Poll: So Steam is not going to censor what games it will sell

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My thoughts? Fantastic!Why anyone would want such a thing is so far beyond me that arguments against it do not even sound as if they are in English. Someone will make a game I will find objectionable most likely at some point and I would never want it to be banned, that is just absurd. Strangely people do oppose this most notably for this site Jim Sterling and I have to say his argument gets as 0/100 it is beyond abysmal as he claims stores endorse what they sell an argument that is just astonishingly stupid as that means Amazon supports Nazis, Communist, Christian, Muslims, Atheists, basically all sides of any argument ever made in the history of mankind by selling books on said subjects. I mean hell I know my own store sells both Bibles and "The God Delusion" so apparently my store is a Christian Atheist grocery store despite that being impossible as it demands you believe in god will not believing in god. So anyway hats off to Valve in recognizing I am an adult and not profoundly idiotic to the point I will buy things I don't want for... reasons I can't comprehend, guess that ability alludes a lot of people somehow.

Of course a storefront is responsible for what they sell. Does you local grocery store sell self-help books for how to best earn 72 virgins as an Islamic martyr? Does Amazon sell smut porn collections?

Steam absolutely is endorsing the products they sell by giving them a platform to sell from; it's not a "we believe in everything contained" endorsement, but it is a "we believe this work is worthwhile and doesn't clash with our values." They've entered into a business contract. They make money off every sale.

Would a Christian bookstore refusing to sell "The God Delusion" be censorship? Is Walmart refusing to sell AO rated games censorship? Is the BBC refusing to air my homemade Avengers spin-off videos censorship?

Avnger:
Does you local grocery store sell self-help books for how to best earn 72 virgins as an Islamic martyr?

Which game on Steam is the equivalent of that?

Avnger:
Steam absolutely is endorsing the products they sell by giving them a platform to sell from; it's not a "we believe in everything contained" endorsement, but it is a "we believe this work is worthwhile and doesn't clash with our values."

Reading too much into a simple commercial enterprise. The relevant values are to provide a reliable marketplace for businesses to sell and people to buy products. Caveat emptor.

Avnger:
Would a Christian bookstore refusing to sell "The God Delusion" be censorship?

Why should Steam model itself on a religious specialist store?

Avnger:
Is Walmart refusing to sell AO rated games censorship?

Kinda?

Avnger:
Is the BBC refusing to air my homemade Avengers spin-off videos censorship?

You should put them on YouTube. BBC is trash, and the constructive feedback on YT is invaluable.

I'd say Steam shouldn't censor these games. I'd say let the most racist, sexist, whatever isms a game might have so that people can truly know what the devs believes in.

This isn't censorship if the government isn't involved. Ironically, Valve's plan is an open invitation for politicians to involve themselves when things get really ugly. It would be fun to see you kids handling real censorship from the government; but I'd rather Valve to wise up and to take preventive measures.

CaitSeith:
This isn't censorship if the government isn't involved.

Censorship (noun): The suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/censorship

I have no idea where people get the idea that it's only censorship if it's the government. Perhaps you could point to a source? As far as I can tell, anyone with the power to "suppress" or "prohibit" is capable of censorship.

StatusNil:

I have no idea where people get the idea that it's only censorship if it's the government.

In this case, because Valve isn't prohibiting or suppressing others in selling anything in the first place. Your pedantic dictionary definition is completely off the mark in this case.

StatusNil:

Avnger:
Does you local grocery store sell self-help books for how to best earn 72 virgins as an Islamic martyr?

Which game on Steam is the equivalent of that?

Does it matter? I thought this whining was about a right or principal. You know, something that shouldn't be violated regardless of content? If not, then you've already tacitly accepted "censorship", and the question is simply "where is the line" rather than "should we have a line." I thought you believed in free speech. You're no better than the "SocJus authoritarian regressive leftist SJWs;" you just have different ideas of what should be "censored," not if censorship should occur.

StatusNil:

Avnger:
Steam absolutely is endorsing the products they sell by giving them a platform to sell from; it's not a "we believe in everything contained" endorsement, but it is a "we believe this work is worthwhile and doesn't clash with our values."

Reading too much into a simple commercial enterprise. The relevant values are to provide a reliable marketplace for businesses to sell and people to buy products. Caveat emptor.

Interesting. So stores shouldn't have any quality or value control on what they sell? A grocery store must be forced to sell rotten food? If they refused to do so, they'd be "censoring" the food producers. Must a bakery sell every type of pastry possible? If they refuse to make poop filled croissants, are they committing censorship?

StatusNil:

Avnger:
Would a Christian bookstore refusing to sell "The God Delusion" be censorship?

Why should Steam model itself on a religious specialist store?

The point is that Steam can model itself on any store they want. It's not "censorship" to do so.

StatusNil:

Avnger:
Is Walmart refusing to sell AO rated games censorship?

Kinda?

Again, why doesn't a company have any right to association in regards to the brands and products they sell?

StatusNil:

Avnger:
Is the BBC refusing to air my homemade Avengers spin-off videos censorship?

You should put them on YouTube. BBC is trash, and the constructive feedback on YT is invaluable.

And you completely side-stepped the point. I mean, I figured you would, but I thought it would be by writing a 10 page essay instead of sarcasm.

StatusNil:

CaitSeith:
This isn't censorship if the government isn't involved.

Censorship (noun): The suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/censorship

Please indicate how Steam is suppressing or prohibiting this game. Is Steam working together with other retailers to prevent the devs from selling their work anywhere? Is Steam ensuring a media blackout, so the game doesn't get any coverage or notice? Is Steam trying to get laws written against it or whip up a public frenzy to shut it down?

Those things are what is meant by "suppression or prohibition." Is Steam suppressing the existence of the game? Is Steam suppressing knowledge of the game? Is Steam prohibiting the existence of the game? Is Steam prohibiting it from being sold in totality?

Valve's dedication to making the Steam store as shitty as possible, by doing absolutely nothing to curate it, is not a good thing. No, it isn't censorship not to sell AIDS Simulator. No, Valve isn't doing the steam store, indie developers, or customers any favors by being lazy shits.

CaitSeith:
This isn't censorship if the government isn't involved.

What if private companies control the flow of information, like they do in our reality?
If Google and Facebook decided to completely get rid of anything that's against the politics of the higher ups from their platforms, you wouldn't call that censorship?
What if both Comcast and Verizon blocked sites of certain political beliefs in the US? Would that not be censorship?

StatusNil:

CaitSeith:
This isn't censorship if the government isn't involved.

Censorship (noun): The suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/censorship

I have no idea where people get the idea that it's only censorship if it's the government. Perhaps you could point to a source? As far as I can tell, anyone with the power to "suppress" or "prohibit" is capable of censorship.

Censorship that is illegal and or a violation of your rights is specifically tied to various bills of rights (the 1st amendment in the US) which almost always relate specifically to the government.

Censorship by a private company is, within the framework of good old capitalist free market logic that most of said countries also run on, left to the consumer to go buy the product somewhere that doesn't censor it. Rather then a legal matter.

StatusNil:

Avnger:
Does you local grocery store sell self-help books for how to best earn 72 virgins as an Islamic martyr?

Which game on Steam is the equivalent of that?

There may as well be a Rule Whatever at this point, if it exists there is some stupid Simulator game of it on Steam.

"Let people flood the service with asset flips without repercussions" = "not going to censor games"

lol okay buddy

If Valve removes curation completely, the government is 100% warranted of getting involved very soon. Can we at least agree that it would be a bad thing?

I'd take whining about censorship from right wingers more seriously if they weren't in favor of it themselves.

I personally dont mind the stance overall. They have already clarified that illegal stuff, or stuff likely to lead to or inspire legal stuff (such as Mass shooting simulator), will be removed. As for stuff not illegal but tasteless (aids simulator or what have you).... well, i'm sure the market will decide the success rate of such titles.

My only reservation would be to ensure that adult stuff and the likes is kept well away the view from minors as much as possible. Hopefully, that good old fashioned "solid parenting" will prevail there.

Personal stance, though; I'm fine with Steam refusing to carry asset flip garbage or low effort cash grab trash. Content wise, that get's a little dicier, and honestly, I can't think of anything short of things already illegal that shouldn't be carried.

StatusNil:
[
I have no idea where people get the idea that it's only censorship if it's the government.

It arose when megacorporations started becoming dangerously powerful in their control over communication, and started going after acceptable targets (conservatives and liberals) while letting unacceptable ones flourish (progressives and corporatists), and those who fell within the camp of unacceptable targets tried to change language to suit their political interests. It's the same reason why there are people who think institutional racism is the literal only form of racism.

Smithnikov:
I'd take whining about censorship from right wingers more seriously if they weren't in favor of it themselves.

I assume you're logically consistent with your stance and therefor think literally everyone supports censorship, since there isn't an alternative stance that doesn't make you a hypocrite?

I just want Steam to not let any fucking piece of garbage on their platform. I do not care if adult content is on Steam, care that that adult content is a competent and functioning GAME.

Zontar:

Smithnikov:
I'd take whining about censorship from right wingers more seriously if they weren't in favor of it themselves.

I assume you're logically consistent with your stance and therefor think literally everyone supports censorship, since there isn't an alternative stance that doesn't make you a hypocrite?

Everyone does support censorship in one way or another. It is a vague term, and there is going to always be something that a person thinks should not be freely seen by anyone.

I think this is pretty pathetic on Valve's part.

This isn't a question of censorship, it's a question of quality control. Arguably, games are being sold there illegally already, given that some people can use a bunch of pre-existing assets, cobble them together, and call it a game. So when your shelves are overflowing with garbage, it becomes hard to find the games that are worthwhile. The ones that had actually effort put into them. Your paradigm of a store selling the Bible and The God Delusion doesn't work, because both of those books have gone through a traditional publishing process, and had quality control in their creation (yes, I know how the Bible was written, let's not go there). A better example would be your store overflowing with poorly made, poorly written books that are often plagerized, with only a few God Delusions/Bibles, that are hard to see because of all the crap floating around.

That said, I'm not overly concerned, because there's other avenues for publishing games besides Steam, even for indies. I'd rather Valve enforce some level of quality control, but as large as Steam is, it's not the be all and end all of digital publishing.

Zontar:

I assume you're logically consistent with your stance and therefor think literally everyone supports censorship, since there isn't an alternative stance that doesn't make you a hypocrite?

Of course there are people who don't.

Avnger:

Of course a storefront is responsible for what they sell. Does you local grocery store sell self-help books for how to best earn 72 virgins as an Islamic martyr? Does Amazon sell smut porn collections?

Steam absolutely is endorsing the products they sell by giving them a platform to sell from; it's not a "we believe in everything contained" endorsement, but it is a "we believe this work is worthwhile and doesn't clash with our values." They've entered into a business contract. They make money off every sale.

Would a Christian bookstore refusing to sell "The God Delusion" be censorship? Is Walmart refusing to sell AO rated games censorship? Is the BBC refusing to air my homemade Avengers spin-off videos censorship?

If you mean the Quran yeah, we have sold that, yes Amazon does, to all the other questions barring the Homemade Avengers yes to an extent it is and very clearly censorship, and on the Homemade Avengers, no that is theft on behalf of both you and the BBC of whoever owns the TV right to the Avengers. How is none of that blatantly obvious? So that was hideously unconvincing care to try again?

CaitSeith:
This isn't censorship if the government isn't involved. Ironically, Valve's plan is an open invitation for politicians to involve themselves when things get really ugly. It would be fun to see you kids handling real censorship from the government; but I'd rather Valve to wise up and to take preventive measures.

Yeah I have to wonder where the idea only the government can censor came from but it needs to die. Ever found a censored song? Me neither that would have to be one hideous song likely tell you how to build an atomic bomb or something.

BreakfastMan:
"Let people flood the service with asset flips without repercussions" = "not going to censor games"

lol okay buddy

Those are illegal and would be banned just like the AIDS simulator that was also removed as it is clearly trolling.

DANEgerous:
Yeah I have to wonder where the idea only the government can censor came from but it needs to die.

The government isn't going to waste time and money to create an agency to sift through things they deem obscene. Everything is self-regulated.

Moral panic happens. Government wants to get involved. Industries offer to self-regulate, because it would be in their best interest rather than having the government have that authority. What is being regulated has to conform to the demands of moral panics.

Pornography, video games, school internet, tv channels, etc are self-regulated. In some cases, nobody really knows what will get them in hot water, so the content they allow is all over the place. However they are all under the threat of very poorly enforced obscenity laws. That's where watchdogs come in. What gets pulled comes down to chance, whether or not the pastor or soccer mom has discovered such vile and improprietous content, and they will petition the government if the industry doesn't comply.

By the "only government can censor" definition, Steam pulling pornographic VNs is censorship. At the end of the day, things like Nekopara are obviously obscene, and by law, child pornography. When a conservative watchdog comes along and wants Steam to pull pornographic games, which is what happened, it's censorship by all definitions.

Captain Marvelous:
Valve's dedication to making the Steam store as shitty as possible, by doing absolutely nothing to curate it, is not a good thing. No, it isn't censorship not to sell AIDS Simulator. No, Valve isn't doing the steam store, indie developers, or customers any favors by being lazy shits.

That's pretty much it. Like I've said elsewhere, this is the typical kind of technolibertarianism that's gotten Google, Twitter, and Facebook into big trouble and has caused PR NIGHTMARES for them. This kind of doubling down on the "free market" has never, EVER worked and has always backfired.

The problem isn't censorship, the problem is endorsing garbage. If you let someone sell garbage in your store, you're basically endorsing it. Words mean things, use them correctly.

CaitSeith:
This isn't censorship if the government isn't involved. Ironically, Valve's plan is an open invitation for politicians to involve themselves when things get really ugly. It would be fun to see you kids handling real censorship from the government; but I'd rather Valve to wise up and to take preventive measures.

Well, 1. False. Censorship isn't just government restrictions on speech. If Valve were banning games on political or taste lines that would be censorship too. 2. In the USA at least where Valve is based the 1st amendment applies to games. We might not have any free speech in Europe but those countries are quite happy to send people to jail for insults and jokes anyway so this won't change much there. Germany already heavily censors games (Look up German TF2) for example.

Aiddon:

Captain Marvelous:
Valve's dedication to making the Steam store as shitty as possible, by doing absolutely nothing to curate it, is not a good thing. No, it isn't censorship not to sell AIDS Simulator. No, Valve isn't doing the steam store, indie developers, or customers any favors by being lazy shits.

That's pretty much it. Like I've said elsewhere, this is the typical kind of technolibertarianism that's gotten Google, Twitter, and Facebook into big trouble and has caused PR NIGHTMARES for them. This kind of doubling down on the "free market" has never, EVER worked and has always backfired.

Is that why all those company's own attempts at censorship have earned them such bad reputation? Facebook, Google and Twitter are more at risk from being reclassified as publishers if they censor and control what's allowed on their various platforms which brings them under government restriction in the USA.

My personal opinion is I don't much rightly care, only insofar as people don't conflate merits of artistic and commercial validity with 'censorship'.

What I'm more worried about is bullshit like Youtube autodemonetising and auto-age restricting LGBTQ content regardless of actual content. Also allowing hate groups to target said videos with marketing campaigns, meaning people who want to access materials concerning LGBTQ resources get bombarded with evangelical bullshit telling them they're evil.

Funny you don't hear the freeze peach crowd about stuff like that. Why not give creators the capacity to choose available advertisers?

Also if Steam surrenders all quality control, it better make its refunds process a whole lot more accessible.

Vanilla ISIS:

What if private companies control the flow of information, like they do in our reality?
If Google and Facebook decided to completely get rid of anything that's against the politics of the higher ups from their platforms, you wouldn't call that censorship?

I wouldn't. I'd call it market suicide and theft. Assuming it didn't bar people from their own IP and marketed services however, just market suicide.

What if both Comcast and Verizon blocked sites of certain political beliefs in the US? Would that not be censorship?

ISPs do this already. Also, no it wouldn't... unless the government specifically orders them to. Whole reason we had net neutrality was to stop private first controlling the flow of information in an unknowable or multitudinal way.

Moreover Steam isn't censoring shit by cleaning up its storefront.

If I ran a dress shop and refused to stock a label you designed on my shelves, you wouldn't accuse me of 'censoring you', would you? Maybe I think your ideas of fashion are gauche, poorly hemmed, with atrocious fabric and colour choices, and your product is clearly derivative of our last winter catalogue. Low suitability for the standards I wish to maintain in my boutique...

Clearly not censorship, right?

No one is stopping you, however, from flinging your garbage elsewhere.

People really need to get it through their thick skulls that not putting something on your store front or removing it later is not censorship. I can't buy blue pepsi easily but that doesnt make it censored.

Sure it can feel very much like censorship when you realise its practically impossible to buy something because nobodies selling it, but it still is not censorship no matter how much it feels like it. People need to realise if they want to argue against private companies controlling what media they get to consume, they need to call it something else not censorship or they simply undermine themselves by using the wrong words.

Censorship is when its against the law. Not just hard to get a hold of.

The real problem here is monopolies, too much power in the hands of big companies means they can control what you have access to. Its like if there was only one supermarket in town and the owner hated oranges, so he never stocked them and thus the town cant easily get oranges. Its definitly something shit but its not censorship.

Fieldy409:
People really need to get it through their thick skulls that not putting something on your store front or removing it later is not censorship. I can't buy blue pepsi easily but that doesnt make it censored.

Sure it can feel very much like censorship when you realise its practically impossible to buy something because nobodies selling it, but it still is not censorship no matter how much it feels like it. People need to realise if they want to argue against private companies controlling what media they get to consume, they need to call it something else not censorship or they simply undermine themselves by using the wrong words.

Censorship is when it is against the law. Not just hard to get a hold of.

Weed is not hard to get a hold of and illegal so I guess it is censored while it is not censored. Removing things from being able to be sold is censorship, you have made a rather good case for that with this post. Controlling what one could consume wouldn't even be a bad definition of censorship to be honest.

https://steamcommunity.com/games/593110/announcements/detail/1666776116200553082

Had no idea what what any of you were all talking about


So what does this mean? It means that the Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don't think should exist. Unless you don't have any opinions, that's guaranteed to happen.

I for one can have an opinion of the Steam Store without it being about hating something of/on it and thinking it shouldn't exist
This announcement got green lit by other Valve employees to be published

DANEgerous:
Weed is not hard to get a hold of and illegal so I guess it is censored while it is not censored. Removing things from being able to be sold is censorship, you have made a rather good case for that with this post. Controlling what one could consume wouldn't even be a bad definition of censorship to be honest.

That's stupid.

Choosing not to sell something on a private space is not censorship.

Choosing not to stock hardcore German porn from the late 80s in my AV entertainment store is not censoring the marketplace or creators of German porn. Steam having a robust best practices and standards for selling games over its platform is not censorship.

There are games on Steam that are purely asset flips. No artistic value, and of very grey ethical guidelines of their rightfulness to belong. There are content creators acting brazenly in ill will and trading practices in terms of their customers and using their social network infrastructure.

It stands to reason any private retailer or leaseholder of private market space is not committing 'censorship' by wishing its retail space or place of business has best practice standards.

Imagine being a leaseholder of a showgrounds commonly used for a popular yearly convention. Why should stall holders with a bad history and actively disruptive or abusive of the terms of their retail history be granted a place in it when other stall lease renters have a better history and of greater likelihood to promote a funner event and better presence of mind for future conventions?

Addendum_Forthcoming:

DANEgerous:
Weed is not hard to get a hold of and illegal so I guess it is censored while it is not censored. Removing things from being able to be sold is censorship, you have made a rather good case for that with this post. Controlling what one could consume wouldn't even be a bad definition of censorship to be honest.

That's stupid.

Choosing not to sell something on a private space is not censorship.

Choosing not to stock hardcore German porn from the late 80s in my AV entertainment store is not censoring the marketplace or creators of German porn. Steam having a robust best practices and standards for selling games over its platform is not censorship.

There are games on Steam that are purely asset flips. No artistic value, and of very grey ethical guidelines of their rightfulness to belong. There are content creators acting brazenly in ill will and trading practices in terms of their customers and using their social network infrastructure.

It stands to reason any private retailer or leaseholder of private market space is not committing 'censorship' by wishing its retail space or place of business has best practice standards.

Imagine being a leaseholder of a showgrounds commonly used for a popular yearly convention. Why should stall holders with a bad history and actively disruptive or abusive of the terms of their retail history be granted a place in it when other stall lease renters have a better history and of greater likelihood to promote a funner event and better presence of mind for future conventions?

Still Convincing me I am right, again if they are purely asset flips, that is illegal and banned. Sorry If i say I will not sell (X) that is absolutely positively %1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 pure unadulterated CENSORSHIP to THE MAX 200 X1,000 MAXIMUM SUPER HYPER ULTRA!!!

So I ban your weird German porn and ban it. Yep, I just censored you. I think I should have but none the less I did censor you. It was justified but who cares? It was still censorship.

DANEgerous:
Still Convincing me I am right, again if they are purely asset flips, that is illegal and banned. Sorry If i say I will not sell (X) that is absolutely positively %1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 pure unadulterated CENSORSHIP to THE MAX 200 X1,000 MAXIMUM SUPER HYPER ULTRA!!!

So I ban your weird German porn and ban it. Yep, I just censored you. I think I should have but none the less I did censor you. It was justified but who cares? It was still censorship.

How?

Are you legitimately suggesting store owners have no right to tailor their store environment for targeted audiences and maintain their own standards of shelf space allocation?

Is Prada or Miu Miu stores censoring other designers by not carrying their labels?

What about the store owner's right to tailor their retail experience?

If I open a board games cafe, am I 'censoring' Magic: The Gathering by having a Netrunner and Legend of the Five Rings night? Sounds like you're """censoring""" my wishes to advertise and host routine Netrunner and L5R events and prioritize the seating of those players to me... what about my rights to maintain A:NR and L5R events?

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