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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 95790 13-Jan-2012 06:50 Send private message


Really interesting blog post from an Australian Librarian who is in discussion with Valve about bringing Steam in to libraries, the exact format is still to be decided but it is imagined that one day, the same way you use the library website to search databases and the catalogue you can also search for and 'borrow' games from steam!

Philip is looking for some feedback to help his case when talking to Steam.

What do you think? Would you use steam to test drive games if it was at your Library?



http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/PhilipMinchin/20111219/9129/Steampowered_libraries_anyone.php

Sorry about the long url, can't link yet, too new :p

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  Reply # 568291 13-Jan-2012 10:37 Send private message

Seems pointless. Why don't Valve or the publishers just offer free trials of games themselves? Also I object to my rates being used to buy copies of games, that's not what libraries should be about.

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  Reply # 568317 13-Jan-2012 11:29 Send private message

Kinda pointless given how often steam has sales where you can get top games for a few dollars.

But i can definately see libraries doing this as a way to appeal to younger people, and to appear hip

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  Reply # 568335 13-Jan-2012 12:17 Send private message

Yep absolutely pointless, they have the "library" themselves in their own infrastructure, all they need to do is modify their sales model to allow time limited rentals.

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  Reply # 568662 14-Jan-2012 00:02 Send private message

gehenna: Yep absolutely pointless, they have the "library" themselves in their own infrastructure, all they need to do is modify their sales model to allow time limited rentals.


I seem to recall they in fact already do 'free weekends' on top games? I never bothered even looking at it given the amount of data to download just for one weekend...except now it's free on Telstra.

I'm only willing to pay minimal amounts for games on Steam, as I only view them as temporary anyway, given the level of control Valve have over 'my' games. They are practically rentals already, which can be disabled at a whim (or more frequently, login failure).

I guess ebooks might be something a library could 'lend out'. The library could purchase say a 10 user license then you use your library login to 'check out' a book from Amazon or something. No overdue fees!
Edit: just remembered Christchurch Public Library already lend out music and audio books via client software on PCs. I guess ebook lending is probably already old news.

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  Reply # 568817 14-Jan-2012 15:35 Send private message

Seriously why should libraries be in the computer game rental industry at all? It's also against the terms of service/use for most PC games to rent them out. I can't see the publishers allowing it and at the end of the day Steam is a middleman for publishers. 

Also I'd be curious to know how frequently public libraries are used these days.

Libraries are pretty much an anachronism (something or someone that is not in its correct historical orchronological time, especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time) imo.

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  Reply # 568904 14-Jan-2012 20:30 Send private message

Ragnor: Also I'd be curious to know how frequently public libraries are used these days.


Now that we have kids, we borrow heaps of books, but prior to that I think I visited about once per year. Would be interesting to know.

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  Reply # 568905 14-Jan-2012 20:32 Send private message

Stupid idea




gzt

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  Reply # 569042 15-Jan-2012 12:24 Send private message

Not a regular steam user or gamer but lack of evaluation is annoying for me. I do not run the latest graphics hardware and usually want to know if a game will be playable on my hardware (on low settings of course) before purchase. For this reason I would use the service.

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  Reply # 569063 15-Jan-2012 13:09 Send private message

gzt: Not a regular steam user or gamer but lack of evaluation is annoying for me. I do not run the latest graphics hardware and usually want to know if a game will be playable on my hardware (on low settings of course) before purchase. For this reason I would use the service.


Can't take that statement seriously when:

1: Games list minimum specs and recommended specs
2: Most do have playable demo's/trials
3: Pretty much all games get comprehensively reviewed by multiple websites
4: There's often mulitple gameplay and review videos on on youtube after and before release

gzt

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  Reply # 569087 15-Jan-2012 13:52 Send private message

Well yeah, that's fair enough, I can see how you would feel that way. But that's how I do things. If they all did (2:) that is the only thing I need. Like you say, the rest are well covered.



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  Reply # 570282 18-Jan-2012 10:05 Send private message

Thanks for the replies, although not what I expected it is great to have some opinions on the subject.

Libraries are very well used particularly during the recession, across the board usage tends to go up. Many libraries already lend games, they are often held next to the DVDs and CDs so this would not be totally new,  just the way games are accessed is different.

The question about libraries being irrelevant is an interesting one,  if you mean a building that only stores physical books then perhaps, but if you mean a place that supports literacy and learning, ensures equitable and fair access to information for all,  then I don't think that need has disappeared at all, in fact I believe there is still a real role for libraries in our communities.

 Gaming as a way of promoting literacy, encouraging people into libraries, increasing awareness and exposure to the world of literature and knowledge that humanity has accumulated has a positive impact on us all.

Many libraries here and overseas have successful gaming competitions/groups running from the library. Not just digital, but also boardgames, card games, chess etc..

I believe many games these days have real educational value quest based games like Zelda require a high level of reading and comprehension. Games like Spore/Overlord where your decisions in the game impact the progression and outcomes. I hope that as games become more and more advanced, games that enhance learning opportunities will grow.

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  Reply # 573100 25-Jan-2012 10:21 Send private message

Valve also offer something like this with their Cybercafé Program

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  Reply # 574048 27-Jan-2012 12:45 Send private message

Ragnor: Seriously why should libraries be in the computer game rental industry at all? It's also against the terms of service/use for most PC games to rent them out. I can't see the publishers allowing it and at the end of the day Steam is a middleman for publishers. 


I often wondered about that - last time I went to one of the Waitakere libraries, they had CD-ROM games (Starcraft, etc) for rental.  I was unsure how that would work in terms of CD keys etc and piracy.  I know libraries are exempt from whole swathes of the Copyright Act (including the "don't break DRM" provisions) but how practical can it really be?

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  Reply # 574601 29-Jan-2012 13:26 Send private message

Steam in libraries is a really stupid idea IMO, but I should qualify that by saying I am no fan of Steam at all and will not install a Steampowered game on my PC. My reasons are irrelevant but as a ratepayer I would be even more strongly opposed to having public money spent on supporting Steam. 

Many libraries already offer PC games. Palmerston North City Library has a good stock of PC games on CD-ROM. They are older games and all require the CD to be in the drive when playing. Along with movies and music, I see these as supporting a library's main purpose. I don't see the fit with Steam. 

 

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  Reply # 574625 29-Jan-2012 14:44 Send private message


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