CopperHead Jul 11, 2017 @ 10:28am
An option to stay 'online' while hiding gameplay activity from public/friend view.
Topic. Before the inevitable "don't friend people you don't want seeing your gaming habits", I'd have to literally sequester myself in my home for the rest of my life and avoid the entirety of humanity in order to truly succeed at that, and that crap ain't healthy. Inb4 'mark your profile as private': Making my profile 'private' also defeats the purpose of having a profile to begin with -- I wouldn't be asking for this if I was gonna do that, and besides, some people assume a private profile is a guaranteed hacker.
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Showing 1-12 of 12 comments
funny fishe Jul 11, 2017 @ 10:43am 
just play nekopara and be a man about it. who cares if any idiots react negatively
triffid Jul 11, 2017 @ 10:43am 
Agree. I frequently alt-tab out of games & leave in background. Had to explain to a cousin that i havent played 500+ hours or whatever of 50 games. Steam counter keeps on ticking even though you aren't playing.
Last edited by triffid; Jul 11, 2017 @ 10:45am
CopperHead Jul 11, 2017 @ 11:40am 
Originally posted by cSg|mc-Hotsauce:
create another account and family share the game with yourself.

:qr:

That's surprisingly innovative, actually. Still, the option would be nice.
Pach Jul 26, 2017 @ 12:21pm 
+1

I have been looking for a way to set this for a long time. I'm guilty of the alt-tab thing, too.
The following seems to be working to look like you're just online but not in-game, while playing a game on Steam:

1. On your Steam client's friends list: open the pull down menu from your username, and select "Offline".

2. Open your Steam community chat by going to this link: https://steamcommunity.com/chat/

Now you will appear to be "Currently Online", with the characteristic blue border (or a different color depending on your Steam skin), rather than "In-Game", even if you start playing a game.

Edit: I also confirmed that playtime continues to be logged properly.
Last edited by Quint the Alligator Snapper; Jul 26, 2017 @ 3:26pm
Pach Jul 26, 2017 @ 4:37pm 
1. The idea is to still have steam chat/interface available while playing a game, but people not see that you are in the game (so you can still chat with friends while playing without tabbing completely out of the game). Going offline completely disables this functionality, so it defeats the purpose.

2. That's not the same online indicator. Steam shows that you are online and shows HOW you are connected (via web)... (imho, this is a privacy violation--it shouldn't matter if I'm connected via my PC, the web, or a mobile device... that is my business, and no one else's, as if I'm "mobile" it could be an indication I am not at home, which is tracking information..).

3. I don't care about playtime logging, just that I can appear as not in a game when I'm playing a game in single player mode, and am not in the mood to be asked or harassed about the fact that I'm not playing on a server at that exact momemt. :P
Originally posted by Pach:
1. The idea is to still have steam chat/interface available while playing a game, but people not see that you are in the game (so you can still chat with friends while playing without tabbing completely out of the game). Going offline completely disables this functionality, so it defeats the purpose.
The method I described achieves this. You can open Steam chat in the overlay's browser if you need to.

Originally posted by Pach:
2. That's not the same online indicator. Steam shows that you are online and shows HOW you are connected (via web)...
And how is this relevant to the problem?

Originally posted by Pach:
3. I don't care about playtime logging, just that I can appear as not in a game when I'm playing a game in single player mode, and am not in the mood to be asked or harassed about the fact that I'm not playing on a server at that exact momemt. :P
If someone harasses you about not being on their server when you're gaming, then: (1) you should consider telling them to stop, or unfriending them if they don't stop, and (2) being online via web browser seems to be a bigger deterrent to that happening than being online apparently via client. You can just say you're not at your computer.
Pach Jul 26, 2017 @ 8:24pm 
Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
The method I described achieves this. You can open Steam chat in the overlay's browser if you need to.

No, it does not.

When you send an IM this way, it logs you into Steam chat (and immediately shows what game you are in).

Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
Originally posted by Pach:
2. That's not the same online indicator. Steam shows that you are online and shows HOW you are connected (via web)...
And how is this relevant to the problem?
If you quoted everything I said, you might know part of the answer to that. Add in that it's not what I want to have displayed, and doesn't function the way I want. Not being able to do this is very strange that Steam doesn't have it.

Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
If someone harasses you about not being on their server when you're gaming, then: (1) you should consider telling them to stop, or unfriending them if they don't stop, and (2) being online via web browser seems to be a bigger deterrent to that happening than being online apparently via client. You can just say you're not at your computer.

I shouldn't have to explain a thing is the point. I should be able to turn of displaying the game I'm in when I don't want it displayed. I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to say "I don't want people to know what I'm playing today", if I don't want it displayed.

I don't have to justify why I don't want it displayed, and I shouldn't have to answer why I'm in as web version instead of client. It shouldn't show a difference between these, either.

Having to tell them I'm away from my PC is a violation of my privacy. I shouldn't have to make crap up, either.

You might also want to read the original post in this topic, too. It's not so simple to just unfriend people who are on your gaming list.

I don't understand why you are so emphatic that this option shouldn't be added.



Last edited by Pach; Jul 26, 2017 @ 8:28pm
Originally posted by Pach:
Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
The method I described achieves this. You can open Steam chat in the overlay's browser if you need to.

No, it does not.

When you send an IM this way, it logs you into Steam chat (and immediately shows what game you are in).
Don't respond using the chat window that pops up. Keep on using only the browser chat.

I'm doing it right now. Checked it by asking my friends what I'm doing to see if they can tell.

My current game is still de facto visible from my profile. But if they didn't know I was playing something, or if they weren't stalking my profile and refreshing it every so often, they wouldn't be able to tell this.

Originally posted by Pach:
Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
And how is this relevant to the problem?
If you quoted everything I said, you might know part of the answer to that. Add in that it's not what I want to have displayed, and doesn't function the way I want. Not being able to do this is very strange that Steam doesn't have it.
You say it's a privacy violation because it shows whether you're connected via browser or client. I guess that could be arguably agreeable, yes.

But in this case, if you want to deter someone from bugging you to join their server, wouldn't it be better to look like you're not even at your own computer?

In any case, it's not exactly "strange" that Steam doesn't have this -- it was made as a content updater and server connector to help with multiplayer games, so the expected function was that people would use this in order to chat with their gaming buddies and be able to tell each other "hey, i'm playing this game, come join me". The ability to appear not playing a game when playing it would be a nice thing to have, yes, though it's sort of a secondary feature that I wouldn't expect to show up early on. Would it make sense to have it? Yes. Am I surprised that it isn't there? With the infamous "Valve Time" in mind,....not really.

If anything I'm more surprised that Valve made the little globe icon for being in web browser chat. Though I guess it may be because that doesn't let you do things like start voice chat, group chats, trading sessions, etc.. (But not being able to start trading sessions is no longer really an issue since they have a trade offer system now...)

Originally posted by Pach:
Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
If someone harasses you about not being on their server when you're gaming, then: (1) you should consider telling them to stop, or unfriending them if they don't stop, and (2) being online via web browser seems to be a bigger deterrent to that happening than being online apparently via client. You can just say you're not at your computer.

I shouldn't have to explain a thing is the point. I should be able to turn of displaying the game I'm in when I don't want it displayed. I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to say "I don't want people to know what I'm playing today", if I don't want it displayed.

I don't have to justify why I don't want it displayed, and I shouldn't have to answer why I'm in as web version instead of client. It shouldn't show a difference between these, either.

Having to tell them I'm away from my PC is a violation of my privacy. I shouldn't have to make crap up, either.

You might also want to read the original post in this topic, too. It's not so simple to just unfriend people who are on your gaming list.

I don't understand why you are so emphatic that this option shouldn't be added.
I'm not trying to say that this shouldn't be added. I agree that it should. I am just trying to come up with ways to achieve this in the meantime.

And honestly the kind of problem you're running into is why I kinda regret making my gaming hobby as much of a social one as I've made it. I have to care about the social implications of my hobby, on my friendships and such, rather than just being able to keep everything separate. In the good old days I had e-mail, IRC, and my games, etc., all entirely separate and I could what information I wanted to reveal, when, and how. Nowadays companies like to integrate everything together for the sake of convenience to the consumer and advertising and data analytics to the provider and stuff gets a lot more complicated because one thing isn't necessarily separate from another anymore.

But that said, I think that it's reasonable to assume, cautiously, that one has to make some workarounds to preserve/protect one's privacy, in this day and age of lots of interconnectedness between different parts of our lives, and privacy options won't automatically be there waiting for us. I guess I see them as luxuries that I can't take for granted...

Anyway, OP didn't say unfriending people (but rather said "don't friend people", a much more broad/extreme statement). (Also you're not the OP.)

Also, having to tell someone you're away from the computer...seems to be an "invasion of privacy" on par with telling someone that you're even around in the first place. Besides, no one said you had to be truthful -- white lies are a thing. (Not to mention that simply ignoring someone and not giving them the time of day is an option too.)

(I can see how it might be difficult to throw someone off the proverbial boat, especially if it's someone you know well, but honestly, if someone's going to question why you are on a browser as opposed to on the client, and then pester you about that...that sounds like a stalker or a harasser.)
Last edited by Quint the Alligator Snapper; Jul 26, 2017 @ 9:08pm
Pach Jul 27, 2017 @ 5:11am 
Originally posted by cSg|mc-Hotsauce:
Originally posted by Pach:
...Having to tell them I'm away from my PC is a violation of my privacy. I shouldn't have to make crap up, either....

if they are your friends with access to your profile because you let them have access to it, it is not invasion of privacy. and if you feel as though you need to hide from them, you should not be friends with them.

:qr:

Steam does not differentiate between different types of friends.

There's "people I play games with" vs. "my good RL friends" vs. "family".

There is no control over level of access for different kinds of friends. I'm asking for some.

The statement about "if you feel as though you need to hide from them, you should not be friends with them" is not true, because... there are different kinds of friends.
Pach Jul 27, 2017 @ 5:35am 
Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
Don't respond using the chat window that pops up. Keep on using only the browser chat.

... which is not what I requested. I said I want to still be able to chat using the in-game chat feature, not have to tab out.

Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
You say it's a privacy violation because it shows whether you're connected via browser or client. I guess that could be arguably agreeable, yes.

But in this case, if you want to deter someone from bugging you to join their server, wouldn't it be better to look like you're not even at your own computer?
Not necessarily. :P

Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
In any case, it's not exactly "strange" that Steam doesn't have this -- it was made as a content updater and server connector to help with multiplayer games, so the expected function was that people would use this in order to chat with their gaming buddies and be able to tell each other "hey, i'm playing this game, come join me". The ability to appear not playing a game when playing it would be a nice thing to have, yes, though it's sort of a secondary feature that I wouldn't expect to show up early on. Would it make sense to have it? Yes. Am I surprised that it isn't there? With the infamous "Valve Time" in mind,....not really.

If anything I'm more surprised that Valve made the little globe icon for being in web browser chat. Though I guess it may be because that doesn't let you do things like start voice chat, group chats, trading sessions, etc.. (But not being able to start trading sessions is no longer really an issue since they have a trade offer system now...)

I'm also surprised at that little icon. I don't see that it is necesary for anyone to know how I'm connected. They should just get an error that it's unable to connect to that person with those features.

Steam has been around a very long time, actually. Years. And I'm not the first person to ask for this. Or the second. I found old general disussion threads asking for it that predate this thread (which is in the "suggstions/ideas" forums... it's just... a suggestion)


Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
I'm not trying to say that this shouldn't be added. I agree that it should. I am just trying to come up with ways to achieve this in the meantime.

And honestly the kind of problem you're running into is why I kinda regret making my gaming hobby as much of a social one as I've made it. I have to care about the social implications of my hobby, on my friendships and such, rather than just being able to keep everything separate. In the good old days I had e-mail, IRC, and my games, etc., all entirely separate and I could what information I wanted to reveal, when, and how. Nowadays companies like to integrate everything together for the sake of convenience to the consumer and advertising and data analytics to the provider and stuff gets a lot more complicated because one thing isn't necessarily separate from another anymore.

But that said, I think that it's reasonable to assume, cautiously, that one has to make some workarounds to preserve/protect one's privacy, in this day and age of lots of interconnectedness between different parts of our lives, and privacy options won't automatically be there waiting for us. I guess I see them as luxuries that I can't take for granted...

Anyway, OP didn't say unfriending people (but rather said "don't friend people", a much more broad/extreme statement). (Also you're not the OP.)

Also, having to tell someone you're away from the computer...seems to be an "invasion of privacy" on par with telling someone that you're even around in the first place. Besides, no one said you had to be truthful -- white lies are a thing. (Not to mention that simply ignoring someone and not giving them the time of day is an option too.)

(I can see how it might be difficult to throw someone off the proverbial boat, especially if it's someone you know well, but honestly, if someone's going to question why you are on a browser as opposed to on the client, and then pester you about that...that sounds like a stalker or a harasser.)

I appreciate you trying to offer an alternative solution... but it came across as if you are against this idea, and I should just suck it up and deal with the system as it is, rather than ask for a simple change that would fix the problem. You were very aggressive about pushing for this "work around". I see now this is not what you intended, but it is how you came across. :P

I should not have to go through those kinds of weird hoops to have this function is part of the point... and no, it doesn't work exactly the way wanted.

I mention the original post, because I responded to this thread because they had a number of valid points, too. People seem to think we should just roll over and accept this. I don't think we should.

... privacy shouldn't be a luxury. It should be an integrated feature. however, many people are willing to sacrifice it for convienience. There are companies that are deliberately abusing that, to collect data on people and sell it.

Unless people start saying their privacy matters (as I did here), companies will continue to take advantage.

And this isn't even a big thing, really:

A simple toggle to turn off "in game" displays, withOUT a display saying that I'm doing it.

Now also add:
A toggle to turn off displaying how connected (or just drop that web icon).

And this all goes back to "there are different levels of friends", and I want to have some control over who sees what.

You can say "you shouldn't be friends with that person". People are not perfect. A person can be a good friend 95% of the time, but be a jerk about one thing. So you set a boundary between you and them with that one thing.

I'm trying to set a boundary.

I don't think I should have to go through wild hoops to do it. Chat systems have had a similar "don't show me online" feature for decades, so it's not like this is new programming.




Last edited by Pach; Jul 27, 2017 @ 5:40am
Originally posted by Pach:
I'm also surprised at that little icon. I don't see that it is necesary for anyone to know how I'm connected. They should just get an error that it's unable to connect to that person with those features.
I agree with respect to being in web chat, though there's the analogous situation of being in Big Picture Mode, where someone would be software-capable of doing those things but might not want to deal with typing using a gamepad and a ouija board an on-screen keyboard.

Originally posted by Pach:
Steam has been around a very long time, actually. Years. And I'm not the first person to ask for this. Or the second. I found old general disussion threads asking for it that predate this thread (which is in the "suggstions/ideas" forums... it's just... a suggestion)
Pretty sure I've asked for it myself too.

Originally posted by Pach:
I appreciate you trying to offer an alternative solution... but it came across as if you are against this idea, and I should just suck it up and deal with the system as it is, rather than ask for a simple change that would fix the problem. You were very aggressive about pushing for this "work around". I see now this is not what you intended, but it is how you came across. :P
This is partly because I'm pointing out that your request is insistently specific -- you want it exactly a certain way, and will accept no other alternative. For example:

Originally posted by Pach:
Originally posted by Quint the PSY Duck:
Don't respond using the chat window that pops up. Keep on using only the browser chat.
... which is not what I requested. I said I want to still be able to chat using the in-game chat feature, not have to tab out.
This.

First, you're wrong in saying that I'm suggesting you have to tab out -- you can use the Steam game overlay, which you would have to use if you were to chat without tabbing out the normal way anyway. Just that you chat through the Steam browser window on the overlay instead of in the usual chat window.

But I doubt that this would satisfy you, given that you want it to be exactly a certain way, and the way you've presented your position is basically that you don't even have nice things to say about anything that comes close -- instead, they are still stringently unacceptable to you because they don't work exactly that specific way that you want. In short, you're coming off as really picky.

Originally posted by Pach:
I should not have to go through those kinds of weird hoops to have this function is part of the point... and no, it doesn't work exactly the way wanted.
"it doesn't work exactly the way (I) wanted" [a typo there I presume]
Here's another example.

Originally posted by Pach:
I mention the original post, because I responded to this thread because they had a number of valid points, too. People seem to think we should just roll over and accept this. I don't think we should.

... privacy shouldn't be a luxury. It should be an integrated feature. however, many people are willing to sacrifice it for convienience. There are companies that are deliberately abusing that, to collect data on people and sell it.

Unless people start saying their privacy matters (as I did here), companies will continue to take advantage.
So basically, you're saying that there's more reason to go complaining loudly at them, rather than to adapt the way you use it in the first place?

Why not both? Why not acknowledge the value of changing one's behavior but do so with reservations and an emphasis that the system could be further improved? Instead of insisting "this is not exactly the way I want it" and "it isn't even a big thing, really", acting as if you are necessarily entitled to the new feature because you (who presumably was not involved in developing Steam) declare that it should be easy merely because it seems intuitively easy. The way I see it, you (or anyone else who wants this feature, including myself) are not entitled to this feature, but in turn, Steam is not entitled to our business. So my perspective is "it would be more convenient if there were these improvements, but in the meantime, I'll just not use it as much".

So, instead of arguing against makeshift solutions for now, say that they're imperfect and say how it would be so much better if they just let people turn off in-game status display. Being angrier doesn't mean it'll get done anytime sooner.

Originally posted by Pach:
I don't think I should have to go through wild hoops to do it. Chat systems have had a similar "don't show me online" feature for decades, so it's not like this is new programming.
The feature itself is not new at all, though let's observe that being able to change one's login name has been a staple on message boards for years yet Steam still doesn't let people change their (login) username. The feature you're highlighting is by FAR not the only one that needs updating. (And if anything, the login username thing has an even bigger security angle to it -- it was actually used as part of an exploit a couple years back, almost to the day.)
Last edited by Quint the Alligator Snapper; Jul 27, 2017 @ 12:19pm
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Date Posted: Jul 11, 2017 @ 10:28am
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