The 5 1/4 floppy disc is dead. Good riddance.
The 3.5 floppy is dead. Good riddance.
The CD drive is dead...although I still have one in my computer, I havent used it for anything in over a year. I loathe the cd. Constantly putting the disc in the drive to play a game meant getting scratches until finally, the disc dies. My kids using the disc's as frisbee's. Losing them.
So I download no-cd cracks for my games. I can store the CD's in a box and play the games as I want. But I do not want to trust the no-cd cracks...I would rather trust the publisher/distributer to offer me a no-cd version.
Enter Stardock Central/Impulse. Galactic Civilization I could play without worring about where the disc might be. The idea that I could re-download the game when I re-install windows...(and I have probably gone through 4 computers since I bought GalCiv) was great. So great that I rebought a bunch of games just to get rid of the CD. (Like Civilization IV, and Oblivion)
Enter Steam. For some reason, I disdained it. Not sure why, although I think I had some of the same paranoid thoughts that a lot of poster's here have stated. But then, there was no game on Steam that I wanted to play that wasnt on Impulse. Then a game came out that needed Steam. (Civilization V). So I downloaded the client, and bought it.
So now I can give you my (selfish) reasons why I like Steam:
1) I can redownload my games (like from Impulse/Gamestop). Quickly (I have a 100mbs internet connection).
2) I never have to use offline mode, as my internet connection is rocksolid. Just for fun though, to see what all the whining was about, I put Steam into offline mode, and pulled the plug on my internet connection. Oh look..all my games work except for Settlers, which apparently needs a connection to Ubisofts servers to play. Not Steam's fault at all! Imagine that.
3) It is a mild form of DRM. Yup, you heard me, I like DRM. Its what allows developers to develop new games for me to play. When I was in high school, we got an Apple II in the class. Somebody parents bought Ultima I for xmas, and we all copied it and played it. Not necessarily because we couldnt buy it ourselves ( I probably couldnt) but because it was convient and easy. All it cost was the 5 dollar floppy to put it on.
An analogy I like is the door lock. I lock the door when I leave the house, not because I want to stop the professional thief from breaking in and stealing my stuff, but to stop the neighbourhood kid from walking in and drinking all my beer when I leave for work. Thats what Steam does..it stops the kid from just handing out the game his mom bought him to any/all friends who happen to walk near him...because it costs him nothing to do so. It doesnt matter if most of them wouldnt have bought the game. What matters is more people will buy the game then get it from a professional pirate. Which means, I get to play a superior PC game instead of having to buy a console to play console games on.
And to continue on the Selfish line of reasoning....I really don't care if people like or dislike steam, or if they will or will not buy a game if is on Steam. What only matters is I will buy any game that interests me, and I will usually wait about 3 months after it is released to buy it patched and cheaper. And I will do it on Steam or Impulse/Gamestop or direct from the developer if that is what it takes. As long as I don't have to stick a #$@#!@#!! CD into my computer to play it.