Hide your wallets, shield your baby's eyes: the Steam Summer Sale has launched. If you're not familiar with it, this is the time of the year when Valve provide huge discounts to huge numbers of games, prompting everyone everywhere to buy games they might have missed at full price.
As normal, this year's sale is split across different types and lengths. There's the daily deals (today's includes XCOM: Enemy Unknown, FarCry 3 and a nine more), the flash sales which last eight hours each (buy Mirror's Edge), and the Community's Choice in which users can vote on which of two sets of games should go on sale next. The latter also ties in with Steam's system of badges, trading cards and other doozits, as every three votes you make gets you a Summer Adventure trading card.
That Summer Adventure is harder to explain. Trading cards can also be collected through the Steam market and as rewards for buying things. Ten trading cards can then be crafted into a badge. That badge gets you one in-game item, emoticon, profile background and a set of points. The points are then randomly assigned to a team when you hit a "Join a Team" button on the Summer Adventure page, and every day the team with the most points wins. 30 members of the team that contributed the most points that day will win three games from their Steam wishlist, while everyone else who contributed to that team will get two more Summer trading cards.
Somewhere in there is something about buying and playing videogames. I'm just not sure where.
Lastly of course, there's the summer sales which are less time limited. Those are listed at the bottom of the Steam store page, and there's currently a hundred games with varying levels of discount. Lichdom Battlemage is 40% off and I didn't even know that game existed before now. "Lichdom Battlemage". What a world.
It's pretty hot in the UK right now, so I spent this afternoon working from a restaurant balcony, using spoonfuls of cheesecake as punctuation for the paragraph of the work day. Whether it's hot or cold where you are, it's always worth seeing if you can hot up your day with some cheap Steam games. Or cheap Summer sale GOG games. Really just games.