On May 17, Valve sent Steam users into a fury when they sent out notices to several indie game developers that adult content in several games would have to be censored or else the games would be removed from Steam within two weeks. While some developers may not have come forward and there was no notice on the games’ status on the Steam store, they seemed to all have one thing in common: the games featured sexualized anime girls, commonly referred to as lewd waifus.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, formerly known as Morality in Media, released this statement:
“We are grateful to Steam® for taking a socially responsible stand against sexually exploitive videogames. Steam hosts approximately 35 million users who are children and teenagers, yet it also has hosted videogames that promote themes of sexual violence, exhibitionism, and rape, often depicting child-like characters in sexual scenes. It’s about time that the videogame community is responding to this #MeToo moment, and is distancing itself from gamified sexual violence. Some game developers are claiming that Valve is 'censoring' them, but Valve is a private company that can—and should—make decisions based on creating a safe and user-friendly environment for its users. When videogames include sexually graphic and degrading themes the user is not only a voyeur but an active participant in staging the scene. As our society suffers from the consequences of campus sexual assault, military sexual assault, and rising child-on-child sexual abuse, we see that normalizing the sexual use (and often abuse) of others in videogames is irresponsible on the corporate and social level. We thank Steam for its decision, and encourage other gaming sites and stores to follow their lead.”
In the wake of this devastating news, anime avatars across the Twitterverse declared that these games were the first victims of a waifu holocaust.
By Saturday night May 19 however, game developers had finally gotten word from Valve to disregard the previous notice and that the two week deadline had been downgraded to a slightly less ominous "re-review".
With the future of these games up in the air for now, I kick the question to you, take the poll and sound off your thoughts in the comments on the waifu holocaust.
Should Valve remove or censor lewd waifus on Steam?
- From my cold, dead hands
- Developers should find other platforms if Steam won't host them. Valve is a private company and can do what it wants with their platform.
- Only if all other titles are held to similar standards of violence and sexuality
- Maybe if Valve releases Half Life 3
- The internet was made for sharing the Word of God, not degeneracy.