Valve…valve…VALVE…what the hell is wrong with you?!
Valve, the company behind the highly acclaimed Portal and Half Life series, recently announced that it’s not going to police what games are on Steam. Instead, it will only take a look at games that are illegal, fall under ‘trolling’ or fail to meet technical quality standards…Which for any of us who use Steam on a regular basis, will find it hard to understand what standards they speak of.
Valve’s Erik Johnson, had this anecdote to share, “The online debates around these topics play out inside Valve as well,” he writes. “We don’t all agree on what deserves to be in the Store. So when we say there’s no way to avoid making a bunch of people mad when making decisions in this space, we’re including our own employees, their families and their communities in that.”
In other words, we are all too lazy to do anything about the amount of crap that gets onto Steam Greenlight (Steam Direct?) so we shall leave it the wretched, diluted wasteland that it is known as.
This is a direction Steam and Valve at large have been headed towards for the last couple of years. With the prevalence of asset flips (the practice of building a game almost entirely out of pre-made assets with little to no original work being done) on the market place, developers releasing broken games onto the platform with the excuse of them being in “early access”, or just the plain shadiness from these game makers who issue DMCA take downs to reviewers who are harsh on their broken excuses of games, Valve has shown it does not care.
Valve, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that instead of making one section of the populace mad about removing a controversial game, it will make everyone mad by letting the flood gates open for any amount of ridiculous product onto their platform.
Ironically, this recent statement from Valve contradicts its Terms of Service in Steam Direct which states the following:
- Hate speech, i.e. speech that promotes hatred, violence or discrimination against groups of people based on ethnicity, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation
- 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 is patently offensive or intended to shock or disgust viewers
- 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)
As far as I know, it’s not illegal to be racist. It’s discriminatory as hell, but technically not illegal. Does that mean racism is now allowed on Steam? Now, of course we know Steam would not want such things on its platform, but from taking the stance of “this is not our problem” you would forgive us for thinking that pretty much anything goes now, since, you know, it’s what Steam said.
“If you’re a player, we shouldn’t be choosing for you what content you can or can’t buy,” Erik goes on to write. “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.”
Good job Valve, we all thought you were incompetent, now you are just taking the piss.