Valve has experienced its fair share of controversy over the years, especially when it pertains to the games that make their way to Steam. That said, the company has come under fire once more after a game that glorifies rape has somehow made it to the digital games store.
The game in question is Desk Plant's Rape Day, which is described as "a visual novel where you control the choices of a sociopath during a zombie apocalypse," according to the game's website. Players will be able to "verbally harass, kill people, and rape women as you choose to progress the story."
The Desk Plant title has apparently been on Steam for weeks at this point, but it was only just recently that people began to question how such a game could make it to the platform in the first place. After all, according to Valve's guidelines for developers, "there is a brief review process where we run your game, look at your store page, and check that it is configured correctly and running as expected and not doing anything harmful."
So how did the Desk Plant game make it to Steam? Simply put, it doesn't violate any of Valve's policies regarding what type of content can and can't be in a video game published on their platform. The following content, however, is prohibited:
- Adult content that isn't appropriately labeled and age-gated
- Libelous or defamatory statements
- Content you don't own or have adequate rights to
- Content that violates the laws of any jurisdiction in which it will be available
- Content that exploits children in any way
- Applications that modify customer's computers in unexpected or harmful ways, such as malware or viruses
- Applications that fraudulently attempts to gather sensitive information, such as Steam credentials or financial data (e.g. credit card information)
Some of you may remember Active Shooter, a school shooting simulator that was listed on Steam last year and then taken down following a plethora of backlash. This led to Valve actually changing the guidelines regarding what can and can't be published in their store in favor of an "everything goes" approach.
According to the blog post about the guidelines change, Valve stated, "we've decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling." It's worth noting that Active Shooter was not removed from Steam due to it allowing players to participate in virtual school shootings, but because it was considered as "trolling."
This is what has likely led to Desk Plant's visual novel glorifying repugnant acts slipping through the cracks. While the content depicts illegal acts, the game itself is not illegal. Apparently, Valve does not deem it as trolling either.
This, of course, has led to many gamers taking to the game's Steam page and slamming it along with the developer in the comments and discussion pages. Peculiarly enough, the word "rape" is censored automatically throughout the comments, yet a game called Rape Day is considered okay.
We've reached out to Valve to see if they care to comment and will keep you updated should they respond.
What do you think about this? Should the game and developer be banned from Steam? Does Valve need to make more adjustments to their guidelines? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below.
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