Why Doug is Wrong: A Sermon on the Steambox to the Cult of PC Gaming

All power and glory to our Messiah.

Good morning, everyone, and a fine Good Luck Have Fun to you, and to all our brethren of the glorious PC gaming master race. I’m sure everyone enjoyed today’s readings of scripture; the Manual of Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Chapter 5, 133:16-26, “Probe Teams,” is always a particularly rousing verse, and who can forget the divinely inspired passage of Mechwarrior 2 Instruction Pamphlet, Chapter 2, 5:1-17, “Clan Trials of Position?”

Now, as you know, this would ordinarily be the time when I would deliver my sermon. Fire, brimstone, hold fast against the unwashed console masses, all the regular staples. But my usual message of enlightenment must be set aside today, for I have received glorious word from on high. Gaben smiles upon us, my friends, and He has prophesied the coming of Steam made silicon.

The holiest age, the era of the Steambox, is nearly upon us! There have been whispered rumors and speculation among the congregation for some time now. Our Messiah has murmured of hardware in the ears of scribes, and summoned engineers to serve at his right hand. Some of you have been called upon to bring forth your Linux machines, that He may give them the divine spark of Beta. And just recently, we have been bathed in the light of Big Picture, radiant in its television-friendly beauty. It was our hope of hopes that these gleamings were signs of the new era, and, lo, they were!

No, Timmy, the Kool-Aid is for later. Just be patient.

Though Gaben’s promise emboldens and strengthens our ranks, you must be wary of heretics and unbelievers. I urge you, chosen of the glorious PC gaming master race, show them mercy, but explain to them the error of their ways.

They will tell you that moving into hardware will overextend Valve. Inform them that Valve is a small company, yes, but not insubstantial, and one with a track record of creating success from unproven strategies.

They may claim it impossible to bring enough studios into the fold to provide a robust library for the coming Steambox. Remind them that a substantial portion of the Steam catalog already have native Linux versions - a strong offering that only gets stronger as Valve partners with additional developers and publishers.

Worse still, they will tell you the Steambox will be limited in scope, catering only to the hardcore while ignoring the casual base. Say unto them that the Xbox 360, Wii and PS3 were all gaming-only devices at the outset; apps added the functionality to each, so why would the Steambox be any different?

Indeed, some of our brothers will express fear that the Steambox will open our blessed association to the unwashed console hordes. Calm your brothers, let their faith not blind them, for bringing the light of PC gaming to a wider audience is a cause most noble. Our platform will the non-platform - a haven of gaming purity for Windows, Mac, and Linux, study and living room, perhaps, someday, on mobile devices!

Even on the advent of our salvation, there is yet more for which we must hope and pray. A Steam-branded, game-friendly Linux distribution would permit the baptism of thousands of new gaming systems, from the humblest hand-built desktops to top dollar OEM-made home theater PCs. Ensnaring more developers and publishers as partners would bring ever-more-vast libraries to the coming platform. But as we pray, we know that our time is at hand, an era wherein we will usurp the console unbelievers, and bring them all unto salvation. Our faith has been rewarded, Gaben be praised!

Anyway, please stick around after the service. The youth group will be performing a reenactment of Lucas Miles’ Treachery, and there’s donuts and coffee for everyone.

And Kool-Aid. Lots and lots of Kool-Aid.

Good Game; Amen. For today’s benediction, everyone don your white robes and join me in hymn 372: Main Menu Theme from Baldur’s Gate.