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

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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: endsexualexploitation.org/videogames.

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