Here is my toss on the burning fire that is blog posts about Valve changing its policy to allow any game that isn’t illegal or trolling on Steam, in which I argue its a good move that will likely have zero impact on you personally. TAGN has a post up that has links to other blog posts (lazy linking ftw).
First and foremost, I don’t want Steam deciding what is or is not appropriate content for me as it relates to videogames. If I feel like loading up a school shooter sim, or roleplay a nazi hunting down jews, or whatever else offends you, I should be able to do that. I won’t, personally, but I don’t care or get offended because Steam has that option for me. Far more offensive stuff, like shitty asset swap games or achievement collector ‘games’ already exits on Steam today, and yet life goes on. Videogames aren’t drugs or cigarettes, where actual real side effects exist and we do need to protect the young and/or dumb from themselves.
Second, anyone who thinks that suddenly THIS will make it too hard to find a game on Steam is missing a screw or three. Right now, before this change goes into effect, 40+ games are added EVERY SINGLE DAY to Steam. Currently Steam has 22000+ games, yet you think after this change THEN Steam is going to be overcrowded? El oh El.
And here’s the thing, good games make the news. Maybe not the front page of a major site, but if a game is good, it will get buzz. Maybe you have to read a great blog like this one to find out about a game like Battle Brothers, but it will happen. Plus not only will it happen, its not even that hard. If you want an RPG, do a quick search for “Best RPG of 2018”. How many rape simulators came up in your search? Zero (unless you’re personal search history is… questionable…). How many good RPGs did you find that you can now easily grab off Steam? A bunch right? Wtf is the problem with finding games again?
Overall its a good thing that Valve will no longer be wasting their time deciding what form of videogame sex is ‘too much’ to put on their platform, or if a game about murder is ok because the people being murdered ‘deserved it’ or whatever justification someone comes up with. It’s fine. All of it, really.
(And yes, of course this is likely to change in the future, but not because someone puts something on Steam that the majority agree is ‘too much’, but because some vocal minority gets a bunch of ‘likes’ on their protest page.)
“First and foremost, I don’t want Steam deciding what is or is not appropriate content for me as it relates to videogames.”
Fallacious argument, in that it assumes that you can only buy games on Steam. Steam is not the US Ministry of Video Games. As it turns out, Steam is not the only place you can buy video games and all the crap that was previously unavailable on Steam could have been made available elsewhere. So Steam in no way determines what is appropriate for you, only you do that.
I bring this up because this is one of the sore points in the whole mix of this for me is the belief that if you can’t get on Steam you are somehow locked out of the video game market.
Meanwhile, arguing that things are already so bad now that they can’t get worse is approaching sophistry, a distraction from what I have come to think of what the main focus of the discussion ought to be; is this a good move for Steam and Valve? Are they likely to be made better or stronger or more secure in their position in the market by this change of policy?
If you want to take the selfish point of view, instead of saying Steam isn’t the boss of you when it comes to video game choices, you should ask instead if this is going to protect your considerable investment in video games on their service.
Also, I enjoy stirring the pot on this topic because it has a lot of factors in play.
At this point if a game isn’t on Steam, my odds of buying it drop to nearly zero, so yea, kinda important for a game to be on Steam for me (and I’d guess plenty of others). So if Valve says “we are against beheading as its offensive, therefor we removed Battle Brothers”, my odds of buying/supporting BB is also massively impacted.
Second part; I said in the post this was good for Valve/Steam. Less wasted resources playing outrage police, and more titles/sales to strengthen the platform. Because I strongly, strongly suspect for every “I quit Steam over allowing this game on the platform!” outcry, there will be multiple people who buy more because suddenly they can get tentacle porn via Steam. A stronger Steam is good for me, so yes, I also benefit.
“Steam is not the US Ministry of Video Games. As it turns out, Steam is not the only place you can buy video games and all the crap that was previously unavailable on Steam could have been made available elsewhere.”
Lol come on man – you know Steam is more then just any other storefront. Truth is Steam is to video games what YouTube is to video content. They are platforms where people largely know – this is where we buy games. Hell it’s a community. And it’s a draw not just for buyers but developers. There IS no other place for games for most people.
“is this a good move for Steam and Valve?”
If Valve can hold the course and pull it off? Yes, absolutely.
Steam is already the de facto DRM mechanism of computer gaming. You implied that there are alternatives out there, but what are they? Everyone points to GOG while conveniently forgetting that they sell only DRM-free games. That leaves stuff like Origin, uPlay, and maybe Blizzard’s launcher left as mainstream storefronts? Twitch has a client too, now, I guess. Beyond that, you’re in the weeds with sketchy, website-specific clients and unknown downloads.
Opening the storefront to basically everyone fully positions Steam as the equivalent to Windows and Google, leaving everyone else in the (niche) dust. I have no interest in VR Porn and have no idea where it would even be sold, but now I do know: Steam. Just like every other game that isn’t a publisher-specific AAA title. And even if there’s backlash, boycotting Steam is basically boycotting PC gaming.
In any case, the worst-case scenario here is that Valve folds to the pressure, Gabe apologizes, and Steam remains the reigning champion. This is a bold move on Valve’s part, but they’re just jumping ahead three spaces instead of taking it one at a time.
“Fallacious argument, in that it assumes that you can only buy games on Steam. ”
This is incorrect, he very intentionally used the word want, so therefore it only assumes that he only wants to buy games on Steam. That old reading comprehension thing :(
“Meanwhile, arguing that things are already so bad now that they can’t get worse is approaching sophistry”
No, the sophistry here is you pretending that a good thing, more games, is a bad thing. That old reading comphension thing again :(
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I see quite a bit wrong with the argument but I don’t think it really matters. I mean, arguing nazis for everyone is enough for me to just nope my way out.
I’ll bookmark the post and see how things turn out. Quite the experiment to see.
I don’t think anything’s really changed – that’s kind of the funny thing with the reactions coming from this announcement. They just got some notice for blocking anime boobs so felt the need to make public notice of their reversal on banning of anime boobs and otherwise Valves vetting process is as it was a month ago.
“nope your way out” What does that actually mean? Are you going to stop using Steam? Or is that just another synonym for “I will do nothing at all.” which basically means Syn is correct in his assessment of the situation, which predicted that you would in fact do nothing?