Ahead of the roll out for the new adult content filters for Steam, Valve made a blog post explaining what they classify as a trolling game, as well as how the new adult content filters will work.
They first explain that there are now going to be improved tag filters, so instead of being able to see three tags you want to see less of, you can now filter out up to 10 tags on your account.
Additionally, you’ll still be notified if you search up a game, category, or genre and certain games are filtered out of the list that you might be interested in. You’ll see this via a non-intrusive text letting you know how many titles have been filtered out of the results based on your preferences.
There will also be three sets of mature content filters. The first will be a standard mature content filter for games containing mature themes, regardless of if they contain violence, gore, sex, or nudity. The second content filter will only filter content that contains sex, nudity, gore, and violence. And the third content filter will be an Adults Only filter, which will filter out games featuring explicit sexual content.
Valve explains in the blog post…
“So far, the Store has allowed you to filter out games that feature Frequent Violence/Gore or Nudity/Sexual Content. After looking at the mature content in submissions we’re receiving, and at some games that are already in the Store, we’ve added two more options. The first is a general Mature Content filter. We often see developers who tell us their game contains mature content, but not sex or violence, and you can now filter those games out if you wish. The second is an Adults Only filter, which allows you to filter out games that feature explicit sexual content.”
This ties into what Valve has been mentioning in the past, suggesting to developers with games that will be locked behind the filter to add descriptors to their games so that gamers will be informed as to what kind of mature content will be featured in the game.
Now one of the most important changes is how Valve curates content. While they claimed that they wouldn’t be the “taste police”, they will be removing games and developers who are classified as “outright trolling”.
So what classifies as trolling? According to the post, games that incite or sow discord, schemes to pilfer a small amount of money through Steam, or scams. The post states that the decision to ban a game or a developer starts with the developer…
“Our review of something that may be “a troll game” is a deep assessment that actually begins with the developer. We investigate who this developer is, what they’ve done in the past, their behavior on Steam as a developer, as a customer, their banking information, developers they associate with, and more. All of this is done to answer the question “who are we partnering with and why do they want to sell this game?” We get as much context around the creation and creator of the game and then make an assessment. A trend we’re seeing is that we often ban these people from Steam altogether instead of cherry-picking through their individual game submissions. In the words of someone here in the office: “it really does seem like bad games are made by bad people.”
We’ve already seen Valve ban one developer from the Steam store for trolling, Dank Boi Games. This came about when Dank Boi began questioning Valve about their policies of how certain games still seem to be released on Steam while others are held behind the blockade of the filter.
We’ll see if the filter is applied equally to all games or if there will continue to be inconsistent applications of which games classify as trolling and which games are given the ‘OK’.
According to Dharker Studios, the filters for the store content won’t be ready until a couple of months from now.
(Thanks for the news tip RichardGristle)