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Valve Will Continue to Do Nothing About What Games Appear on Steam

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  • Valve Will Continue to Do Nothing About What Games Appear on Steam

    AIDS Simulator on Steam
    Valve has essentially said "fuck it, put whatever you want on Steam just so long as we get a piece."

    This seems to be the general tone of today's blog post by Valve's Erik Johnson. The company that runs Steam continues to show that they kind of don't really care about what appears on the platform so long as it's not "illegal or straight up trolling." Of course, Valve also noted that they are the ones who ultimately decide what is "illegal" or "trolling" as it applies to games on their platform.
    (W)e'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. Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see.

    The fact that Valve has now stated that they are the ones that decide what is or is not illegal keeps the doors wide open for them to change their interpretations on the fly. What would get one game banned or removed from Steam one day may be fine the next day for another game. Maybe someone else at Valve doesn't think a game should be on the platform for whatever reason, what happens then? Does that game get removed? Why? Was it illegal? Maybe it was illegal in the eyes of some persons at Valve but not others.

    There are no set rules. There are no set definitions here. Though we already kind of viewed Steam as being the "Wild West" of digital distribution, today's announcement really just hammers that idea home. Valve would rather leave the policing up to the public. They would rather wash their hands of responsibility and are telling you to do it for them.

    Of course, in many cases it won't really matter. Valve continues on to say today that even if you do find something offensive, you don't "have" to look at it on Steam. Nobody is forcing you to look at a game like AIDS Simulator, pictured in this post from my own screen grabs. Maybe Valve will eventually step in ahead of this game's planned June 12 release date, but probably not unless a big enough stink is made from outlets far larger than mine.
    So what does this mean? It means that the Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don't think should exist. Unless you don't have any opinions, that's guaranteed to happen. But you're also going to see something on the Store that you believe should be there, and some other people will hate it and want it not to exist.

    Maybe, just maybe, Valve should see how having a hands-off approach has worked out for places like Reddit, Twitter, or the YouTube comment section. As it stands right now the approach from Valve is now firmly cemented in the realm of "if you don't like something on Steam then too bad."

    Oh, and in case you wanted to know more about AIDS Simulator, here is the "About this Game" section from Steam.
    In AIDS Simulator you play as a tourist that travels to Africa and contracts the HIV virus from the locals. Now he must take revenge and kill everyone before he dies so that they won't keep spreading AIDS to the other parts of the world. The African army soldiers will try to stop you, do you best to kill them all.

    AIDS Simulator is a very short first-person shooter with boring gameplay, bad graphics and generic assets. If you're a game collector or just enjoy buying trash games in general, here's another garbage for your bin.

    - Asset Flip
    - Very short
    - Poor performance
    - First-person shooter
    - Zero effort cash grab