After coming under fire from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation for listing a video game featuring the rape and murder of women, major video game distributor Steam has backtracked and removed the game. Despite their “allow everything” that isn’t “illegal, or straight up trolling”content policy, Steam delisted the game due to posing “unknown costs and risks”.
Steam’s vacuous explanation for removing this game highlights the utter inadequacy of their content policy which fails to ban sexual exploitation games. Instead of clear content guidelines, Steam appears to merely remove games whenever the company starts receiving bad press. While we’re glad this disturbing game has been removed, Steam’s slow response exposes a deep flaw in their current content policy.
In a statement Steam wrote, “Much of our policy around what we distribute is, and must be, reactionary.”
It is hypocritical of Steam to remove one game while continuing to sell some 2,000 sexually exploitive games, many of which feature graphic sexual violence and pornographic themes. Further, their content filters are deeply inadequate, leaving millions of underage gamers exposed. We’re calling on Steam to improve their filters and set clear content guidelines that restrict sexually exploitive and graphic content.
In September, Steam approved for sale its first “100% uncensored” porn game featuring “pressured sexual relationships” and “abusive marriages”. This game, and others featuring similar content, remain for sale on the platform.
Steam was placed on the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s 2019 Dirty Dozen List. The Dirty Dozen List names 12 mainstream facilitators of sexual exploitation and works to change corporate policy via grassroots activism. Click here to learn more about the Dirty Dozen List.
EDITORS NOTE: This NCOSE column is republished with permission.