What parents need to know about Steam

Steam came into being simply as a means for software developers Valve to distribute their own games (including the popular Counter-Strike, Half-Life and Dota series), but swiftly evolved to host third-party titles as well. These days, players can find A-list gaming franchises like PUBG, Apex Legends and Grand Theft Auto among the platform’s most-played games.

It’s a model that clearly works: in some recent years, as many of 15% of the total computer game purchases globally have been made through Steam. With a growing volume of users – the vast majority, by default, spending at least some money on the platform – it’s no surprise that scams are among Steam’s pitfalls. Trusted adults should check out the NOS #WakeUpWednesday guide for the full story.

Steam also provides the facility for its 120 million monthly users to interact, chat, and swap tips and strategies, as well as trading resources for their preferred games. While this added fresh layers to the platform’s functionality, it also opened the door to individuals wishing to contact young users for sinister purposes – including swindling more naïve gamers with unfair trades. Considering that items can be bought and sold on Steam for real money, this represents an obvious risk for young people. Less worldly players are also more likely to volunteer personal information if they think it will help them secure that ‘unmissable’ deal. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide profiles the potential threats on Steam that trusted adults need to be aware of.