steam videogame #metoo
November 9, 2017

Steam Video Games Promote Rape Myths, Sexual Violence in Our #MeToo Culture

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has identified some in the video game industry as perpetuating rape culture and rape myths. In July NCOSE reached out to Steam, a video game distribution platform and one of the most egregious culprits, asking the company to remove sexually exploitive games. After NCOSE’s complaint, Steam added black censor bars over the nudity in the House Party game—but left the themes of sexual coercion 100% intact.

Now Steam is blocking adult game developers from sharing uncensored patches on their platform, which typically allow users to access sexual content in the games. This is a step in the right direction, but it is still too little too late. NCOSE is calling on Steam to remove games with sexually exploitive themes.

While public figures are being justifiably criticized for sexual assault, harassment, and coercion, we are allowing mainstream video game companies to profit off these same themes. In the Steam game House Party, players coerce women through blackmail, intoxication, and deception to have animated-pornographic sex. In real life such coercion would be rape.

Living in a #MeToo culture means we cannot turn a blind eye to how this affects male users’ attitudes of sexual entitlement.

As documented by female gamers and documentaries, the sexually violent content of these types of video games has affected the behavior some individuals in the video game community.

Learn more about sexual exploitation in video games here:

Haley Halverson

Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach

Haley Halverson is the Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she develops and executes national campaigns to change policies and raise awareness. Haley regularly speaks and writes on topics including child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual objectification, the exploitation of males, and more. She has presented before officials at the United Nations, as well as at several national symposia before influencers from the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, and more. She is the host of the “Sexploitation?” podcast and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts at Johns Hopkins University.

Previously, Haley served for two years as Director of Communications for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she oversaw strategic messaging development, press outreach, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Prior to working at NCOSE, Haley wrote for Media Research Center. Haley graduated from Hillsdale College (summa cum laude) where she double majored in Politics and interdisciplinary religious studies, and conducted a senior thesis on the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution. During her studies, she studied abroad at Oxford University and established a background in policy research through several internship experiences in the DC area.

Haley has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including the New York Post, USA Today, BBC News, Fox News, the Washington Post, Voice of America, Dr. Drew Midday Live, The DeMaio Report, the New York Daily News, USA Radio Network, the Washington Times, CBC News, The Rod Arquette Show, the Christian Post, Lifeline with Neil Boron, EWTN News Nightly, KCBS San Francisco Radio, LifeSiteNews, The Drew Mariano Show on Relevant Radio, News Talk KGVO, and American Family News.

Further Reading