So who wants a free copy of Half-Life 2 and HL2: Episode One?
Valve opened up the pre-order process for The Orange Box today, and rolled out the Orange Box Gifts program while they were at it. Even though I already own the previous Half-Life 2 components, the Box is a great deal on Episode Two, Portal, and Team Fortress 2, so I'll end up buying it anyway. The gift program just lets me give away the parts that I've already got.
The web will be filled with gift opportunities when the Box launches on October 10th, I'm sure. But I just thought I'd make the offer now. I can give either HL2 or Episode One separately, or both together, so I could possibly hook a couple of people up if people are interested.
This is probably a real winner for Valve. I can't imagine the original title is flying off the shelves anymore, and a person who's played the previous titles is a much more likely customer for the new episode.
The best part about Valve Software's over-the-Internet purchasing system, Steam, is that it saves you from having to visit video game stores. There are many things to like about gaming as a hobby, but I'm not sure that other gamers are necessarily one of them.
Which you can say about just about any hobby, really. If it weren't for the fact that I like to physically try instruments before I buy them, I'd never go into Guitar Center ever again. There are far too many musicians there.
On the other hand, I wouldn't ever say "I can't stand the bookstore--I keep running into other readers." Perhaps because it's traditional to be quieter around books. The library stigma is beaten into us as children, and the fact that literature is an entirely visual medium requires more concentration, but also presents fewer distractions. There are no doubt really annoying people at the bookstore (probably in the literary fiction and Business How-To sections), but they're not talking.
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