After game journalists broadcast Rape Day into the public sphere, prompting for politicians to denounce the game and call for it to be banned, Valve capitulated to pleas of censorship and banned Rape Day from the Steam store. However, it doesn’t end there. Politicians are now calling for regulation of Steam, and in particular, any game that contains sexual violence or general violence depicted against women.
On March 7th, 2019 The Courier reported that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is now calling for regulation of games containing violence against women. Sturgeon told First Minister’s Questions…
“Violence against women, whether it is sexual or of any other form, is not a game and should never be treated in such a way.
“It is serious and must be treated in that way, so I hope that the game is not promoted.
“In my view, the matter should not be down to the individual decisions of companies.
“It is time for the regulations governing the area to be reviewed.
“Perhaps the whole Parliament can unite on the issue and call on the UK Government to do that without delay.”
This follows on awareness of the situation being raised by Scotland’s member of Parliament, Shona Robison, who decried the game’s content and stated that she would pursue efforts for regulation. Robison was also instrumental in pressuring Valve in their decision to ban Rape Day, after the game had been withheld from release so that the company could review its contents.
But banning Rape Day wasn’t enough for the politicians. They had become incensed at the idea that such a game would exist.
Additional members of Parliament have also called for regulation.
GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that Hannah Bardell from the Scottish National Party is calling for regulation as well, stating…
“The content of this game is utterly perverted. It’s time for the UK government to undertake a full review into how tech companies and gaming platforms — specifically Steam — are able to get away with this kind of stupidity,”
“The culture to seek forgiveness rather than permission is a stain on an industry that otherwise has the potential to be a real force for good.”
A clip from the assembly was provided by Bardell over on her official Twitter account, which you can view below.
At #DCMS Q’s I raised the issue of the game ‘Rape Day’.
The content of this game is utterly sickening – it’s time for the UK government to undertake a full review into development and hosting of such abhorrent content.
Rape & sexual violence should never feature in ‘games’. pic.twitter.com/JMheJs1N8J
— Hannah Bardell 🏴🏳️🌈 (@HannahB4LiviMP) March 7, 2019
However, Valve reneged on being the “taste police” and began banning games that were neither illegal nor trolling. In this particular case, Rape Day wasn’t banned for violating the rules but due to political and media pressure, which made a lot of gamers fear that this kind of pressure would continue and more games could get banned in the future.
Some gamers saw this as especially worrisome since politicians are targeting games with “violence against women” — which would preclude games like Naked Butlers or Dirty Education — and would range from all sorts of adult games and H-titles on Steam like Slave’s Sword or Unholy Disaster, to non-H games such as Senran Kagura or even GTA V, both of which also fall under the category of featuring “violence against women”.
That’s not to mention nearly every game on Steam featuring elements of the ryona fetish would also end up in the cross-hairs of being regulated, which would also include games like the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy, Mortal Kombat, Tekken 7 and even Street Fighter.
Given that politicians are calling for such regulation, those fears of further censorship enveloping Steam could be rendered true.
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)