Recently Steam added a new feature to their overarching metagame system. Select games available on Steam now have 'trading card' sets associated with them. All you have to do is play the game a bunch and you'll get give cards at random from the set. But only up to half of them! To get the rest you need to either trade with other people or get lucky and have a random booster pack drop with more cards to help you out. Why do you want to collect these cards? Because they're cards you can collect! And collecting all the cards from a given game gives you a badge! Which raises your Steam level! Which seems to have no impact except letting you get booster packs faster!
It all sounds so worthless when you really sit down and think about it. And yet I really want to collect a full set. And I know when I collect a full set I'll want to collect ALL the full sets. Must make the number bigger!
I read an article yesterday talking about the Steam summer sale, and Steam trading cards, and how the two of them are working together to use mental tricks to convince people to buy more games. I thought it was interesting and worth checking out. And now I need to go see if there's anything new on sale on Steam that I can get tricked into buying! I'll get more cards if I find anything!