Steam Heats Up Business Users

xfire IM
Posted under: Digital Natives 21st of March, 2013

Recently, we posted a blog on Internet Evolution by our resident Digital Native.

Today, about 22.4 million gamers use instant messenger Xfire to communicate with friends while playing computer games. Gaming messaging is redefining instant messaging and could well reshape online teaming for all of us.

Steam, for example, primarily is a gaming platform that uses digital distribution to provide more than 1,800 games of all varieties. First-person shooters, real-time strategy, and massively multiplayer online are just some of the genres available from this Valve-owned platform. More games meant more players, and as the number of players grew over the years, so did the need for an easier way to communicate with other players.

Normally, players did this via instant messaging services such as MSN, AIM, ICQ, and Skype. The problem with these services when you’re playing a game is that you have to constantly “tab in and out” of games in order to chat with friends — a process that can take up to five seconds, as users switch between games’ full screens and messages’ small boxes. Doing this once or twice isn’t so bad, but if someone is constantly messaging you while you’re attempting to play a game, it quickly becomes annoying.

Lo and behold, Xfire!

The ability to chat while playing a game is a real plus. Currently, businesses frown upon the use of IM chat in the work environment, because it goes against the mentality of single-minded dedication. However, the new generation of employees is made up of digital natives, not baby boomers. Perhaps in future, businesses will be able to become integrated into Steam? Sure would make it easier for me to go to work.

Can “IM” be accepted as a business tool or just branded time wasters?

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