Shocker: Sex Games Verboten On Steam Greenlight

When Steam Greenlight was announced back in July, it seemed like a new wild west of gaming possibilities. After years of Valve’s rather mercurial standards for getting games approved for distribution on Steam, Greenlight allows developers to post information about their games while in development or before approval for Steam, to encourage Steam customers to throw their support. It’s a way for games that might otherwise miss out to be given a kick through the door.

But in what will not come as a shocker to anyone remotely familiar with Valve, there is still one barrier that is nigh but impenetrable: naked sexytime naughtiness. This was confirmed when as erotic game called ‘Seduce Me’ was pulled from Greenlight. The makers of Seduce Me alleged that this is just further proof that Valve considers gaming to be childish. Not so, says Valve, who responded to questions via chief spokesperson Doug Lombardi. He told Kotaku that sex games are simply not part of Valve’s business plan, Greenlight or no.

“Steam has never been a leading destination for erotic material,” he said. “Greenlight doesn’t aim to change that.”

Is this censorship? No, as this isn’t about restricting the consumer but is simply a matter of what service a business wishes to provide. Is it proof that games have some growing up to do? Hell no, since ‘adult’ doesn’t have to mean sexin’ anymore than mature has to mean ‘retired’. Of course, Valve has all sorts of extremely violent games for sale, firmly within America’s long tradition of being completely comfortable with brutal gore and killing but completely skeeved out by something as ordinary and non harmful as sex. So, maybe we should talk about that.

Then again, I personally think the game was pulled down because of its hideously unimaginative title. Seriously, ‘Seduce Me?’ Come on, with all the possible sex puns out there, surely the game’s developers can do better.

Meanwhile, what do you think, Game Fronters? Is Valve being inconsistent? Is sex more inappropriate than violence? Sound off in comments.

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8 Comments on Shocker: Sex Games Verboten On Steam Greenlight

Daniel O'Dette

On September 4, 2012 at 7:16 pm

In my opinion, there’s a reason why Sex is a bit of a no-no in the gaming industry.

The most important idea around it is it’s sanctity. It’s an act of love and devotion between two people who want to use their right to carnal knowledge of each other’s bodies. In video games (typically), it exists only after forming a long relationship between your character in another (I’m not referring to Grand Theft Auto’s interesting look at it all), such as in Mass Effect or similar games. It’s almost sacred to human life because its meant for those who are mature and ready to take on that pleasure and responsibility.

Violence, on the other hand, is easy to put in a game, and is more along the lines of a gory stress-reliever. It is common in human life, something we come to grips as a sad part of existence (anyone with brothers knows this very well) that can, so long as you’re fighting for the good guys, really doesn’t bother you all that much because you’re not playing for the violence really-you’re playing for the guns, you’re playing for the story, and you’re playing to be the hero, the star of the show.

So yeah, erotic games are really just meant for dirty flash-game sites, but I don’t think they belong inside Valve’s Greenlight System.

gasmaskangel

On September 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Valve, being a private business is well within their rights to dictate what they will and will not allow on the steam store.

Now that being said, it is of course true that the fear of sex in America is completely insane, and with knowledge of that fear can it really be a surprise that any mainstream gaming company will try to avoid being in anyway assosiated with a game which is built around sex? Can you imagine the s***storm that would follow someone at fox news figuring out their computer long enough to actually catch sight of Seduce Me? Of course you can because it happens every time sex and video games collide *cough Hot Coffee cough cough*.

Add into to that the recent trend (for lack of a better word) of gaming becoming more aware of the various ways it’s maybe not representing females in a favorable light and maybe Valve just doesn’t want any part of that s***storm either.

Mike

On September 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

*Shrugs* Guess Molester Train, The Sagara Family, Bible Black, Discipline, Lewdness, and the infamous Starless still won’t be available on Steam. Too bad, so sad. However, considering some references I’ve caught in walkthroughs with Mitch, I wouldn’t be surprised if he owns at least one of these games. Come on Gamefront, take a walk on the darkside! >:D

Axetwin

On September 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm

> Makes porno game for Steam
> Is legitimately shocked when it is removed
> Blames Steam for pushing their “games are for kids” agenda

To me this is a sign that gameRS still alot of growing up to do. While all porn is considered adult related content, not all adult related content is considered porno, think about that. Just because Steam doesnt want porn in their service, which btw, brings a whole new set of laws and regulations (ie. headaches) to the table, doesnt automatically mean Steam is a childish service only pushing kids games.

Ok so as I was typing this I had an epiphany completely unrelated to this article, Ross, Im sorry but I gotta post this.

What if the reason EA is pushing for digital sales so hard is because digital sales require no picture ID to buy. If you have a credit card its automatically assumed youre 18 or over. Stores being unable to legally sell M rated games to underage kids (even though we all know most do anyway) has been at most a thorn in the side of gaming companies. Digital sales bypass this issue and once again freely allows companies like EA to market their M rated games to the 12-16 year old demographic.

Also, one last thing, why use the Dutch word for forbidden in the headline?

SweetPea

On September 5, 2012 at 7:29 am

@Axewin
It’s German, actually.

Axetwin

On September 5, 2012 at 8:23 am

Oh, right, I forgot with a T its German with a D its Dutch.

CatmanStu

On September 5, 2012 at 11:25 am

I’ve often given thought to the perceived difference between sex and violence in the entertainment industry and the best I have come up with is this:

It’s not the creators or distributors being prudish, it’s a subconcious lack of faith in the maturity of the audience. If you look at a film like the Expendables you could say it is a porno with violence instead of sex. Thin plot and shallow characters only there to move you from one ‘happy’ to the next, but it is accepted that the majority of people will not go out and solve their own problems with excessive violence. I believe the concern is that if they created Super Mario Lovers, where you progressed by constantly doing a different kind of jumping, then we, the audience, would not be able to make the same distinction between fantasy and reality and become a society of serial sex offenders. I don’t watch an Arnie film and think war is like that and I don’t expect sex to occur like it does in a porn movie (I would have less aversion to the doctors if it did though).

Or it could be that games are an interactive medium and when most people are at home and have sex on their mind their hands are usually preoccupied elsewhere.

Red Menace

On January 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm

No sex games? Sexism, I tell you! Sexism!