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Steam’s new ‘Community Recommendations’ feature is a wild ride

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Today marks the one year anniversary of Steam Labs, a sort of ongoing PTR that Valve uses to test and iterate on new Steam functionality before rolling it out to everyone. To celebrate, Valve posted an update that looks back on a year’s worth of experiments and teases a little bit about what’s coming next, and finally launched the Community Recommendations storefront feature it began testing last year.

“Community Recommendations showcases your reviews by featuring them right on our home page for everyone to see,” the update says. “The result brings community energy to the store, enabling users to keep abreast of the titles players are currently enjoying, and why.”

That sounds straightforward enough, and many of the recommendation blurbs are useful. But some of them are gold of a different sort: The system appears to employ the opening few lines of user reviews without concern for what they actually say (or are), and that leads to some pretty interesting places.

(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)

(Image credit: Valve)

Robin said today that Steam has become exhausting, and I’m starting to think he might be on to something.

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