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Valve’s Reality Distortion Field

September 11, 2012

Starting from today, I shall be committing to this blog weekly reports on our projects, experiences and ideas regarding Valve’s various social ‘economies’.  Yanis Varoufakis (1st blog entry upon joining Valve – emphasis added)

A couple of months back, I wrote about the professional economist that Valve had just hired to help them count their money and make more of it. He brought with him a solid work ethic as evidenced in part by his new blog which he created almost immediately. I was quite excited to learn of him, and looked forward to reading his weekly reports.

Today, I thought I would check back again as I have done often over the summer, and sure enough, there still isn’t anything new posted since the 3rd of August. Now, one might say that Dr. Varoufakis is just on summer holidays. Yep, but then what was he doing between July 1st and August 3rd? Or was his summer holiday a two-parter? Only he knows. Certainly, the people at Valve, ever busy carting their desks from one “project” to another, would never know.

Looking a little closer, I noticed that his “weekly reports” have indeed followed the predictable Valve Reality Distortion Curve into ever increasing rarity: June 14, June 22, July 1, August 3…September.

One imagines that Dr. Varoufakis probably ditched the neck tie within the first week, and by the third week, was elbow deep in DoTA2 (or maybe even WoW – to catch up, “research” as they call it), which is why his August 3 post was all hyperbole about how companies all over the world should be managed like Valve.

Is this all just jealousy and sour grapes on my part? I am sure it is. Who wouldn’t want to have a job like that? It is funny to observe the slouch happen, however, as if it were just so much time-lapse photography of a sunset, or the blooming and then wilting of a flower – the rare footage of the sloth in his natural habitat, as it were.

In hindsight, how ironic is it that Valve was the first company to market the idea of “episodic content”.  Half-Life 2 Episode 3 never had a chance.  But life is good. …More so for some, than for others.  😉

  1. September 12, 2012 5:40 am

    Nail on the head. Matters not whether one is a “Dr” or regular guy. Often our best laid plans “I’ll quit smoking” or “Homework finished before video games” all the typical New Years resolutions, soon collect dust once the spotlight has dimmed or switched off. The drama has settled, now back to regularly scheduled programming.

    Dr Varakoufocofussusus is just another dude who had good intentions when he started….

  2. September 12, 2012 5:57 pm

    I think we don’t give Valve credit because they offer so many services for FREE. That requires constant work. And to this day, they’re still patching their games (on PC). There’s probably too much going on there, and despite what you think, it’s not just gaming. It’s about where gaming is going.

  3. 3Suns permalink*
    September 12, 2012 8:43 pm

    ty, you are right. Indeed, even Dr. Varoufakis’ blog is free.

    I was hoping that this piece wouldn’t come across as a rant, because it is supposed to be humorous (and I think that is probably the way you read it). As Kenai pointed out, it is all about the New Year’s Resolution scenario, and in this one particular case, the evidence was just all there for everyone to see. I literally laughed out loud when I looked at the dates of the posts and put two and two together. 😀

  4. September 15, 2012 8:32 am

    This is hilarious and makes total sense. Valve, while they do offer many services for free, isn’t in the game development field anymore. They, for the most part as of late, rehash brilliant ideas from indie developers and just throw the Source engine on it. And it just fits right in that Dr. Varoctupus would just follow suit and leave his blog with no update whatsoever, haha!

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