Extra Lives: Steam’s new update changes the game

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Today, the online game store Steam received its biggest update in a long time. The update, deemed “Discovery,” makes it easier for gamers to sift through the endless pile of junk that Steam’s become. It’s a clever solution to a very complex problem: Instead of trying to curate a diverse library for millions of different gamers, let the gamers curate the system themselves.

The new system seems to work more like a social media site than a game distribution service. Users can now follow different “Curators.” The Curators are individuals or groups that post specific recommendations on public forums on Steam. Anybody can become a Curator and instantly start to recommend games to their followers. With this, more power is given to the community to communicate about what type of games they like and will buy.

This is a welcome change from how Steam has been in the past few months. Previously, the Steam front page was inundated with a mountain of new games each day. It was almost impossible to find a game that fit my own interests because I had to wade through so much other stuff to get to something I like. Now I can follow Curators with similar interests to mine and find something that I’ll like.

Gamers no longer have to find a needle in the haystack in order to find a game of high quality that they like. Steam’s new update is great because it not only adds a new level of quality control but also gives power to the consumers. It’s far superior to a system where the content is curated by the distribution platform itself. If Steam were to try to curate all of its content as it did in the past, it would be simply unfeasible. It’s impossible to please everybody at once.

Discovery adds a more personalized touch to Steam that helps all PC gamers, no matter what types of games they like to play. It’s a step forward for a service that over the past few months has been stuck in the past. That’s a change I’m most certainly willing to embrace.

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