Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nice guys finish first

When I head off to foreign climes, I like to pick up at least one magazine or newspaper to see how they do such things in that part of the world. (This largely only applies to countries where English is prevalent, as the only other language I'm remotely adept in is French, and my French ain't great.) So when I was in Canada, I picked up a copy of a periodical that knows itself as GameInformer. Contained within its shiny shiny pages -

(I should break here to say I don't have any idea why I'm being so incredibly verbose and roundabout. It's that time of the month or something.)

- anyway, contained within its shiny shiny pages was a look round the offices of Valve. Valve are weird. Everything they make sells about one billion per second, and they dedicate themselves largely to a single genre. Surely they should be moneygrubbing, dribbling corporate clones? No, they seem like nice guys. They have fun. They made a "shipping machine" for The Orange Box - they decided just clicking a mouse wasn't grand enough to load the game onto Steam, so they built a giant mad scientist machine with flashing lights and a klaxon and levers to pull and a Big Red Button to hit in order to ship the game. Just for the heck of it.

And now they're offering their whole back catalogue for 70 quid, just to celebrate their new game. Nutters. They shouldn't work, and yet they do. And the gaming world is better for it.

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