Valve Reiterates Stance On Steam Curation: “We Are Not The Taste Police”

Valve Steam Censorship

During the White Nights St. Petersburg 2018 business conference for the games industry in Russia, Valve’s general counsel, Jan-Peter Ewert, gave a presentation about the company’s future, about some of their upcoming tools, and how they won’t be curating their games.

PC Gamer collected a number of tweets from HeroCraft’s Michael Kuzmin, who posted up some of the slides that Ewert presented. One of the slides rolled through Valve’s policies regarding game content on Steam.

The slide states that “Steam is a Big Opportunity” because there are a lot of new releases on Steam every day, and that there are more games being made than ever before. The slide also notes that there are more new players joining the service everyday, and this ties into the next slide about Valve’s hands-off approach to curation.

The slide states “Steam Is A Different Kind Of Opportunity”.

It notes that Valve doesn’t sell ad space or pick “winners & losers”, when it comes to featuring content. The next line is what has a lot of gamers cheering, where it states…

“We are not the taste police”

In this case, Valve is reiterating that as a business they won’t be judging or removing games based on content. This stance obviously made plenty of gamers happy.

Recently, the company noted that the only time they would step in to remove games was either due to trolling or illegal content.

Valve’s free speech stance was met with a lot of resistance and pushback from games journalists, who have been trying desperately to make in-roads to become curators at Steam so that they could eventually remove sexy-time games, violent games, games that appeal to straight white males, and any game that offended them. A number of websites all collectively came out on the same day writing furiously about how Valve wouldn’t be censoring games on Steam.

Most of these sites had articles written by people associated with the GameJournoPros, the same group that labeled #GamerGate a harassment campaign and pushed that narrative up into the mainstream.

Valve adopted the hands-off approach after some of their staff attempted to enact the Waifu Holocaust, and carry out Anime Genocide on visual novels, dating simulators, and sexy-time games. Customers were not pleased with Valve’s attempt to become censorship curators, especially by retroactively attempting to censor games that were already censored. So Valve backed off on the decision and went in the opposite direction.

Valve valuing freedom over censorship also caught the ire of a Christian anti-porn organization known as NCOSE, who screeched unbridled rage at the company for not censoring or removing access to virtual titties on Steam.

Both the Authoritarian Right and the Despotic Left were angered at Valve for embracing the true American tradition of free speech, proving that gamers don’t have any allies outside of their own hardcore, insular communities. Hopefully what’s mentioned in Ewert slides hold true and Valve doesn’t waver under pressure from SJWs when more sexy-time games or ultra-violent games are released in the near future.

For now, actual gamers are just happy that Valve isn’t ramming the rod of censorship up the hole of freedom of choice.

(Thanks for the news tip Unperson)

(Main image courtesy of Velly)