Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook, and more at GamesBeat Summit
. This is an invite-only event so apply now
It’s the last day of the Summer Sale on Steam, developer Valve’s digital distribution platform. Over the past 10 days, gamers have enjoyed discounts on hundreds of titles. You can check out the Steam page on the community-driven aggregate site Reddit for heartwarming tales of generosity, but despite the savings on offer — or maybe because of them — some people use the Summer Sale to ask strangers to send them things for free. Here are some of the more entertaining attempts to get something (cheap) for nothing.
A healthy dose of compassion
It’s hard to ask people you don’t know for free things; you’re admitting weakness and opening yourself up to ridicule and scorn. This conversation from anonymous-chat site Omegle shows what happens when the inquirer flips this risk on its head.
Honesty is the best policy (?)
Reddit user Mokashi seeks to avoid the disdain of his fellows by completely owning up to what he’s doing: asking random strangers to give him stuff he doesn’t need. His honesty is refreshing, in a way, but I can’t imagine he received too many games. The first comment, for example, says simply, “GET.A.JOB.” As of this writing, Mokashi’s post has five times as many “down votes” as “up votes.”
“Look, I really want to win this bet I made….”
Some free-game seekers, like magicians, realize that getting what they want requires a bit of misdirection. In this Omegle conversation, the asker starts out by establishing some common ground between himself and his target and then busting out the request before his chat buddy knows what’s going on.
At least, that’s what he thinks he’s doing. He’s actually just coming off like a crazy person.
The fullest of all disclosure
When one is selling need, a few simple props can go pretty far towards authenticity. It’s one thing to tell people you can’t afford that game you want, but it’s another entirely to post your bank account balance for the whole Internet to see.
Note that Reddit user silveridea never actually asks for a game, so he’s either going above and beyond to show how annoyed he is, or he’s incredibly passive-aggressive.
At this point in my research, I wondered just how widespread these requests are. If I hopped on Omegle myself and looked for people talking about Steam, how many of them would solicit gifts? The following conversations are all ones that I had earlier today, and while I had some great chats with some nice people, I can confirm (unscientifically) that it doesn’t take long before someone asks you to send him stuff.
“Can we make this fast? I have a lot of people to talk to today.”
I apologize for how unreadable the below screenshot is, but this is what my partner said right out of the gate (all typing errors are his): “listen up, i have 2 dollars left i my steam wallet, and i really want terraria, do you think you can help a /b/ro out?”
Then, without waiting for a response, he ended the conversation. I’m sure he had to spread his special brand of joy elsewhere.
I want to preface this by saying that I hold no ill will toward this person. He asked for the free game, but he wasn’t really nagging or annoying, and he was fine to just talk. It was a friendly conversation…but then, disaster struck.
“Just two guys….”
This chat might be passive-aggressive, or he could have been joking. It’s impossible to tell on the Internet. I tried to keep it casual.
It really is an amazing hat….
This dude, however, clearly wants something, but we never got around to his end of the exchange. At this point, I’m sorry to say that my smartassery got the better of me.
I swear I didn’t plan this, but sometimes the forces governing human interaction align in such a way as to make something like this possible.
I really miss that sandwich.