What is Steam Gaming? Parents’ Guide

If you’re like most parents, you want what’s best for your children. And when it comes to gaming, you want to make sure that they have fun, but they aren’t exposed to some of the darker sides of gaming such as bullying, excessive violence, etc.

As someone who started gaming on Steam as a child, my father had the same exact concerns that most parents have when it came to their child, gaming, and online gaming.

This guide will answer all of your questions and help you get started with understanding what Steam is, how to access it, what someone can do on Steam, and more.

Let’s dive in!

What is Steam?

Steam is a gaming platform that allows users to buy, play, and create games. It was created by Valve Corporation in 2003 and has since become the largest digital distribution platform for PC gaming, with over 150 million active users.

Why Was Steam Created?

Steam was created in order to make it easier for gamers to buy and play games. In the early days of gaming, it was very difficult to find and purchase games.

You had to go to a store, hope that they had the game you wanted, and then buy it. With Steam, you can simply go online, find the game you want, and buy it. You can also buy games that are not yet released and pre-load them so that you can play them as soon as they come out.

How Do I Access Steam?

To access Steam, you will need to create an account and download the Steam client. The Steam client is a program that allows you to access the Steam store, your games library, and other features of the platform.

To create an account, go to steampowered.com and click on “Create an Account” in the top right corner. You will then need to provide a valid email address, create a username and password, and fill out some basic personal information. Once you have completed all of these steps, you will be able to log in to your account.

installing steam

What can I do on Steam?

Once you have logged in to your account, you will be able to access the Steam store, your games library, and other features of the platform.

The Steam store is a digital marketplace where you can buy games, download free demos, and view user-generated reviews and ratings. You can also add non-Steam games to your library, giving you easy access to all of your games in one place.

Your games library is where you can see all of the games that you have purchased or added to your account. From here, you can launch games, view information about them, and see any available DLC (downloadable content).

In addition to the Steam store and games library, there are also other features of the platform that you may find useful.

These include the Steam Workshop, a marketplace for user-created content; Steam Cloud, a service that allows you to save your game data online; and SteamVR, which allows you to play games in virtual reality.

I’m a parent. How do I make sure my children are safe on Steam?

If you want to make sure your children are safe on Steam, there are a few things you can do.

Steam Family View

First, you can set up a Steam Family View account. This will allow you to control what games your children can see and play. You can also set spending limits and monitor their activity on the platform.

Add Your Child as a “Friend”

Second, you can add your children as friends on Steam. This way, you can see what games they are playing and whether or not they are using appropriate chat features.

Talk About Online Safety

Finally, you can talk to your children about the importance of online safety. This includes not sharing personal information with strangers, not meeting up with people they meet online, and reporting any inappropriate behavior they may encounter.

Steam is a great platform for gaming, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks that come with it. By taking some simple precautions, you can help ensure that your children have a safe and enjoyable experience on Steam.

What are Some Things to Look Out for on Steam as a Parent?

As a parent, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks that come with using Steam. Here are some things to look out for:

In-game Microtransactions

Many games on Steam include in-game microtransactions, which are small purchases that can add up over time. If you’re not careful, your child could end up spending a lot of money on these purchases.

Age-inappropriate Content

Some games on Steam are not suitable for children. These games may include violence, sexual content, or offensive language. Be sure to check the game’s rating before allowing your child to play it.

Online Chat

Steam includes a chat feature that allows players to communicate with each other. While this can be a great way for children to socialize with their friends, it also opens up the possibility of them encountering inappropriate content or strangers.

I wanted to list these “bad sides” of Steam, but the good outweighs the bad so let’s also take a look at the good side.

The Pros of Using Steam for Gaming

There are many positive aspects to using Steam for gaming. Here are some of the most notable ones:

A Large Selection of Games

Steam has a huge library of games to choose from, spanning all genres and tastes. Whether you’re looking for the latest AAA release or a small indie game, chances are you’ll find it on Steam.

Convenient Access to Your Games

With Steam, you can easily install and launch your games from one central location. You also have the option to save your games in the cloud, so you can pick up where you left off on another device.

Frequent Sales and Discounts

One of the best things about Steam is that there are always sales and discounts happening. This means you can often snag your favorite games at a fraction of the cost.

Community Features

In addition to being a digital storefront, Steam is also a gaming community. Here, you can find player-created guides and mods, join discussion forums, and more.

Meet Friends

The friends list feature on Steam allows you to stay in touch with your gaming buddies and see what they’re playing. You can also join Steam groups to find like-minded players.

Create New Friends

The Steam platform makes it easy to connect with other gamers from all over the world. You can add them to your friends list and chat with them while you play games together.

Create Fun Memories

Playing games with friends can create some great memories. Whether you’re laughing at a funny moment or celebrating a victory, these moments will stay with you long after the game is over.

As you can see, there are many benefits to using Steam for gaming. Plus, if you are gaming on the PC and you don’t have Steam, it’s pretty much like not having a smartphone — everyone has one. You could deny someone that, but they would be “left out.”

Is There a Monthly Fee For Steam?

No, there is no monthly fee for Steam. You only need to pay for the games that you want to purchase. However, some games may require a subscription fee in order to play them. These fees are typically charged on a per-game basis and not on a monthly basis.

For example, World of Warcraft is a popular game that requires a monthly subscription fee. Other games, such as Destiny 2, only require a one-time purchase and do not have any additional fees unless you want to purchase expansion packs/DLCs which are like add-ons to the base game.

How Much Do Steam Games Cost?

The cost of Steam games can vary greatly. Some games may only cost a few dollars, while others may cost over $100. The price of a game is typically determined by the developers/publishers and not by Steam.

However, Steam does run sales on games frequently. These sales can offer discounts of up to 75% off the regular price of a game. Steam also offers a service called “Steam Wallet” which allows you to add funds to your account and use those funds to purchase games.

Is Steam Only for PC Gaming?

No, Steam is not only for PC gaming. While the platform was originally designed for PC gaming, it has since been expanded to include games for Mac, and even some consoles.

Are Steam Games Legal?

Yes, Steam games are legal. However, there have been a few instances where pirated games have made their way onto the platform. These games are typically taken down quickly by Steam.

In addition, some countries have placed restrictions on certain games that are available on Steam. For example, in China, certain games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are not available for purchase.

In conclusion, while there are some minor risks associated with using Steam, the platform also has a lot of positives. By taking some simple precautions, you can help ensure that your children have a safe and enjoyable experience on Steam.