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My experience with Steam today

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  • I have always loved Steam. I first registered when Half-Life 2 was released, almost 10 (!) years ago and I haven't regretted that decision... Until today.

    So I bought this game, The Castle Doctrine. It doesn't matter what the game is and for the purposes of this experience it could be any other. I just thought this game was bad and decided to leave a bad user review for it... Except Steam won't let me. After putting over 5 hours into the game it tells me that I have only played it 1 minute and that I need to play it 5 minutes to leave a review. Of course I'm not going to play it anymore - the game was bad. I don't like it. Why would I play it another 4 minutes?

    Assuming this is simply some kind of server glitch or clerical error, I go to Steam support and file a ticket. In my many years of service I've only had about a dozen tickets (averaging about 1 a year) and Steam support has always been helpful to me. So I'm a little irritated when they get back to me with this canned answer:

    "Hello ******,
    Thank you for contacting Steam Support.
    Our records show exactly 1 minute of playtime for this game on your account "******".
    You will not be able to review this game until our records show at least 5 minutes of playtime.
    Thank you for contacting Steam Support."

    It's like they didn't even bother reading my ticket. I told them I had played the game for hours, and that this is a mistake. So after once again politely questioning the integrity of their servers (always politely - I don't want to be a troll) I went to the Steam forums to ask if something like this has ever happened to anyone else.

    http://steamcommunity.com/discussions/forum/7/558747287505161339/

    First off, that moderator needs to learn that censorship is the suppression of speech or public communication by a government, media outlet, or organization and that it indeed can and does happen to individuals (as individuals can express an opinion! :shock:) and also what a straw man argument is. However much he may disagree with me though I do believe he is entitled to his opinion. As Volaire said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". Unfortunately he didn't feel that way about me, and promptly banned me from the Steam forums. I didn't troll, or call names, or act abusive. I just had a bad experience and a contrary opinion, and got banned for it.

    So I'm at a loss. I was thinking about getting one of those new Steam Boxes with my tax return, but I don't think I will now. In fact I don't know if I'm going to buy any more Steam games anymore. I have dozens and dozens of games on there... I don't know if I can remove myself from my library. I feel kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. This whole experience has just been depressing.

    I will be complaining to support some more, and hopefully this will get resolved. But I have to say if this is what Valve has planned for their Steam "Community" I don't think I want to be a part of it.

  • Unfortunately, when you join a website or online service, you agree to their terms of service.  If those terms are not followed, their moderators are free to interpret and enforce their rules to deem a ban.  Looks like you simply dealt with a moderator that felt very strongly that censorship was necessary in respect to their TOS.  The U.S. Constitution need not apply to private services such as these - they are a privilege, not a right. :(

    I'm not defending the moderator, especially since I don't know exactly what was censored or why exactly you were banned (the thread gives little reason to think so).  I wouldn't blame the Steam Community, so much as the individuals that run it.  As moderators, I'm sure they have the freedom to exercise their authority based on interpretation as I said above, so might be you can complain to support, with records, and explain the issue - and it looks like you're dealing with that already.

    Good luck!

  • ....wow really?  So let me get this straight.  Somewhere there was a glitch, be it either with the game or with the network and your account did not record your playtime.  When the support looked into they could also not see you as having played more than 1 minute which isn't surprising as they are only going to be able to see what your account shows.  Then a forum moderator also tells you that there is nothing they can do and in no way dissuades you from posting a negative review.  In fact tells you to basically use a work around to get to the 5 minute mark.

    What you have going on is accidental censorship if anything because of a technical glitch.  Nowhere is Valve trying to censor you, your account is just not tracking play time correctly.  It seems like you are trying to make something out of nothing.  

    We're sorta like 7-Eleven. We're not always doing business, but we're always open.

    Steam - palor700   XBL - LooneyPilot   paxgaming.com

  • You: I played a game for hours!

    Steam: Our records show you only played it for a minute.

    You: But I played it for hours! And need at least 5 minutes to post a review!

    Steam: ...

    So, you never considered just opening the game (by the way, just opening a game starts the timer) and leaving it on while you do other stuff to get that extra 4 minutes and then writing about the error in game time?

    This is not an issue of censorship.  Example:

    Person: I had a million dollars in my bank account but it's all gone!

    Bank: Our records show you had a hundred dollars to your account.

    Person: But I had a million so you should just take my word for it!

    Bank: We would.  And, we're not saying that you're lying.  But, we have to go by our records.  And, if we make an exception for you, isn't that going down the slipper slope?

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