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Rape Day removed from Steam

Snow Halation

Alt-Account
Member
Mar 2, 2019
98
Those expecting a stronger response aren't really taking into account what Steam is or wants to be. It's the standard techbro libertarian mindset of "anything goes here as long as it's not illegal", which is a mindset not uncommon among social media platform holders and other marketplaces. Steam wants to be the Amazon of digital gaming, a place that sells stuff like the Anarchist's Cookbook and other controversial/possibly legally-dubious products.

It's basically an attempt to not be the arbiter of morality where any kind of user-generated content goes, which honestly I respect to some extent. I do not trust big corporations to ever be arbiters of morality, so I generally see a complete hands-off approach as the best way to go. The unfortunate side-effect of that is you'll end up with things that cross the line. Whether that's a worthy trade-off for allowing provocative yet positive works to exist that wouldn't otherwise is of course another discussion entirely.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,420
Personally, i do that to some extend. I hate games like Postal and Hatred, games where the goal is simply to kill innocent people, and i really disliked the airport scene being playable in Modern Warfare 2. I didnt see any need for the developers to make that a playable event in the game, a cutscene would have been enough (luckily you can skip it, you dont have to play it, but still). Its a big difference compared to e.g GTA where you can run over civilians, but its not the goal of the game. Or a game like Soldier of Fortune, thats pretty gory, but its not about killing civilians.
'No Russian' is what a teenager thinks 'social commentary' is. Spec Ops The Line has much more tact to send its message.
 
Oct 25, 2017
712
Those expecting a stronger response aren't really taking into account what Steam is or wants to be. It's the standard techbro libertarian mindset of "anything goes here as long as it's not illegal", which is a mindset not uncommon among social media platform holders and other marketplaces. Steam wants to be the Amazon of digital gaming, a place that sells stuff like the Anarchist's Cookbook and other controversial/possibly legally-dubious products.

It's basically an attempt to not be the arbiter of morality where any kind of user-generated content goes, which honestly I respect to some extent. I do not trust big corporations to ever be arbiters of morality, so I generally see a complete hands-off approach as the best way to go. The unfortunate side-effect of that is you'll end up with things that cross the line. Whether that's a worthy trade-off for allowing provocative yet positive works to exist that wouldn't otherwise is of course another discussion entirely.
That was well put, and I somewhat agree but I think Valve needs to be careful, if enough people/developers/publishers make a big deal about some of the products on Steam and threaten to leave Valve will do a 180 on its policy as we have already seen. I think they should have a bit tighter standards.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,368
Portland, OR
This is the kind of stuff that makes me hope that the Epic Store gets a foothold in the market - you'd never find a game called Rape Day there, and they certainly wouldn't drag their feet about taking it off even if it were there.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,420
This is the kind of stuff that makes me hope that the Epic Store gets a foothold in the market - you'd never find a game called Rape Day there, and they certainly wouldn't drag their feet about taking it off even if it were there.
Their CEO thinks Alex Jones shouldnt be banned from twitter.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,099
Singapore
Not sure why anyone expected a moral statement from Valve. They made it incredibly clear many times that they aren't interested in having a moral stand on anything, but approach stuff from a business and logic perspective. That's what they want to be and what they have clearly stated. If enough people complain about something, they will act on it, simply because it makes good business sense to, not because they want to exercise any personal beliefs. That's how they have chosen to run their business on the customer-facing front, and if people really don't like that and need to feel that the companies they support share their moral stances, then well, you can try not supporting them.
 

Slayven

You probably post about me on another board.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
29,866
The last bit comes off like they regret the game doesn't give them any plausible deniability on what it was.
 
I think they're tired of people abusing their lax systems.
It's both.

Not sure why anyone expected a moral statement from Valve. They made it incredibly clear many times that they aren't interested in having a moral stand on anything, but approach stuff from a business and logic perspective.
Having a game called Rape Day get in is not logical.

Nor is it wise for a business.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,365
Christ, why was the game ever considered in the first place? I love Valve, but fuck that, that's a nasty ass game for nasty ass fucks.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,807
Christ, why was the game ever considered in the first place? I love Valve, but fuck that, that's a nasty ass game for nasty ass fucks.

The game was never considered. Devs can set up a store page before submitting approval for release, which is what happened here. Normally, the process here is made for devs to not go through hassle and set store pages at will and fast enough for various reasons (marketing, kickstarter or pitching to publishers). The problem here is some assholes will always exploit that kind of stuff, which raise the question of removing that ability and going through the process of validation for even store page setting.


"See we have to wait for this kind of stuff to happen so you can tell us what we can and cant get away with"

Fuck Valve
That's not what happened here. The game was sent for approval yesterday.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,365
The game was never considered. Devs can set up a store page before submitting approval for release, which is what happened here. Normally, the process here is made for devs to not go through hassle and set store pages at will and fast enough for various reasons (marketing, kickstarter or pitching to publishers). The problem here is some assholes will always exploit that kind of stuff, which raise the question of removing that ability and going through the process of validation for even store page setting.




That's not what happened here. The game was sent for approval yesterday.
Oh ok, my mistake, I didn't realize that's how it works. Good on Valve then for getting rid of it when they were aware of it.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,758
The last bit comes off like they regret the game doesn't give them any plausible deniability on what it was.
I think Steam, as an entity, knows that they have a sizeable (or at least significant in terms of sales) community of deplorables who actively seek out legitimately evil content like this, and they don't want to scare them away. It's something about Steam and Valve that's unsettling, and should be a crazy accusation, but time and time again the signals are pretty clearly there.

At best, Valve is upset that content like this makes their passive approach to content moderation for the storefront "look bad." It would be giving too much credit assuming they have any sort of values in light of this statement.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,099
Singapore
Having a game called Rape Day get in is not logical.

Nor is it wise for a business.
Correct, and that's what they said. They assessed it based on risk and exposure and decided against it. They didn't make the choice because they are personally offended by anything or have a moral objection to it, but because it could be very bad for business. I mean, they could add PR fluff to make every feel like it's some moral thing by condemning rape and saying how horrible it is and that they wouldn't support such things on their store, but if they don't feel that way how is lying about it for PR better?
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,659
It is yes. I mean, either don't bother with PR or make it meaningful. It's okay to just say "Rape is awful and something that has no place on our store".
Yea, I feel like it os very easy to craft a statement that holds up what Steam's values and processes are while at the same time, being a little bit more blunt as to this particular title.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,718
I think Steam, as an entity, knows that they have a sizeable (or at least significant in terms of sales) community of deplorables who actively seek out legitimately evil content like this, and they don't want to scare them away. It's something about Steam and Valve that's unsettling, and should be a crazy accusation, but time and time again the signals are pretty clearly there.

At best, Valve is upset that content like this makes their passive approach to content moderation for the storefront "look bad." It would be giving too much credit assuming they have any sort of values in light of this statement.
Again, this is just like Amazon - both have a weirdly semi-Libertarian stance that comes down hard on random stuff, whilst potenitally or actually allowing the worst on the store. The dotcom/tech industry has a serious problem with favouring (or at the very least, not wanting to offend) the very worst people in society, which only gives those worst people and their ideas more of a foothold in society.
 
Feb 13, 2018
31
Ok, i googled it. These games better stay hidden in the internet, where sick fucks searching for stuff like this can get them if they really want to but no need to push stuff like this into the faces of mentally healthy people.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,731
Jesus, the /r/games thread on this is awful. So many people going "but we normalize violence though".

So many strange opinions from people concerned about what Valve prohibits and doesn't prohibit. Seems pretty fucking easy to make a product that doesn't get booted off the store, and if you're concerned about your product getting booted off, it wasn't going to sell any copies anyways due to the incredibly niche audience you were trying to appeal to.

If anything, a game with this title shouldn't have even been capable of having a store page. Their reaction and a large part of the gaming community's reaction to this is embarrassing.
 
Feb 13, 2018
31
Jesus, the /r/games thread on this is awful. So many people going "but we normalize violence though".
We do, but Gaming didnt normalize it though. It was normalized ages ago by other media and was already accepted when Games became a thing. Still in some countrys like germany violence in Gaming had a rough start and got censored a lot until a few years ago. Dont think that media containing rape in this way will ever get normalized in the US/western countrys. Only country I know that allows stuff like this or where the protest from the peope isnt that big is japan.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,731
We do, but Gaming didnt normalize it though. It was normalized ages ago by other media and was already accepted when Games became a thing. Still in some countrys like germany violence in Gaming had a rough start and got censored a lot until a few years ago. Dont think that media containing rape in this way will ever get normalized in the US/western countrys. Only country I know that allows stuff like this or where the protest from the peope isnt that big is japan.
I mean, that's not the point though. Anybody saying that is missing the point.

This game's not just a game that happens to have rape in it. Like... Did anybody see the Steam page for this shit? RDR2's the only game I know of that has anything close to rape in it, and Steam would certainly allow it on their store. There's a lot more to this.
 
Nov 3, 2017
974
Valve PR speak is so Gaben it hurts. This one was so easy, too. They can be a hands off platform holder that basically lets anything be sold, and still intervene occasionally with extreme cases. "Hey guys, just FYI a game about raping people isn't acceptable. OK, back to your sex mahjong." They don't have to twist into knots explaining why this violates the rules in ways other games do not. The game is titled "Rape Day." No shit it's unacceptable. Valve is doing the right thing in a very annoying way.
 
Nov 1, 2017
583
Valve makes 0 sense, sometimes they drop the ban hammer like crazy behind the scenes and then on the other hand, stuff like this manages to get through the cracks.
 

Valdega

Banned
Member
Sep 7, 2018
1,609
This is the kind of stuff that makes me hope that the Epic Store gets a foothold in the market - you'd never find a game called Rape Day there, and they certainly wouldn't drag their feet about taking it off even if it were there.
If I have to choose between a storefront that carries offensive games that are easily ignored or a storefront with a practically non-existent feature set and selection, I'll choose the former.

If the media hadn't given Rape Day so much attention, nobody would even know it exists. It (and games like it) is a complete non-factor to the average Steam user unless you actively look for offensive content. In fact, I'm 99% sure the game was only discovered because someone specifically searched for "rape."
 

Nome

Designer
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
1,736
NYC
Those expecting a stronger response aren't really taking into account what Steam is or wants to be. It's the standard techbro libertarian mindset of "anything goes here as long as it's not illegal", which is a mindset not uncommon among social media platform holders and other marketplaces. Steam wants to be the Amazon of digital gaming, a place that sells stuff like the Anarchist's Cookbook and other controversial/possibly legally-dubious products.

It's basically an attempt to not be the arbiter of morality where any kind of user-generated content goes, which honestly I respect to some extent. I do not trust big corporations to ever be arbiters of morality, so I generally see a complete hands-off approach as the best way to go. The unfortunate side-effect of that is you'll end up with things that cross the line. Whether that's a worthy trade-off for allowing provocative yet positive works to exist that wouldn't otherwise is of course another discussion entirely.
Indeed. Libertarian techbros are everywhere in the industry, especially in leadership positions. It really makes you appreciate the companies that dare to take a stand.
 

Spoo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,206
Whether you dislike their statement or not, I am very glad for the precedent this sets for Steam moving forward; this game was brought into the spotlight, reported, and Valve responded fast and the game isn't happening, at least on their platform. That's what we want to see. Best of all, their excuse reads in a way that doesn't produce much ammunition to enemies -- you know these people are just looking to make free speech arguments, etc., but the way Valve phrased it was by essentially suggesting that it creates an undue burden on their company to host such a game, and opens them up to legal or liability issues. What those issues exactly are, I don't know, but it's hard to take that statement and twist it into "Valve is bunch SJWS!!!!!"

I don't like their statement on a moral level, but I'm reading between the lines on this one. I can't imagine anyone at Valve thinks this is a good game and are secretly wishing they could sell it. I mean, if they do, then fuck them, but I think they wanted it gone, and they've set a precedent, and it's the right one and doesn't produce much ammunition on the opposition's side.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,404
This already laughable statement means less than nothing when you peek behind the beaded curtain and see the shit that typically gets on Steam's "adults-only" store.
 

PS9

Member
Oct 28, 2017
344
Incredibly successful advertising campaign from the dev here unfortunately. Manipulated Steam and communities like Resetera for massive exposure, the "game" was never releasing on Steam realistically.
 

daxy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,458
This is the kind of stuff that makes me hope that the Epic Store gets a foothold in the market - you'd never find a game called Rape Day there, and they certainly wouldn't drag their feet about taking it off even if it were there.
Epic store will open to self publishing, like Steam, by the end of 2019. Let’s see what happens.
 

Suzushiiro

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
515
Brooklyn, NY
On one hand, it kind of annoys me that this solidifies that Steam's previously-stated "anything goes" policy is now effectively "anything goes unless there's a sufficient backlash against it" not because of this particular case but because it solidifies the precedent that if you get enough people mad at a game being on Steam you can get it taken down, regardless of what the motivation for said anger is.

On the other hand, it's blatantly fucking obvious that the game in question here was an asset flip intended to Streisand effect itself into making money off of the controversy, so Valve taking it down was probably the right thing to do while paradoxically people getting mad enough for Valve to take it down was probably the wrong thing to do.
 

Skux

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,228
Valve's ambigiousness means there will be more titles with similar content but to a lesser degree to test the limits of what they will allow on their platform.
Yeah this is just going to make things more confusing. Valve's policy was supposed to be to have a hands-off approach.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,407
Incredibly successful advertising campaign from the dev here unfortunately. Manipulated Steam and communities like Resetera for massive exposure, the "game" was never releasing on Steam realistically.
Sadly, this was most likely the plan all along. The developer made a store page for a game they knew would never be up for purchase on Steam and rode the controversial red carpet of publicity so when Valve did finally pull the plug, the developer can cry foul and have a sizable audience to follow them to see where their "game" will be put up for download.

And I'm afraid there will be more people that will follow the blueprint.
 

daxy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,458
Sadly, this was most likely the plan all along. The developer made a store page for a game they knew would never be up for purchase on Steam and rode the controversial red carpet of publicity so when Valve did finally pull the plug, the developer can cry foul and have a sizable audience to follow them to see where their "game" will be put up for download.

And I'm afraid there will be more people that will follow the blueprint.
Hopefully Valve will then implement an adjusted publishing process for “adult” games. If it’s gonna cost them resources to comb through more and more of these types of attention campaigns, you can bet they’ll clamp down on the ease of publishing them independently in the first place.
 

Snow Halation

Alt-Account
Member
Mar 2, 2019
98
Indeed. Libertarian techbros are everywhere in the industry, especially in leadership positions. It really makes you appreciate the companies that dare to take a stand.
I mean the idea behind that is it's supposed to be an unwritten rule as to not restrict stuff that conflicts with ones morals. I'd rather a total hands-off approach than a conservative getting a leadership position and then start restricting more progressive content like when LGBT stuff was getting censored left and right. If the overton window wasn't an unstable mess, yeah taking a stand more often would be cool and all, but things can always shift back and that's when I'll stand behind true neutrality and the "marketplace of ideas" rationale.
 

ISOM

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,003
Imagine spending months, if not years, being on the development team behind this and being proud of yourself. Like talking to your spouse/significant other, friends or just people about what you do and being like "Oh, I worked on a game called Rape Day". I just don't understand
I doubt it's a development team. Probably just one guy who wanted to make money off his sociopathic likes.