Do YOU LIKE GAMES? Do your FRIENDS like games? Do you even HAVE any friends? If you answered YES to these questions then READ ON.

With the Christmas season approaching, it’s time to start looking for presents, and why waste time wrapping boxes when you could use Steam to deliver your expensive (or possibly not so expensive) gifts to your friends?

For the unenlightened, Steam, created by Valve Corporation (makers of Half Life, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead and Portal), is a digital distribution software platform allowing electronic distribution of games and media. Currently there are over 1,200 games available on Steam from small titles by small independent developers to mainstream titles by the video gaming giants such as Bethesda and Activision. Also offered is a social networking service, multiple language support, automatic game updates, anti-cheat systems, and… well look folks, it’s just a beast, take it from me. If you game on the PC and haven’t downloaded it, do it now. I’ll wait for you, I promise.

Steam also offers a gifting service. When you go to make a purchase, it offers you the chance to gift the game to a friend instead (who has to be registered on Steam in order to receive the game). Once the purchase is made your friend can log on and download the game immediately, and they don’t have to waste time throwing away gift-wrap. And don’t worry, your friend is told who gifted them the game, and can read any kind, funny or hideously obnoxious message you attached with it.

If Steam isn’t quite your style, why not try Good Old Games is another online game service much like Steam which focuses it’s attention instead on the golden oldies. With over 240 titles under its belt it may be worth looking into if you prefer the older class of PC games. GOG is DRM-free and also offers a gifting service, much like Steam, where you are given an option to gift instead of buy a game for yourself. Your friend receives an email containing a virtual gift certificate and by going to the site they can ‘open’ their present – provided they have an account,of course, but setting one up is quick and easy and is something most Imperial students are likely capable of. Hopefully. - Visit Steam store: - Visit Good Old Games: