Gadgets – Custom Applications Must Die

My first experience with Steam the website was a lot like my first experience with buying MP3s off of Amazon. It was a great experience right up until I was told I had to download some .exe to install the media I had just paid for.

What is it with major corporations and their custom applications? Are they worried that somehow, some way, the basic method of downloading every web browser has had since the dawn of time is just somehow not good enough? That, spontaneously, every single possible protocol to download a program off the Internet will fail at once? Do they do it to show off their developing muscle? Just to clog our hard drives with crap because we probably have the room anyway? All of the above?

I’m very happy with my transactions with Valve, except for the fact that I had to download a proprietary application that I don’t care about and will rarely use for the sole purpose of downloading the goddamn game that I bought for ten bucks, when what I WANT to do is download said goddamn game over a goddamn web browser. Once I fork over said ten bucks, I shouldn’t have to spend a minute on doing anything other than downloading the game. Similarly, I shouldn’t have to boot Steam, have Steam running in the background, or in fact have Steam on at all in order to play the games I paid for.

I’m aware that Steam is also a DRM device (oh joy, that makes me want it even more), a social networking tool, a lobby system, and other sorts of Swiss Army crap, but come on. If I’m booting up your program and downloading adventure games from the early ’90s, do you really think I give a shit about all that? I don’t WANT to go to a game community, or play games online with other nerds, or talk to other nerds about games. Talking to other nerds about gaming on the Internet makes me want to murder myself. It’s like suddenly I’m in high school again but I now have a day job and no time anymore.

In short, let’s spike the custom apps. Put the DRM in the background and bury it in the EULA, like a grown-up corporation.

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