Fake Steam Website Announces Half-Life 3
by Mat Westhorpe 7 months ago
As an abject lesson in fact checking, I narrowly averted making an complete fool of myself after seeing a link on Twitter supposedly announcing the imminent release of Half-Life 3.
The link took me to a convincing looking Steam website where the evidence was enough to get me so excited, I immediately set about reporting the amazing news.
What's more, it was a scoop! No other news sites were reporting it yet. I was doubly excited.
So off I gushed and completed my Half-Life fanboy article whilst wiping the foam from my mouth.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
As I did some last-minute fact checking, I was puzzled to find that I couldn't locate the same page on Steam itself.
Had Valve taken it down? Had it been temporarily published by accident? Perhaps I had an even bigger scoop on my hands - thank goodness I'd taken screenshots!
But I was suspicious enough to return to the original URL and study it again. The stirring piano music, the understated appearance, the tantalizingly scant information. It all fitted Valve's modus operandi. Every link went to another Steam page or the appropriate external website. It seemed bona fide.
And then I saw it--the URL was actually store.stearnpowered.com/app/246720/.
Very clever. I'd been had. Next time I'll know to fact check before I start splurging words and paragraphs.
Taking one for the team since 2013 - I was fooled so you don't have to be.
The sacrifices I make for my fellow gamers. ;)