I recently started seeing non-game software available on Steam, and I like what I see.  Video editing, 3D animation, and game design software seem well suited to the steam environment.  Given that I have been using DAZ, Renderosity, RuntimeDNA, etc., as my cloud software repositories for 3D models for a while now, I’m really excited by the potential to have a good nexus for my software content.

One could potentially take it a step further:  If Valve develops a good enough library of office, animation, and web products, it might just be possible to have a complete “Steam machine.”  It sure would make it a lot easier to reinstall everything after a system crash, and having the ability to update every program through the same engine (similar to “apt get upgrade”) would be amazing.

It seems like Valve didn’t stop with software, though.  No, they actually want to reward the users for using the products in new and interesting ways.  How?  Through the genius that is achievements.  As we’ve seen in games, achievements encourage people to continue playing long after the game would have otherwise gone stale.  What will happen when we start seeing productivity software giving achievements?  How far forward could our education system be pushed if we could make all learning achievement based.

There’s a brave new world ahead, and Valve is leading the charge.  It’s an amazing time to be a gamer.