On Wednesdays, we look at artist/designer statements or About pages and discuss the vocabulary they use to describe their work. Today we’ll look at the About page of Valve, a game design company that, in their own words, “makes games, Steam, and hardware.”

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Here is a part of the text from their About page, in italics.

Our games attract millions and define genres.

Valve’s debut title, Half-Life, was released in 1998. It won more than 50 game of the year awards, and PC Gamer even called it the Best PC Game Ever. Since then, we’ve released dozens of titles that changed the world (and one that didn’t). Today, millions of people play our games every day.

Our earlier titles were built on an innovative engine with world-class gameplay as their paramount goal, and praised by critics as games that revitalized or even invented their genres.

We have some new games in the works, too. A couple have been announced, while others remain top secret.

We’re just getting started.

We make all of this stuff collaboratively in Bellevue, Washington, where we combine the resources and talent of a world-class company with the ethos of a small startup. With an engaged and vocal community of partners and players, our products and our company will continue to change and grow in ways we may never have predicted. Join us, and help inform what’s next.

Now my comments:

This is a very informative About page. It tells us the goals and mission of the company. We also learn about what makes it unique, see many examples of the work it has created, and how it has evolved over time. Although it was too much to include here, this About page also talks about Steam, Valve’s gaming platform, and about the hardware they have created, such as the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Vive. I don’t really think they need to add anything to improve this page.

Let’s take a look a the vocabulary and language they use.

In the first paragraph, we see that Half-Life was Valve’s debut title, which means this was the first game they created. Debut can be used in many mediums to describe a first performance, show, or the beginning of a career. We also see the claim that Valve has released many games that have changed the world. This is a way of saying that they made a big impact on the gaming world in a way that is kind of funny, especially since they add (and one that didn’t). Adding humor is often an effective way to engage your audience if you can do it effectively.

In the second paragraph, we learn about the goals of the company, such as world-class gameplay. World-class is an adjective that means something is the best in the world. We also see the word engine, which in this situation, refers to Steam, Valve’s gaming platform. Paramount means something is extremely important. Next, we see the phrase, in the works. It means they are working on some new games, but they aren’t ready yet. A couple means two have been announced, and top secret is an exciting way to say that some others haven’t been announced.

The phrase we’re just getting started means they are planning even bigger and better things for the future. In the final paragraph, they describe their company and where it’s located. They use the phrase all of this stuff to sound more casual and friendly. They emphasize this feeling by using the word collaboratively. They also use the word ethos, which means the guiding beliefs of a person, group, or organization. So they are saying that they are a big, famous, successful company with the heart of a small startup company. They emphasize their focus on people, listening and working together, with the words engaged, vocal community, and partners. They are trying to make their work environment sound inviting because they are looking for more people to join their company.

A good About page not only gives you the information you want about an artist, designer, or company, it also gives you a feel for what that person or organization is like. A good language coach can help you choose the best words and language to express your ideas and convey the right feeling for your website or online portfolio.

At Artglish, we help artists and designers to write a statement or About page that best describes their work. We focus on choosing the best vocabulary and language to help you share your work with others. If you want to learn more, click here to join The Studio and try some free ways to improve your English, or check out our Lessons page to learn how Artglish can help you succeed.

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

To see Valve’s About page, click the link below:

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