Hey, Master Malstrom,
Before you made your first post concerning the Valve Corporation, I’d
never heard anything negative concerning them anywhere on the
Internet. But now that you’ve brought attention to them, you’ve been
receiving many e-mails from gamers who are unhappy with the Valve
Corporation. What’s up with this? My thought is that the Valve
Corporation may be using viral marketing to the extreme, e.g. removing
all negative comments or media that they can. More suspicious
practices to consider…
No one wants to go against a hive mindset. The Gaming Message Forums say they are about ‘discussions’ but it is anything but. If you disagree with the hive, you’ll get mocked, laughed at, ridiculed, and probably banned. Are viral marketers playing a part in this? Perhaps.
The hive mindset can create an impression that your differing view is in a tiny minority and that you are a freak for believing it. Let me give an example. I spent over a decade feeling like I was a freak, a tiny minority, a throw-back, all because I preferred playing 2d Mario over 3d Mario. When the blog started, I remember expressing my preference with 2d Mario and how I disliked 3d Mario mostly because 3d Mario replaced 2d Mario. To put into perspective, when Metroid Prime was released, Nintendo still released brand new 2d Metroids on the handhelds (Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission). There are many examples of this throughout the existence of this site. Praising the Wii before it launched for business reasons was not done. I got people angry when I began to talk against the Wii back in 2008 before the phenomenon revealed it had evaporated. 3DS was going to be a ‘slam-dunk’ success… but not on this site it wasn’t. Some people remember the nasty hate mail I got when saying that Sakamoto was nuts with the upcoming Metroid: Other M with the ‘maternal instincts’ he wanted the game to be about.
The point is that with each of these incidents against the Hive Mind think, people emailed me expressing agreement. They were happy to see that there was someone that agreed with them out there, that they were not alone. There are definitely people out there who do not think Steam is ‘all that’. I hope they get bold enough to speak out more. PC gaming deserves better than misinformed people turning Gabe Newell into a fairy tale. PC gaming was glorious before the Valve Corporation and it will be glorious after the Valve Corporation.
I’m still trying to come up with what benefit Steam has given me as a PC gamer aside from Steam sales. I still can’t think of any.
I have noticed efforts to turn attention away from the business of the Valve Corporation and more on Gabe Newell to focus on his ‘genius’. Apparently, this Gabe Newell ‘genius’ doesn’t translate to making games. At least with Miyamoto as ‘genius’, he made games, and he participated in MANY games. In the greater scheme of things, Newell is a nobody. Efforts to turn this Newell guy into a celebrity and focus on that aspect stinks entirely of marketing.
Apparently, the Valve Corporation wants this Gabe Newell guy to be their ‘brand’, their ‘icon’. I say to ignore that completely and have a laser-like focus on the company.