Valve introduces Steam Guard to prevent phishing

first_imgDRM is a contentious subject amongst PC gamers. While PC piracy is rampant and it’s understandable that game developers would want to do something to mitigate it, DRM is invasive and disrespectful of gamers machines. It’s also symbolic of a disconnect between publishers and consumers: publishers stress that they are only selling a license to gamers, not the game itself, but that’s not the way it feels to gamers, who ask why publishers should have any say in what they do with the game they purchased?It’s a sticky wicket. Valve SoftwareSteam digital delivery service is essentially a DRM platform, but with a number of advantages over a retail copy, including social networking, auto-patching, instant downloads, achievements, etc.Now Valve’s introducing a new feature to try to get gamers to adopt Steam. It’s called Steam Guard, and it allows you to semi-permanently link your account to one specific PC. The thinking here is that gamers are worried about pirates stealing their Steam login and going on a spending spree and locking the legitimate user out. Steam Guard will detect which machine a user is logging into Steam from: if it’s on an approved list, they can make purchases and run games. If it’s not approved, though, a user will need to approve the machine. Make no mistake: it’s hardware DRM, albeit optional hardware DRM that a user can choose to install to avoid phishing and hijacking.While good for paranoid gamers, the problem with Steam Guard is you need a second-generation Sandy Bridge Intel Core CPU to take advantage of the technology, and it’s unclear if it’ll work with lesser hardware. Also unclear is how many machines can be authorized at once. Still, as an example of how Valve gets users to option into DRM, Steam Guard is pretty instructive.Read more at Rock Paper Shotgunlast_img read more