Major update: Cor, this didn’t go well! Currently the Steam Winter Auction is a big “nope”. Head there now and you’ll see a message saying there have been “some issues” with it, and it’s closed until they can fix it. Those issues, we’ve heard, are that bugs meant people were getting millions of gems, and the whole economy went kaput. Of course Steam’s fervent community was going to find exploits right away, and it looks like they found the mother lode. Quite how Valve will repair everyone’s sales, swaps and crafts in the last 12 hours it’ll be interesting to find out. I expect a lot of strops.
From today, until next Thursday, Valve has just announced they’re running a Steam Auction. This is a way for users to trade (“recycle” they say) unused items in their inventories for “Steam Gems”, which can then be used to bid – from next Monday – for games in an auction. Because it’s come to this.