We’ve been vocal in the recent months about the inclusion of Steam awards in an apparent race to the bottom of simple and low-effort content that is rapidly filling up the Steam platform, now on both sides of the fence with users and developers.
While the reviews continue to be mostly disappointing, and many point towards the Steam Awards for encouraging meme-culture and low-effort posts to be spammed by those that prefer the low-effort posts, Valve has seen fit to release three new awards: Treasure, Mind Blown, and Golden Unicorn.
Noticeably, all three rewards appear to encourage deeper reasoning and thought than simple meme reviews and other various forms of low-effort content, and they’re the first rewards that are offered that climb exponentially in price.
The Treasure award costs 600 Steam coins (with the norm of 300), Mind Blown costs 1,200, and Golden Unicorn costs 2,400 coins. With one cent equalling one point, we’re looking at an award that equals $24.00, although not directly, as the points are offered in exchange for users purchasing titles on Steam.
With our vocalized general disdain of the Steam Awards in mind, this is a smart move from Valve on both fronts; it allows a further point sink that offers a bit of prestige to awards; as many are sitting on tens of thousands of points, that sink needs to be realized sooner rather than later.
New Steam Community Points Awards pic.twitter.com/8EKnxq1wIt
— Chris Miller (@GroggyLuck) September 16, 2020
And it isn’t helped by titles offering their unique stickers and backgrounds only if you own the title on Steam.
The second is that it will likely act as a way to highlight reviews that have depth and understanding supporting them, if not a reading level higher than third grade. Not many would be willing to drop the equivalent to $24 on a meme (Reddit aside as a strange outlier) to state to the uncaring cyber-verse that they like something, so they could plausibly offer a metric standard.
Conversely, it would have to be a gobsmacking piece of content for someone to drop 2,400 points on a whim for content they’ll likely never see again; how it ultimately ends up being used by the community isn’t clear, but the resounding hopes of the vocal community (and apparently Valve) is clear; using the Steam Points Awards to highlight high-effort content.
Likely, as the Steam Points continue to be further incorporated in the platform, the balances of many will likely dwindle as well: when the points were introduced, everyone received full value for the titles (and money spent) owned on Steam, resulting in many having massive balances with no way to spend it.
It’s plausible that come this time next year, the Steam Aw2ards will be featuring a far stronger presence within Valve’s platform, rather than the meme-identifiers they are currently acting as.