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An Epidemic? July’s Best-Selling Games at These Stores Weren’t That Violent

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game freak responds pokemon sword shield controversy and dynamax pikachu

Violent video games have attracted attention in recent weeks, being partially blamed for the mass shootings in the United States. Despite this, sales data from some of the biggest retailers in the country reveal that players are actually enjoying a huge variety of video games, and very few of the best sellers in July were violent.

Sales data gathered by Thinknum on video games sold at GameStop, Amazon, and Walmart show that the games moving the most copies in July varied wildly. Largely as a result of sales promotions, older titles like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 cracked Walmart’s top 10, but they were joined by Minecraft: Story Mode and NBA 2K17. Walmart received criticism last week when it began removing displays promoting violent video games, despite continuing to sell firearms and ammunition.

GameStop’s top 10 in July was dominated by Pokémon, including pre-orders for the upcoming games Sword and Shield. While several of the titles included some form of violence, only Call of Duty: Modern Warfare features realistic blood and has not yet been released.

call of duty modern warfare preview details 5
Activision

Amazon’s best-sellers for July were also largely family-friendly, with only The Last of Us Remastered and Fallout 76 getting a “Mature” rating from the ESRB. Several others are family-friendly games on Nintendo Switch, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Maker 2.

The NPD Group, which monitors sales data for the industry across both retail and digital channels, does show that for the total of 2019 thus far, there are several violent games included in the charts, such as Mortal Kombat 11 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. However, these are joined by MLB 19: The Show and Kingdom Hearts III. More recently, Minecraft and Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled gained momentum, as well.

It’s impossible to say if violent video games will fall out of popularity yet, but since players are clearly enjoying other types of games, as well, it’s unlikely we actually have an epidemic of young people being desensitized to real-life atrocities. The numbers don’t back up that claim, either, with little evidence to suggest those who play violent games are more likely to commit mass murder.




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How to get free Steam games in 2 different ways

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  • You can get free Steam games in multiple ways, all of them perfectly legitimate.
  • Many games on Steam are free to download and play, even if they also include in-game microtransactions that you can pay for.
  • Some websites, like the Humble Bundle, occasionally give games away for free.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Steam is the biggest platform for computer gaming, and sells thousands of games every day.

But among all the games that Steam offers, there are bound to a few free ones, right? Luckily, there aren’t just a few — there are many.

Here are a few ways to find free games on Steam, no matter whether you have a PC or Mac.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Steam Gift Card (From $20 at Best Buy)

Macbook Pro (From $1,299 at Best Buy)

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (From $999 at Best Buy)

How to get free Steam games from the official Steam store

First, a quick note: When we talk about free games, they generally fall into a couple of different categories.

There are truly free games, which you download from Steam, and get immediate access to all of the content, no holds barred.

Most, however, are “Free to Play” games. Usually this just means that playing the game is free, but you can pay money for optional cosmetic items or downloadable content. Popular examples of this are “Warframe” and “Team Fortress 2.”

Others, unfortunately, are basically glorified demos where you have to pay to unlock most of the content, but will eventually hit a paywall that you can’t get past without paying.

You should also keep a lookout for games on sale. Steam holds sales dozens of times a year, and while most games will simply have their price reduced, it’s not uncommon for games to become free for a limited time.

To check out the latest and greatest free games:

1. Open your Steam app on your computer and click “Store” at the top of the window, or go to http://store.steampowered.com.

2. Hover your mouse over the “Games” tab in the menu bar, and select “Free to Play” in the dropdown menu that opens. It should be the first option.

Free to Play menu Steam

Navigate to the “Free to Play” menu.
Christopher Curley/Business Insider


3. Scroll through the Free and Free to Play games, and add any of them to your library. You’ll still need to download them like any other game before you start playing.

Free to Play Games Section

There are thousands of free and free to play games.
Christopher Curley/Business Insider


And here’s a tip for navigating the free game market: many great games are free, but there’s also a lot of low quality titles. When you click on a game to go to its page, check the reviews to get a sense of what it’s like, and whether the game is worth your time.

How to get free Steam games from other websites

The other route to getting free Steam games is to subscribe to various websites that keep track of game giveaways.

These often come from indie studios looking for exposure, as well as developers either off-loading old games or beta testing new ones. 

Either way, these giveaways will often net you full games for free, without any microtransactions. 

A few sites you can bookmark and follow: 

1. Check out online retailers like the Humble Bundle. They sometimes have entirely free games on offer during certain promotions. The Humble Bundle also gives away games for free every month if you subscribe to their monthly bundles.

Humble Bundle Free Games

The Humble Bundle has free games available all the time.
Christopher Curley/Business Insider


2. On Steam itself, check out the Steam Group FreeGameFinders.

3. Twitch offers free games occasionally through its Twitch Prime subscription service. The Prime rewards update monthly.

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