[UPDATED] Valve Criticized as Steam Game Goes Under Review for Glorifying Rape

[UPDATED] Valve Criticized as Steam Game Goes Under Review for Glorifying Rape

A game that describes itself as a zombie apocalypse title where you verbally harass, kill and rape women is being reviewed by Valve

The following context may be upsetting for some people.

Valve’s carefree “anything goes” perspective on what’s allowed on Steam has once again caused a commotion in the gaming world and for a very good reason too. Concerning questions had been raised in the past when the game Active Shooter – which enabled players to take part in virtual school shootings – was taken down but not because of its apparent violent content, but more because the developer was a troll with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation.

This time, however, a game called Rape Day, where the whole point of it is to “Verbally harass, kill, and rape women as you choose to progress the story” as you play the part of a sociopath during a zombie apocalypse has made its way onto the Steam platform. The developer Desk Plant styles it as a visual novel with “500 images” and “over 7,000 words” with its contents comprising of “violence, sexual assault, non-consensual sex, obscene language, necrophilia, and incest.”

Even though all the horrific pictures that show women getting raped and harassed are still viewable on the Steam store, it isn’t available to purchase due to it currently being under review, but it has been on the site shockingly since last month. The developer of this title is well aware of the stir that their “creation” has caused as they have stated on the games page that they had “learned that because the game contains sexual content and content that may be illegal in some countries, the review process will take much longer than expected. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a more specific time estimate for you guys.”

The developer explains that they’ve removed a ‘baby killing scene’ to avoid being accused of including ‘content that exploits children.’, but the real question lays on how did this type of game make it past Steams moderation process at all? Is their hands-off approach really that apparent? Worryingly, the answer to that seems to be 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 so, in turn, games like this can easily slip through the cracks.

On Desk Plant’s website under a title called Meet the Author, they can be seen defeating the game – offering up a pretty shocking statement in which they say “Murder has been normalized in fiction, while rape has yet to be normalized.” and “At some point in the future, game historians will look back on visual novels such as “rape day” as game historians look back on games such as “grand theft auto” now or even the first time nudity was shown on television.”

While I was initially hesitant on bringing this appalling game any kind of coverage whatsoever, I think it’s important to point out that it exists – whether we like it or not, but I believe that we can voice our concerns over why was this was allowed, what kind of purpose does this serve to the games industry and if Valve is really taking this type of approach to gaming, what else will be allowed through the Steam gates? I think as far as opinions go, this so-called game doesn’t have a place within the remarkable world of game creation.

The only place a “Rape Day” really deserves to be is in the bin along with the rest of the rancid rubbish.

UPDATE: Steam has since released a statement over on their official blog announcing that ‘Rape Day’ will not see the light of day on their watch as they believe it “poses unknown costs and risks”. The statement is as follows:

“Over the past week, you may have heard about a game called ‘Rape Day’ coming soon to Steam. Today we’ve decided not to distribute this game on Steam. Given our previous communication around Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?, we think this decision warrants further explanation.

Much of our policy around what we distribute is, and must be, reactionary—we simply have to wait and see what comes to us via Steam Direct. We then have to make a judgment call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers. After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think ‘Rape Day’ poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won’t be on Steam.

We respect developers’ desire to express themselves, and the purpose of Steam is to help developers find an audience, but this developer has chosen content matter and a way of representing it that makes it very difficult for us to help them do that.”