Lack of quality control on Valve Corp.'s Steam online store

How Free Is Too Free?

Thoughts on quality control within a popular, online storefront.

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For those of us who play video games on a PC, Valve Corporation and their online storefront, Steam, are well-known and trusted vendors in the online gaming world. Valve has been regarded as one of the darlings of the video game industry for the past decade due to a string of genre-defining blockbusters like the Portal series, the Half-Life series, and Team Fortress 1 and 2 For the past several months, however, the company has come under fire from consumers and game publishers alike for their apparent lack of quality control on the Steam storefront. These attitudes have only grown in intensity due to a controversial announcement this week from the company.

If Valve cared the slightest bit about quality control of their storefront before the announcement, it's clear that any such sentiment has now been thrown out the window. In an attempt to give independent developers greater freedom, the company announced that all games, no matter how poorly made and broken they may be, will be allowed on Steam for the purchase of the general public. The only exceptions to this laissez-faire business policy are games that deliberately contain illegal content or games made specifically to troll customers.

While Valve may claim this policy will allow greater ease of access to sellers, I can't help but take this sentiment with a grain of salt. People have good reason to be skeptical of this statement, given the current state of Steam. Since the debut of the storefront's "Greenlight" program in 2012, wherein prospective customers could vote on which games made it onto the store, the quality of games available on Steam has declined noticeably. Untested, buggy and even broken games are a common sight on the Steam of 2018, with some even lacking an executable file allowing them to run.

Also prevalent among the glut of disappointing software are what are referred to as "asset flips." This is when a developer or team buys game assets (character models, ground/sky textures, objects, weapons, etc.) from online sources like Unity and other game asset stores, cobbles them together and releases them as a game in their own right. At best, the practice is a lazy way for developers with no ideas of their own to sell an underwhelming product.

At worst, this can result in outright plagiarism on the part of the developer, taking credit for and freely selling assets made by others. This was the case with the notable 2014 release, The Slaughtering Grounds, in which all of the game's assets were taken from online sources, including textures and blood effects, ripped straight off Google Images, watermarks and all.

I believe that Valve needs to bear at least some responsibility for the potential garbage that can end up on Steam, and should take the effort to curate the products to some degree. After all, you can't just sell a homemade sandwich at the grocery store without warning. It's important to note that in a physical store, this problem wouldn't be as pronounced. If a seller was known to consistently produce broken or inferior products, the store wouldn't keep ordering from them for long.

In the case of an online storefront, where space is infinite, however, the problem can become a nightmare. The sheer amount of trash outweighs quality games every time, and since Steam exists online, games will never disappear from the store unless deliberately removed by Valve, an action they seem unwilling to take. I can only hope that Valve implements some sort of quality screening soon, otherwise their reputation may be tarnished forever in the minds of critics and consumers alike.

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100 Instagram Captions You'll Want To Use Right Now

Quotes, lyrics, sayings, and other ideas for Instagram captions!
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When it comes to Instagram we are often thinking about what to use as a caption for our photos that we take that we really want to post on Instagram. Sometimes we post the photo without a caption and sometimes we just use an emoji because we're stumped on finding a good caption to use for the photo. So we go the short route and just put an emoji as a caption for our photo. Well whether it is a selfie, a friend pic, group pic, or just need a caption for the photo, here are 100 captions to use for a photo. Some are lyrics, some are quotes, and some are just a quick caption to use on your photo. Also here are some accounts that are worth following:

-@brandonwoelfel

-@tess_and_sarah

-@brandymelvilleusa

-@goldenretrievers_

-@cats_of_instagram

-@zodiac.signs

-@thegrilledpineapple

-@jazzjennings_

-@chipper_thegolddog

-@llauratheleo

-@heyshalice

-@sailorhaley

-@sandcloudteam

-@photosabss

-@sharkbaitblond

Here are Quotes To Use As A Caption/ Lyrics To Use As A Caption/ Quick Little Sayings To Use As A Caption: for your Instagram photo that you wish to post!

1. Life goes on, with or without you.

2. Don't Worry Be Happy! Bob Marley

3. Be Happy.

4. Be Confident.

5. Be Positive.

6. Don't be a liar, everyone hates a liar.

7. Chillin' with my peeps.

8. Go big or go home.

9. What's the deal?

10. The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it's all that matters.

11. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

12. Life is a gift.

13. You couldn't handle me even if I came with instructions.

14. Forgive, yes. Forget, never.

15.There's a hole in my heart where you used to be.

16. I don't need any part-time people in my life.

17. Get the gist.

18. Boy, it's the 21st Century, get with the program.

19. Hey, I just met you, this is crazy!

20. I woke up like this.

21. Keep smiling because life is a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.

22. Beauty is power, a smile is its sword.

23. Last day of class!

24. I donut care!

25. Got my donut and coffee today.

26. Happy as a clam

27. Beach days are the best!

28. A friend will always make you smile, especially when you don't want to…

29. Always classy, never trashy, and a little bit sassy.

30. If only we could turn back time...

31. With you, I forget all my problems. With you, time stands still.

32. Life's a climb, but the view is great.

33. "Ohana, means family, family means no one gets left behind or forgotten." — "Lilo & Stitch"

34. We come to love by not finding the perfect person, but by learning to see the imperfect person perfectly.

35. If I ever write a story about my life, don't be surprised if your name appears a billion times.

36. She's got that red lip, classic thing going on.

37. I don't know what's tighter, our jeans or our friendship!

38. Best friends make good times better and hard times easier!

39. Not sure what I did to deserve you as my best friend :)

40. I don't need your approval to be me.

41. So call me? Maybe?

42. "I am who.I am, I am what I am, I do what I do and I ain't never gonna do it any different. I don't care who likes it and who don't." — Buck Owens

43. Take me as I am, or watch me as I go.

44. "Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars." — Ed Sheeran

45. Cause you're a sky full of stars — Coldplay

46 . I keep dancing on my own — Calum Scott

47. Can't keep my hands to myself — Selena Gomez

48. I just want to look good for you — Selena Gomez

49. Kill em with kindness — Selena Gomez

50. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. But when I say sorry… I mean it!

51. Me? Weird? Please! I am limited edition!

52. Turn that frown upside down.

53. Smile, it's the best thing a girl can wear!

54, Stay true.

55. Laughing is the best medicine you can ever get!

56. "You're the king, baby I'm your queen." — Taylor Swift

57. Best Friends Forever!

58.Throwing it back to the good ole days!

59. Ugg Life.

60. I know you like, first-name-basis.

61. *Sends selfie to NASA cuz I'm a star*

62. Basic white girl.

63. Frisky Friday!

64. My thoughts are stars that I cannot fathom into constellations. — "The Fault In Our Stars"

65. "Maybe our okays will be our infinities." — The Fault In Our Stars

66. So hold onto me because I'm a little unsteady — Unsteady

67. This has got to be the best day of my life.

68. She's the beauty and he's the beast.

69. "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." — Walt Disney

70. "If you can dream it, you can do it." — Walt Disney

71. "Hakuna Matata, it means no worries for the rest of your days." — "The Lion King"

72. "The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it." — "The Lion King."

73. "Remember you're the one who can fill the world with sunshine." — "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

74 ."The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." — "Mulan"

75. "You don't have time to be timid. You must be bold and daring." — "Beauty and the Beast"

76. "All it takes is faith and trust." — "Peter Pan"

77. "A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference." — "Winnie the Pooh"

78. "If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead." — "Ratatouille"

79. "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." — George Bernard Shaw

80. "A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart." — "Hercules"

81. "Life's not a spectator sport. If watchin' is all you're gonna do, then you're gonna watch your life go by without ya." — "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

82. "The things that make me different are the things that make me ME." — "Winnie the Pooh"

83. "Giving up is for rookies." — "Hercules"

84. "Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own." — Donald Duck

85. "Change is good." — "The Lion King"

86. "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." — Abraham Lincoln

87. "An unexamined life is not worth living." — Socrates

88. "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." — Rabindranath Tagore

89. "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." — Helen Keller

90. "The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire." — Pamela Hansford Johnson

91. "Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." — Swami Sivananda

92. "Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices. Today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity, but embrace it." — Kevyn Aucoin

93. "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'," — Audrey Hepburn

94. "Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you." — Walt Whitman

95. "My power's turned on, starting right now I'll be strong." — Rachel Platten

96. "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." — Buddha

97. "Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf." — Rabindranath Tagore

98. "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'" — Muhammad Ali

99. "Why don't you be you, and I'll be me." — James Bay

100. Life is like a camera, we focus on the positives and develop from the negatives.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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What You'd Miss Out On If Video Games Went 100% Digital

Going 100% digital is not without its disadvantages.

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It's 2019, and we are full on in the digital age.

It is no surprise that shopping is being done online a lot more now than 5-10 years ago. Online shopping does have its perks. However, some consumers still have appreciation and preference for going to an actual store to make some of their purchases. Video games, consoles, and accessories are no exception. Sure when you buy digital games, you limit the number of times you have to get up to change the game you are playing, but that is not a good enough reason to go 100% digital.

So, what would consumers miss out on if video games become 100% digital?

There are several things one would miss out on should the video game industry became 100% digital.

I still see a considerable share of video game collectors for both retro and current generation gaming consoles. They enjoy purchasing special editions of specific titles that comes with extra goodies such as steelbook cases.

The majority of gamers, such as myself, do not have a video game library that is 100% digital or 100% physical. I tend to prefer purchasing physical games, but if a specific title is either digital only or if it is significantly less expensive online, then I will make the digital purchase.

If you were to purchase a game physically and it ends up not meeting your expectations, you will have options as to what to do with the game. You can return it for partial or full value back depending on where you bought it. You can sell it online on websites like eBay or LetGo. You can even regift it to someone if you are feeling generous.

When you purchase a digital game, you are stuck with it. You can delete it from your system's hard drive, but you cannot get your money back for it or give it away to someone else.

Most current generation games have things you can purchase separately such as season passes, costumes, and weapons.

You could link a credit card to your console's account and possibly have another user make a lot of purchases of “just this one thing," resulting in a hefty credit card bill.

If you would rather avoid that happening, you can buy prepaid cards and codes at various retailers so you can either buy that one item you want or buy digital currency to add to your account so your credit card will not get charged until your account has no money or not enough money in it when you try to purchase something.

Some consumers also still enjoy conversing with a real live human being, which you do not get when you do everything online.

So while online game purchases can be more convenient, it is not necessarily always better.

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