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  • 06/07/18 02:55 PM

    GameDev Townhall: Steam Opens Up

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    khawk

    GameDev Townhall is a topic posed to the GameDev.net community for discussion of events and issues affecting games and the game industry. Participate in the comments below.

    The game store battle is being fought over content moderation.

     

     

    Valve yesterday announced in a blog post that they are going to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that they decide are illegal, or straight up trolling, explaining that Valve shouldn't be the ones deciding what games players can and cannot purchase and play.

    Quote

    With that principle in mind, 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. 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. We already have some tools, but they're too hidden and not nearly comprehensive enough. We are going to enable you to override our recommendation algorithms and hide games containing the topics you're not interested in. So if you don't want to see anime games on your Store, you'll be able to make that choice. If you want more options to control exactly what kinds of games your kids see when they browse the Store, you'll be able to do that. 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.

     

    itch.io's creator followed that up with its creator saying Steam's new hands-off curation policy is 'ridiculous':

     

    Discussion point: Will Valve's open market work? Is itch.io's moderated market the better option for developers and gamers? Is there another option?

    Edited by khawk



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    User Feedback


    I liked their greenlight program before because that way any controversial games that come through, valve would be able to just say "the people wanted it". It was just kind of an extra filter that could have somewhat protected them from backlash because their opinion wasn't the sole filter. Now any controversial games that steam allows are kind of solely on them, and opens them up for direct criticism

    As for my actual opinion on all of this, i'm actually with steam because if someone doesn't like something, they don't have to look or support it. everyone has their own ideas on what is "bad" or "distasteful" is, and i appreciate steam not trying to make these decisions for me, but instead giving me tools to avoid the things i decide for myself that i don't want to see or support.

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    How do you differentiate a game that has malicious content from one that does not have that sort of things? Take for example GTA V versus Hatred. In GTA V, you can kill civilians, policemen and soldiers. You can also pay prostitutes for sex, which is not allowed in many countries. In Hatred, you also kill civilians, policemen and soldiers. Why is GTA V ultra popular and not condemned for its violence whilst Hatred attracted attention for promoting violence?

     

    When I look at how the society decides that sort, I find that it's based on emotions and not logic. Are you feeling bad, oppressed or frustrated? Then make a loud claim that this game is bad. Try to attract as much attention as possible. The problem with that way of dealing with games you don't like is that people will always feel bad, oppressed or frustrated by something. If they can make a distribution platform remove a game that way, they will continue to try to remove games until that process becomes boresome.

     

    There is always something. The best way to deal with games that you know are morally wrong is to just ignore them. Take the recent school shooter game that was banned from Steam. It is actually a bad satire of american school shootings and got so much attention. It gave publicity to the developers. When I tried to google that game, one of the proposition was to get the unblocked game...

    BannedGame.png.f6f328a2472cd50135985a528671b9ad.png

     

    So what I'm trying to say is : don't feel enraged, just move on an ignore troll and extreme satire games.

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    What can you do in this situation?

    The first thing I think of is splitting controversial games from others, right now steam only has a mature tag. Having a separate section for mature and R- Restricted games will help a lot with the problems faced now.

    However in the past we have seen this kind of separation leading to subpar quality. A example would be mature visual novels and games on steam VS the mature visual novels on the rest of the net.

     

    The other reason I see steam not implementing a section like that, is it will highlight how  AAA games can get away with things that would get smaller indie games banned or an R rating.

     

    Besides banning all small indie games, I really can't see what steam could do.

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