of games in my Steam library that I’ve never so much as installed, I have no idea why I have a wishlist. Nevertheless, the deal — 75% off of Orcs Must Die 2 — was almost too much to resist.

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Tacticool Edition (11.11.11)

Games and Gaming, News

As is apropos on this Veteran’s Day, we spend most of this week’s podcast discussing the latest in modern military shooters, starting with our review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I ramble for a bit about what I’d like to see in a modern military shooter game, and why the “vision video” concept for Rainbow Six – Patriots is very much not that, Call of Duty Elite is delayed and borked, Battlefield 3 loses first week traffic numbers to a Call of Duty game, Steam gets hacked, and we talk about how Ubisoft and EA will punish us for being good paying customers through DRM. Please, Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast – Episode 39 (11/11/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Left Behind Edition (03.04.11)

Games and Gaming, News

We’re giving this new, shifted schedule a try here at the LOD Podcast, maybe it’ll work a little better. As for this podcast, we bring you tales of Battlefield 3‘s awesomeness delivered in trailer form, Valve has big plans for its Steam platform, Notch and Mojang talk about their new project and bits of the future of Minecraft, Serious Sam 3 is officially announced, Nintendo does nothing to stop the R4 ROM cartridge, LG bends Sony over a legal barrel in Europe, and Harmonix speculates about life after Rock Band. Please, share and enjoy, and shout back at us at LODpodcast@LevelsOfDetail.com.

LOD Podcast Episode 20 (03/04/11)

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Steam Sales

Features, Games and Gaming

No one would call me an unreasonable person. Few people would look at me and say, “That Niteowl fellow, he’s one to go skinny dipping in a kiddie pool full Crisco, a grievously injured king cobra, and seven squirrels in the latter stages of rabies”. I have a mortgage, a real job,  and what is laughably considered a pension.

But when the Steam Holiday Sale comes around, well, I wouldn’t say all reason goes out the proverbial window, but perhaps saying “Reason gets put in in a small concrete cell, bound, along with some guy with an unidentifiable Soviet Bloc accent, a car battery, and absolutely no knowledge of the Geneva Convention” is not stretching the truth too far.

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Valve Apologises for Wrongful Modern Warfare 2 Bans

Games and Gaming

Valve apologise for wrongfully banning innocent players of Modern Warfare 2 over the last week, which has been a major uproar in the forums. This is also the first time valve have admitted a problem with the valve anti-cheat system and the first time they have reversed account flags that stop people who have been accused of cheating from playing online.

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Swarms. Of Aliens. Free Ones.

Games and Gaming, News

Steam News:

Two years ago Valve hired the talented team behind the popular top down co-op mod Alien Swarm. Since then they have been busy working on the Left 4 Dead Series, and now Portal 2. However, we never forgot about Alien Swarm and the team has spent a lot of time bringing the game to Source in between their contributions to the other Valve projects.

On Monday, July 19th Alien Swarm is going to be released for free via Steam.

Four player co-op, Steamworks integration, and it’s free, so that’s nice.

Requisite Trailery action here. I’m pretty sure they misspelled ‘shitload’, though.

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Steam Summer Sale is on!

Games and Gaming

Steam’s summer sale is on, this time called the “Steam Summer of Peril Sale”. It’s on from 24 June – 4 July, with extra-special one-day-only deals every day in addition to the standard discounts on offer throughout the sale.

Go to the Steam store’s front page for the big overview.

Don’t forget these useful sites: SteamPrices.com, for cross-region price comparisons; this Steampowered Forum post, for a good, text-only summary of what deals are on (when it’s updated). And when you’re done, visit SteamCalculator.com to see how much money you’ve splurged via the Steam Store this time. Feel free to suggest more using the comments.

Via Digital Distribution Deals.