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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Steam tells SJWs to take a hike

This is the correct way to publicly respond to SJW demands and it is the right and reasonable attitude for companies in the game industry to take. It is encouraging to see Steam take the lead on this by comprehensively rejecting SJW demands.
Recently there's been a bunch of community discussion around what kind of games we're allowing onto the Steam Store. As is often the case, the discussion caused us to spend some time examining what we're doing, why we're doing it, and how we could be doing it better. Decision making in this space is particularly challenging, and one that we've really struggled with. Contrary to many assumptions, this isn't a space we've automated - humans at Valve are very involved, with groups of people looking at the contents of every controversial title submitted to us. Similarly, people have falsely assumed these decisions are heavily affected by our payment processors, or outside interest groups. Nope, it's just us grappling with a really hard problem.

Unfortunately, our struggling has resulted in a bunch of confusion among our customers, developer partners, and even our own employees. So we've spent some time thinking about where we want to be on this, and we'd like to talk about it now. But we also think it's critical to talk about how we've arrived at our position, so you can understand the trade-offs we're making.

The challenge is that this problem is not simply about whether or not the Steam Store should contain games with adult or violent content. Instead, it's about whether the Store contains games within an entire range of controversial topics - politics, sexuality, racism, gender, violence, identity, and so on. In addition, there are controversial topics that are particular to games - like what even constitutes a "game", or what level of quality is appropriate before something can be released.

Common questions we ask ourselves when trying to make decisions didn't help in this space. What do players wish we would do? What would make them most happy? What's considered acceptable discussion / behavior / imagery varies significantly around the world, socially and legally. Even when we pick a single country or state, the legal definitions around these topics can be too broad or vague to allow us to avoid making subjective and interpretive decisions. The harsh reality of this space, that lies at the root of our dilemma, is that there is absolutely no way we can navigate it without making some of our players really mad.

In addition, Valve is not a small company - we're not a homogeneous group. The online debates around these topics play out inside Valve as well. We don't all agree on what deserves to be on the Store. So when we say there's no way to avoid making a bunch of people mad when making decisions in this space, we're including our own employees, their families and their communities in that.

So we ended up going back to one of the principles in the forefront of our minds when we started Steam, and more recently as we worked on Steam Direct to open up the Store to many more developers: Valve shouldn't be the ones deciding this. If you're a player, we shouldn't be choosing for you what content you can or can't buy. If you're a developer, we shouldn't be choosing what content you're allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.

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.
Give people control over what they want to see, but otherwise stay out of it. That's the best approach for large corporations to take, although they're still going to have to get rid of their internal SJWs if they want to avoid eventual convergence. It's good to see the game industry refusing to back down despite the near-total convergence of the so-called games media.

Labels: ,

69 Comments:

Blogger Randomatos June 16, 2018 7:51 AM  

"They're still going to have to get rid of their internal SJWs if they want to avoid eventual convergence."
From your keyboard to God's ears!

Blogger Out of Nod June 16, 2018 7:57 AM  

I find myself pleasantly surprised by this. Valve is based in a city across the lake from Seattle that has delussions of grandeur...thinking it's going to be the next New York City. What a difference a lake makes.

Blogger Nate June 16, 2018 8:06 AM  

This has to be a very discouraging to the SJW Game Media. Failing on this ground is basically losing the war. Steam is huge.

Blogger Rex Little June 16, 2018 8:08 AM  

Vox, could you explain why you use "convergence" to refer to the takeover of an organization by SJWs? Is this a usage you came up with or did it first arise somewhere else?

Blogger DJT June 16, 2018 8:26 AM  

Good on Steam for taking the rare common-sense stance in this pozzed world.

Blogger Robert What? June 16, 2018 8:28 AM  

The game industry have a choice: they can cater to SJWs or they can cater to the people who actually buy their games.

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira June 16, 2018 8:42 AM  

Looks like Steam wants to continue on as a profitable venture.

Blogger VD June 16, 2018 8:44 AM  

Vox, could you explain why you use "convergence" to refer to the takeover of an organization by SJWs? Is this a usage you came up with or did it first arise somewhere else?

It's derived from John Stuart Mill's assertion that all individuals and organizations must converge towards social justice.

Blogger qualitycontrol June 16, 2018 8:53 AM  

'It's good to see the game industry refusing to back down despite the near-total convergence of the so-called games media.'

It's even worse. Large parts of the whole ecosystem are converged. The big publishers are converged, the press is converged and large parts of online community administrators are converged.

Blogger Emmett Fitz-Hume June 16, 2018 9:06 AM  

Note to self: Buy more games from Steam.

Blogger John Cunningham June 16, 2018 9:16 AM  

I like the maxim, "If you don't like it, you can't have any." VFM #424

Blogger YclepedBobAli June 16, 2018 9:20 AM  

https://phys.org/news/2018-05-gene-survey-reveals-facets-evolution.html

Unrelated. Vox I've been dying to hear your take on these findings.

If it's true - unreal ramifications IMHO. Please don't Gamma-bell me lol. I'm sure you've already come across it, but wanted to be sure!

Blogger YclepedBobAli June 16, 2018 9:24 AM  

As for Valve, they've stated the formula for defeating the SJW's perfectly. Varied views within and without the company - can't please everyone, therefore pander to no-one. Simple, effective. Now I'm not so guilt ridden about the hours I sunk into Civ IV on Steam.

Blogger J Melcher June 16, 2018 9:42 AM  

Valve's is not only a virtuous policy, it is a policy that has been effectively expressed. Exemplary!

(Which, I suppose, is why Vox posted it...)

Blogger YclepedBobAli June 16, 2018 9:42 AM  

Argh yes I'm wrong - it's imperfect. You have to simply segregate SJW's by all means, not perfect at all.

I'll re-state - they've provided a viable explanation for 'not' complying with SJW demands which can be antecedent or supplementary to exclusion that is capable of being generalised to all corporations. Apologies.

Blogger Wild Ape June 16, 2018 9:45 AM  

This also allows content creators to be free of SJW insertion. I wish the designers of BattleTech knew of this prior to their launch. It is a great game with the only down check of the SJWs shoehorning a pronoun for character creation.

Blogger Ataraxia June 16, 2018 9:58 AM  

This might be the year people finally start getting it. If an 18-year-old high school girl in a Chinese prom dress can handle SJWS it shouldn't be too difficult for the rest of us.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey June 16, 2018 10:14 AM  

This is very clearly written. Especially for a statement from a major corporation. This part was also good:

So what does this mean? It means that the Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don't think should exist. Unless you don't have any opinions, that's guaranteed to happen.
But you're also going to see something on the Store that you believe should be there, and some other people will hate it and want it not to exist.


However, offending someone shouldn't take away your game's voice. We believe you should be able to express yourself like everyone else, and to find others who want to play your game.

There should be a name for this principle. Like "freedom of association," or something.

Blogger Joseph Maroney June 16, 2018 10:17 AM  

They sell "Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015", so they don't seem to be very vulnerable to public opinion. Then again, SJWs probably give that one a free pass anyway.

Blogger Pierre Truc June 16, 2018 10:17 AM  

Excellent news!

Related: I've been following the fascinating events taking place at Evergreen State Daycare, which may well be the first college to commit suicide by convergence. The monkeys are running the circus.

Blogger Mark Stoval June 16, 2018 10:34 AM  

@18

There should be a name for this principle. Like "freedom of association," or something.

Freedom of association was made unconstitutional many decades ago. One can lose everything trying to defend that concept ... one that was thought to be a God given right back when the founders enacted the constitution.

Oh well.

Blogger YIH June 16, 2018 10:34 AM  

The only things STEAM bans now are AO-rated titles (as do most retailers) and those who spam crap games such as the infamous https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Homicide_Studios
Both of which they are right to do

Blogger Sterling Pilgrim June 16, 2018 10:47 AM  

I suspected Gaben may have a little bit of milk in his diet, after all, no one can convince me my TF2 engineer doesn’t support Trump. Every time I catch wind of “la resistance” I hear him in my head, “ well how’d that plan turn out for ya, dummy?”

Blogger Doug Cranmer June 16, 2018 10:57 AM  

"Freedom of association ... one that was thought to be a God given right back when the founders enacted the constitution."

Article One of the next one.

Article Zero to be requainting the notion of God Given.

Which may require a great deal of blood.

Blogger Doug Cranmer June 16, 2018 11:01 AM  

"If an 18-year-old high school girl in a Chinese prom dress can handle SJWS it shouldn't be too difficult for the rest of us."

That is a keeper.

Thank you.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother June 16, 2018 11:10 AM  

I have lots of raw milk in my diet

Blogger SmokeyJoe June 16, 2018 11:13 AM  

Please feel free to vote with your wallet. Now move along non gaming citizen. Please watch your step when you get off our train at the next stop. Have an most excellent day!

Blogger Al K. Annossow June 16, 2018 11:22 AM  

YclepedBobAli wrote:https://phys.org/news/2018-05-gene-survey-reveals-facets-evolution.html

Unrelated. Vox I've been dying to hear your take on these findings.

If it's true - unreal ramifications IMHO.


It was likely caused by cishet, European cave dwellers/snow chimps, aka Neanderthals, who burned fossil fuels. You've always been evil to Gaia. It's still in your genes so you need to apologize immediately and don't buy games from Steam. (Adaption rates of catastrophic diseases is my initial guess.)

Blogger Solon June 16, 2018 11:24 AM  

The big question, already stated: is it true.

But yes, if this article is true, and mitochondrial dna can be used to determine a species age, well... This may finally be proof of the Flood. And if that's proven to have happened, then those who wrote the Bible will have got something right which they would have had no way of knowing without Outside Help.

This could be literal scientific proof that God exists.

Now, mind you, the cynic in me is screaming right now, I mean, they cast doubt on carbon dating already, and you'd have to be able to prove that the neutral mutations in mitochondrial DNA are actually like tree rings, meaning they happen at a consistent rate amongst all species and don't have statistically significant variance.

But... Just imagine.

Blogger ghostfromplanetspook June 16, 2018 11:24 AM  

Vox did you see any of the highlights concerning this years E3? Lots of stronk wamen who dont need no man made they're debuts. Even Gears Of War now has a female protagonist.

Blogger Jackson Peds June 16, 2018 11:44 AM  

And most if not all of them will fail, @30 Gears, Battlefield, only the Last of Fags 2 is going to made a positive record, and that would be solely on heavy bundling.

Blogger Solaire Of Astora June 16, 2018 11:59 AM  

Now I don't regret owning 300 games on Steam.

Blogger Unknown June 16, 2018 12:11 PM  

The gaming press absolutely spilled their spaghetti all over the floor over this. The usual suspects all penned hysterical articles slamming Valve for this policy. The Blue Check Mark Mob on Twitter also absolutely lost their shit.

It was fun to watch.

Blogger NO GOOGLES June 16, 2018 12:28 PM  

They will certainly make a ton of money selling uncensored Japanese titles that are becoming scarcer and scarcer in other venues. The "straight up trolling" exception isn't great, as I'm sure when the SJW mob recovers they will try to exploit it by classifying "things I don't like" as trolling... not exactly breaking new ground there.

Blogger Nikephoros II Phokas June 16, 2018 12:35 PM  

The gaming industry would be in a sad state without Steam.

They opened the market up with their support of indie developers and modders, plus their pricing structure, at a time when major publishers (and now SJWs) would like nothing more than to keep it closed down.

Blogger Eduardo June 16, 2018 12:46 PM  

Bring Back the old ways VALVE!

Blogger Wuzzums Fuzzums June 16, 2018 12:56 PM  

When you get constant insults for over a decade from your customers regarding your weight and HL3's release date I guess you develop quite the impenetrable skin.

Blogger Eduardo June 16, 2018 12:57 PM  

@37

You forgot about his Math limitations XD.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 16, 2018 1:14 PM  

If you can tell a hysterical woman to shut up and behave you can tame the SJW.

Blogger SouthRon June 16, 2018 1:37 PM  

I'm open to suggestions for unconverged games to buy in support of the policy. Currently considering Kingdom Come Deliverance or Total War: Warhammer II.

Blogger Resident Moron™ June 16, 2018 1:43 PM  

Quite an eloquent way of saying that we’ve realized we can’t win by playing your game, SJWs, so we’re not going to.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother June 16, 2018 1:43 PM  

Something to be happy about from Civ 5 to Civ 6, Avalanche on Steam; no global warming bullshit that turns everything to desert.

Blogger Resident Moron™ June 16, 2018 1:51 PM  

@12 et al

Before you decide to trust anything sciencey, you might want to ponder the ramifications of this:

https://www.chemistryworld.com/feature/forensics-in-crisis/3009117.article

Blogger Wuzzums Fuzzums June 16, 2018 2:15 PM  

@40
Witcher 3 -- Polish game.
Spec Ops: The Line -- Story driven game. They even had an E3 presentation that was full of lies in order to mask how messed up the game is.

Blogger Ceerilan June 16, 2018 2:18 PM  

It's clear to me that because the SJWs in gaming press are still trying to converge gaming, our victory in gamergate was only temporary. We need to send a permanent message. Why does Kotaku still exist if they employ people like this? Why does Polygon still exist? Etc.

This issue won't end until we kill off these converged gaming press companies, driving the SJW scum away from our hobby.

Blogger SirHamster June 16, 2018 2:20 PM  

Solon wrote:This could be literal scientific proof that God exists.

The level of information encoded into DNA is already scientific proof that God exists as the Designer and Engineer. People who are willfully blind won't see a thing.

Blogger great_o'rety June 16, 2018 2:20 PM  

The gaming industry would be in a sad state without Steam

Naah. The Poles of GOG would take over and it would be even better

Blogger Junius Stone June 16, 2018 2:29 PM  

It is inspiring, seeing all these bulwarks and signs of resistance springing up everywhere.

Blogger Jay in DC June 16, 2018 2:46 PM  

@16

" I wish the designers of BattleTech knew of this prior to their launch. It is a great game with the only down check of the SJWs shoehorning a pronoun for character creation."


Got news for ya bud, Battletech's dev team were the ones driving that bus 100%. They vociferously shutdown and banned any discussions of the egregious SJW elements in the game. "They, xirs, etc" and the fact that in the year 3000 no white men will be in space. (AKA Mass Effect 3)

Lay the blame where it is due, at the feet of Jordan (((Weisman))) and his beta herb nu-male / trans soyboy crew.




p.s. Side Note---> VD, I post here infrequently but lurk, though I'm quite "known" on Chateau Heartiste and other high profile alt-right sites. You are a bit of an egomaniac but I see nothing intrinsically wrong w/ that. You have also mellowed quite a bit and I've personally called you out (under various pseudonyms, and some of your more sycophantic defenders). My experience has been you do allow for -rational- argument and criticisms even if you strongly disagree with it. The gamma 'spergy shit you put the hammer down on because as you noted, the goal is not true 'argument' in the classic greek dialectic sense but the "look how smart and superior I am" smarmy cunt w/ no actual achievement sense. I can't fault you for that even if you are a self-righteous prick now and again. ;-D

Blogger Ryan G June 16, 2018 3:40 PM  

I'm actually optimistic about the future of gaming. Unlike Big Media, Big Education, Big Hollywood, etc there isn't a lot of centralized distribution channels for gaming content.

The market is too diverse, the developers too numerous, and the costs of development and distribution too cheap and decentralized for a handful of SJW activists to effectively control.

Blogger Zeroh Tollrants June 16, 2018 4:15 PM  

If you look a woman being hysterical straight in the eyes and in a calm, yet stern, even voice, displaying no physical threat to her, that she should "shut up and behave," then calmly turn & walk away, she'll 90% of the time follow you.
50% of the time she'll be so thrilled, she'll want to marry you.

Blogger Daniel June 16, 2018 4:27 PM  

From the article:
"So what does this mean? It means that the Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don't think should exist. Unless you don't have any opinions, that's guaranteed to happen. But you're also going to see something on the Store that you believe should be there, and some other people will hate it and want it not to exist."

*APLAUDE DE PIE*

Blogger LogicTsunami June 16, 2018 4:39 PM  

I recently went back to playing Project Gorgon after a very long lay-off. It's now played through Steam, so this is great news!

Blogger Eli June 16, 2018 5:02 PM  

It is funny how this all came about when we are so close to the Steam summer sale too. Steam gains extra browny points from the hard core gamer crowd who will in turn spend some decent money on games very soon. I'm sure there is more to in than that of course, but the timing was perfect.

Blogger God Emperor Memes June 16, 2018 5:26 PM  

I thought "convergence" was possibly a reference to the Dead Space series. Mindless, cannibalistic, hideous zombies, devouring everything in their path? - Sure seems like a description of SJW's to me.

Blogger DonReynolds June 16, 2018 5:34 PM  

Not all angry people are the same. No, they are not equal.

The people who are angry because I will not let them do all my thinking. Mad because I will not comply. Angry because I refuse to agree with them or bow down before their agenda. Those people can get as angry and pissed off as much as they care to...I ignore their anger or discount it to low regard. (SJWs, Militants, and other Leftists seem to dominate this category.)

The angry people who have a legitimate complaint, regarding their property or their person, I take seriously. Should I find their complaint reasonable and to my own fault, I will seek to resolve their issue as well as I can, even if they were contributory and even if I have little regard (personally) for the property in question. (I will not deliberately run over anyone's cat and will avoid it if I can, but the owner has every reason to keep the pet safe.)

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener June 16, 2018 5:37 PM  

"I will not deliberately run over anyone's cat..."

If the owner offered you $20, would that change your mind at all?

Blogger Nameless One June 16, 2018 5:53 PM  

Valve has avoided convergence because they are a privately held company. Any publicly traded company will be converged because their top management and board will be trained in converged schools and their biggest shareholders will be equity funds ran by people also trained in those converged schools.

Blogger DonReynolds June 16, 2018 8:25 PM  

Noah B The Savage Gardener wrote:"I will not deliberately run over anyone's cat..."

If the owner offered you $20, would that change your mind at all?


Noah....with the owner's permission, I would not have a problem. I might even donate the twenty bucks to the Beer Fund for the block party.

Blogger LP999-16 June 16, 2018 8:40 PM  

Finally some sanity!

Excellent: "So we ended up going back to one of the principles in the forefront of our minds when we started Steam, and more recently as we worked on Steam Direct to open up the Store to many more developers: Valve shouldn't be the ones deciding this. If you're a player, we shouldn't be choosing for you what content you can or can't buy. If you're a developer, we shouldn't be choosing what content you're allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable."

"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."

Can you imagine the sjws freaking out right now, now thats funny.

They lost GamerGate!

"Give people control over what they want to see, but otherwise stay out of it."

LP: Call SJW's out, reject em', inflict painful logic on them then coldly walk away, NEVER apologize and watch with great delight at their reactions.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 17, 2018 12:46 AM  

So, does "give people control over what they see" mean I can finally delete a game from my steam list?

Blogger Lobert E. Ree June 17, 2018 5:13 AM  

@40

I've been enjoying Grim Dawn. It plays like Diablo II, and it's set in a Reformation-era fantasy world where your civilization has been corrupted and destroyed by an otherworldly force that presents itself as a source of power.

A Hat in Time is great, and is laudable for keeping Jon Aryan Jafari's voice-acting in the game in spite of all the shrieking they got.

Also, Age of Barbarian is worth a mention.

Blogger Dirk Manly June 17, 2018 7:36 AM  

@9

"
It's even worse. Large parts of the whole ecosystem are converged. The big publishers are converged, the press is converged and large parts of online community administrators are converged."

The Historical/Speculative Wargaming publishers aren't.

For example -- if you publish a game about Japan's expeditions into China during the 1930's ... there's NO good-guys. You either have to play as the Japs (Fascist Military Junta with an actual God-Emperor worshipped by the citizenry), or you have to play the Chinks (A country with an ineffective leader, and therefore run by a bunch of competing Warlords, who, when they aren't fighting the Japs and Mao's Commies, are fighting each other).

Blogger Dirk Manly June 17, 2018 7:43 AM  

14. J Melcher June 16, 2018 9:42 AM

Valve's is not only a virtuous policy, it is a policy that has been effectively expressed. Exemplary!

(Which, I suppose, is why Vox posted it...)
15. YclepedBobAli June 16, 2018 9:42 AM

Argh yes I'm wrong - it's imperfect. You have to simply segregate SJW's by all means, not perfect at all.

I'll re-state - they've provided a viable explanation for 'not' complying with SJW demands which can be antecedent or supplementary to exclusion that is capable of being generalised to all corporations. Apologies.

------

LOL_WUT?

Blogger phunktor June 17, 2018 1:10 PM  

"Something to be happy about from Civ 5 to Civ 6, Avalanche on Steam; no global warming bullshit that turns everything to desert."
civ4 pissed me off -- i had to nuke DC 5 times.i want FOAB (tsar bomba)!!

Blogger SirHamster June 17, 2018 6:35 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:So, does "give people control over what they see" mean I can finally delete a game from my steam list?

This has been added for a little while.

Involves making a Steam Support request, directions here.

What games do you have that you want to remove permanently?

Blogger jb June 17, 2018 11:28 PM  

Andrew would be sorely disappointed . . .

SJW's now seem in charge of Zuckerberg-esque monitoring of Breitbart's comment section(s). One cannot call out those identifying as "rabid conservatives" for being rather stupid in their blatherings.

No great loss - Breitbart has become tedious, and rather late to lunch with news the last few months anyway.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 18, 2018 1:31 AM  

This has been added for a little while.

Involves making a Steam Support request, directions here.

What games do you have that you want to remove permanently?

Anything thatvrequires a phone call or email is not a feature.
The worst offender is Ben There, Dan That.

Blogger Ahärôwn June 19, 2018 7:18 PM  

This is excellent. Gamers just want to be left alone to enjoy their games, after all.

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