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Valve has announced today that they are pursuing an awesome new thing called “Steam Tags”. It's been a long-asked-for feature from gamers and developers alike, and Valve has finally unleashed this much-requested feature.
The main thing is that gamers want to find the games they want to play, and developers want gamers to find the games they made for them. The process of finding a game in Steam is no easy one. Sometimes you'll find what you're looking for and other times you won't. It's a shot in the dark and it's something that needs to be rectified. Thankfully, Valve is rectifying the problem.
As noted by Valve's Al Fansworth (and I have no idea what this guy's actual title is; you know how Valve is run like a communistic hippy commune so he could be up or down the ladder... who knows) saying...
"As the catalog of products available on Steam continues to grow, we want to ensure that it is easy for customers to find the particular types of games or software they are looking for," ..."With this new feature, we are providing another powerful tool to help organize and browse products on Steam."
Plain and simple, I love this feature. I think it's the perfect thing that Valve needed to implement ahead of the official release of the SteamOS.
People being able to find games is absolutely essential and Valve going the extra step to help people find games is awesome.
So how does tagging work? Well, it's very similar to the website aggregate tagging you sometimes see on the side panel where the most popular tags are the most highlighted. The press release explains the system as follows...
“Now available in beta, Tagging gives Steam customers the ability to "Tag" any title with genres, themes, attributes, or any other term or phrase. The most popular tags on any given product will be surfaced on said product's Steam page and allow users to easily find other products associated with that same tag. “
This means that all of you out there who keep asking about split-screen games on Steam can start tagging the games you find. This will make it easy for people looking for split-screen games to find split-screen games.
It also means that those of you looking for X-Com clones or MOBA titles or side-scrolling 3D fighting games, can do so by tagging the game appropriately.
My only concern is with inappropriate tags. I mean, is there a system in place to keep the virgins from 4Chan coming together and maybe spam-tagging a game like Expendables 2 with “d1ckphuck3r” so that's the one thing most associated with the game when people are searching through the tags? Censorship... that is the question.
Anyway, if you dig the new system and want to give it a test run, you can do so right now by booting up Steam and tagging some of your favorite games with appropriate tags to help your friends, family members and even strangers find the sort of games they're looking for.
I love the concept and I love the idea behind this. It's such a shame that the whole ownership rights debate sometimes clouds my appreciation for Steam, but hopefully there will be some way around that issue in the near future.
You can learn more about tagging by paying a visit to the official Steam Powered website.