Less than a year after Steam, the largest online video game distributor, changed their policy from prohibiting nudity and sexual violence to an “anything goes” policy that would allow the sale of any game that was not illegal or “straight up trolling”, a new game is under review and has been listed on their store featuring the ability to “verbally harass, kill, and rape women as you choose to progress the story.” Steam has no guidelines against rape-themed video games.
Whether fictional or not, games that trivialize sexual violence normalize abuse and decrease empathy for real-life victims. Steam is becoming the go-to video game platform for pornified video games that gamify sexual violence and objectification. Steam must take social responsibility for its role in fostering #MeToo culture and remove these products from their site.
This is not the first time Steam has come under fire after its policy changes. In September, Steam permitted the sale of its first “100% uncensored” game which featured “pressured sexual relationships” and “abusive marriages”.
Steam has tried to put a bandage on the issue of “adult” content by touting their platform’s content filters. However, a quick test of their filters yields disappointing results. Even with filters applied, highly graphic content is still easily accessible in as few as two clicks. With more than 31 million users under age 18, Steam is contributing to the attitudes and behaviors of the next generation of sexual predators.
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.The allow anything policy on @steam_games has permitted the listing of a game featuring the rape and murder of women. This is disgusting and unacceptable. @steam_games must change their policies and remove this abusive content.… Click To Tweet