Thank you Steam!

October 4, 2012 at 7:42 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

I installed Steam on my MacBook a few weeks ago to try a game called FTL that everyone seemed to recommend. In case you don’t know, Steam is a digital game distribution platform by Valve, the creators of Half-Life and numerous other games. For the purposes of this blog entry, think of it as an online game store.

I liked FTL and was browsing for other Mac games when I ran across Civilization V. I’ve played all the other games in the series, so I decided to pay the €29.99 ($39) to download this one, too. I knew it would keep me playing for years, so it seemed like a reasonable investment.

But, as happens increasingly often these days, the game wouldn’t launch on my Mac. Many Apple products (even simple ones like iCal) refuse to work on OS X 10.5.8, but require OS X 10.6 which would also mean getting a new computer. An evil plot by Apple, but fortunately not shared in by many other companies.

I was very frustrated, but decided to write to Steam Support just for the hell of it. Maybe that way I’d at least feel like I’d done something instead of just fretting over the matter by myself. Here’s my letter to them on Sunday.


I’m new to Steam, and just bought Civilization V since I noticed it’s available for Mac. However, upon launching it, I just get an error message saying “You cannot use this version of the application Civilization V with this version of Mac OS X.”

Apparently Civ V isn’t intended for Macs that have a PowerPC processor, which is getting more and more common these days. (And more and more frustrating for those of us who have a relatively new PowerPC Mac…)

I’m wondering what I should do to return the game, since it turns out I can’t play it with my computer after all.

Other than this problem, Steam seems to work great, and I’m really excited to use it more!

Thanks a million for getting back to me!

Mike Pohjola

I knew I was tilting at windmills here, with no real chance of getting my money back. I was fully prepared for yet another disappointment in the world of online transactions. In a way, I was just letting off some, if you’ll pardon the pun, steam.

Great was my surprise and delight, when not two days after my letter, I got this reply from Steam Support:

Hello Mike,

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

As requested, we have processed a refund to your account.

Your bank or credit card issuer will return the funds to your account – please allow 3-5 business days for the funds to be posted.

Please note in the future that Steam purchases, per the Steam Subscriber Agreement, are not refundable – this refund was issued as a one-time customer service gesture.

Steam Subscriber Agreement

If you require any further assistance, please let us know.

Thank you Steam! This gesture certainly made one customer very happy and will ensure I’ll do all my business with you in the future. (And spend much more than the original thirty Euros.) Furthermore, I ask everyone to share this update to get more good will for such business practices and customer treatment.

Well played, Steam and Valve!

Also, here’s links to the pretty great scifi game FTL and Civilization V (in case you can run it) on Steam.

(This blog entry is CC BY SA.)

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Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

April 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

In my Jesus-themed novel Son of Man there’s a scene where the main character visits his future friends’ commune in the 90s. Much like I did. On the wall he sees a black-and-white A4 that parodies horror movie posters. It’s got a picture of Jesus who steps out from his mountain-side grave looking like a zombie. The captions say “It’s Easter night, and he’s back from the dead!” and “He wants your immortal soul!” I’ve forgotten the name of the artist, so if you remember it, please post a comment.

Back then I found it funny and clever (and really daring), but these days zombie Jesus has become just another internet meme. Thus Easter Sunday, when according to Gospels Jesus arose from the dead, is now called Zombie Jesus Day. I’m a day late, but here’s some zombie Jesus material for your enjoyment. Some of the artists clearly think this is the first time anyone has thought of this, but many refer to the already existing phenomenon.

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