Gaming as a hobby offers practically unending possibilities. One may choose to stick within genres and dedicate their time solely to racing games, and the complete dominance thereof, for instance. Most gamers have a type of game that they prefer above all else, be it FPS, RTS, platformer, puzzle, action/adventure, etc. But the real joy of the hobby comes from our ability to seamlessly shift into a new area.
Steam is an amazing service that whole-heartedly encourages new and unique experiences to all gamers. In addition to offering triple A big hitter titles, it's also an avenue for indie games to break into the scene. After making a free account, users can browse all that Steam has to offer and click to purchase and download games on the spot.
Digital distribution may create a disadvantage for traditional distributers, but it's certainly a blessing for gamers. Steam allows users access to gameplay trailers and, most of the time, a downloadable demo for each game. With this business model it seems likely that gamers will soon forget the days of purchasing a game on a whim, only to be left disappointed and lighter in the wallet.
Many of the games available for purchase on Steam exist under twenty dollars, and even more of them hover at ten. The accessible prices, combined with available demos, eliminates almost all uncertainty and ultimately leads to new gaming experiences. This encouragement (and assistance via a 'Recommended' section) to branch out is a welcome change from my usual method; assuming that I'll like a game because I'm partial to its genre.
There are a plethora of fresh games awaiting my eager exploration, and I am so thankful for the technological advancements that make such a situation possible. My Steam account is far from robust, but it's serving as an important gathering center for games that I hope to play in the very near future. I believe I'll be starting with Orcs Must Die, an amalgamation of tower defense and third person shooter. How unusual, and certainly not my normal fare.
It's time to change lanes from Mario and Zelda and explore the realm of indie, spooky side-scrollers and titles off the beaten trail.
This was written in part for the blog carnival hosted by Into Geek!