What the hell is Steam doing with VNs right now?

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Okay. Here’s… here’s the thing. I’ve learned more about visual novels in the last 24 hours than I’ve known in the last 33 years of my life. Most of what I’ve learned is that VNs are doing a lot of cool things, and some other VNs? Those VNs are doing dangerous things. And the one universal rule of video game distribution is still in effect: Valve has no gosh danged idea what they’re doing. Yesterday, there was a series of emails from Valve issuing warnings to several developers and publishers, threatening to remove their games from Steam unless they are edited to remove ‘pornographic content’. Today, those same devs and pubs are getting emails saying “Just kidding. But also… MAYBE NOT.”

Valve. The hell? Is Gabe spinning some gigantic wheel in the office right now? We just randomizing policy? OH LOOK, it landed on Surprise Steam Sale!

I cannot sum up the situation better than Dominic did in his coverage yesterday:

This just seems to be the latest round in Valve’s never-ending game of Calvinball regarding what exactly constitutes ‘adult content’ on Steam. Their guidelines for what is actually allowed for sale on Steam are notoriously vague, and no public-facing definition of what is allowed has been published, merely that it should not be ‘pornographic’. Apparently they are free to change their internal definition of pornography without telling anyone, which is fully within their legal rights, but also an enormous pain in the arse for anyone wanting to release a game even vaguely near the limits of what is supposedly allowed.

Gita did an excellent round-up of the history of Valve’s nightmare wishy-washyness in a piece yesterday at Kotaku. It’s just so frustrating and must be such a nightmare for the industry folks who, mostly, have gone out of their way to make sure Valve was okay with their content prior to release.

Valve continue to have zero consistency. And today’s news only supports that, as apparently the games threatened with takedowns are merely going to be ‘re-reviewed’. There’s no further explanation of what that term means, so we only have the tweets from publishers to go on. Here’s what we’ve got for now, until Valve makes any sort of official announcement.

There’s been some pretty excellent community reactions as well:

And some calls from other distro networks to help out:

You can be sure that we’ll be continuing to cover this because, dear god, someone has to. What is happening here?

164 Comments

  1. Deano2099 says:

    It does seem like an impossible problem to fix as long as Valve stick to their guns and want a solution that doesn’t involve actually playing the games they put up on their service.

    A few developers seem to be putting any nudity in a patch they offer for download elsewhere to just avoid the potential hassle but it’s all quite ridiculous.

    I’m not sure any VNs are actual pornography. I mean, yes, some of them have explicit sex scenes designed to excite but most of those are behind hours of clicking through dialogue. And it’s not like a novel or film where you can just skip ahead to the raunchy bits. It’s very rare in my life I go “you know what, I fancy two hours of reading followed by a wank”.

    • malkav11 says:

      “A few developers seem to be putting any nudity in a patch they offer for download elsewhere to just avoid the potential hassle”

      Valve’s policies are inconsistent and mysterious, but this is the result of a previous ruling by Valve, not a pre-emptive move to avoid hassle.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      This isn’t Valve policy. This appears to have been an intentional flagging campaign by a US-based ‘family values’ organisation which has co-opted Feminist language to push an agenda. I wasn’t sure about this yesterday but Jim Sterling has done a video with more details.

      • sosolidshoe says:

        Sadly they’ve no need to co-opt anything, certain branches of feminism have been positively eager to join forces with the broader bulk of neopuritanism no matter how regressive they are.

        • pepperfez says:

          “Certain branches” is doing some awfully heavy lifting there. I don’t think you’d find a plurality of feminists supporting a tech company’s arbitrary removal of “adult” or “pornographic” material, because the first target is always women and/or queer people.

    • Yglorba says:

      Valve could at least help a lot by publishing (comparatively) clear-cut standards, or at least guidelines – you can show this, you can’t show that, etc. That way, even if Valve can’t play every moment of every game in advance, developers would know when they’re safe and when they aren’t.

      The biggest problem with what’s happening now is that nobody knows what criteria Valve is using. That means that any developer making a game that touches on anything remotely sexual, at all, has to worry if the largest retailer is going to suddenly boot them without warning. And that, in turn, has a chilling effect that goes way beyond the restrictions Valve probably intends (because developers are forced to cut anything that touches on sex or sexuality at all, in any context, if they want to be completely safe.)

      I don’t think that’s the outcome most people want. I don’t think it’s the outcome Valve wants, they’re just trying to do as little as possible and avoid constraining themselves by making clear statements and, unfortunately, it’s reached the point where that probably isn’t going to cut it anymore.

      • wraithgr says:

        Could they, though? I know nobody wants to hear this but calvinball is unfortunately the only way for Valve to avoid more than people accusing them of being arbitrary. Once they start categorising sexy acts as ‘ok’ and ‘not ok’, there will be no stopping the outrage…

        • battles_atlas says:

          It comes with the territory. Valve are a platform and one of the very minimal requirements that falls upon them is to provide make clear the rules for those using the marketplace. Not wanting to attract flak by making public the guidelines in use isn’t an acceptable excuse. Valve need to own up to their responsibilities here.

        • Rince says:

          If you do not tell the guidelines you can make them up whatever you want.

          • MajorLag says:

            Yeah, I think that’s kinda the point. No matter what Valve does people will think it either went too far or didn’t go too far enough, so they may as well be just like GOG and have completely arbitrary criteria.

            Personally, I’d prefer they were more like itch.io, but they’ve sorta already been there and heard endless complaining about crapware titles in the store so here we are.

    • Shazbut says:

      As someone with a long standing interest in VNs, I can unfortunately confirm that some are actual pornography and worse. Brock’s sentence about some VNs doing cool things and some doing dangerous things is basically true as far as I’m concerned. Also unfortunately though, there isn’t a clear dividing line and some bad content gets written into some of the most brilliant VNs because…well, because Japan is a bit weird

    • Pheon0802 says:

      honestly I dont get why Steam is mad at this.

      Why shouldnt games for adults be allowed to have pornography???

      Like it isnt an inherently bad thing.

      Also nekkid people are honestly far less damaging to see than violently shot down people, or dismemberment and torture which also is in video games.

      Like I know most VNs arent my thing as tiddies arent my thing but good damn it. it should be allowed to be made for adults if there is demand for it. Though one thing Steam can do is enforce Trigger warnings for games 18+ which the devs have to put in:

      Like: click to reveal warnings of this game. entails minor spoilers by not clicking you advance @ your own risk, + help line for your Location to support you if you this upset you beyond your own ability to handle it. People who know they have risks of triggers will have the info they need to decide to go into the game. others who dont can just skip it.

  2. Stargazer86 says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is. You can freely access as much porn as you could ever want on the internet anyway. If someone wants to make and sell a sexy game what’s the issue? Don’t want little Timmy to see an 80% of Steam sale for Giant Anime Titties 3000? Then curate your content you lazy bums. Is some concerned mother somewhere afraid that they’re gonna catch their kid playing some smutty game they bought without their knowledge? Then keep a better handle on what your own kids are doing and don’t give them the credit card. Sheesh.

    • brucethemoose says:

      I suspect the “issue” is that a few of the VNs are skirting the blurry drawn child pornography line.

      Valve, of course, would never even drop a hint that they let such a (legally troublesome) thing into their store, and this culling is just a cover for it.

      And I think you’re right. Valve has never been that concerned with filtering out mature games that don’t involve sex, despite the protests of activist groups, and this really isn’t any different.

      • Droniac says:

        That’s an interesting theory, but the Steam sale mentioned in the article seems to contradict it. Those prominently featured on-sale games clearly contain exactly the kind of character designs you’re referencing. Conversely, some of the affected games don’t feature those kinds of character designs at all, or at least not on their Steam pages as far as I can tell.

        More likely this was simply incompetence somewhere on Valve’s end.

      • Hypocee says:

        “A few”

  3. Devastatingwake says:

    Of all the games to use a scene from, you chose Katawa Shoujo. It’s definitely got explicit content in it, but unfortunately it’s never been on Steam. It disgusts me that i recognized it instantly.

    • SteelBecomeFlame says:

      What’s disgusting about Katawa Shoujo?

      • anHorse says:

        The fetishisation of disability, the way they represent suicide and the whole game revolving around the depiction of not underage but drawn to look underage sex

        • iniudan says:

          As someone with disability, you are full of yourself, anHorse.

          We also have right to media that relate to us. The story of one of Katawa Shoujo character actually helped me overcome a year and half long depression, as I was able to emotionally relate to the situation of said character and untangle an emotional knot that I had been stock with since my childhood, even if I don’t face the same handicap then said character.

        • Kitsunin says:

          The game doesn’t revolve around sex. What sex it contains is honest and not particularly sexy. Akin to a sex scene in a movie. It does not fetishize disability; it’s very respectful of the topic.

          And as far as I can remember, the game doesn’t feature or even reference suicide.

        • Premium User Badge

          Drib says:

          “The fetishisation of disability”

          It’s not. It’s barely even mentioned in the lewder sections. The girls have issues, but mostly ones that aren’t even directly related to their disabilities.

          “the way they represent suicide”
          You mean how they don’t represent it? It’s only tangentially mentioned in one route, and not even relating to a character you ever meet. He died years before the game starts.

          “and the whole game revolving around the depiction of not underage but drawn to look underage sex”

          … Everyone is 18 I’m pretty sure. Except Emi, who is nineteen. But yeah, Emi is drawn pretty small. That’s really the only one you have any justification at all with, and it’s just one character. Good thing highschoolers never do anything like that in real life, amirite?

    • Kitsunin says:

      “Unfortunately” it’s never been on Steam? Yet it disgusts you that you recognize it? Oooookay I’m a bit confused. Although yeah it seems like an odd choice considering.

      Katawa Shoujo is one of the best romance stories out there, and pretty much the reason I care about this topic. Sure the games being threatened I really don’t think are that good, but if being unable to put it on Steam led to the next VN of Katawa Shoujo level quality not getting made I’d be very sad.

    • NetharSpinos says:

      One of the reasons Katawa Shoujo isn’t on Steam is probably because it’s FREE.

      And to be fair, if Brock didn’t know anything about VNs beforehand then he can probably be forgiven for using a slightly irrelevant example.

  4. hamilcarp says:

    Their indecisive messaging sucks but maybe it’s about time Valve purged their platform of cartoon pornography. I’m tired of seeing it in the pop out ads, in sales, and they don’t give me the option to filter it. Besides, these things aren’t even really games. From my understanding they’re just porn gated behind some dialogue options. I’m certain there are already distribution platforms that cater specifically to this kind of thing so I doubt it’ll be missed on Steam. Maybe while they’re at it they’ll crack down on all the asset flips and the rest of the sea of shovelware that has inundated steam in the last few years.

    • Kitsunin says:

      OK, well, you’re mistaken, that’s not what they are. I don’t think you can consider a product which consists of 1% nudity and sex “porn”. Seriously, a lot of these VNs dedicate less time to sex than Game of Thrones. Is Game of Thrones porn?

      There are some exceptions like “Mirror” which is legit match-3 with porn at the end (once you’ve applied an uncensor patch). But even then, why shouldn’t they be able to sell that on Steam? The people making the games aren’t responsible for Steam shoving it in people’s faces.

      • mike69 says:

        “But even then, why shouldn’t they be able to sell that on Steam?”

        Because it’s a kind of game that Steam doesn’t want to sell. The same reason that Waterstones doesn’t sell Hustler, I assume.

        • Kitsunin says:

          The problem is that Steam has a soft monopoly. If they choose not to sell something, they are making it substantially harder to sell that thing at all. If Steam is going to decide they won’t sell certain types of games, well then I would feel Steam deserves to die and be replaced by a platform that doesn’t exclude anything. Because an exclusionary platform can’t be one with a monopoly without hurting the industry.

          And Steam has clearly chosen they would rather have a monopoly rather than curate their platform. It’s too late to decide they don’t want certain things.

          • Jernau Gurgeh says:

            So, anything goes?

            Neo-Nazi propaganda RPGs, where you get to slaughter immigrants and lefties in a bid to install The 1000 Year Reich?

            Fundamentalist Christian strategy games, where you plan attacks on abortion clinics, gay clubs and the ‘fake news libruhl media’?

            ISIS and Al Queda recruitment FPSs, arguably justified as a counter to the neverending warporn mass murder simulators fetishising US military hegemony and invasion of Muslim states?

            Virtual Reality child abuse games for paedophiles, with tutorials on strategies for grooming and molestation techniques?

            Okay, perhaps this is ridiculous hyperbole (though I’ve seen a game on Steam not far off that that last one, albeit with the sexual content only accessible via a third party patch), but it’s obvious as with all media that a line needs to be drawn, and the problem here is that Valve hasn’t really clearly defined what that is.

        • shde2e says:

          In addition to what Kitsunin said: Valve didn’t actually say they don’t want sell these games.
          They’re not saying much of anything. That’s why this is such an issue.

    • malkav11 says:

      “they don’t give me the option to filter it.”

      As I said in the earlier article about this, this is the problem, not that the games are sold on Steam at all.

      • hamilcarp says:

        All right I will concede that this is the only solution needed. No need to purge this type of game as I was unaware of how much actual porn was in these until another commenter set me straight.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Why just single out cartoon porn though and not other games with explicit content? Why does the cartoon porn bother you more than Geralt’s sexy times in The Witcher?

      Your understanding is wrong too. They’re porn in the way a novel with a sex scene is porn. They’re 99% non porn and 1% porn writing. I cannot for the life of my think why anyone would play them to get off.

      • hamilcarp says:

        My comment came from a place of ignorance on these types of games. My apologies. The analogy with the Witcher makes a lot of sense to me, I haven’t played it but I’ve heard comparisons to Game of Thrones in terms of violence and sexuality. I still would like the option to filter it though, because I’m not into it and I’m tired of seeing it.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      “Their indecisive messaging sucks but maybe it’s about time Valve purged their platform of cartoon pornography. I’m tired of seeing it in the pop out ads, in sales, and they don’t give me the option to filter it.”

      I think 90% of the games Steam pushes at me are stupid, but you don’t hear me demanding a “purge”.

      “Besides, these things aren’t even really games. From my understanding they’re just porn gated behind some dialogue options.”

      Your understanding is wrong.

    • annoyingpotato says:

      You know what’s funny?

      You can say *exactly* the same thing about *any* game genre. Really. Try switching “cartoon porn” with “fps”, or “rts”, or “sports games” etc. It works.

      You know what else is funny?

      Whichever genre you choose, it will sound just as absurd as what you said! Because it’s basically another case of “I don’t like it, so it shouldn’t be there.

      Interesting, huh?

    • Fniff says:

      Hey dude, wanted to thank you for making a mistake, taking on board criticism, then apologizing and rethinking your original idea.

      Tis a rare thing.

    • Ashabel says:

      “And they don’t give me an option to filter it.”

      Except that they do.

    • Yglorba says:

      Even if they’re going to that (which I think would be going too far), they still need to make it clear what the rules are. Games cost a lot to develop, in terms of both time and money, and have to be planned a long time in advance; uncertainty is extremely dangerous in an industry where getting a game they were depending on booted from Steam without warning could literally put a company out of business.

      Valve has always banned out-and-out pornography (and they definitely have the right to do that – I don’t think hosting hardcore porn videos would improve Steam), but if they’re going to host anything that touches on sex or sexuality at all, then they need to be more clear on what the red lines are that will get you booted from Steam, so game developers and publishers can plan accordingly.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Lo says:

    I am unsure about the hashtag

    • Thulsa Hex says:

      Yeahhhhhh. I don’t agree with what Valve has been doing but that hashtag is really gross and I’m surprised to see an RPS writer choose those particular tweets.

      • mike69 says:

        Gross games get axed, gross people come to their defense using a gross hashtag. Quelle surprise.

        • Thulsa Hex says:

          Yeah, um, that’s not the point.

        • Pastell says:

          Oh no. It is almost as if it is just a word that only has the meaning you impart to it because you let it be so. It is almost as if ‘holocaust’ just means mass slaughter or destruction!

          • cpt_freakout says:

            Pastell you’re just being daft on purpose. Words are charged with history, and no amount of personal will can erase it. It’s extremely rare to see the word ‘holocaust’ used to refer to mass murder in general – why didn’t they use another term? Not that that would’ve made it better, mind you, and either way it’s a terrible hashtag and it doesn’t help the case of anyone who uses it.

          • Kitsunin says:

            It is Twitter, and “holocaust” is at least the most efficient word for mass murder. When I need to find a single word to refer to a hypothetical mass-scale killing I find myself inclined to say “genocide” because it lacks the same baggage even though it’s wrong and I should just say “holocaust”.

            Or is there another term and it simply isn’t in any thesauruses? I actually don’t see any alternative English words. In this case, perhaps “extermination”.

          • Kitsunin says:

            I’m not saying I like the hashtag, but I think there is enough justification to give it the benefit of the doubt. It’s Twitter, everybody uses hyperbole constantly there. And holocaust is at least a semantically useful word.

          • Thulsa Hex says:

            Well, the first thing I saw when I clicked on it out of morbid curiosity was a historical concentration camp photo with the prisoners’ heads replaced with crudely-photoshopped anime girl faces, and captioned “Anime Lives Matter.” So, yeah……

          • Kitsunin says:

            Uh. Wow, that’s tasteless. Stupid anon or not, y’know what, I shouldn’t have defended this, it’s stupid and was inevitably going to get everyone distracted from the real issue. Huniepop dev, you should have thought about that more.

    • BlissAuthority says:

      Yeah, that hashtag was the author of Hunie-Pop, a rabid Gamergater named Ryan Koons, trying to make this out as a feminist crusade when nothing could be further from the truth.

      The really troubling thing about this (and an important point that both OP and Ryan Koons missed) is that almost all of the games targeted, Hunie-Pop included, have queer content.

  6. woodsey says:

    So is there any validity to the rumour that some overzealous media morality group spammed them with offensive content notification thingies or whatever?

    Because if that was the case then this does actually seem reasonably clear cut.

    • mac4 says:

      Like I commented on the other article, the question may then become why they don’t recognize a spam/flagging run when they see one.

    • Yglorba says:

      A more likely possibility is that that group contacted Paypal or some other credit-card processor, and those people contacted Valve. Most of those services (especially Paypal) have strict rules against adult content.

      A pretty basic rule of thumb for Valve is that they don’t take action unless they’re forced to. Morality in Media or whatever doesn’t have the heft to force Steam to do something; but if they convinced Paypal that something was a ToS violation, Paypal absolutely would.

  7. Andrew says:

    I hate when people use terms like “mature”, “sexy”, “horny” and such. You know, terms that are inclusive.

    Those games are not “sexy”, they are sexist. Those games are not “mature”, they are immature. They depict human (mostly female, duh) bodies in a grotesque way. They depict sex, relationship and all that fun stuff in a horrible, offensive, one-sided way. So, fuck those games and their developers.

    (Why Valve is all over the place about it, I don’t know.)

    • Kitsunin says:

      I generally agree that these games are really shitty with the way they handle sex (which tbh I find sad because some of them would be really sexy if they weren’t abhorrent).

      That being said I don’t think the decision of whether something is mature or harmful is one that can be made from on-high in order to censor the bad stuff. It’s subjective and you can’t really create rules that filter out bad without also tossing the good stuff.

      • Andrew says:

        What “on-high”? Steam is a privately owned store.

        Also, I don’t think anyone saying anything about… oh, boy, it’s hard to find a good example… say, B.J. and Anya relationship in “Wolfenstein”. That rare “good stuff”.

        • Kitsunin says:

          If they refuse to sell something they are making it harder to sell that thing at all. By deciding not to sell certain things they would be hurting the industry. They have power and so must be responsible with that power or else they don’t deserve their near-monopoly.

          And I don’t even understand what you’re talking about re: “good stuff”. I mean like Katawa Shoujo, which surely would be under fire here if it were on Steam.

          • icarussc says:

            There’s a reason that monopolies are strictly defined under law — it’s because the power of the government to force people to do something they don’t want to do, and to do to their own resources and their own livelihood, is a terrible power. It ought not be wielded without very good reason.

            Your wish that some people have broader market access is not a good reason.

          • Kitsunin says:

            So what? Steam has a monopoly and not being sold on Steam greatly impacts one’s ability to profit. I’m not saying it needs regulation but I am saying we should damn well abandon ship if they start deciding certain games don’t deserve to be sold and we actually value freedom of expression.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      …And how many of them have you played, to know this with such certainty?

      • Andrew says:

        Old “how do you know you don’t like it, if you never tried it” routine, huh? Or are you trying to catch me as a hypocrite? In both cases: go away.

        • Antongranis says:

          That is not an answer to his question, which was IMO quite valid.

          • mike69 says:

            No, it’s a version of an ‘Appeal to Authority’, a logical fallacy. It’s not a defense or a retort it’s a deflection.

            Are they wrong with their analysis? Does their playtime impact the validity of the assertion?

          • Pastell says:

            r/iamverysmart

            Appeal to authority is asserting that because a public figure says something is good (or something is bad) that it therefore must be true. Not asking “Have you played it?”

          • Kitsunin says:

            In the first place, appeal to authority is completely wrong here. If it’s any fallacy, it’d be ad hominem. Except what he’s saying is “if you don’t know jack shit about something, you can’t say that it is a bad thing.” And it’s clear Andrew knows jack shit about VNs.

          • FunkyB says:

            No it is indeed an Appeal to Authority.

            You are saying his post is wrong because “he knows jack shit”. In other words, only posts from people who know things (are an authority on the subject) are valid. That isn’t countering the argument.

            Tell him why he is wrong in terms of the VN itself.

          • Kitsunin says:

            Appeal to authority is saying someone is correct simply because they are an authority on the subject. It’s valid to say that someone shouldn’t be making an argument based on zero information, and it’s ridiculous to say we need to find evidence that VNs are good when he has provided zero evidence that they are bad.

            You don’t have to make an argument. If you don’t know about the subject you’re arguing about, you should research it before you argue. Expecting others to argue against points you’re just guessing are correct is disrespectful.

        • TheRaptorFence says:

          Phasma has a point. It is entirely valid to label criticisms about objectionable content without actually viewing said content. However, labeling an entire genre as sexist without ever having partaken of it seems ostentatious because the sheer volume of an entire genre is so large that underneath any perceived trend there is a high probability that some outliers exist. By labeling the entirety as sexist, you have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. If you haven’t played (read?) any VNs, then that is like not even checking to see if there are babies in the bath before you tossed the lot out of the window.

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          Funny how someone can be aggressive and defensive at the same time.

    • Deano2099 says:

      You’ve got a point but I don’t think the way they portray relationships is any worse than your average Bioware “agree and give gifts for sexy times” system. Lots of relationships in games are gross.

      As for sexist? Yes, probably, but I would also note here that there are a huge amount of these games aimed at women. Frankly, they are just as bad from the other side, but that still puts them ahead of most other game genres – where are the AAA games that set out to titilate women in the same way as the latest Tomb Raider or God of War?

      (And if you give me the “but the male protagonists in games are all chiselled and fit too response then that’s probably why you would benefit from trying one of these games to see what a game designed to titilate women actually looks like )

      • icarussc says:

        There’s a spectrum, right? Bioware gifts-and-then-sex companions are a hideous parody of healthy relationships and are best avoided (I cannot fathom why they don’t have characters who like you and just *decline to sleep with you*). But VR-schoolgirl-bedroom-simulator, or whatever the flavor of the month is, is a step way, way beyond. To paraphrase Twain, there are lies and then damned lies.

  8. Vinraith says:

    This is just ridiculous, Valve needs to establish a policy, clearly articulate that policy, and then consistently enforce that policy. I have little use for VN’s and none at all for anime sex games, but jerking developers around like this is just bad business.

    • Vinraith says:

      …and while we’re at it, as others have said, implement some proper filtering.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      It’s such an odd violation of Valve’s implicit policy to be very lazy and hands-off about the stuff they distribute – which, for all the complaining about low-quality games, is a good policy that works well.

      I assume there’s some reason for their action, but due to Valve’s annoyingly secretive nature it’s hard to know for sure. Even Apple will give a polite “no comment” to press inquiries, Valve tends to say absolutely nothing.

    • Hypocee says:

      Oh no, not bad business. I fear for Valve’s future. Their bad business decisions are going to stop them having an effective monopoly and making all the money. Any day now. This time for sure.

  9. mac4 says:

    How’s about we all start downloading Mutiny!!, just out of spite? Heck, it’s only 79 Euro cents ;-P

    It could be this week’s top of the steam charts!

  10. Sian says:

    Yeah, ok, Valve are being terrible, but did whoever came up with it use waifuholocaust as their hashtag? If you have to use a terrible hashtag, use the -gate suffix – at least that one’s only inaccurate and overused instead of being inaccurate and blooming atrocious.

    • BlissAuthority says:

      Who came up with that hashtag?

      Ryan Koonz, gamergater, upskirt photographer, and looped into this because his magnum opus HuniePop was one of the games targeted because it had lesbian themes. (Well, okay, not so much lesbian themes as a half-assed gender toggle for the MC and an otherwise all-female cast.)

      That hashtag is his attempt to make it about a feminist conspiracy rather than what’s probably actually happening – queer narratives getting put on the chopping block by abuse of the report system.

  11. Zenicetus says:

    I tried to make this point in the other article. I don’t think this is about restricting pornography as such. There’s plenty of adult porn, or near-porn in games like the Witcher series.

    I suspect it’s about skating too close to the line on child pornography, with game art showing kids in an adult or near-adult context like High School, or just generic fantasy settings, but visually appearing underage (in the legal sense). I know this is a thing in anime, but you can’t ignore the repercussions when sex is involved.

    There are some very strong, felony-level child pornography laws in the USA and Washington State where Steam is based. I have no idea how that relates to visual cartoons instead of photos and videos of real children, but this may be the real reason why VN’s are being targeted and say, the Witcher series isn’t.

    • Baines says:

      Its about anime-art games being the easy target.

      In addition to a wide general indifference, you’ve got people who dismiss anything anime art as “creepy anime bull****”. There is a fairly outspoken part of the gaming fanbase that would like to see all anime-art games purged from the store regardless of content. Even people that don’t like the Witcher games aren’t going to cry for all Witcher titles to be removed from Steam. (Even though the Witcher titles are more explicit than some of the games that did get targeted.)

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the person or people inside Valve that started this purge were either neutral or against anime-art games. One of the publishers affected said that the removal warnings were not sent through their normal Valve contact.

      Valve most likely figured that this wouldn’t develop into a news story. Maybe they figured the public would show a decided anti-anime stance. Maybe they just figured the affected publishers wouldn’t go public. I’m sure Valve (because Valve just doesn’t seem to learn) didn’t expect a story to (yet again) arise out of their (habitual) lack of communication, their double standards, and ordering publishers to make changes without even saying what those changes needed to be.

    • Kougeru says:

      “I suspect it’s about skating too close to the line on child pornography, with game art showing kids in an adult or near-adult context like High School, or just generic fantasy settings, but visually appearing underage (in the legal sense)”

      That can’t be it. Cartoons are not real, and thus are not children, and so technically (and legally, in most countries) cannot be “child porn”. But anyway, most these games do NOT have anything close to what can be considered “porn”, without an external patch. So that argument is moot.

      Also, the group that’s taking credit for this stuff has already said The Witcher and Mass Effect and their next targets. Anime is just an easy target because it’s niche.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Maybe, problem being some of the games mentioned don’t go anywhere near that trope. If anyone though for a minute Valve had played the games and was making decisions based on actual content this would be a very different conversation.

    • BlissAuthority says:

      The devs of Kindred Spirits on the Roof spoke to Valve beforehand and had it vetted by actual people. This didn’t stop them from falling afoul of this takedown.

  12. wisnoskij says:

    A manufactured controversy. Valve has always had a clause against pornagraphy, and has been struglling with the curation part of content curators since its conception. It is no wonder it takes them years to get around to banning games that are not upfront with thier pronographic content. Steam has disalowed many pronographic games already, it is just that they sort of require developers to disclose thier pronographic nature for them to catch it most of the time.

    There’s simply no comparison to games like, The Witcher, that contains sex scenes (like any mature rated movie) if you play for hours and work towards getting them. And Mutany! which anyone could tell is pronographic from viewing any screen or reading any conversation, from the start screen to the end credits.

    • geldonyetich says:

      This guy gets it.

      I think my earlier speculation that Valve is tired of smut is completely wrong. They don’t want to be the nannies of their customers, and couldn’t care less about the miral implications of people getting jerked around by their libidos.

      Instead, what’s going on here is Valve policies have always officially been not to allow games with explicitly pornographic content, but only in what’s downloaded on Steam.

      If somebody downloads an R18 patch, they have no more control over that than any porn mod, that’s outside the realm of their control, so is a loophole they must allow.

      However, Kindred Spirits On The Roof had enough unpatched pornographic content that it was over the line. However, Valve was slow to act on it because of how borderline it was and (as this poster writes) may not have had a full understanding of it.

      On top of that, I’m not positive everyone of authority in Valve has the same opinion of what constitutes over the line, and this explains the seesawing of emails.

      • Kougeru says:

        See my reply to him to see how he factually does NOT “get it”. To the rest to your post, I have to say that “borderline” is pretty silly. They honestly should just allow full porn games (with consensual characters, no rape). There is no different than movies. Why is it okay for Valve to sell violent games to millions upon millions, many of which are children, yet it’s not okay to sell true porn games with a parental lock? It’s not hard to lock behind multiple levels of verification. It would be annoying but I’m sure millions of people would put up with it instead of not even having the option of buying the game at all. Why is porn so taboo when apparently extreme violence is okay? Religious influence on our regulations is the only excuse I can come up with, but that should’ve been fixed long ago.

        More on topic, these games do NOT have porn on them, on Steam. They were attacked unjustly. Many of them were “checked out” years ago when they were on Greenlight. People that reported these games are literally wasting everyone’s time and money by going through the process again.

        • geldonyetich says:

          Steam’s re-evaluation is being done to reassess whether or not they’re porn enough.

          You may disagree with their assessment and point to Witcher 3 and ask why that’s allowed and they’re not, but your standards of what constitutes porn are just your opinion, not fact.

          Valve has opinions too, and like it or not, they’ve the right to run contrary to yours.

          • Baines says:

            Steam’s re-evaluations are being done because they were caught out on most likely just issuing removal threats without actually evaluating the games in the first place.

            As for why it happened in the first place, it isn’t child pornography or Valve suddenly realizing these games didn’t meet their standards or anything like that. Heck, if Valve suddenly realized that these games didn’t meet their standards, then they’d have been able to supply in-game examples to the publishers instead of having to do all these re-evaluations.

            As for why it is all happening, the front-running theory is that the religious conservative group National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly Morality in Media), is responsible for applying pressure. While the NCSE uses a lot of phrases that make things sound much more dangerous than they are, their line of argument basically comes down to the removal of anything sexual from games because kids play games, and they directly connect the normalization of sex in games to real world sexual assaults and child-on-child sexual abuse.

          • geldonyetich says:

            As for why it is all happening, the front-running theory is that the religious conservative group National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly Morality in Media), is responsible for applying pressure..

            The, “why now” is the big question, isn’t it?

            Personally, I think the reason why is more legal. Legally speaking, there’s a reason why mini marts can’t just openly display porn on their shelves, even if it’s not illegal obscenity. It’s not a matter of being afraid of offending special interest groups, but rather there’s federal and state laws against that sort of thing.

            Now, just any old porn site out here, it’s kind of hard to throw the book at people over it due to various reasons, probably because the entire enforcement division is busy chasing bigger, more flagrant fish, like CP distributors. But a major prominent software distribution platform? That’s a very big fish indeed.

            Chances are, Valve’s lawyers suddenly piped up and said, “Hey guys, you’ve been getting a bit lax on keeping the porn under wraps, if you don’t at least make a token effort at stopping that chances are we’re going to get slapped for a very big number of moneys.”

            Because, if it weren’t something like that, why bother? Big business like Valve, money is job #1.

            So, under this theory, what we’re seeing right now is Valve scrambling about trying to put out legal liability fires that they’re not entirely sure where they are on account of how they’re actually quite lousy at evaluating what’s over the line of acceptable obscenity in games and what’s not.

        • GeoX says:

          They honestly should just allow full porn games (with consensual characters, no rape).

          You say this as though hentai is always totally unambiguous and straightforward about this distinction.

    • Kougeru says:

      “There’s simply no comparison to games like, The Witcher, that contains sex scenes (like any mature rated movie) if you play for hours and work towards getting them.”

      Actually it’s a PERFECTLY good comparrison to The Witcher. You clearly know nothing about Visual Novels. Visual Novels you spend hours upon hours of reading story, building relationships, and solving problems before a sex scene is ever introduced. The biggest thing here though, is that a lot of these games don’t even SHOW anything. At least not without a “patch” that isn’t available on Steam.

      Downloading and installing the patches is like downloading nude mods for Skyrim, except they’re made from the developer of the game. Valve doesn’t touch them and they’re not on Steam so they can’t complain about them.

      TLDR; you don’t know what you’re talking about and these games are NOT porn. There’s real gameplay and story, just like in The Witcher 3.

      • mike69 says:

        Don’t VNs often use sex as a reward? The fact you ‘have to get through hours of dialogue’ to get your juicy treat doesn’t make it less porny, nor does it make comparisons to the witcher any more valid.

        Have you ever watched real porn? It also has a bunch of trite story leading into the bit you’re interested in.

        • Fniff says:

          Witcher’s a good game but TBH I put down the controller once Geralt got nude

          TBH kinda wish they spent all that money on rendering his buns better than that big ol’ map I’m never gonna see unless there’s more nude geralts hiding in the woods

        • Deano2099 says:

          You can fast forward real porn. Most VNs won’t even let you auto skip dialogue. And The Witcher games, especially the first one, literally use sex as a reward. As in Geralt does a mission for a woman and you get sex after. Bioware RPGs are similar in the sex scene being the reward for “winning” the relationship.

        • Ashabel says:

          The Witcher used sex as a reward to a degree where you had a collectible card deck with nude images of women, one for each woman Gerald got laid with in the process of heroically questing in their honor. They even came with borders of different colors, depending on how hard it was to get them!

          So really, arguing that the Witcher is somehow more wholesome about that particular thing than visual novels is a bit silly.

        • MrEvilGuy says:

          What is this “real porn” that keeps being referred to? Sex?

        • Rince says:

          What kind of Visual Novels are you playing?

    • Deano2099 says:

      Do you have any evidence for the accusation that MangaGamer set out to defraud Valve by hiding the pornographic nature of their games? Because every interview I have seen with them about the idea of moving to Steam is that it took so long as they had long conversations with Valve disclosing what was and wasn’t in their games just to avoid a situation like this happening. Would love to see you evidence to the contrary though.

  13. LewdPenguin says:

    I must admit I do find this all rather amusing if only for the sheer number of people whining about how overloaded steam is with such offensive content that it’s always being shoved in their face.

    In light of this and thinking that I pretty rarely see anything of this type presented to me I decided on a experiment, opened my steam store and just scrolled down, scrolled some more, and kept on scrolling for roughly 22 screens worth of recomendations before finally getting a hit in the form of Nekopara vol 3, apparently recommended due to my playtime in other 1st person games. Looking through other easily accesible sections something called XZ in the Upcoming list flags itself as having nudity and sexual content, but other than those 2 titles the only couple of games that I even had slight doubts about due to their anime header images seem to be actual games that just happen to have anime styling, and not something oh-so naughty.

    Overall I’d say that’s pretty far from it being impossible to avoid lewd content on steam, infact rather more that it actually takes quite a bit of active seeking out to find other than by specificaly searching for it.

    • Baines says:

      My theory is that the most active complainers against “creepy anime porn” are those who view anything that even visually resembles having “anime art” at “creepy anime porn.”

      I did the same kind of front page experiment and had to go a rather long distance into the eternal scroll to hit my first “creepy anime porn” game, though I did scroll past a few anime art JRPGs, shooters, and the like. (And of course multiple notifications of the weekend Neptunia franchise sale.) And I have followed a couple of anime-focused curators, have multiple anime-tagged games (no visual novels though) in my purchase history, and have some anime-tagged games on my wishlist.

      That isn’t to say the front page is always clear. Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash stayed up there for a while, and many would call that “creepy anime porn” even though there is no sex and the game censors nudity.

    • mike69 says:

      Maybe those people just have large diverse libraries. I suspect that owning Skullgirls has an impact, which at this point must be most people on Steam.

      • Baines says:

        Steam says I own over 2000 games (thanks to buying tons of cheap bundles over the years.)

        I not only own Skullgirls, I own other fighters like Arcana Heart. More so, I own games like Oneechanbara, two of the Senran Kagura games, and Valkyrie Drive. I even have that rather poor Neptunia knock-off of Dynasty Warriors. (It was cheap and I was curious how bad it was.)

        The one think I largely lack are Visual Novels. I don’t even own Hatoful Boyfriend.

        I also haven’t played anything particularly “anime” in the last few months. Perhaps my front page would change if I spent some more time on certain games?

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Wait, Steam recommends stuff not at random?
      Then why do I keep getting adverts for Call of Duty games? (and VNs, and pretty much a cross section of everything they sell)

  14. Kougeru says:

    “those VNs are doing dangerous things.” Was this sarcasm? No VN is dangerous. At least not the ones on Steam. The only ones close to “dangerous” never make it out of Japan.

  15. remedialgash says:

    Is the weekend on RPS just a fucking weird narnia now?

    Why not just shut down for the weekend, instead of letting hilarious American ‘journalist/comedian’ like this chap, Comet Styrofoam, Everiss Cuntbeard III and their ilk recycle old stories?

    It’s fucking dire.

    As to this this story; not much of a fuck given… Valve are massively hypocritical and hide behind bullshit rules that they won’t disclose.

    I know nothing of this type of game, but is it like ‘edging’ that apparently all the kids like?

    It sounds like a weird version of playing the ‘Warlock of firetop mountain’ with a picture of Maria Whittaker (from Barbarian adverts and the backgrounds of kp nuts hangers) stapled into page 187 – or wherever the victory page was.

    Personally I’d have got that hedge-rescued copy of razzle and had a wank instead.

    Kids are on the internet now so there is no excuse for this crap.

    • anHorse says:

      Every single time they put a yank on weekend duty we get absolute trash like this.

    • Deano2099 says:

      You and everyone else would take the Razzle. That’s the point, people are not using these games to get off because people are not waiting three hours for a wank when they have the internet.

  16. fray_bentos says:

    Another junk post from this “writer”. Save stuff like this for Destructoid, Kotaku or some other gaming blog. There is even a link to a Gita Jackson article; of all the Kotaku contributors, she is the worse. Vomit.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      You seem like a lovely individual.

      Also, note to self: Link more Gita Jackson articles. She’s consistently funny.

      • mac4 says:

        Also, it served to remind me how Kotaku, far from shying away from the subject, seems to do regular and intelligent, non-judgmental write-ups on sexuality and gaming.

        • DefinitelyNotHans says:

          Are you fucking kidding? They just did a piece a few days ago all about the body odor of game tournament players.

          • BlissAuthority says:

            I mean. Speaking as one of those sweaty nerds who plays Magic: The Gathering, that’s a real problem in the scene.

  17. PlinyTheWelder says:

    Listen I don’t know if this is ok but I’m linking to a video I did on this topic. Because I think it’s extremely important. Valve is THE GATEKEEPER. They decide what games get played. So I don’t think consistency and transparency is too much to ask of a company with so much power.

    link to m.youtube.com

    • Baines says:

      Funny thing, last year Valve pretty much said that they *weren’t* going to manually curate games anymore due to their near monopoly on the market. (Valve said it would only test to see if games ran and supported the OSs specified. Which, getting off track, is a task that Valve *still* failed to achieve.)

      Indeed, a VentureBeat article at the time had a Steam rep specifically using Visual Novels as the example of different customers wanting different things.

  18. KidWithKnife says:

    I dunno, reading those tweets it seems like the actual game developers aren’t too worried now that they’ve heard from Valve and the people making a big issue of it are looking to swoop in and make some kind of business deal out of all this. It seems worth reporting on, but maybe not worth making it out to be a crisis just yet.

    • Deano2099 says:

      It matters though because it shows just how precarious the position is for PC game developers when it comes to upsetting Valve, and demonstrates how they can just change the rules at any time. They are probably fixing this, but it is quite clear they don’t *have* to. Today it’s the weird anime games. Tomorrow maybe it’s games that just don’t sell enough copies. Or games with “excessive swearing”.

      • KidWithKnife says:

        Oh, right. Valve has power and conceivably could abuse it. This is not exactly news. It certainly doesn’t seem like it should justify the kind of alarmism in this article.

  19. Vilos Cohaagen says:

    Regardless of anything else that use of a tag “#waifuholocaust” is abhorrent and over the top and they can f*** right off. It is no such thing.

    • Ashabel says:

      The person who invented that hashtag is Ryan Koons, the actual person behind the developers of HuniePop. Koons has always been an unfortunate piece of work, being an active supporter of that one unfortunate and controversial movement that causes the internet to break out in hives whenever it’s mentioned, as well as actually thinking that harassing random women on the street with pick-up artistry qualifies as field research for his game

      The rest of the companies involved have been doing their best to convey that they’re not associated with him in any way for as long as this incident has been going.

      • BlissAuthority says:

        Yep.

        Koonz and GamerGate basically used that hashtag because they thought this was/wanted to make it about their access to boobs and blame feminists for this.

        Which is a crying shame, because it misses the actual issue – these games getting targeted for having gay or lesbian content (including the half-assed female MC option of HuniePop, which is how Koonz got targeted) and right-wing think-tank, “Morality in the Media,” claiming responsibility.

  20. MrEvilGuy says:

    There seems to be a lot of hate towards porn here, and confusion as to what porn is or isn’t. I used to be a porn scholar, which doesn’t mean I know much about porn, but at least I can say is that generalizing “porn” as if it can be neatly defined is not going to be very helpful.

    Not all porn is bad (whatever bad means for you), and much of it is permanent fixture in varying cultures.

    Porn has a history but I won’t get into that. Most industry porn is oriented toward heterosexual white men, and usually this sort of porn is very misogynistic, and there’s a lot of variety to that misogyny—any major porn site has genres as search criteria.

    But there’s also porn outside of the mainstream or industrial (though what is “mainstream” changes with geographical location and culture).

    Here are some other sorts of porn of varying orientations (a lot of which you’ll never find on a mainstream porn site, or is caricatured in the mainstream, and still oriented toward straight men): indie porn, feminist porn, alt porn, queer porn (admittedly also huge), trans porn, realist porn (let’s put those condoms on), and more.

    But you can also find these sorts of porn orientations varying on different mediums or in different stylizations: pin up porn, stag films, home-made movies (VHS), Japanese comics (contains a huge variation in itself), white-trash porn, avant- grade porn, internet porn, and of course, video game porn, to name only a few off the top of my head.

    TLDR: there are lots of types of porn for different purposes. What you might find oppressive, another might find liberating. There will be double standards because Valve can only create arbitrary definitions for what qualifies as porn or not.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      For the record, I’d be down if Steam banned all games that have misogynistic pornographic themes, even if that includes the Witcher 3 (I haven’t played it yet).

      For instance, Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      Can I please ask, and I mean no disrespect nor facetiousness: Porn scholar?

  21. BlissAuthority says:

    A critical point the OP missed is that every game targeted by this is an indie with queer content, usually wlw but occasionally mlm too. Even the noxiously written Hunie-Pop has queer content, of the “find male pronouns for the protagonist, replace with female ones” kind.

    Jim Sterling pointed that out. It’s not an accident that Morality in Media is claiming responsibility for this.

    (The usual gang of idiots from GamerGate, who started the “please stop helping” hashtag WaifuHolocaust, maybe missed that point and are trying to make this a ‘feminist conspiracy,’ which is so mind-bogglingly wrong I don’t know where to start. It’s unfortunate that the OP quoted Ryan Koons, GGer and author of Hunie-Pop, for this article.)

  22. Fade2Gray says:

    [Warning: baseless speculation ahead]

    My guess is that this was caused by Valve’s flat leadership structure. Someone at Valve decided they were sick of seeing these games on their store and decided to send out warning emails. Someone else recieved the confused responses asking what changed and decided to send out retractions. Now the games are in”re-review” as the two Valve employees engage in a high stakes game of rock-paper-sisors to determine the fate of these games.

    • Baines says:

      I’ve guessed the flat leadership structure is at least in part to blame, as would be exemplified by one of the publishers saying that they were given their warning by someone other than their normal Steam contact.

      At the same time, we’ve also got a conservative religious organization (that is pretty much against sex in media in general) apparently taking credit for Steam’s actions. Mind, that organization has taken credit seemingly for pretty much everything as well, including people protesting against the Fifty Shades movies, retailers putting Cosmopolitan magazine behind blinders, and several hotel chains as well as the Department of Defense stopping the sale of pornography on their properties.

    • April March says:

      If Valve’s flat hierarchy was that flat with regards to their store, they’d have burnt down years ago.

  23. Vastial says:

    Any adult male who plays anime romance games about hooking up with teenage school-girls has an underlying problem. Regardless of whether the VN contains graphic scenes or not, this community walks a fine line between fringe and fetish that seems to be completely discernable to them.

    • Hartford688 says:

      Any adult male who plays games where he can dress up as an SS soldier, any adult male who can roleplay as someone who can slaughter people with swords and then obtain sex through presents, any adult male who plays games where he blows people’s heads off in a shower of blood, brains and bone may also be argued to have an underlying problem. Yes it is a line, but most of us realise that it is a game.

      • Jernau Gurgeh says:

        Any adult male who plays video games at all has an underlying problem, because, as I’m often told by other adults, video games are for kids.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Really? You play as a school kid or whatever too. It’s no more of a problem than adults watching Hollyoaks or any other teen drama.

  24. Sleepery says:

    It’s re;venge for gratuitous abuse of the semicolon.

  25. Eleriel says:

    can we all agree that the sentence “Valve continue to have zero consistency.” is a masterpiece of writing, though?

  26. Mandrake42 says:

    Hmm! For some reason my comment got deleted. Take 2?

    Not all VN’s are sexually explicit. I know it can seem that way due to the large of amount of boob-fest games out there but some of my fave VN’s (Steins Gate, Danganronpa, The Nonary Games) have no real sexual content at all.

    Goodness, the Witcher 3 has more shagging than any of those games and no one is talking about banning that. Geralt will shag anything that moves and if it isn’t moving he will push it then shag it.

    • Jernau Gurgeh says:

      If I ever replay any Witcher game (which is highly likely/unlikely as I have a serious love/hate relationship with them) then this is how I’m going to roleplay them.

      Geralt The Grumpy Necrophiliac sounds like a lot of fun.

  27. Wauffles says:

    Come on guys, let’s cut the crap and stop equivocating things like Neptunia with the sex in the Witcher. Can we not all just acknowledge the elephant in the room being the fact that a lot of this porn involves people drawn to look more like children than adults?

    You can have whatever argument about the rights and wrongs of that that you like, but let’s not hold Hitomi’s Naughty School Quest or whatever up next to The Witcher 3 and act like they’re equivalent.

    • Mandrake42 says:

      None of the games I mentioned even have sexual content, how is talking about them unfair?

      • Wauffles says:

        I wasn’t commenting in reply to you so I’m unsure what you’re talking about? There are plenty of VNs with explicit sex, often involving characters drawn to look like children. No one is talking about banning The Witcher 3 precisely because there isn’t the…um…’age problem’ present in a lot of this anime porn.

        • Mandrake42 says:

          But that’s just it, not all of them do have sex. Blanketing the whole shebang because some of them are trashy is a problem.

    • Ashabel says:

      If you think Neptunia is porn, then I’m almost afraid to ask what you think of South Park.

      • Wauffles says:

        I mean, it’s not wank material with questionably aged girls so I don’t have a problem with South Park really.

        • Mandrake42 says:

          But Neptunia isn’t sexual, it’s a goofy adventure where all the girls are the embodiment of game consoles. There is no sex in it and if you impose it on it, that is on you.

        • Ashabel says:

          Neptunia is literally a dumb comedy anime about a gaggle of girls themed after gaming consoles hanging out together and making nerd jokes.

          But I mean, you can continue to embarrass yourself by insisting that it’s porn. I did all I could to help you save face.

          • Wauffles says:

            Lol, calm down mate, no one is taking your kids with gigantic tits away from you

          • Ashabel says:

            Oh, I see! If you were so desperate for attention, you could have just said so in the first place.

    • BlissAuthority says:

      Neptunia also isn’t one of the games on the chopping block.

      I agree that the emphasis on high school settings and young looking characters is real and disquieting. It’s a real problem that so many games in general and Japanese VNs in particular reflexively default to that.

      But there’s a lot of games either about the experience of realizing you’re queer in high school or about adults who are queer targeted by these takedowns that I think Neptunia, a gross game that was completely unaffected by this, is a red herring.

  28. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I just clicked on this article because of Hanako up there.

    The comments seem to be all trolling and “lol u mad” nonsense.

    Why is the internet so stupid?

  29. mac4 says:

    LOL, anyone noticed this? GOG now jumping on the VN wagon: link to gog.com .

  30. TrenchFoot says:

    People only think they dislike editors and other “gatekeepers,” and then they emerge from their teens and see they are absolutely essential. The role though requires a broad education that is currently denigrated in the rush for more tech. Let me know how well social media is doing with finding “fake news” and get back to me. You absolutely need people; coding will never do the job. Those people though are professionals and expensive.

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