It's one of the defining problems of the internet age. Okay, not really, but it seems like ever since there have been websites to visit there have been attempts to check our ages. It makes perfect sense, companies have to protect themselves against curious children accidentally finding mature content. Of course, anyone who can do basic math can manipulate the year selector, but that's beside the point. The point is that being asked to constantly fill in your birthday is one of the more annoying aspects of surfing the web. And nowhere is that more apparent than on Steam.
As a platform that sells video games, Steam has tons of adult content. And despite some attempts to crack down on some of the more risqué stuff, there's still a lot of games on Steam that are only for an 18-and-older audience. So it is that Steam asks you to input your birth date when you view certain games. Then again when you view another adult game. Then again, and again.
Apparently Valve, the company behind Steam, received a lot of complaints about the frequency of age checks. Enough, at least, to address it in a recent blog post.
This screenshot made the rounds on the Steam subreddit thanks to user Tabajara77, and shows that Valve is well aware of the tedium of constant age checks. Apparently the employees themselves are stuck using them as well.
The commenters on the subreddit took the information with good humor. Many praised the way Valve answered the question candidly instead of offering some vague corporate speak.
"Lol, I thought this was fake at first, but no, it’s real!" wrote Dimentive on the top-rated comment. "I’m surprised Valve used such informal phrasing, haha."
When the conversation shifted to just how informal corporate PR has been in recent years, user Minnesota_Winter said, "The Wendy's Twitter called me a loser."
Sadly, the rules aren't going to change anytime soon. Valve legally can't save the ages of its users, so it must continue to ask for that information every time we view a mature game. It looks like we'll all have to hold on to our January 1st birthdays a while longer.