In the name of increasing awareness of all its varied offerings and hidden gems, Steam has introduced the opt-in program Steam Labs.
This is a public experiment that exists to improve discoverability, machine learning, and user feedback on Steam. Users can opt into various extra features and then share feedback with the developers that made said features. There are currently three active experiments, but there should be more in the future.
The first available experiment is micro trailers. These are short, six-second looping videos designed to quickly inform viewers about titles on Steam with a presentation that’s easy to skim. The second experiment is an interactive recommender that looks at how much you’ve played each game in your Steam library, and uses machine learning to recommend games you might like. You can also manually filter your results by picking games that are popular or niche, and drill down further via release date and tags. I like to drill very deep, so this sounds perfect for me. The third and final experiment is the automatic show, a half-hour long daily automated show that shows off current releases. I’m not too sure about this one, but it can’t hurt to release it for testing.
Those are the three experiments available right now, with more to come in the future if Steam judges this to be a worthwhile endeavour. Two of the three seem useful to me, so I think this is a good direction to move in. If it helps expose cool games past their prime like Copy Kitty, Super Darryl Deluxe, and Ultra Fight Da! Kyanta 2, I’m all for it. We’ll see where this goes as it progresses.