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Interesting, I had never thought of "Collections" as a kind of "Wishlist" before. Not sure what I thought of it, but I was generally confused when people would add my products to their Collections without downloading or engaging, saying hi, or anything else (maybe it's a kind of backlog list for many users?). I have similar thoughts regarding your observations of the review system.

Perhaps this site could benefit from realizing that there are things that could be done to incentivize players to review or engage with products they have downloaded. For me, I think of Steam: there is a whole "Social Media" aspect to it. Players are incentivized to review the games they play, because it's right there on their profile by default: the number of reviews that player has written, along with the number of artworks that player has created for games, and the number of games that player owns, and so on. Every review or fan art they create for a game is a part of their Steam page, a kind of social media reputation system if you will that gives them a reason to WANT to interact with the games they have played. has a type of incentive that is similar to Steam's "Social Media" system. When you click on a username on this site, you are taken to the user's profile. But you must then click on the user's profile name AGAIN (once you are already on their user page) to view the comments and postings the user has made. To me, I feel that it adds an extra layer of confusion that many users may not feel the urge to bother with. Particularly, I think that there may be regular users of this site who don't even know that you can view the posts and reviews that another user has made. It's pretty easy to miss. 

Well, I don't mean to suggest that become an "indie games" clone of Steam. There are probably all sorts of things that could be done to incentivize engagement, if the site's devs are feeling creative. I can only imagine the amount of hard work that goes into building and managing such a platform as this, so it's not like I'm being super critical here. Just some thoughts. By the way, you're not the only person who has noticed the "horror game feedback loop" on this site.

"Lastly, the tag system, created to help regulate and fine-tune navigating through itch's large database, is missing an option to exclude certain tags. Users can add more tags to their query to help zoom into their favorite niche, but they can't exclude certain tags that don't fit their tastes. For instance, you can't search for visual novels that aren't erotic, first person games that aren't also horror games, or adventure games that don't use pixel art. The site could also use a global "hide tags" option, if users wish to ignore certain genres or aspects altogether."

^To add to this, I was initially surprised to see that you can't "Ignore" certain games or developers so that you're not recommended their games anymore. And that you can't "Ignore" specific tags or genres. If I were a non-dev regular player, and I keep getting recommended "Horror Game of the month #1495938459890" despite not being particularly interested in horror games, I'm not going to click on that link no matter how many times you show it to me. It does ruin the ease at which players could discover diverse and unique kinds of titles when they can't exclude certain tags and genres from their recommendations and searches. At least, that's what I think.

Good stuff. I also don’t think itch should adapt a full “superindie Steam” push, but that ties into its internal identity crisis where it’s unclear if it’s Newgrounds, Bandcamp, or, well, Steam.

As you point out with community profiles, itch’s UI/UX is generally a mixed bag. Took me a while to understand that people use collections as a sort of backlog, too. They actually have all sort of uses: as wishlists, as a way of featuring games you liked, as a way to organize certain things you want to play on stream, as a way to sort out your “library”, and even as a way to organize and design your own creator profile. It’s a versatile system and I understand itch’s hesitation to put in a “proper” wishlist collection when collections would suffice, but it does harm the site’s “flow”, if it makes any sense. It’s like the pieces are there but they’re all just slightly off.