One of the largest online gaming retailers is giving more power to its community.
Valve launched its Steam Reviews platform today in a test phase that is accessible to all Steam members. This new service enables gamers to rate a product and share it with everyone else on Steam. Customers can then check ratings from their friends and strangers to help them make better decisions.
Like on Amazon, customers can recommend a review if they find it helpful. This will supposedly help the best reviews rise to the top. Steam will also help people find reviews in the language of their choice, so that players don’t have to rely on translation services.
Steam will collect reviews by game and by user. If a gamer finds a reviewer that they trust, they can click on their name to bring up all of their reviews.
Of course, like with Amazon or Metacritic, people tend to abuse user-review services. Gamers often take to those sites to give 1-star ratings to titles they’ve never played because they prefer another game or for any number of other reasons. To prevent that sort of thing, Steam will only enable a gamer to review a title if they have played it through Steam. Some people will probably still find ways to abuse the system, but this will at least prevent people from posting a review before at least trying it.