Valve Urges Users To Stop Inhaling Steam Deck Exhaust Fumes

Some people sure are weird.

Cover image via Bloomberg & Learn Religions

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If you've owned an electronic device before, you're likely familiar with the distinctive 'electronic' smell some of these devices have

For example, if you were to take your TV's remote control or an alarm clock you'll understand what we're talking about.

This smell is more prevalent in devices that generate heat, such as the Nintendo Switch handheld console or the larger, more powerful Steam Deck.

And, that's exactly what one user did — huffing the exhaust port of the Steam Deck.

The console's developer, Valve, has urged users to refrain from inhaling the exhaust fumes emitted from the vent

Image via Club386

In a Reddit post on 12 December, a Steam Deck user revealed that they sought an official response from Steam Support regarding the safety of inhaling the device's exhaust fumes.

The user humorously mentioned in their support request that this question had become a recurring joke among fellow Steam Deck owners. After three days, Steam Support finally put the question to rest.

Here's what Steam Support responded:

"As with all electronics, it is generally not recommended you inhale the exhaust fumes on your device," the response read.

"While there are no safety concerns with general usage, directly inhaling the device's vent fumes should be avoided. We understand that it may be a meme, but please refrain from this behaviour for for the safety of your health," it continued.

In fact, the Redditor isn't the first person to say that the Steam Deck exhaust port smells good

Since the launch of the Steam Deck in February 2022, users have openly acknowledged that the exhaust fumes from the portable gaming device have a strangely pleasing scent.

Here are some of the social media posts that we found:

Is it dangerous? Probably not, but it's certainly not recommended

In terms of the scientific rationale behind this phenomenon, there aren't any reports confirming that inhaling the hot air generated by portable electronic devices can result in lasting effects. However, it's important to note that this doesn't necessarily mean that casually inhaling the exhaust fumes from your Steam Deck is entirely risk-free, either.

Another user suggested that the scent could be tied to nostalgia, speculating that the unique smell brings back memories of playing games in their childhood attic. This theory makes sense, considering how our sense of smell is closely connected to the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with emotions.

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