Visual Encyclopedia

Steam (software)

Steam is a digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation, which offers digital rights management (DRM), multiplayer gaming, video streaming and social networking services. Steam provides the user with installation and automatic updating of games, and community features such as friends lists and groups, cloud saving, and in-game voice and chat functionality. The software provides a freely available application programming interface (API) called Steamworks, which developers can use to integrate many of Steam's functions into their products, including networking, matchmaking, in-game achievements, micro-transactions, and support for user-created content through Steam Workshop. Though initially developed for use on Microsoft Windows operating systems, versions for OS X and Linux were later released. Mobile apps with connected functionality with the main software were later released for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices in the 2010s.

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Steam is the premier PC digital download service, and fast becoming a social network hub in its own right. Yet some resist this state of dominance over all competition. Personally, I feel the indie-gamer mogul Notch has a small-minded fear of hegemony. Steam is the best e-retailer for the gaming industry, and thus Valve and Gabe Newell shall reap the rewards of domination. All hail the king.

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