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Default Steam - The 'Anything Goes' Policy

June 9th, 2018, 14:13
PC Gamer criticizes Steam's 'Anything Goes' plolicy:

Steam's new 'anything goes' policy is doomed from the start

Valve is responsible for the games published on Steam, even if it says it isn't.

Valve says it's not going to police what games are on Steam, except for those that are illegal, constitute "trolling," or don't meet technical quality standards that I wasn't aware Steam had until now. Today's blog post announcing the change demonstrates welcome transparency from Valve. It's also a mess of an explanation, 1,000 words detailing a policy that looks impossible to implement.

As the largest PC games distributor, Valve has a responsibility regarding what it chooses to sell, and what it chooses not to. We already knew Valve's stance on that responsibility. Ever since Greenlight was proposed, Valve has been saying that it does not want to decide which games get a chance at success on Steam and which don't. After Valve removed Hatred from Steam Greenlight, for instance, it returned it in short order and Gabe Newell wrote an apology to the developers. "Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers," he said, displaying a dispassionate view of what Steam is and does.
[…]
But the solution is not to have no standards whatsoever, to pretend that nothing is 'bad' or 'good,' but that it's all simply 'controversial content.' No! Some things are bad! Even if I don't trust Valve to decide what is or isn't bad (and even less after this decision), I really don't trust anyone who refuses to make any distinction in the first place, and takes no responsibility for the things it promotes.

As Rock, Paper, Shotgun editor Graham Smith commented on Twitter: "Steam isn't just a store, it's a community of hundreds of millions of people, many of them young and impressionable. Analogies to smaller digital stores, bookshops, etc. don't work because those don't have teenagers hanging out on or in them all day."

This policy proposal suggests that Valve really, really doesn't want to run this community, even though it's the only one who can, because it owns it. Valve wants Steam to be viewed as a public utility while still privately owning and profiting from it. That is simply not possible.

To put down a doormat for the worst grifters, spammers, asset-flippers, sexists, and racists is irresponsible, and if Valve follows through with this half-baked plan instead of doing even the bare minimum of ideological and financial legwork to set basic standards, it will end up implicitly endorsing the worst in our culture (as it is already starting to). And to make sure the dreck is invisible to those who don't want to see it, Valve risks hiding things they do want to see. It's a bad proposal that I don't think will actually come to fruition as described (Valve will apply the term "trolling" liberally to remove games that cross the line), and we deserve better from the leader in PC games distribution than offloading all responsibility to customers.
Thanks henriquejr!

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June 9th, 2018, 14:13
You know when something is bound to go wrong…
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June 9th, 2018, 14:41
Steam can't even figure out how to make their text a readable size on anything more than 17-inch monitors with 1080 resolution, after 10 years of complaints. But they're raking in cash, so…
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June 9th, 2018, 15:07
Pure America anti-regulation at its best: let's the market regulate itself…. What could go wrong?

If a 'game' life After Reset (pseudo techno demo with literally nothing to do but walking around a room for two minutes) can be sold at full price to a bunch of morons with too much money and a very small brain, why prevent other scammers to make a quick buck or two?
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June 9th, 2018, 15:44
I actually agree with their approach because if they start deciding what is ok where do you draw the line between liberalism and conservatism …
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June 9th, 2018, 15:47
The important question is of course: "How long will it take until the steam store is 99% porn?"
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June 9th, 2018, 16:11
That new "rule" sux.
I mean… Where's "paid lootboxes products are not allowed"? Though, Steam might be registered for online gambling, we can't know that, in which case no wonder they want more of such scams in the catalogue as if it's a phone client, not PC.

Interestingly, while 30FPS police steam group exists thanks to late TB, noone created lootbox police group yet. Maybe if he was still here… Maybe I should write to JS… Dunno. All I know is that I need to join when it's made.
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June 9th, 2018, 16:18
More freedom for creativity -- what's not to like? Better to set the bar too low than too high. They can always raise it later.
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June 9th, 2018, 16:31
Not sure that will happen. In most places porn is illegal for minors and since many customers are minor they will need something a bit stronger than a check box that you are over 18 (or 10 in europe).

Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
The important question is of course: "How long will it take until the steam store is 99% porn?"
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June 9th, 2018, 17:02
I'm ok with this, they can simply put the filth/smut behind filters, and those that want it can still easily obtain it. It's a great way to avoid the whole censorship debate/issue argument. Everyone wins, and if you expose yourself to something obscene, well, you pretty much had to seek it out first.
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June 9th, 2018, 17:04
"But the solution is not to have no standards whatsoever, to pretend that nothing is 'bad' or 'good,' but that it's all simply 'controversial content.' No! Some things are bad! Even if I don't trust Valve to decide what is or isn't bad (and even less after this decision), I really don't trust anyone who refuses to make any distinction in the first place, and takes no responsibility for the things it promotes."

Yes, some things are bad, like censorship.

"Steam isn't just a store, it's a community of hundreds of millions of people, many of them young and impressionable. Analogies to smaller digital stores, bookshops, etc. don't work because those don't have teenagers hanging out on or in them all day."

Oh, really? You think not?

Steam already has content not suitable for minors, but so does the internet. Parents are responsible for their children's behavior, not Steam.

We don't need more censorship or deeper restrictions on freedom of speech. If nothing else, I think we can all agree that empirical observation shows us that such measures accomplish nothing. Minors have been getting drugs, porn and whatever since the beginning of time and all of our overbearing governmental restrictions haven't changed that a bit.
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June 9th, 2018, 17:14
wonder what the gaming community looks like to those who aren't a part of it. Used to be people who didn't play games complained about games as a media, now it's the same but they call themselves game journalists. Used to be a conservative stance to "think of the children" now its a liberal one.
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June 9th, 2018, 17:28
So, how soon till someone releases pedophilia and Valve is sued into the dark ages? There HAS to be some type of oversight….
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June 9th, 2018, 17:43
I'm sure plenty has already been released, and may even be already on steam. Average people are well capable of policing themselves, and those that come along and cannot will have a future meet and greet with some real police.
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June 9th, 2018, 18:04
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
So, how soon till someone releases pedophilia and Valve is sued into the dark ages? There HAS to be some type of oversight….
Actually this has already been covered:

Valve says it's not going to police what games are on Steam, except for those that are illegal, constitute "trolling," or don't meet technical quality standards that I wasn't aware Steam had until now.
Steam like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook will be sure to take down anything which gets them in trouble, and if necessary issue a written apology if they are too slow in taking it down. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have had live recordings of all sorts of illegal activity for years (at least until taken down) and it hasn't seemed to hurt them. Why should it hurt Steam?
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June 9th, 2018, 19:18
I'm divided on this. There's so much shovelware on steam that I don't like browsing their store anymore.
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June 9th, 2018, 19:50
Yes, I'd rather not have holier-than-thou social justice warrior types deciding for me what games I shouldn't be playing or which games should be censored to conform better with their extreme left politics, thank you. Bravo for the freedom to make games, as nasty as they wanna be.
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Default TES - Skyrim Adult Edition

June 9th, 2018, 20:06
I can’t wait for Skyrim - Adult edition. Finally gonna ‘marry’ me a Khajiit
Last edited by mesmeris; June 9th, 2018 at 22:55.
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June 9th, 2018, 20:49
Well that isn't - imho - a problem with steam per sey. THat is a problem with the gaming industry. It is too easy to bring a product to market without any quality requirements. Well one could argue that steam help enabled this predicament via giving self publishing access to everyone but it was bound to happen as the internet developed as the key ingredient was not steam but software downloads - which no longer require physical shelf space - anyways i digress….

Originally Posted by Silver Coin View Post
I'm divided on this. There's so much shovelware on steam that I don't like browsing their store anymore.
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June 9th, 2018, 21:32
The special snowflakes at PC gamer should get over themselves. Steam needs better ways to sort and find products in the store. Not limits on what is sold in the store.
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