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Brazil demands Valve to remove political game from Steam amid elections

Valve has found itself the subject of a Brazilian investigation, after Steam’s increasingly relaxed approach allowed BS Studios to launch 2D brawler Bolsomito 2K18. Brazil’s Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories alleges that the game’s violent nature is likely to affect the country’s presidential election, and has therefore demanded that it be removed from the store.

BS Studios directly states within the Steam description that Bolsomito 2K18 “is inspired by the current Brazilian political climate,” particularly being a not-so-subtle nod towards Brazil’s leading presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro is known for his far-right political beliefs, in which the game exaggerates his aggression towards minorities and women by pitting the ‘hero’ against waves of “communistic” enemies.

To make matters worse, Bolsomito 2K18 launched on October 5th, just two days before the Brazilian elections kicked off. After Brazilian publisher Correio Braziliense linked the game to the country’s political climate, the Ministério Público do Distrito Federal e Territórios (MPDFT) opened up an investigation into both the game and the platforms it was released on.

The developers emphasise that the title is meant as satire, however the MPDFT disagrees, stating that it “clearly intends to prejudice candidates for the Presidency of the Republic and thereby embarrass the 2018 elections” and potentially cause “moral harms to social, gay and feminist movements.”

Not only has the MPDFT called upon Valve to remove Bolsomito 2K18 from its Steam store, it has urged authorities to “identify and qualify those responsible for BS Studios.” The problem with the regulator’s first request, is that Bolsomito 2K18 doesn’t actually breach Steam’s guidelines as a fully playable game.

Valve has yet to publicly acknowledge the request, and at the time of writing, Bolsomito 2K18 remains live and kicking on the Steam store.

KitGuru Says: I can see the potential influence the game might have on its local politics, but the MPDFT seems to be proceeding in a questionable way. What do you think of Bolsomito 2K18 given Brazil’s political climate?

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