Valve has been doing a good job of trying to expand their reach, especially with the release of “Big Picture,” their attempt at getting PC gaming into the living room. With each new update, Steam becomes a better platform for PC gaming.
Today the company announced “Steam Guides,” dubbing it, “player-created manuals & references.” The idea is that it gives gamers a central location to get instructions, hints, tips, and walkthroughs, all within the Steam platform. Other gamers rate the guides, with higher rated works featured more prominently in the framework. The guides were available to beta users last month, but have just now become available to everyone.
Gamers access the guides through the Community hub of Steam as a new tab. Many of the guides are currently text based, but some people have begun to upload video demonstrations which some may find more helpful. Unlike a wiki, each entry is editable only by the original author. This is both a positive and a negative to the offering.
While we really like the Steam platform as a whole, we don’t really see the advantage to having game guides built in. The Internet is already full of sites that give gamers this type of access, both as wikis as well as on general gaming sites. The only reason we can see for the existence of this feature is for gamers who use this in their living room; but with more and more people using smartphones and tablets while they game, we don’t really see this being used very often.