Video games are often a fun outlet for children and adults who like to explore, build, and create.
Unfortunately, video game creators are increasingly promoting content that gamifies pornographic, hypersexualized, or sexually coercive themes.
Games like House Party, Porno Studio Tycoon, Mass Effect: Andromeda, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and more are normalizing sexually explicit and exploitive themes in mainstream gaming.
When video games include sexually graphic and degrading themes the user is not only a voyeur but an active participant in staging the scene. As our society suffers from 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 video games is irresponsible on the corporate and social level.
One mainstream online video game store, Steam®, is of particular concern because it has approximately 35 million users who are minors. Yet this distribution platform facilitates sexually violent themed games and animated pornography featuring genitalia, ejaculation to users of all ages.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is calling on Steam to remove these games and publicly commit to a more robust policy against sexually explicit and exploitive games.
Steam, a popular videogame distribution platform that could be likened to the ‘Walmart of online videogame distribution,’ is selling games that normalize and promote sexual coercion and exploitation. These games, House Party and Porno Studio Tycoon, are easily available to an estimated 35 million children who buy videogames off of Steam.
The House Party ‘hook up’ game is literally training its users in predatory tactics for sexual assault, and even sex trafficking, which plague real, living people offline in high schools, universities, military bases, and more. The game includes disturbing features that allow users to increase their odds of ‘having sex’ with a woman in the game if they manipulate and coerce women into sex through blackmail using nude pictures, increasing women’s alcohol consumption, impersonating their friends through text, and jamming cellphone reception to isolate a woman in a room away from other party goers. Users ‘win’ the game by having sex with every woman at the party. The sexual encounters are blatant animated pornography, featuring genitalia, ejaculation, and more.
The game Porno Studio Tycoon centers around sexual themes where the user acts as the pornographer. It includes sexual sounds, hypersexualized characters, and generic depictions of sex acts, although there is not full nudity. This game promotes and glamorizes the exploitive industry of pornography, where performers frequently experience physical and emotional trauma, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Steam openly sells and promotes these games to users of all ages and require only a simple click of a button to pass through a tepid warning that the material may not be suitable for all ages.
These games are in direct violation of Steam’s own policies against pornographic or patently offensive content.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is calling on Steam and its parent company Valve to remove these games from their store and to install and enforce a more robust policy against selling games that normalize or glamorize sexual exploitation.
Warning: NCOSE added censor bars to block out explicit genitalia and breasts, but this proof still contains highly sexual imagery.
Learn About Parental Controls on Steam
By default, when a person sets up a Steam account they have full access to see advertisements for every kind of game, including those with sexual content, which puts the burden on families to avoid sexually exploitive material on Steam.
In addition to asking Steam to improve that current policy, you can learn about the existing parental controls to keep your child safe.
Email Steam Executives
How to Use Parental Controls for the Xbox 360
Tweet at the Videogame Distributor
Tweet @steam_games to ask them to remove pornography and sexually exploitive videogames. Companies like this regularly monitor their Twitter accounts so this is a great way to reach out to them.
- Every parent needs to know that @steam_games is not a safe videogame store for their children.
- By selling House Party, @steam_games is normalizing Brock Turner-style rape
- Hey @steam_games, follow your own policies and stop selling pornographic House Party & Porno Studio Tycoon games!
- @steam_games is marketing pornographic/sexually coercive games to millions of children.
Share your STORY
Personal stories help elected officials and business leaders to see the grave harm associated with this material and can be very helpful in getting them to change their policies. All will be shared anonymously. Please email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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