Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?

rgMekanic

[H]ard|News
Joined
May 13, 2013
Messages
6,344
In an interesting post to the Steam Blog today, Erik Johnson goes over what games get to be on the steam store. Specifically, should Steam be selling games with adult or violent content? Surprisingly, Steam does have groups of people looking at the contents of every controversial title that is submitted to steam. Instead of debating about whether or not a game with controversial content should be on Steam, Valve has decided to allow everything onto the Steam store that isn't outright illegal or blatant trolling, and allowing customers to make the choice whether or not to buy them.

Upon reading the title I thought "Great question for 10 years ago!" Back when steam was definitely an exclusive and prestigious place to have your game sold. After reading the article though I came away impressed. It's getting more and more rare for a company or store to not try and flail their opinions and politics around like an axe, cutting down everyone who does not agree with them, but instead letting the consumer make the choice. Makes me feel better about how much I've spent on Steam.

Valve is not a small company - we're not a homogeneous group. The online debates around these topics play out inside Valve as well. We don't all agree on what deserves to be on the Store. So when we say there's no way to avoid making a bunch of people mad when making decisions in this space, we're including our own employees, their families and their communities in that.
 

BettiePage

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
315
out right illegal... where? US China Russia Australia? And what is blatant trolling? you mean content in "poor taste" made just to "offend"? What you might find offensive I might find hilarious.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
out right illegal... where? US China Russia Australia? And what is blatant trolling? you mean content in "poor taste" made just to "offend"? What you might find offensive I might find hilarious.

You don't have too much of an imagination to know obvious limits. A game called "Child Rape Murder!" which depicts such would be almost universally illegal.
 
Last edited:

Shmee

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
1,148
out right illegal... where? US China Russia Australia? And what is blatant trolling? you mean content in "poor taste" made just to "offend"? What you might find offensive I might find hilarious.

They are just reserving the right to kick off who they want, but for now all anime porn venders get to sell their wares free and clear.
 

BettiePage

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
315
You don't have to much of an imagination to know obvious limits. A game called "Child Rape Murder!" which depicts such would be almost universally illegal.

works of fiction no real person or animal hurt in production of said product... isnt that censorship?

there are books that depict that stuff... tons of books... you want to ban it all? why do movies and games get treated differently? movies you can say use real people to act out scenes... but games? all polygons or digital. if a product can be used to help someone vent... let em vent. those things thou are illegal due to morals... who's can be up for debate.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
works of fiction no real person or animal hurt in production of said product... isnt that censorship?

Visual, graphics acts of child rape and murder have an appeal to people that generally end up in prison. Even if the content of such a game isn't illegal the people stimulated by such content are almost all criminals.
 

U-238

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
255
BRB... Gonna go make Black Nazi Rifle Child Gun Rape Murder Assault Simulator 2019 and upload to Steam.
 

copy_run_start

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
409
Visual, graphics acts of child rape and murder have an appeal to people that generally end up in prison. Even if the content of such a game isn't illegal the people stimulated by such content are almost all criminals.

But its audience has no bearing on its legality. Pedos love Linus Tech Tips, but that doesn't make it illegal.
 

PiSquared

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 15, 2002
Messages
269
Visual, graphics acts of child rape and murder have an appeal to people that generally end up in prison. Even if the content of such a game isn't illegal the people stimulated by such content are almost all criminals.

I can't agree with your reasoning. Killing people is also a crime. Therefore, the people stimulated by such content are almost all criminals per your logic. There goes most of [H]!

Back to reality...as far as I know there has not been a link demonstrated between video games and violence. In fact, overall violent crimes have been going down even as video game usage has gone up (source below, uses FBI data). While I'm sure there are many factors, it is also possible that giving people an outlet in the virtual environment has led to them not committing a crime in the real one. More research could shed further light on this topic. Perhaps it already has and I'm just not up to date.

At present I'm OK with letting the market decide where to draw the lines of taste so long as no laws are broken. Valve's approach seems to make sense.

Source
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
But its audience has no bearing on its legality. Pedos love Linus Tech Tips, but that doesn't make it illegal.

So who exactly is going to get outraged if Steam or anyone else for that matter refuses into its store a game that graphically depicts adults raping children, genitalia and all, and then murdering them? I was just trying to point out a clear limit and yeah, this is one.
 

CptCabbit

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
281
Thankfully i never have to come across games im not interested in when using Steam's store because it's such a cluster and so full of garbage that it makes randomly searching through it impossible.

I only go there to wishlist a game I already know I want, wait for a sale notification, and then maybe buy a game.
 

4884

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
131
I think games containing nudity or violence is ok, but a straight out sex game should be kept off the store, or at the very least be put in a dedicated adult section.
The current "recommended" system is so shit if some games I own contain the tags nudity or sexual content, even they are actually normal mainstream titles, fapping games are gonna show up in the recommended section.
Not that there's someone looking at my steam front page but I hate being labelled a perv. Especially when steam is unbelievably backward about their users' privacy considering their size. For example your friends can still know the games you own in common, even if you set your profile to complete private.
 

-=SOF=-WID99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2015
Messages
233
valve has always been a whore to make cash via steam .. why is anyone surprised

? they rake in cash for bad games .. and still no new games or game engines ..heck they stole doon 2 code it looks like to me from the big popular orange box thing yrs ago ..then came a mod from an outsider called counterstrike

wonder how much cash that guy made by now
?.....since valve bought it ... how many times have they tried to make it better with patches .. yet steam gamers eat it up ..an if ya ask me its a huge pile o poop ..that just keeps selling and selling
 

GlowingGhoul

Whines about Whiners
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
445
"Valve has decided to allow everything onto the Steam store that isn't outright illegal or blatant trolling, and allowing customers to make the choice whether or not to buy them. "

This concept will be alien to snowflakes in a few years. The idea of allowing consumers to decide what media they wish to consume, rather than having it controlled by some biased tech entity will seem strange and anachronistic in our bright new future.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
624
This is the way it should be. The providing company should be neutral to the product and it be up to the consumer to choose if it is for them or not.
 

ThatsAgood1jay

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
1,029
"Valve has decided to allow everything onto the Steam store that isn't outright illegal or blatant trolling, and allowing customers to make the choice whether or not to buy them. "

This concept will be alien to snowflakes in a few years. The idea of allowing consumers to decide what media they wish to consume, rather than having it controlled by some biased tech entity will seem strange and anachronistic in our bright new future.

Steam has every right to do what they want with their platform because they built it, and they wholly own it. If they decided to not distribute certain games, there's no problem with that. Why does freedom only cut one way in this argument?
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
34,255
PolyTaku bringing the bantz.
https://polytaku.press/index.php/2018/06/07/valve-opens-toxicity-and-nazism-onto-consumers/
"Valve has decided to allow everything onto the Steam store that isn't outright illegal or blatant trolling, and allowing customers to make the choice whether or not to buy them. "

This concept will be alien to snowflakes in a few years. The idea of allowing consumers to decide what media they wish to consume, rather than having it controlled by some biased tech entity will seem strange and anachronistic in our bright new future.
It's already an alien concept. Did you not see the media breakdown minutes after Valve announced this?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zuul
like this

katanaD

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
1,987
PolyTaku bringing the bantz.
https://polytaku.press/index.php/2018/06/07/valve-opens-toxicity-and-nazism-onto-consumers/

It's already an alien concept. Did you not see the media breakdown minutes after Valve announced this?


some of the bloggers are unhappy

OH NOES!!!.. someone is unhappy


i listen to games "bloggers" about as much as listen to mommy bloggers.. NONE.



it is annoying to see how so many EXPECT others to ensure they live in a bubble where nothing even the most remotely negative can be allowed in their presence. its gotta be all rainbows and puppies.. all the time.
 

yourgrandma

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
Messages
1,391
I'm thinking it's more to do with valve being completely incapable of making any decisions or compromises internally due to their structure. There is a good reason why they've failed to develop anything in years.
 

Darunion

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
4,509
Bet if they ran a flash sale today only, most of those names would still buy games.
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
7,710
Visual, graphics acts of child rape and murder have an appeal to people that generally end up in prison. Even if the content of such a game isn't illegal the people stimulated by such content are almost all criminals.
The content is illegal depending on circumstances. It's creation or how it is used. You lose your rights when they are directly going to violate someone else's. Kiddie porn can be used to manipulate kids into participating which is a criminal act. waifu softcore might encourage some frapping which is not illegal.
 

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 9, 2003
Messages
6,312
I think Valve has ultimately a good idea but its application is flawed. There are two "problem" categories of games..

1. Game content or theme outrage. This is where the anime/nudity/sexual content, or "outrage provoking" games like Hatred or that school shooter thing fall.

2. Games that are technically, objectively, (and to some extent subjectively as well I'd wager ) low quality. Asset flips, testing-era engine content, Early Access titles that are obviously never designed to go anywhere, junk ripoffs by people looking to make a quick buck but have no technical idea, amateur quality games and someone's attempt to learn game design, and that which are close to outright scams (ie Infestation, The War Z and whatever other names it has been pushed under. I'm not talking about games here without a great review or those that may have niche appeal or be indies,but there is a certain quality level threshold that just isn't met by a ton of games currently on Steam.

I absolutely agree that Valve should generally leave Group 1 alone. They can put up clear requirements for the content they wish to allow as a whole, but when they start taking certain games down because of concern trolling (ie the whole anime porn thing was basically a campaign by a conservative religious group to get 'smut' pulled ) that I think is a problem. Make good , solid rules for what kinds of content you'll allow, but I also think that if they intend to allow certain types of game content, they should do some sort of moderation. Its okay to put certain titles "behind the curtain' where sub-18 accounts do not see it and adult accounts have to to choose "I want to see this type of game mixed with all the other games in the store / I want to see this type of game but only in a subsection that I need to go to specifically when I wish / or I do not want to see this type of content at all. That's just one step for instance that would limit the amount of clickbait and bad press they'd get (as well as potential regulatory interest) because it would put an end to the "I or my children stumbled across something that offended me an there is no attempt to even curate or warn people!" stuff out there, without actually removing, censoring, or failing to carry any particular title. More granular permissions over what you want to see would be a good thing universally for user experience, as well. The current system has a few options, but lacks a lot of important stuff that would actually require Valve to get in there and make moderation judgment calls which limits its viability.

Now Group 2 is the issue and I feel that Valve absolutely needs to do something about them. This is the video game equivalent of having a high end grocery store that also will take whatever slop random people cook up in their slimy kitchen and plop it on the shelves without any inspection or proof of quality so long as "Well, I don't SEE any visible roaches in the sandwich so.. guess its good?" This would harm the entire store to the point most won't want to shop there and vendors who take time to do things right won't want their products on the shelf obscured by the presence of those without any quality control. Steam has a big, big problem here!

The problem with Valve's policy is that they've basically made one policy that, while trying to say "We're not going to censor games from Group 1" also has the effect of saying "We're not going to do anything about games from Group 2" and people are rightfully frustrated with this. I haven't watched/read all those reviewers on Armenius' lists, but I know at least a few of them (ie Jim Sterling's video linked there) and probably many others aren't just whining about OMG MY SENSIBILITIES, but the very real issue of Steam's store being filled with Group 2 crap! I'm sure some will mention about Nazi games and all of that - clickbait gonna click and all that jazz - but be careful not to dismiss the issue simply because you think its all about people being triggered outrage factory types.

I do think Valve, as the current 800lb gorilla within PC game marketplaces, NEEDS to do something about this. They need to show they care about the quality of games sold on their storefront and just washing their hands of "Well, anything goes so long as its not illegal" is really not good enough. There are plenty of things they could do to address issues with Group 1 (such as the aforementioned flagging for user choice I mentioned above ) without giving into requests to takedown content that offends someone and ESPECIALLY Group 2, in order to show that they care about the quality and user experience on Steam. There are a lot of things that Valve can do and frankly they need some pretty dramatic changes for a healthful user experience ( this even includes other things unrelated to the two issues directly, like changing the way their metrics work and expanding the Wishlist system to allow multiple lists of varying types etc), so it is especially disheartening when they seem to offer a reply that says "Nope, you're all on your own! We're not getting involved!" because thatcomes across as we"We just don't give a fuck". Valve can do better and its customers deserve better.
 
Last edited:

Patton187

Gawd
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
672
I think Valve has ultimately a good idea but its application is flawed. There are two "problem" categories of games..

1. Game content or theme outrage. This is where the anime/nudity/sexual content, or "outrage provoking" games like Hatred or that school shooter thing fall.

2. Games that are technically, objectively, (and to some extent subjectively as well I'd wager ) low quality. Asset flips, testing-era engine content, Early Access titles that are obviously never designed to go anywhere, junk ripoffs by people looking to make a quick buck but have no technical idea, amateur quality games and someone's attempt to learn game design, and that which are close to outright scams (ie Infestation, The War Z and whatever other names it has been pushed under. I'm not talking about games here without a great review or those that may have niche appeal or be indies,but there is a certain quality level threshold that just isn't met by a ton of games currently on Steam.

I absolutely agree that Valve should generally leave Group 1 alone. They can put up clear requirements for the content they wish to allow as a whole, but when they start taking certain games down because of concern trolling (ie the whole anime porn thing was basically a campaign by a conservative religious group to get 'smut' pulled ) that I think is a problem. Make good , solid rules for what kinds of content you'll allow, but I also think that if they intend to allow certain types of game content, they should do some sort of moderation. Its okay to put certain titles "behind the curtain' where sub-18 accounts do not see it and adult accounts have to to choose "I want to see this type of game mixed with all the other games in the store / I want to see this type of game but only in a subsection that I need to go to specifically when I wish / or I do not want to see this type of content at all. That's just one step for instance that would limit the amount of clickbait and bad press they'd get (as well as potential regulatory interest) because it would put an end to the "I or my children stumbled across something that offended me an there is no attempt to even curate or warn people!" stuff out there, without actually removing, censoring, or failing to carry any particular title. More granular permissions over what you want to see would be a good thing universally for user experience, as well. The current system has a few options, but lacks a lot of important stuff that would actually require Valve to get in there and make moderation judgment calls which limits its viability.

Now Group 2 is the issue and I feel that Valve absolutely needs to do something about them. This is the video game equivalent of having a high end grocery store that also will take whatever slop random people cook up in their slimy kitchen and plop it on the shelves without any inspection or proof of quality so long as "Well, I don't SEE any visible roaches in the sandwich so.. guess its good?" This would harm the entire store to the point most won't want to shop there and vendors who take time to do things right won't want their products on the shelf obscured by the presence of those without any quality control. Steam has a big, big problem here!

The problem with Valve's policy is that they've basically made one policy that, while trying to say "We're not going to censor games from Group 1" also has the effect of saying "We're not going to do anything about games from Group 2" and people are rightfully frustrated with this. I haven't watched/read all those reviewers on Armenius' lists, but I know at least a few of them (ie Jim Sterling's video linked there) and probably many others aren't just whining about OMG MY SENSIBILITIES, but the very real issue of Steam's store being filled with Group 2 crap! I'm sure some will mention about Nazi games and all of that - clickbait gonna click and all that jazz - but be careful not to dismiss the issue simply because you think its all about people being triggered outrage factory types.

I do think Valve, as the current 800lb gorilla within PC game marketplaces, NEEDS to do something about this. They need to show they care about the quality of games sold on their storefront and just washing their hands of "Well, anything goes so long as its not illegal" is really not good enough. There are plenty of things they could do to address issues with Group 1 (such as the aforementioned flagging for user choice I mentioned above ) without giving into requests to takedown content that offends someone and ESPECIALLY Group 2, in order to show that they care about the quality and user experience on Steam. There are a lot of things that Valve can do and frankly they need some pretty dramatic changes for a healthful user experience ( this even includes other things unrelated to the two issues directly, like changing the way their metrics work and expanding the Wishlist system to allow multiple lists of varying types etc), so it is especially disheartening when they seem to offer a reply that says "Nope, you're all on your own! We're not getting involved!" because thatcomes across as we"We just don't give a fuck". Valve can do better and its customers deserve better.
Damn son... That novella.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Meeho
like this
Top