Twitter’s character limit leaves me unable to express my opinions on this, so here’s my thoughts on the game Hatred and its controversy.
I would never play this game. I think its content is disgusting, and I wouldn’t be able to handle the graphic violence of murdering innocent victims in cold blood. I play games for fun, and this game would not add fun to my life.
It’s not the only game I won’t play. I also won’t show games that glorify or show graphic depictions of animals being killed. I think games like Big Buck Hunter and the animal killing parts of Far Cry 4 are disgusting. See the above, where I talk about how I can’t handle the graphic violence of murdering innocent victims in cold blood, whether non-human animals or human animals. Our society might be desensitized to one, but to me – they’re in line with each other. I also won’t play games like Consensual Torture Simulator, because the subject matter is just not for me, and that’s okay.
I don’t care that Hatred is on Steam. Just because I would not personally play this game, doesn’t mean I don’t think anyone should. It might be an unpopular opinion, but I didn’t have an issue with Super Columbine Massacre existing either. Until we can decide what kind of content is straight up ‘illegal’, I think there are too many grey areas to draw arbitrary lines in the sand (see the Postal vs. Hatred arguments). The internet is full of horrible things, most of them skirting the rules around what’s allowed. One can make decisions to completely avoid it, and their internet experience isn’t ruined. Big Buck Hunter is literally about murdering defenseless animals for sport, which I find absolutely abhorrent. But, it has every right to exist and I’m fine with that.
If Valve are going to moderate Greenlight games, they need transparency. It’s just the right thing to do here. If companies are relying on your platform for their livelihood and you’ve established yourself as the place to publish your game for massive success, it’s good business to be transparent about rules and regulations. I’d expect to see a detailed description of the moderation process, including what kind of content is straight up not allowed on Steam, and what appeals process there is (if any), and how many ‘strikes’ a game gets, etc. Even though they made the decision to restore Hatred to Greenlight, what about the next game that crosses the line even further? There’s always someone trying to push the barrier further and further, so it’s in Steam’s best interest to be transparent about this stuff before it happens again.
They need to moderate their forum cesspit. This isn’t really debatable for me here — right now, the Hatred forums are filled with comments from people who are demanding that the developers add DLC which allows them to murder Anita Sarkeesian and other “SJWs”. Apparently the responsibility for moderating these forums has always fell with the developers themselves, but that feels like Valve trying to avoid the extra overhead of watching all those forums for inappropriate content. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — that’s the responsibility you assume when you open online forums. If you’re not ready to police the boards for unsafe, inappropriate, illegal, or harassing content – you shouldn’t have boards. Right now, there is blatant hate speech taking place on Steam’s platform and they can’t abstain from all responsibility for it. This stuff is disgusting, and needs to go.