Sci-tech

'Rape Day' Video Game Pulled From Distribution by Steam

'Rape Day' Video Game Pulled From Distribution by Steam

"After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think "Rape Day" poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won't be on Steam", the company said in a statement.

Valve then attributed the "unknown costs and risks" posted by Rape Day to its decision to pull the game from the store.

Valve closed out its statement by saying it's willing to work with developers to find an audience but said Desk Plant chose content matter that made it hard for Valve to help them with that.

In an email Wednesday night, Rape Day's developer acknowledged Steam might not be the best platform for the game.

News of the game's existence spread online this week, and a Change.org petition asking Steam to remove the game received nearly 8,000 supporters.

The game was scheduled for release on the Steam Direct distribution channel in April.

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Valve has announced it will block the release of a controversial game that was to be distributed through its service.

The rapeday.com website describes "Rape Day" as "a visual novel" and "a dark comedy with pornographic elements" where players control "a terrifying psychopath during a zombie apocalypse". While the concern over Rape Day was honest, I fear this is a system ripe for abuse, and if the press can be manipulated into railing erroneously against something for long enough, I fear Valve will react as they have here. Last year, after pulling a game called "Active Shooter" that simulated a school shooting, Steam said it would strive to allow any game on the platform regardless of content, so long as it wasn't "illegal, or straight up trolling". Given our previous communication around Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?

While no one is disputing that the contents of this game is inherently disturbing, quite a valid counterpoint was posted by the games developer, Desk Plant. This led to an open question about whether a game like Rape Day would be allowed to be sold. By doing this, games with high wishlist numbers can ensure that they will appear on this tab of Steam instead of letting the algorithm chose what to show. During this time Steam users could see the game, along with updates from its creator.

'We then have to make a judgement call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers.

Rape Day's Steam page before its removal featured some disturbing, graphic images.

"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", she said of Valve, requesting a "full review into how tech companies and gaming platforms-specifically Steam-are able to get away with this kind of stupidity".


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