My dearest Steam Wishlist, how I love to hate you and hate to love you.
The time of the Steam Summer Sale is upon us and thus we are reminded again about how involved we are in the very unhealthy relationship with the wishlist. We sit and wait in the windowsill, staring at the setting sun, wishing that our love will appear on the horizon. We have waited for a long time, dreaming of the summer sale, and yet a fear has taken hold of our soul. We know. We know the pain we will experience, we know the hurt, but it is such an exquisite pain, a pain that burns in just the right way.
There has been a lot of discussions back and forth regarding problems with the summer sale, as there has been with Valve in general. Over at Polygon.com Tim Colwill had some strong opinions about the company and their brand, and every year some nerds are in uproar about the entire concept of the sale. Some years I’m one of them, some years I’m not. However, this is not about Valve. This is not about sales. This is not about developers getting shafted or Valve forever teasing us with Half Life 3. (Seriously Valve. What the hell is wrong with you. Please?)
This is about the wishlist. The goddamn wishlist.
Throughout the year he pops up every once in a while. Just a gentle reminder that he is still here, that he loves you and just wants to take care of you. He hopes that you are doing well and he’s doing pretty good himself. He brings you a flower, maybe even a couple of them, and it’s so sweet and caring that you can’t help feeling special and loved. You smile and appreciate that he is with you and that he thinks of you.
But no. Just fucking no.
He is the lover that is always slightly out of reach and he has you wrapped around his little finger. He is distant and cold until you are about to give up and then he showers you with sales and attention. Fuck him.
‘Hi, it’s me. Sorry I haven’t been here a while, but I saw this and knew you wanted it, so I thought I would let you know that it’s 20% off.’
Now, if you are in a financial position where spending money on games often is not a problem, then the wishlist is probably one of the best things ever. You can, most likely, get the games you really want right away, and the ones you are just interested in, you can get when your wishlist tells you that they are on sale. Hooray. Great, good for you.
I am, however, not one of those people. I am stuck in a vicious circle of “What if” and “Nah, I’m gonna delete the items” and “Maybe if I wait until my birthday, someone will get it for me?” back to “What if”. I have games on my wishlist that I have wanted for years, but they are still way to expensive for me to be able to justify buying them. I keep them because I am an emotional flagellant. That’s the only explanation I have. I keep getting reminded that these glorious things are out of my reach, not by a lot, I can almost touch them, which makes the pain greater, but that is also what keeps me in this abuse relationship.
And then the summer sale happens.
Your lover loses his shit.
He goes completely nuts and is proposing to you, telling you how he has never loved anyone else, showers you with diamonds and chocolate and chocolate covered diamonds.
Fuuuuck you. Oh so very much, from the bottom of the place where my soul would be, if I had one. I hate you with every fiber of my being, my very existence is now dedicated to a big ball of Fuck You, that I’m throwing in your general direction. There are casualties, friendly fire happens, but believe me, it’s all aimed at you.
In a while you’ll be gone again. You will go back to only showing up when I am completely broke or simply do not have the time I know I will spend on your games. You will become distant, a dull pain that turns sharp when you talk to me.
I don’t give a shit about your 20% off. But I love you.