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As everyone prepares to get together for the holiday celebration, Gabe Newell has decided to pull you back to the computer tomorrow with the annual Steam Winter sale. In what has become a tradition for Steam sales, the exact date for the beginning of it was revealed by Paypal, this time doing so on their Twitter account.

While Valve has not publicly confirmed that date, they have announced when the voting on the Steam Awards will begin, and it will be December 22nd. Over 15 million nominees were sent in, and the final winners will be announced on New Year’s Eve. This event is likely continuing the recent trend of the “gimmicks” for the sales to be more community oriented and less of a game. While we’ll include the full list of dates, nominees, and awards below, we want to focus here first on the write-in category, which will have their vote on December 30th.

Instead of just choosing one, Valve has opted to go with four different write-in awards, and no, none of them are “game most in need of a sequel” with Half Life 2 listed. The first is the “Boom Boom” award, which is about games with the best explosions in them. The nominees for it are:

  • BroForce
  • DOOM
  • Just Cause 3
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
  • Kerbal Space Program

The second is the “Love/Hate Relationship” award, which is all about games that are punishingly difficult but rewarding. In the way that the community of one of the games nominated would put it, these games challenge you to “Git Gud”:

  • Dark Souls III
  • Darkest Dungeon
  • Dota 2
  • Geometry Dash
  • Super Meat Boy

The third award is the opposite, the “Sit Back and Relax” award, which is all about games that you can relax and enjoy without being at the edge of uttering words that you can’t say near youth. The nominees for the relaxing game award are:

  • Abzu
  • Cities Skylines
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Mini Metro
  • Viridi

The final write-in category is all about collectivism. The “Better With Friends” award is for games that are best played with friends, although it doesn’t seem to be restricted to multiplayer-only games. The nominees are:

  • Don’t Starve Together
  • Gang Beasts
  • Golf With Your Friends
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Magicka

As for the various awards that lead up to that, we’ll list them and their nominees here with a note that voting on them will begin at 1 PM EST on the day indicated.

December 22 “Villain Most In Need Of A Hug” Award

  • Borderlands 2
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Far Cry 3
  • Far Cry 4
  • Portal 2

December 23 “I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award” Award

  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Paladins
  • Starbound
  • Stardew Valley
  • Unturned

December 24 “Test of Time” Award

  • Age of Empires II HD
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization V
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Terraria

December 25 “Just 5 More Minutes” Award

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Rocket League
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
  • Fallout 4
  • Terraria

December 26 “Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!” Award

  • Bioshock Infinite
  • DOOM
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

December 27 “Game Within A Game” Award

  • Garry’s Mod
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • The Stanley Parable
  • Tabletop Simulator
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

December 28 “I’m Not Crying, There’s Something In My Eye” Award

  • Life Is Strange
  • To the Moon
  • This War of Mine
  • Undertale
  • The Walking Dead

December 29 “Best Use Of A Farm Animal” Award

  • ARK: Survival Evolved
  • Blood and Bacon
  • Farming Simulator 17
  • Goat Simulator
  • Stardew Valley

That is all the awards and information available right now, but if you want to get ahead on the sales stuff, you can check out our coverage of the Bundlestars winter sale.

What games are you looking at picking up this holiday? What games do you think were denied awards? What do you plan on voting for? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.


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