The Wisdom of Gamers


Innovation has done more than open new platforms for playing video games. It has made the process of creating such games more accessible.

As a result, the marketplace is now flooded with independently produced games of every genre. Abundance has its charms, but consumers searching for a quality game and creators striving to find their audience can easily be overwhelmed.

Valve, creator of the gaming platform Steam (which is used by millions), has introduced Steam Greenlight to help separate the wheat from the chaff. Game developers submit their concepts for public evaluation. Steam's customers are invited to rate the games, indicating whether they'd be interested in purchasing them. Games that reach a threshold of support are "greenlit" and will eventually be available for sale.

As of early December, only 11 games out of more than 900 submissions have been offered for sale. That's a tough crowd, but it's getting what it wants. —Scott Shackford