With many 'Big Tech' companies banning or 'purging' users off their platforms, free speech has become an forefront issue. I'm not going into detail of what each company did and are doing, but I believe free speech is vital and necessary to a free society. One of my favorite quotes comes from President John F. Kennedy:
"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people"
Instead of 'banning' ideas we disagree with, we need to challenge them, poke holes in the argument, and have a civil debate (emphasis on CIVIL). This allows for the best ideas to flourish and the worst ideas to be marginalized.
With this in mind, I've decided I will do my best to no longer support 'Big Tech' as long as they censor.
At first, I believed that since the services provided by the companies were hosted on their servers and their platform, they had every right to determine what they want on it. This changed when someone pointed out this fact:
The internet and social media has created a new, digital public square for debates.
Now, maybe there won't be legal action to stop 'Big Tech' censorship, but I can personally stop using their services until they allow for open debate.
Taking the first step of 'breaking' away from 'Big Tech' was a minor struggle for me. I love my Xbox. I even wrote a post about why I prefer it over PlayStation. I was fully anticipating buying the new Xbox this fall. Now I won't!
Would I recommend you doing the same? Well, every person has to make their own choice. I won't hold it against them. I'm simply explaining why I am taking steps to support the idea of Free Speech. But in short, games are suppose to be for enjoyment, so play on the platform you enjoy most!
Okay, so moving on.
After I made the decision to stop supporting Microsoft and Sony, I went on a thought / research spree to find the most 'open' platform for gaming.
I came to the conclusion that Valve's Steam was the best option.
Now, no company is perfect just like no human is perfect. We are imperfect people that run things imperfectly. With that in mind, Valve has been routinely laissez-faire (hand-off) with their approach to what is on their platform. It take A LOT for Valve to remove something. This has allowed from many many indie titles and other games to find a home on Steam where if it were on other platforms, it may not be removed.
Along with a more open platform to publish on, Valve offers:
Obviously, there is no perfect company and Valve may change their policies in the future, but as it stand now, it is the most open platform for games.
Again, this is my personal opinion. I'll be using Steam exclusively for the foreseeable future. I urge every reader to think for yourself and make choices that are best for you.
If you're aware another alternative digital distribution for gaming that does its best to support free speech, please leave a comment below!