Valve vs. bad parents, round 4, pre-game

While we were all going a little nuts over the CSGO drama involving PEA management/owners against its players, it seems that the same lawyers who’ve been on a crusade against Valve for the past few months filed another complaint in US federal court.’s summary of the latest complaint seems to focus on Valve’s supposed violations of state underage gambling law. The class in this suite are the parents of minors who were given money to spend on the Steam Marketplace on skins, but did not know that they were funding their child’s intent to gamble via skins purchases.

I’m looking at the complaint documents now, and it seems like the complaint is written to mislead the court to which it was filed with regards to Valve’s responsibility in these matters. Valve’s initial response to this particular complaint seems to be encased in its motion to compel arbitration, per the Steam Subscriber Agreement.

As we’re presently in the midst of the holiday season, I imagine the matter is in a holding pattern for now. I’m looking over the documents filed to this point thanks to internet cool person keekerdc, but I imagine there’ll be copies floating out there eventually, with more to come when the holding pattern breaks in January.

See, I just knew the week between Christmas and New Year’s was going to deliver on some spicy esports drama. More to come.

My take on the 2016 Steam Awards.

Per a PCGamer writeup, Valve has announced this year’s Steam Awards shortlists and I think they’re pretty fair, considering games released this year and games with a rather long life being included in the nominations list.

So in this post, I’m just going to fire from the hip and fill out my ballot before voting begins on 22 December based on what’s been listed in the PCGamer article. There’s quite a few categories and the post is pretty long as a result, so I’m going to place the list after a jump. (In other news, the lowercase esports podcast rides again, sometime after sundown on the East Coast.)

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Here’s what I learned from CheckPoint S3E6.

  • Steam sale joke warranted. That sale is bananas.
  • ComicCon jokes!
  • Ditching the stretch goal trend is probably a good move. With the indie gaming scene being stung by the recent Double FIne failures and promise-going-back-ons (LOL, I know that’s not a real word) it’s a breath of fresh air that at least some developers are not simply trying to illicit more money by dangling the carrot of more potential awesomeness for their games. The pause on the end of this clip after realizing that ‘raising too much money’ sounded silly to say is appropriate at the same time.
  • Sony’s steps taken to appease the indie gaming scene is landing them some positive support going into the upcoming Console Holiday Season of Hyperbole 2013. So much so that they’ve decided to take what Apple has learned from their successful App Store and package it in a way that makes sense for the upcoming PS4 audience. The phrase “objective quality” shouldn’t be something that scares away any developers of games that are unique creations or mechanically sound recreations–just the developers of the countless copycats that have ruined what made the XBLA the prime deployment for console-based indie games. Apple and XBLA both have their own share of Minecraft ripoffs as well as anything that you could imagine, so I hope that Sony’s threat to the ripoff-genre style of games is something that they come through on. It’d be nice to see a PS4 store devoid of developers riffing on each other for the sake of making money.
  • NHL 2014’s nod to its predecessor NHL ’94 for the SNES is a welcome sign that supports the claim that EA Sports isn’t a completely terrible studio and that they still have some developers that aren’t completely sold out to the new style of corporate whoring that has taken over the rest of EA’s publishing houses. Now, if only NHL 2014’s ’94 Mode could overtake the amount of people playing Wii Sports in the same splitscreen / turn-taking scenario of multiplayer gaming, there’d actually be something to notice, here.
  • Steam’s Summer Sale is basically one huge psychological trick to get customers to buy more games. This is obvious. Moving on…
  • The Power Glove documentary. PASS.
  • All of those puns are awful. I laughed. A little.
  • More Street Pass games? Isn’t the problem with the entire idea of Street Pass is that the console needs to be ubiquitous for it to actually have enough users that perhaps two might cross paths at some point in their lives?