I was wondering how the Black Mesa mod was getting on – if they’d published Xen yet. I googled, went to their site – no, *but* Black Mesa is now on Steam, 20 euro.
Sounds alright to me. I liked what they did, I love Half-life, I’d buy it.
I go to Steam. It’s selling for 14.99 *GBP*, not Euro.
Ah, I think. They think I’m in the UK. I’ll change it to Germany so I can pay in euros.
I change to Germany. No problem.
Then I think – ah, wait. The German version is censored, right? I google. Yes, it is.
Okay, no problem, also 20 euro is a bit more than 15 GBP, I’ll change it back to the UK.
Here’s the punch-line, folks!
I CANNOT CHANGE THE COUNTRY AGAIN.
Steam is telling me they will only accept my country as being Germany (presumably based on IP lookup, so if I was still going to purchase, I’d run Steam through Tor with a UK exit node selected).
Important lesson here. One I have already learned with regard to banks and which I now know I need to apply to other organizations – probably all. NEVER TELL ORGANIZATIONS WHERE YOU LIVE. In fact, in general, tell them NOTHING. If you tell a bank you’re in a different country, for example, they will usually go bonkers in some bizzare and totally crazy ways – ways which you could never predict, because they make no sense whatsoever. *Just don’t do it*.
So I have a UK accout, I want to buy the UK version, etc, etc, etc – buttttttttttttttttttt no. Steam and Valve know better! I told them ONCE I live in Germany, so it MUST BE TRUE. And now I can only change it back when I physically return to the UK and a nice UK IP address.
Reminds me of Skype. One day years ago the money I had in the account disappeared. Only about five quid. I contacted Skype and said I’ve change my password, but there’s been fraud, what do you do?
Their reply was tha they had locked my account until I change my password and provided a copy of my passport or ID to prove who I am (*facepalm*) and that since it was fraud, it was my fault, not theirs, and they do not give refunds.
So because *I* said it was fraud, it was absolutely and definitely fraud. And not say, a bug in their accounting software. Total unmitigated fuckwits. This was of course also roughly around the time they stopped being peer-to-peer and became server based, so the NSA could record all the calls, so I had what was probably a lucky escape, as I – as you can imagine given their response – certainly never went to the risk and trouble of sending them a copy of my ID after they needlessly locked the account. In fact I read about that time when I was googling of people who’d had auto-topup on, and had lost their sizeable chunks of their current accounts to fraud. I had never given my password to anyone, of course – it was either a brute force attack which Skype never picked up on, or Skype were hacked.
Back to Valve being fuckwits. I mean, I understand it, I think – I’m sure this is forced on them by Governments. But it means Valve/Steam are now in the catagory of “major bank”, i.e. major fucking morons due to utterly insane behviour from totally unexpected causes, so you can’t trust them with anything. Achievement unlocked.
IN other news, I’m still waiting for my volume unlocked iPod shuffle from the USA, to get around the EU regulation which sharply limits maximum volume.
Pertinent aside : I pay about 6000 euros a month, in total, to the German State, to live here. This is part of what I get.