Valve is rapidly adding ways for users to find their games at a first glance on their storefront with Steam tags. This follows a way to track recently updated games. Their digital distribution is often criticized for their lesser interface and discoverability. Technically, having the community tag their own and letting the common words float atop should sound like a solid idea. Quality rises to the top, right?
In reality, giving the internet any power to craft their own model is going to end in dicks before long. In less than a day since its conception, some of the commonly more powerful words now include “garbage” and “overrated.”
Of course, most of the games pitted in those categories aren’t anything but the lowest hanging fruit for grief to be used. Despite massive acceptance, Bioshock Infinite and Fallout 3 are overrated. Every Call of Duty ever made is garbage. There are few surprises to be had here.
In particular, the reason for this is that it’s easy to view tags and add to the landslide by simply adding some of your own. I, myself, added an “overrated” tag to Insurgency, because I could and I have this thing about the game. It’s not so much in full sincerity, but it’s because it can be done in a second. I’m sorry, Insurgency developer. It was that or employ another unpopular opinion as a trial by fire.
Of course, the argument can exist that it’s just a Beta and kinks need to be worked out, but the Steam tags phenomenon goes beyond its easiest of internet abuse events. In whatever case, adding even helpful tags to games by the dozens will lead to eventual problems already popping up. That problem is misinformation. Stealth paragon Thief is a simulation too, somehow, while Dota 2 is a strategy game in league with Civilization V. Counter-strike is the tactical peer of Total War releases or even Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver. Eventually, this is just going to lead to an all-new melting pot of games you’ll come upon at random. It’s like rolling dice to see with what games you’ll come up.
Moving on to solutions, perhaps the best way for Valve to handle Steam tags would be In a similar way than its Greenlight program. Have the feature running now, until the venom can be assessed or just downright quelled, then categorize the most helpful new tags along with the existing filters. Consider it like a massive survey that eventually leads back to full control to Valve. Tag clouds are nice, but not when they just lead to every product having the same range of tags. Then, you’re just constantly looking at the same giant stock, but from a different angle.
Really, the current interface isn’t that bad. Just a little tweak will do, not the giant feedbag it’s already devolving into.