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Valve doesn’t want erotic games on Steam

At least that’s the message Miriam Bellard of No Reply Games got, when she received a notice that her company’s game ‘Seduce Me,’ had been kicked off of the Greenlight voting platform for breaking terms and conditions. Considering the only real two T&Cs that could get you removed were for being offensive or infringing copyright, it seems Valve just isn’t a fan of sex focused gameplay.

Sex in games has always drawn controversy, whether it’s the Hot Coffee mod for GTA: San Andreas, or the fact that you saw some blue side-boob in Mass Effect 2, a lot of people seem to think sex doesn’t belong in games – though they have far less hangups about the ultra violence often depicted. Of course that are people that complain about that too, but sex and the discussion about whether it belongs in games, often polarises people. The case for Seduce Me was no different.

Seduce Me
It gets a bit more graphic than this, but it's not that problematic, surely?

Before it was eventually taken down by Valve, the comment section for the title was filled with a mix: supportive “White Knights,” as they were labelled by the detractors, who stood up for the fact that sex is just as worthy of being depicted in games as violence, and another group that demonised the content, saying it had no place on Steam. Some of these people simply believed it should be hosted elsewhere – on adult orientated websites – but others kept making the tired comparison between games and children.

This is one that’s been made for years and years and isn’t uncommon in many mediums. The “think of the children” mentality has often caused issues with adult activities and entertainment, but perhaps no more so than with gaming. Despite the fact that games with adult content have appropriate age ratings, despite the fact that the average gamer is well into his 30s and despite the fact that you need some form of online purchasing plan to buy Steam games, many people still felt like adult sexual content wasn’t appropriate for the digital download platform.

The white knights often responded with links to horrifically violent or scary games, making a very valid point.

KitGuru Says: While no-one is asking for more games like Rapelay, why don’t we have more sexual games?

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  • FzH

    The problem is, saying just because we have violence why shouldn’t we have sex themed games doesn’t really make sense: We’ve become desensitised to the violence – which is not good – so why use that as a reason to desensitise ourselves further to sexual themes? Its like saying, well, I don’t have a left arm any more, so why should I worry about my right arm getting chopped off? Err .. ok a slightly odd & violent example but .. yeah ..

    Its no secret that violent video games have had negative impacts on some people, and in some cases spurring them to violence. In more general cases the effect of desensitisation is detrimental – when you hear about real murders or violence, real people suffering – you just won’t feel the depth of pain that those things really bring. Exposure to cheap, crude sexual themes is not good for people either – child or adult. Women are worth more than that. Fine – people can make their own choices, so if they want to host it elsewhere then they can. I just think Steam should not digress – we have social norms which we shouldn’t allow to be eroded – just because we are slave to our desires over anything else in life.

  • madmangame

    Unfair game:

    Your opponents in these card games don’t have a goal, per se. They’re not trying to win a certain number of hands. As such, your real task isn’t to “win” games but to maintain control over them. You’re really just trying to keep your score within a certain threshold against AI that seems to be playing semi-randomly, and this isn’t nearly as entertaining as trying to thwart an opponent that actually has an objective of its own.

    So, the only thing you need to pass the game is luck. In addition does not exist the option of saving and return to the previous point.

    Sooner or later you’ll end up thrown out of the mansion.

    Bad game, good as an artistic job.