Steam updates game-content guidelines, will include "something that you hate"

"Those choices should be yours to make", said Johnson.

He said that some of those tools already exist, but other new ones will allow users to override Steam's recommendation algorithms and hide, say, anime games - which strike me as the least of Steam's potential problems under this new policy - from your store page.

In what feels like an echo of the popular Twitter saying "retweets do not equal endorsements", Johnson made clear that approved games "will not be a reflection of Valve's values, beyond a simple belief that you all have the right to create [and] consume the content you choose".

"It means that the Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don't think should exist", he wrote.

That said, Valve is going to push developers to let the firm know of any problematic content in their games during the submission process and cease to do business with them if they refuse to do so honestly while rejecting games that don't pass technical evaluations.

The decision, wrote Valve's Erik Johnson, was especially challenging as online discussion continues to swirl over fine-line content controversies - like the recent pre-sale of the incendiary Active Shooter game, which was to include a section allowing gamers to play as a mass murderer. "If you see something on Steam that you think should not exist, it's nearly certain that someone at Valve is right there with you".

Johnson added that Valve will "focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see".

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Following some backlash from the community, Valve's Erik Johnson revealed in an official blog post that it has now been chose to stop policing Steam content altogether, which means that everything will be allowed on the store except illegal or "straight up trolling" content. But the policy change essentially opens the platform up to a lot of controversial content - which, so long as it's not illegal or insincere, is fair game - that Valve insists has a right to be on there, just like players have the right not to see it.

"In addition, Valve is not a small company - we're not a homogeneous group".

"Unless you don't have any opinions, that's guaranteed to happen".

"Decision making in this space is particularly challenging, and one that we've really struggled with". "If you want more options to control exactly what kinds of games your kids see when they browse the Store, you'll be able to do that".

You'll notice that what constitutes trolling, or even being illegal, is entirely up to Valve, although they will have to follow local content laws in whatever country you access Steam. Per the new policy, Valve won't make significant changes to the platform until they've finished some of the tools described in the post. "We'll be working on this for the foreseeable future, both in terms of what products we're allowing, what guidelines we communicate, and the tools we're providing to developers and players". Johnson said humans - not algorithms - now review every controversial title submitted to Steam. "Professionally, I dread to think about the games that will appear on the new releases list in an attempt to test just what Valve means by trolling, and personally I'm disappointed that such a massive company isn't willing to engage with important and complex issues".

The company has taken flak in the past for allowing some games with sexually explicit scenes onto Steam, like the critically-acclaimed The Witcher 3, while threatening others with rejection.

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