The last time I read a Daily Mail, it made me want to shave with a lawn strimmer. And have Darren Day watch. Not that I’ve ever read the Daily Mail out of choice, it’s always been pure unwitting misfortune. I was probably trying to avoid a socially inept situation I’d managed to scurry myself in to in a coffee shop, or Google News tricked me. Damn it Google News, not again. Presumably this is the only way ANY copy of the Mail gets read; those seeking immediate and unconditional refuge from the nonsensical world around them, only to suffer a fate akin to having someone corkscrew your eyes out. If it’s any other reason, everybody needs to grab some matches and start burning things as a matter of urgency. And when I say things, I mean everything.
Last week though, it sure felt like every single publication I read had been infected by a fatal dose of insufferable, gurgling arse brain, or DailyMailitus, as nobody else calls it. Yes everywhere you looked there were headlines and banners and exclamation marks, all claiming that The Steam Box, Valve’s polite elbow nudge into the world of hardware, would cost ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Or, a thousand dollars, even. Though it might as well have been a million, with the shocked and appalled tone every article seemed to take. It felt like we were one step away from them rounding up a gang of angry mothers and protesting in the street.
My problem with this isn’t in that ‘The New Steam Box Will Cost $1000!’, chiefly because that’s a tissue of mistruths, a cross-stitch of whoppers, an interwoven delicacy of out and out David Camerons. No, my problem , is with the former part of that sentence. Y’know, before it got all convoluted and dribbley.
The big piece of news everybody was referring to, was the Xi3, a cuboidal console made by Piston, that sort of looks like Samsung kidnapped Rubik and demanded he make useless trinkets to appease them, has been given a thousand dollar price tag. The Steam Box connection? It was announced at CES that Valve were investing in the company.
Shock! Horror! Saying things loudly so that people listen regardless of authority or said statement’s connection to reality! Instead of reporting actual news, everyone begun jumping on their seats and making lewd gestures with their parts. Put it away, no one wants to see it. The media became flooded with ‘Is the Steam Box Worth a Thousand Dollars!?’ and ‘Thousand Dollar Steam Box, Will YOU Remortgage Your Sister for One!?’ and ‘Steam Box Costs as Much as a Reach Around from Former EA CEO John Riccitiello!!!’. Probably.
The thing is, having actually listened to what Valve said, and having used a modicum of that two-bit intelligence swathed away inside the inch thick gas chamber you have the downright impertinence to call a head, you’d know that 1+1 doesn’t make 3 or 4 or even a small cottage in Barton on the Neys. It makes 2. And only 2.
The most amazing thing was the sheer audacity of the majority of these sites and blogs and publications, to start flapping around words like ‘Steam Box Will Cost a Thousand Dollars’, as if that were undeniable solid ground fact. When it simply wasn’t.
Valve have already said they’ll be doing numerous versions, with numerous manufacturers of said Steam Box. They’ve also ONLY said they were investing in Xi3. If we can all pass the family brain cell around for just a moment, we’d realise that Valve wouldn’t bother putting their machine this far out into the volatile world of public acknowledgement without branding it somehow, and I’d certainly hope that Valve know their market well enough to not put out a machine to compete with £300-£400 alternatives at twice the price.
Whilst Valve may have discussed options and even invested money into Xi3, to say that this IS an official Steam Box, is just flat out incorrect. So well done everyone. Well done on being wrong.
Thing is, if we can all see this, why did the internet become flooded with these brash, misplaced statements? Because it would get people talking. Incite a bit of anger, a bit of fear, tell people it’s something it’s not to get them flabbering their great big floppy lips all over our pages. Bend truths, and prey on the potentially shocking stories until you’ve contorted them out of any reality and they’re a disgusting, disfigured circus mirror image of their former selves. Like Jim Davidson. I’d continue but I’ve really got to stop paraphrasing this Daily Mail Employee Handbook. Stay tuned to Respawn for more dissent soon!