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Voting for the first-ever Steam Awards has begun

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Side-by-side with today's kickoff of the Steam Autumn Sale, Valve has also opened up voting in the first-ever Steam Awards, with nominations chosen by you—that's right, you. Games can be tapped for contention in eight different categories, and if you don't like how they're broken down, you can opt to suggest one of your own.

Those categories are: 

  • The "Test of Time" Award
  • The "I'm Not Crying, There's Something In My Eye" Award
  • The "Just Five More Minutes" Award
  • The "Whoooaaaaaaa, Dude!" Award
  • The "Villain Most In Need of a Hug" Award
  • The "Game Within a Game" Award
  • The "I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award" Award
  • The "Best Use Of A Farm Animal” Award
  • The “We Didn’t Think Of Everything” Award

I was initially cold on the whole thing, because it's so obviously and utterly pointless—One category (I'll let you guess which one, dude) is literally for games that "melt your face," or that maybe just seemed really cool because when you played it you were still super-high from having your wisdom teeth taken out. But then I remembered that even "real" award shows, for videogames or any other form of mainstream entertainment, are almost entirely pointless except as fodder for ridiculous arguments. And then I felt better. Because if I'm going to argue about which game is "best," I think it'd be a lot more fun to hang the debate on the inclusion of farm animals than on who gave the most memorable female VO performance.

In fact, I'll even argue that cyborg eagles qualify as farm animals, because eagles are animals I sometimes see while I'm driving past farms. (And since there are apparently zero restrictions on nominations, I consider that argument won.)

That's a very roundabout way of saying that this is all in good fun, so you probably shouldn't get too hung up on your picks, or the inherent silliness of the whole thing. And there is a reward for taking part: Valve is offering a badge and Steam XP for completing tasks like nominating games and playing/reviewing your nominees.

Steam Award nominations are live now and will close on November 29, when the Steam Autumn Sale wraps up. Winners will be announced sometime in December.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.