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Valve is giving players more control over how they discover mature content on Steam

By Polycount · 6 replies
Sep 6, 2018
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  1. Valve has been working hard to address "controversial" content on its platform for some time now. In June, the company admirably decided it should not be policing what content is or isn't allowed on Steam, regardless of whether or not it is "Adult-oriented" or viewed as problematic by some gamers.

    Instead, Valve opted to let everything on its platform, provided it isn't illegal or "troll" content.

    Naturally, these decisions didn't come lightly; Valve understands that by taking this stance, they'll need to provide players with better content management tools to filter out titles they find offensive or otherwise uninteresting.

    That's precisely what the company has done in the months since June. Valve today published a "Progress Update" blog post which goes over some of the relevant changes the company has made to its platform so far.

    For starters, Valve has added powerful new content filters and game discovery tools, primarily designed to let players decide what content they do and don't want to see on Steam.

    On the game discovery tool front, there's two new features of note: the "Developer & Publisher homepages," which give players an easy way to see content from specific companies, as well as an overhauled Upcoming Games list, which focuses more heavily on showing you new games that fit your preferences.

    As far as filtering content goes, Valve has made quite a few changes. Before, it was only possible to ignore specific games or product types, such as Early Access or Free-To-Play.

    Now, you can hide recommendations from specific curators as well as games from companies and individual developers. Additionally, Valve has increased the number of filtered game tags from three to 10, making these filters more strict in the process - now, they hide all games that fit a given category.

    Perhaps most importantly, Valve is adding two new filter types: "Mature Content" and "Adults Only." The former can be used to block games that contain mature content (but not sex or violence), whereas the latter is geared towards games that do feature explicit violence or nudity.

    Moving forward, Valve will require developers who make games that fit either of these categories to explain the content of their titles.

    For example, if you block Adult games and attempt to visit the store page for Left 4 Dead 2, a window will pop up saying the game contains "intense violence, blood and gore (including decapitation of zombie-like creatures) and some strong language." It's not clear if these new content description rules will apply retroactively to all developers.

    All of these changes seem pretty positive. Players who want to see sexually-explicit games can still do so quite easily without any censorship, while those who aren't interested in said content can simply ignore it.

    There will undoubtedly be a lot of kinks for Valve to work out in the coming months, but it's nice to see the company take serious steps to address user feedback.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,094   +3,647

    Seems like the best solution. People will only see what they want to see.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,568   +1,548

    While I rarely use Steam, I’d rather see 2 separate filters for adult content - sex and violence should NOT be equated as the same thing....
     
  4. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 881   +427

    All this power and I just discovered Steam has mature content...
     
  5. alabama man

    alabama man TS Guru Posts: 563   +355

    "Instead, Valve opted to let everything on its platform, provided it isn't illegal or "troll" content."

    As long as parts of it is censored. https://store.steampowered.com/curator/11112108-Censorship-Watch/

    "All of these changes seem pretty positive. Players who want to see sexually-explicit games can still do so quite easily without any censorship,"

    Almost all hentai games on steam are censored versions, again just look at https://store.steampowered.com/curator/11112108-Censorship-Watch/ . Here's also some kotaku article about it https://kotaku.com/the-sex-games-that-steam-censors-1680718912.

    Where did you hear they didn't censor stuff? Do you just blindly trust what valve says? It would be nice if they didn't do so, now it's like if netflix showed TV versions of M rated movies. We really need a better store front that isn't based in a country ruled by religion.
     
  6. havok585

    havok585 TS Addict Posts: 205   +61

    I was just about to post the same thing, and some more: why in the world would you adress sex or violence in the same sentence, SEX is good ! violence is not ! so why block, filter games/ movies/trailers containing sex scenes but leave violence, extreme violence on display ?
    Just like in movies where they put a label on them, the ones containing violence gets a more wider audience and a nude here and there or a simulated sex scene gets AO label immediately and consequently a lower audience.

    Valve in this case should do something more about it and not follow the movie industry labeling practices.
     
    Squid Surprise likes this.
  7. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,568   +1,548

    This is what happens when you base a society on Puritan values.... shooting up hundreds of people is perfectly fine, but God forbid you see a woman’s nipple!
     

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