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A fas­ci­nat­ing ar­ti­cle by Sergey Galyonkin (cre­ator of Steam Spy) gave some amaz­ing sta­tis­tics on Steam game own­er­ship and pur­chas­ing. You can read the whole ar­ti­cle here. From this ar­ti­cle this is the main point I will dis­cuss:

  •         1% of users own 33% of all games on Steam.

Never has the term PC Master Race been more apt. PC gamers of­ten see them­selves as rich­er and su­pe­ri­or, and in light of these sta­tis­tics this is clear­ly the case. On PC we are deal­ing with an elit­ist group that con­trols a third of the games on Steam. All of them white male neck beards no doubt (even in­clud­ing the peo­ple who aren’t). 80% of the PC gamer pop­u­la­tion only own 12% of the games on Steam. They are the pau­pers on which the snooty 1% look down upon and laugh.

This is the ex­act prob­lem that Occupy Wall Street tried to solve, in which 1% of Americans con­trolled a third of the nation’s wealth (source). Given the same prob­lem ex­ists on Steam, sure­ly an up­ris­ing of sim­i­lar pro­por­tions is upon us. I hope so as it is great­ly need­ed.

In this case the 1% are peo­ple who own 107 games on Steam or more. Looking at my Steam games list, I eas­i­ly fit into this 1% group and I am dis­gust­ed with my­self. Unfortunately I can’t cry “we are the 99%!” with the rest of the des­ti­tute gamers. What this means is that I am in a group with an­oth­er 1.3 mil­lion gamers who dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly horde games from the oth­er 133.7 mil­lion gamers. However, in­spired by oth­er great 1 per­centers, like George Soros, I can cam­paign for so­cial change and tell oth­ers how to live while still hoard­ing a large amount of as­sets.

What Steam needs is equal­i­ty. The wealth of the 1% of gamers must be fair­ly dis­trib­uted to the rest of the pop­u­la­tion. It is not fair that some­one can be a ded­i­cat­ed gamer and pur­chase games with­out shar­ing with his fel­low man/woman/gender not specified/other. From now on, when a priv­i­leged mem­ber of the mas­ter race pur­chas­es 1 game, 50% of that game should go to some­one less for­tu­nate. 20% of Steam users own 88% of the games, so we must make sure to tax them heav­i­ly too for the sake of equal­i­ty. A group of peo­ple could be giv­en pow­er to im­ple­ment these changes with prej­u­dice. I’d call them the Steam Socialists or the SS for short. I think SS is a nice acronym that sure­ly doesn’t have any neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions to a strict au­thor­i­tar­i­an group.

It is also clear that while the 1% of Steam gamers are the pri­ma­ry au­di­ence you need to ap­peal to (as they buy all the games), it is clear as well that they are not buy­ing the cor­rect games. The rel­a­tive fail­ure of games like Sunset show that while these elit­ists buy every­thing, they don’t buy “every­thing.” To make up for this, it should be re­quired that these gamers must own a min­i­mum of 5 pre­ten­tious in­die games en­gag­ing artis­tic ex­pe­ri­ences. This will aid wealth dis­tri­b­u­tion to those who de­serve it most. It also fur­thers equal­i­ty by help­ing needy de­vel­op­ers who are heav­i­ly dis­ad­van­taged by their in­abil­i­ty to make good games.

I’ve tak­en the lib­er­ty to an­swer what are bound to be fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions for this ex­cel­lent plan:

Why should I give my games to oth­er peo­ple who choose not to work for them?”

Just be­cause some­one doesn’t put in ef­fort, time or mon­ey to ob­tain the re­sources you have doesn’t mean they aren’t en­ti­tled to them. Just be­cause they don’t want to con­form to cap­i­tal­ist ideals doesn’t mean they can’t reap the re­wards that cap­i­tal­ism brings.

I worked hard to get these, this isn’t fair!”

Well let me tell you some­thing, life isn’t fair. At least not fair for the peo­ple who aren’t you, you priv­i­leged scum. You try af­ford­ing hun­dreds of games on Steam with a de­gree in women’s stud­ies. Show some fair­ness by giv­ing up what you have to peo­ple. Sure they don’t re­al­ly need it, but they’re con­sid­ered more mar­gin­al­ized than you so hand it over.

Once the wealth of all Steam games is equal­ly dis­trib­uted sure­ly we will have made a utopi­an Steam so­ci­ety. Sure you could ar­gue that the top 20% of gamers who are prop­ping up the rest will stop buy­ing games due to hav­ing to un­equal­ly share their goods. You could also ar­gue that the re­main­ing 80% would con­tribute even less, as there is no longer any need for them to work thanks to the hand­outs they re­ceive. Both valid ar­gu­ments that we will com­plete­ly ig­nore.

The goal of Steam Socialism is equal­i­ty by any means nec­es­sary, even if it doesn’t seem ra­tio­nal, rea­son­able, un­bi­ased or prac­ti­cal. After all, if we can’t get video game equal­i­ty right then sure­ly the rest of so­ci­ety is doomed.

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Nick Soapdish
If I didn’t have a fam­i­ly to feed I’d spend all my mon­ey on video games and ani­me fig­ures. Satirist.
Nick Soapdish

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