Steam has introduced a new crowd-voting award system to grant various annual accolades to the cream of the gaming crop.

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The default eight categories for the Steam Awards are refreshingly offbeat with the following awards asking your consideration:

  • The "Test of Time" Award - Basically the best game from before this year. One that remains as sterling now as when it first launched.
  • The "I'm Not Crying, There's Something In My Eye" Award - What game moved you the most emotionally?
  • The "Just five More Minutes" Award - The game that is most difficult to stop playing.
  • The "Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!" Award - To honour the game that offered the greatest shock, epiphany, or mindf*ck.
  • The "Villain Most In Need Of A Hug" Award - Fairly self-explanatory, this one.
  • The "Game Within A Game" Award - Awarding the greatest mini-game. Remember how Geometry Wars emerged from Project Gotham Racing 2? Stuff like that.
  • The "I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award" Award - The best sleeper hit. Something with little pre-release fanfare that blew up into a big hit.
  • The "Best Use Of A Farm Animal" Award - Also self-explanatory. (And may I remind you all that Ultimate Chicken Horse came out this year? Wink, wink.)

Finally, there is a wild card, the "We Didn't Think Of Everything" Award, which tasks the audience with writing in and voting for their own category.

"There are as many great ideas for awards as there are great games to play. And so we turn to the Steam Awards Selection Committee to come up with their own category and nominee," Valve explained. "Senior members of the Selection Committee will review the write-in entries and create an entirely new category based on the feedback provided."

"Senior members of the Steam Awards Selection Committee will review the most popular user submitted categories and select the best ones. Or we'll put all the entries into a hat and do it that way," Valve added in its FAQ. Makes about as much sense as the Electoral College anyway.

To encourage folks to get involved in voting these days, Valve is offering badges for nominating titles. All you need to do is nominate a game for each category that you've both played and reviewed.

Don't forget that Steam just launched its Autumn Sale, should you want to peruse more titles before nominating anything.

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.