A month after Steam told select game developers to pull sexual content from their game they have reversed their stance and created a new policy to “allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling.”
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation denounces this decision in light of the rise of sexual violence and exploitation games being hosted on Steam.
“In our current #MeToo culture, Steam made a cowardly choice to shirk its corporate and social responsibility to remove sexually violent and exploitive videogames from its platform,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “There are currently over 1,000 games on Steam with nudity or sexual content, all of which are sexually objectifying, and a disturbing number of which are designed so the player rapes, sexually coerces, and commercially exploits women. In the past 2 years, thousands of individuals have asked Steam to remove these games through the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s campaigns. In May, Steam reached out to some small gaming developers to ask them to remove sexual content and received some pushback from the developers. Now it appears that the company is capitulating to the loud complaints of the few gamers who cannot enjoy videogames sans-sexploitation, instead of standing by its full right—and duty—as a private company to monitor and restrict the content it promotes. Gabe Newell, the President of Valve which owns Steam, has decided to respond to our climate of sexual harassment and abuse by profiting off of gamified sexual violence.”
Companies across all industries—including Google, Hilton Worldwide, RevContent, and more—have made intentional strides to refrain from perpetuation sexually exploitive or degrading messages against women. Steam has taken the opposite approach, and has decided to give a green light to the sexually violent and degrading games on its platform.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation calls on parents and socially conscious gamers to refrain from using Steam until the company reverses this misguided and harmful policy.