You seem to follow a very conservative crowd, that thinks degree = skills. This may be right if you're aspiring to be a new doctor or a lawyer. However that is usually not true in areas such as game development. Of course, as I mentioned in my previous reply, degree is a great addition to your resume and taking a Computer Science class may help you understand a lot - that being said, software development is one of the very few fields that you can enter, simply by learning on your own (just look at how many tutorials and programming books there are on Amazon).
I believe that is the way it should be, and I don't doubt that the higher ups at companies would say that. However, applicants do not exist in a vacuum and it is a highly competitive job market. Large companies such as Valve probably get hundreds of applications a day from all sorts of people, and that is what HR is for. And i'm not sure about Valve, but it is VERY common for them to simply filter out applications without any degree or experience. I dont know of any programmer that would rather be review applications all day rather than...well...programming. So I would believe their is something wrong if the HR department is filled with programmers, they should be reviewing potential hires, not every application.
Appearance is important but if it's related to the position you're applying for. If you wanna be a programmer, they will look at how flexible, intelligent and efficient is your code. The more professional it is, the more it speaks about your experience. Trust me, no one should be judging you for so called "programmer's art". Unless of course, you're applying for a 3D modeler position - but that's another story.
That being said, to speak to OP, not only is your portfolio very confusing to use with it starting on a blank page, the projects that you put on their aren't overly impressive at first glance. Ultimately appearance is everything, and you could definitely use some work with that
Let's stop here and think for a second. It's true that you're in a pool of hundreds of candidates, no one has ever denied it in this conversation. However, because of that simple fact, you should make yourself somehow unique. I'm not quite sure what you expect from college but higher education focuses on giving you a theoretical knowledge. It teaches you universal coding practices and pure concepts. To make it more clear, most of the universities will teach you for example what is OOP and when to use class interfaces instead of inheritance (purely universal concept), however there won't be too much about how to make the most efficient game loop or how to efficiently cache from disk your high quality SFX for PS3, which has somehow limited RAM. In most gaming companies experience > formal education - mainly because game programming is something you have to teach yourself (for the most part).
I guess the biggest thing that you need to remember is that your not in a vacuum, you are in a pool of hundreds of other applicants. You are NOT proving that you can do the job, you are proving that you can do the job better than anybody else. A formal education can supplement the rest of your "package" and prove that you are able to dedicate yourself to something for 4 years (Assuming 4 year degree). Just think if you are hiring, would you rather have someone with no degree and little to no formal experience, or someone With a degree and little experience. I certainly would take someone with a degree
And I'm a second year student of an IT-oriented studyline (developing mobile applications, networking etc) at one of the biggest European universities and I still feel like I need much more stuff to learn, aside from what I get from my school. University is only a couple of hours a day in a classroom of many people when teaching isn't always the most efficient - it doesn't matter whether it's Harvard, Yale or some cheap community college - if you want to make yourself unique, you have to do extra work on your own. The "pool of candidates" you mentioned will be filled with tons of graduates with degrees like yours or even "fancier" but it really isn't enough to say whether you're ready for the work. That's why I said, degree is important but should be treated as an addition to your portfolio - unless you actually make something practical that you can show around and present to people, no one will know of your true skills - university gives you some important insights and teaches theoretical knowledge - your own private work, on the other hand, is how you apply this knowledge in practice and that's how you can make yourself outstanding.
Note however that I am still in High School as well, so all my comments are based of of MY understanding, not how it actually is. What you should be doing right now, is start working as a freelancer and do contract work. Of course this is assuming that you know what you are doing and are good at it. Im not sure exactly what area you are interested in, but if you are intrested in programming, you should have no problem finding work. (I have to actually turn most people away their are so many companies looking for short term engineers).
Summarizing my opinion, if you can get a degree - do it, you can definitely benefit from that. However, it shouldn't be the main point on your resume - do extra work and create a few demos, so you can always prove your practical skills. This can really increase the chances of getting hired. I recommend you to watch the video I posted in another thread. It should give you some more insights on what companies, such as Valve look for.