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Valve will soon allow virtually anything on Steam

By midian182 · 14 replies
Jun 7, 2018
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  1. The move comes after a number of games, particularly Japanese visual novels, were threatened with removal from the platform unless their sexual content was censored. Valve later told the publishers and developers of these titles to disregard the warnings and apologized for the confusion caused.

    In a blog post announcing the change in policy, Valve’s Erik Johnson writes, “If you’re a player, we shouldn’t be choosing for you what content you can or can’t buy. If you’re a developer, we shouldn’t be choosing what content you’re allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.”

    Johnson said that Valve doesn’t rely solely on automation for curation; “groups of people” examine the content of every controversial game submitted through Steam Direct. He added that disagreements over topics such as politics, sexuality, racism, gender, violence, identify, ec. have led to Valve’s “employees, their families, and their communities" getting “mad.”

    It's possible that Valve will be changing its Steam Direct rules and guidelines, which state that hate speech, pornography, and patently offensive content shouldn't be published on Steam.

    Valve didn’t say what games constitute trolling, though it did use the word to describe the aforementioned school shooting simulator. Johnson explained that Valve was considering a system where it asks developers to highlight any potentially controversial content in their games during the submission process. Any that fail to do so may be banned from the platform. “We'll still continue to perform technical evaluations of submissions, rejecting games that don't pass until their issues have been resolved,” he said.

    To make sure Steam users don’t see titles they might find offensive, Valve is adding new tools that allow them to override the recommendation algorithms and hide certain types of games, such as anime titles or anything parents wouldn’t want their kids to see while browsing the store. “And it’s not just players that need better tools either — developers who build controversial content shouldn’t have to deal with harassment because their game exists, and we’ll be building tools and options to support them too.”

    Johnson said there wouldn’t be any significant changes to Steam until these tools are complete.

    Permalink to story.

  2. enemys

    enemys TS Maniac Posts: 177   +172

    Lyam Trainor likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,134   +3,556

    As long as they don't fill it up with lots of garbage it is a great idea .....
    Jamlad likes this.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,133   +1,551

    This is how I envision the meeting went:
    "How can we make more money?"
    -"Half-Life 3"
    -"Porn makes a lot of money."
    "Hmmm Hmmm... but how do we make it seem like it's not just about porn..."
    -"How about we remove all content restrictions."

    Chann3l and ForgottenLegion like this.
  5. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,664   +424

    User rated systems and "mods" with reputation that can feature items.

    I would love to make money with custom UI modification to certain games or steam profile backgrounds, anything digital.
  6. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,271   +520

    I have a feeling the meeting went more like this:

    "Everyone is crying about us banning an inappropriate title
    -What? Why? We're doing this for them!
    "Well they're mad that we're censoring for them
    -Screw it - put all the garbage out there as long as we can't be sued.
    "Okay - here goes...

    *What the hell? Steam sucks, there's so much garbage on here now.

    Most people are sheeple... they don't really know what they want or don't think far enough to consider the consequences of their actions or desires. Contagious outrage steers most people's behavior instead of consideration and logic.
  7. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,467   +1,252

    Meh, App stores on smartphones are full of garbage, Youtube is full of bad videos, but anything worth using / watching tends to get the attention it deserves so I wouldn't be that worried as long as Valve makes decent strides in letting us block crap we don't want to see.

    Would be cool if we could "follow" developers or something so we get more games from them show up for example.
    Lyam Trainor and ForgottenLegion like this.
  8. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,694   +2,064

    And I would add into that internal conversation something along the lines of
    Oh my God! We are being branded as liberals who don't believe in the first amendment of the US Constitution. What can we do?

    @captaincranky brought up the concept of want vs need in another thread that I think is spot on to your comments about most people being sheeple.

    Personally, I wonder if this will lead to more content on Steam with embedded malware. In being politically correct, Steam may have just opened the doors for even more trouble.
  9. "In olden days a glimpse of stocking
    Was looked on as something shocking
    Now heaven knows, anything goes

    Good authors too who once knew better words
    Now only use four letter words writing prose, anything goes

    The world has gone mad today and good's bad today
    And black's white today and day's night today
    When most guys today that women prize today
    Are just silly gigolos...……..

    May I say before this record spins to a close
    I want you to know anything goes"

    Cole Porter from a 1934 musical "Anything Goes"
  10. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 651   +464

    Exactly why we need government. People want freedom but are too dumb to realize what that means.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  11. I must reluctantly agree with this. While I am 100% against censorship, removing content controls on a platform like Steam will likely result in a flood of garbage coming to the platform. We've already seen this over the past year with all the "visual novels" that have populated the main store feeds.

    Nobody has to buy the stuff, but everyone will have to wade through the additional 3-5 pages of BS on the store just to skim products they may be interested in.

    This move seems very shortsighted.
    wiyosaya and RevD14 like this.
  12. Potato Judge

    Potato Judge TS Booster Posts: 161   +73

    Outright trolling? lol.

    As if all those rubbish and asset flips allowed in the market place isn't trolling enough.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  13. Lyam Trainor

    Lyam Trainor TS Rookie

    Why? Its what reviews are for. There already is a lot of shitty games on steam as it is, if you don't like it then you don't have to buy it, its super simple.
  14. Lyam Trainor

    Lyam Trainor TS Rookie

    I 100% disagree with you. Just because you think something is garbage doesn't mean everything one thinks its garbage.

    There is multiple functions already in place so you don't have to "through the additional 3-5 pages of BS" There is a search function, there is a function to only see genres you want to see, search by key words, publishers/developers, etc.

    So if you are wading though multiple pages its your own fault
  15. Do you usually point out the obvious to people or is today a special occasion?

    I browse the front pages of the store when I log in to find new games. So do a lot of other people. Those are the feeds that get populated with junk (which you are kind enough to remind us is treasure to some).

    What's happening here, is we have a very efficient way of skimming titles. Think of it like a road. And Valve is saying they want to pour gravel on that road. And here you are, saying people who don't like it can just take the scenic rout.

    That's no good.

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