May 24, 2018

Gamers are Opposing Removal of Explicit Video Game Content from Steam

The opposition this week over our efforts to get Steam, the Walmart of videogames, to get rid of pornographic and sexually violent scenes, has been intense. We’ve had thousands of comments on our social media accounts, multiple hack attempts on our website and email accounts, and many angry phone calls to our office. NCOSE has been called every name in the book, from religious censors to feminist radicals (interestingly, because NCOSE is a non-partisan organization that works with allies from all political and religious backgrounds, these critics never know quite how to categorize our organization.)

Why is this happening?

We are receiving this vicious response from the online/videogame community because of our victory with Steam, a 2018 Dirty Dozen target. After a two-year campaign by NCOSE, Steam has contacted several videogame developers asking them to remove sexually graphic content in their games on Steam or face delisting.

Here are some examples of the comments attacking our organization:

“They’re some sad sacks that have branded themselves the saviors of humanity by wedding out anything naughty in media.
Think of them as Jack Thompson made organization, except staffed by the censor-happy vindictive tools of today that aren’t above wielding their mighty ‘think of the kids’ rhetoric if they have a bone to pick a developer”
“I head that they’re a Conservative group, first time hearing about them, and I think they’re extremist knights templar group whose motto is “Think of the Children”. But they’re claiming victory of getting these games pulled. Despite that I myself am right leaning, I’m personally going to go mad if they go after the Neptunia games and the weeb games that I buy.
“I wish someone could explain to me the reasoning behind senseless blocking like this. Kids are NEVER going to escape violence and sex in media, yet you’re going after games that are explicitly rated and have to be paid for to use.”
“In marketing they say ‘Sex sells’ and it’s obvious that it works out, why should they not use that marketing strategy if it works out?”
“You’re not protecting anyone by supporting this action by Steam. You’re only hurting social progress.”
“You are objectively wrong. Professionals use explicit media as a CURE for voyeurism, diverting the patient away from the real thing. Emphasis on REAL, video games are NOT REAL, they are FICTION and have every right to exist as any other form of fictional media”
“1. Don’t bring your antiquated puritanical zealotry anywhere near my games.
2. Porn (just like weed) is harmless for 99% of people who access it
“Fun fact, games that have sexually graphic scenes aren’t allowed on steam to begin with, and even the worst of these games is still about consenting adults (well mostly Japan is weird sometimes) because people don’t want to play games about rape and exploitation. And even if they did it would be better that they play a game where they exploit fake people in a fictional setting than to ACTUALLY exploit people in real life. So your position is idiotically shaky at its very best and your congratulations are extremely misplaced.”
“CENSORSHIP IS A*****!!!
…and radical feminists also. Nobody needs you. We are adults and we can and should decide for ourselves what we want to play or not. Nobody is going to assault a woman in a sexual way because of an anime game. GET A LIFE!! Those games aren’t at fault that nobody is going to ***** you either. Removing those games won’t change anything”

We will continue to fight and educate everyone about the serious harms of videogames that include sexual graphic and degrading themes. These video games present a serious issue because users become active participants in these scenes that promote themes of sexual violence, exhibitionism, and rape.

Steam hosts approximately 35 million users who are minors. These minors are being exposed to sexually degrading videogames and their sexual templates are being hijacked. As a society that is still grappling with the pandemic #Metoo movement, the consequences of campus sexual assault, military sexual assault, and rising child-on-child sexual abuse, we see that normalizing the sexual use (and often abuse) of others in videogames is irresponsible on the corporate and social level. We are continuing to build up evidence of all the video games that contain sexually explicit content on Steam, but it takes a lot of manpower and time. Consider supporting us in this uphill battle by donating to our campaign against Steam.

We applaud Steam for this step they are taking to remove sexual explicit on their platform, but they continue to need encourage as they are facing just as much or even more opposition from the gaming community. Thank them via twitter or email and let them know that you stand behind them in this decision to contribute to the end of sexual exploitation.

Natalie Ford

Natalie Ford

Intern

Natalie Ford, a senior at Brigham Young University completing a degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion, is NCOSE’s Political and Strategies intern. Over the past few years, Natalie has been involved with several projects supporting different vulnerable population including a trip to Lesvos, Greece to work in a refugee camp. She will graduate in April 2018 and is excited to put her education and experiences to work and is especially interested in women’s health issues.

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