When the official Steam mobile app was officially released for everyone on March 1 it’s one mercy was that you couldn’t use it to install games remotely. You could browse anywhere and buy as many games as you liked with the blissful abandon of a wanton spendthrift, but you still had to wait until you got home to actually install them. After that you had to wait a little or a lot longer for your purchases to actually download. For those of us with only marginally greater self-control than others this feature, or lack of one, helped keep our financially self-destructive urges in check by giving us a chance to talk ourselves down from splurging away money we didn’t have.
Valve have now begun the process of demolishing that last bastion of resistance with a new beta patch that lets you install games on your rig wherever you are. Our only saving grace is that the feature is still in beta but Steam feature betas tend to be mercilessly swift affairs, meaning it probably won’t be long before all our wallets begin spontaneously haemorrhaging. Doesn’t matter whether you’ve popped round your nan’s for a cup of tea or gone on holiday abroad. If you’re away from your PC and you’ve got your phone with the Steam app on it you can buy a game, set it to automatically install and be able to play it within minutes of coming home. So insidious, yet oh-so convenient.
Why stop at one? You could grab a bunch of sweet, sweet deals from your desk at work and they could all be installed, ready and waiting for when you finally stumble in through your front door: palms sweating, hands shaking, bank-account empty. Assuming you leave your PC or Mac on all day that is, something most people tend not to do. So if you have the willpower to avoid “accidentally” leaving it on after checking your email before work you can significantly reduce the risk of SNC (Sudden No-Cash) syndrome. You can’t take our money that easily Valve, do you hear me?! I am not a walking wallet, I am a free man!
Unless…oh gods, what if Valve figure out a way to turn-on our computers remotely? Imagine browsing the Steam store on your phone and receiving the following notification: “Hi! We see you’ve been browsing the store but your computer was powered down, so we’ve taken the liberty of turning it on for you.” No, Valve wouldn’t be so gauche as that. They’d ask your permission first, nicely and politely, timed with scientific laser accuracy for when you’re most vulnerable. In that fraction of time between the tick-and-tock of expenditure and prudence when your trembling finger hovers above the purchase button.
“Would you like us to turn on your computer for you? Really, it’s no trouble. Give us the word and you can begin installing this game straight away!“
Does anyone know if Valve accepts contracts for indentured servitude?