Valve allows ‘Rape Day’ onto Steam, a game about sexually assaulting women

A game called “Rape Day” is currently listed on Steam. The game’s website describes it as “a visual novel where you control the choices of a sociopath during a zombie apocalypse. You can verbally harass, kill people, and rape women as you choose to progress the story.” The game is currently under review by Steam.

In June 2018, Valve released a blog titled “Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?” In the post, Valve stated: “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.” Rape Day, a game which recently removed a baby-killing scene due to the backlash, will be a tough test for Valve’s hands-off policy.

The website for Rape Day includes a “Meet The Author – Common Questions” section, in which the game’s creator defends the game in an FAQ. One defense includes “at some point in the future, game historians will look back on visual novels such as ‘rape day’ [sic] as game historians look back on games such as ‘grand theft auto’ [sic] now or even the first time nudity was shown on television.” The website also includes a “Research” page which includes papers highlighting there not being a link between violent content in games and it being enacted in real life.

The game’s Steam news page was updated yesterday with a post stating the game is now complete but is under review. The creator states “the review process will take much longer than expected.” The longer review period aligns with Steam’s statement last year that the reviewing of adult content could take months. In another news post, the creator addresses the removal of the scene in which a baby is killed. The creator ends the post by saying “I do apologize to anyone who wanted to see this scene.”

Valve was forced to clarify its position regarding the policing of content when the game Active Shooter was released last year. Some saw Valve’s policy as a way to allow customers to vote with their wallet and filter out their own content, while others believed Valve’s failure to moderate is an abdication of responsibility.