People Are Already Abusing Steam Curations

People Are Already Abusing Steam Curations

Steam curations — which let people maintain custom pages of recommended PC games — are a great idea, but that doesn't mean they're water-tight just yet. People have figured out how to do downright mean/exploitative (and sometimes hilarious) things with them. Valve should probably unchain its moderation hounds.

It's not uncommon for new Steam features to be manipulated for nefarious purposes (see also: Steam reviews, Steam tags, Steamships with really big guns attached) but that doesn't make it any less unfortunate. Reports have begun to emerge of people doing things like advertising illicit game key sales in curation reviews (which in turn gives them a chance to be displayed on the game's page; free advertising of prices that undercut Valve's) and sometimes being outright mean, offensive or troll-y.

Regardless, these not-so-nice curators risk gumming up the works of Valve's effort to make new games easier to discover. I don't really know who wins so long as they continue frolicking about as they please, but I don't think it's players.

People Are Already Abusing Steam Curations

It seems like Valve is already on the case with some of the less savory curators (the screenshotted one above appears to have been taken down, for instance), but I don't imagine people will stop trying to abuse the system until Valve puts a more convenient reporting tool in place, as they did with Steam reviews and Steam tags. Currently you can report groups responsible — as opposed to individual curations — but that's significantly less convenient than it could be. Sometimes a few extra clicks are all it takes to turn people from Mjolnir banhammer-wielding forces of justice to complacent couch potatoes who can't be bothered.

People Are Already Abusing Steam Curations

That's not to say people don't still publish obnoxious/mean-spirited Steam reviews and Steam tags either. They can be voted down and reported, but some of their insipid ilk seep through nonetheless. That's the downside to Valve's fever dream of a user-driven utopia, I suppose: when you un-gate your community, some bad eggs will inevitably find their way in.

The hope is that the community will, in turn, use moderating tools to break them into a thousand yolk-spattered Humpty Dumpty fragments, but that doesn't always happen. Not yet, anyway. Steam's new features are undeniably cool (and I haven't even counted the ways I adore all the smaller improvements, like prominent DRM warnings), but Steam is still faaaaaaaaar from perfect.

On the upside, some of the less, er, useful Steam curation pages are still goddamn hilarious. For instance, I give you "Is It Postal?" Hint: it is rarely Postal.

People Are Already Abusing Steam Curations

Comments

    So you can report via the group game. Well at least that is something, I didn't think there was a way to do it at all. Perhaps a "Was this curation helpful" up and down vote, although that has the danger of the niche curators getting downvoted by people who don't like the genre.
    And niche curation is IMO the best application possible for this feature

    Fallout 3 is on my front page as being similar to games I already own...I already own the GOTY edition of Fallout 3 on Steam

      Yes, but you don't own the non-GOTY edition, hence why it's similar to something you already own.
      Seriously though, when there are multiple editions of a game like this, there needs to be a way to merge them into one. At least you can say you're "Not Interested" in Fallout 3.

    Sometimes I really hate the internet, I don't think the easy access to free information and 24/7 pornography necessarily outweighs the fact that humans were never meant to be this communicable and freely horrible to one another.

      In face to face communication there's always the risk that they'll belt you if you get lippy.

      I dunno. If you went back to the 1950s - the hey-day of 'repressed polite' - and explained that in the 21st century most people are wandering around with devices in their pocket with the computational power of NASA to an order of magnitude with nearly instant access to the sum total of all human knowledge which we predominantly use to look at funny pictures and win arguments, the 1950s person would have their mind blown and want to be there.

      If you explained that the trade-off is that people are jerks, they'd probably shrug and figure that people are already jerks anyway.

      I'm not sure the culture of repression and censure for deviating from the social norm is worth the politeness it came with.

    KInda sad, a new service is offered and people try to work out how they can abuse the new service.

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