Valve details the games in contention for its 12 inaugural Steam Awards

valve steam awards nominees
Valve has announced the nominees for the Steam Awards, which are set to be decided via a fan vote later this month. The Steam Selection Committee submitted some 15 million nominations to determine which titles will be eligible to receive an award in one of 12 weird and wonderful categories.

The Steam Awards differ from most video game award ceremonies because there are no restrictions on which games can be nominated (other than their availability on the Steam storefront). This means that games from years ago can be in contention alongside relatively new releases.

This is particularly evident in the field for the “Test of Time” award, which honors releases that are just as compelling today as they were when they first launched. The contenders are Age of Empires II HD, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Sid Meier’s Civilization V, Team Fortress 2, and Terraria.

Even the categories themselves are quite different to the standard crop, eschewing staples like “Best Game” and “Best Developer” for more unusual and inventive brackets. The “I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award” award, the “Game Within a Game Award” award, and the “Best Use of a Farm Animal” award are all particularly interesting categories.

Steam Selection Committee members also contributed four write-in categories; the “Boom Boom” award, the “Love/Hate Relationship” award, the “Sit Back and Relax” award, and the “Better with Friends” award. Details on all 12 awards set to be handed out are available in the blog post detailing the festivities.

Steam users will be able to vote on each category daily between December 22 and December 30, with winners being announced on December 31. If you’re asking yourself why Valve is bothering to hand out awards, those dates should offer up an explanation; the entire thing will play out alongside this year’s Steam Winter Sale, and most of the games that are nominated will likely receive deep discounts as part of the promotion.

Gaming

Here are all the awesome games you can play without a fancy graphics card

Just because you don't have a dedicated graphics card, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of the best games out there right now. This is our list of the best games you can play on Intel integrated graphics.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Gaming

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.
Gaming

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.
Gaming

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.
Gaming

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Gaming

Latest ‘Fortnite’ update channels Halo with a scoped revolver

The latest update for Fortnite, update 7.20, is now available, and it brings a new Scoped Revolver weapon to the game alongside the returning Glider item and a limited-time Snipers-only mode.
Gaming

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ will make Blackout mode free to play this week

Treyarch and Activision are offering Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode as a free trial download for a limited time. The mode will be available from January 17 through January 24.
Gaming

Break out the Wii: ‘Just Dance’ movie reportedly in the works

Sony's Screen Gems has reportedly acquired the film rights to the Just Dance video game series from Ubisoft, which previously helped bring the game Assassin's Creed to the big screen in 2016.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ security flaw let hackers spy on players through microphones

A security vulnerability found in Fortnite allowed hackers to gain access to other players' accounts, potentially letting them spy on conversations using the in-game microphone. It has been addressed.