So, I wanted to play some Half-Life 2. I launched the game, which in turn launched Steam. It signed on and it discovered there were updates available. They like to issue updates for these games that came out last year at the rate of one every couple of weeks. Since I hadn’t played in a while, there were lots of updates queued up, waiting for me.
It did not ask if I wanted to install them. It just began downloading updates, not just for Half-Life 2 but for several “freebie” games that I never play. It was downloading three updates at once, at about 2kb per second. It did not give me any clue as to how big the total download was or how long it would take. All I know is that I’d carved out a solid twenty minutes where I could sit down and play some Half-Life, and I couldn’t because the ninny software wouldn’t let me. There was no “skip” button, no “ask me later” option. I did not care what was in these updates. The game ran fine for me and I didn’t need whatever fixes they might contain.
It boggles the mind how anyone could make a software system like this. I can only conclude that they designed it with the knowledge that they are thousands of miles away from me and my fists.
Even allegedly smart people can make life-changing blunders that seem very, very obvious in retrospect.
A Telltale Autopsy
What lessons can we learn from the abrupt demise of this once-impressive games studio?
The product of fandom run unchecked, this novel began as a short story and grew into something of a cult hit.
The Terrible New Thing
Fidget spinners are ruining education! We need to... oh, never mind the fad is over. This is not the first time we've had a dumb moral panic.
Philosophy of Moderation
The comments on most sites are a sewer of hate, because we're moderating with the wrong goals in mind.