How the Steam Trading Card System Got Me To Care About My Games Again


The Steam service can be an excellent place to get great games at a cheap price, friends, community, and it makes for a convenient library for said games.  However getting games at such low prices causes, at least for me, to have a lot of unplayed games.  As well when adding in those Humble Indie Bundles, and you start having quite a backlog.  Plus a low attachment to digital, and low cost, can create a lessened appreciation for those games you own.  Hence they start adding up.  There is no feeling of need to complete them at times because not much was spent.

Enter in the Steam Trading Card System and you have an element of reinvigeration.  The STCS was confusing at first, and still is in some respects.  However the idea of random card drops that come from simply playing games is an interesting idea.  Add in the ability to sell those cards and it becomes a brilliant idea.  As was stated in Justin Davis’s article ( the fact that Valve, and the publisher of said game, and the gamers are all making a cut on selling these cards is a remarkable system.

For me I could care less about the emoticons and badges and backgrounds you can get from collecting them all.  Heck even the cards don’t matter to me, though the art is cool for each.  The fact that I can be playing a game I already own, obtain cards and sell them at a few cents here and there is a great way to reinvigorate the gaming populace that may have gone docile.  My motivations to wading through my eighty plus games for cards is the idea, that eventually, through playing games I have put off, I will be able to purchase a new game.  Through funds obtained, simply by playing the games I own.

What started me off was voting on the Steam Summer sale.  I had obtained five cards just by voting.  I was still trying to figure out the system when I decided that I was not interested in trying to collect them, or obtain the badges.  So I tried the sell feature on each card.  Looking at each one noting the current selling prices and placing each a penny below the current average.  Within minutes each sold and I was up eighty-eight cents in my Steam wallet.  I was blown away at the speed at which they had sold.  It wasn’t a lot of money at all, but the fact that only a moment ago my wallet was at zero, and now I had funds was an awesome feeling.  Suddenly I was on a quest, if money could be made from me voting then surely I would stand to make more if I played the games that had the cards enabled.  Looking through the games that I had that were trading card ready I selected Killing Floor.  I played for an hour obtained two cards and threw them up on the market.  Seconds later, they to were sold.  I was hooked.  I then, for the next five hours bounced from a few different games, obtaining cards and then selling them.  Not only was I having fun playing games I loved and had put off but I was making money, working towards purchasing a new game.

The Steam Trading Card System is a brilliant meta-game.  Everyone wins in this scenario, and as well I am again happy to be using Steam once again.  I used to go on Steam and scroll though eighty plus games unsure of what to play, or where to start.  Now I am enjoying playing my games again.  Smart move Steam, you win this round.

What are your thoughts?  Has the trading card system gotten you interested?  Are you in it for the money, badges, emoticons, backgrounds, or do you just want to collect’em all?


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