Steam sounds like a good idea. You fire up your Valve game of choice, Steam checks for mods, updates, and etc., and you get to play with the latest version of everything. Great!

But there’s a downside. There’s always a downside.

Once you connect to Steam for the first time (whether you check for updates or play multiplayer online) you must then log on to Steam each and every time you want to play the game. If you want to play a Steam powered game at a LAN party, every computer must have a connection to the internet. Through my own LAN party experience, I’ve learned two things: Counter Strike is still one of the most popular LAN games, and not every LAN party has a connection to the internet (even some of the big ones like LanWar). So a lot of Counter Strike will not be going on at LANs. (Yeah, I know they get a lot of grief, but people play CS more than any other game at most of the LANs I’ve been to.) Why will people go to a LAN if they can’t play the game they want?

I don’t want to have to connect to the internet every time I want to play a single player version of a particular game. It just seems unnecessary, and I really don’t want to have to authenticate with the internet to play a multiplayer game if there’s no internet connection available. I just hope one of two things happen: 1. People like me abstain from purchasing Half-Life 2 in the hopes that Valve mends their software or, 2. Someone hacks together an authentication ‘workaround’ so that computers on an internet deprived LAN can actually play the games they want to play.

I’m not holding my breath for either, unfortunately.