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Valve clarifies what games count as 'straight up trolling,' sort of

Actions speak louder than 1,169 words as Valve's removal of more games from Steam offer a bit more explanation of what the company means when it says “trolling” games aren’t welcome on the platform.

Following a fair bit of controversy about both the now-delisted game Active Shooter and warnings issued to visual novel makers about sexual content, Valve released a long but vague statement about exactly what it will allow on the Steam Store, in short noting that everything but games that are somehow illegal or “straight up trolling” are A-OK. 

Now, days after that blog post went live, Valve’s actions are shedding a bit more light on exactly what the company considers unscrupulous content. Speaking to VentureBeat, Valve communication head Doug Lombardi dove into specifics about the removal of both the Active Shooter game and its developer from Steam, explaining that games that intend only to offend fall under that trolling umbrella. 

“We rejected Active Shooter because it was a troll, designed to do nothing but generate outrage and cause conflict through its existence,” said Lombardi. “In addition, the developer had been involved in numerous misrepresentations, copyright violations, and customer abuses. There are no second chances for Active Shooter, or its developers. And to be explicit, while the developer behind it was also a troll, we’d reject Active Shooter if it had been submitted by any other developer.”

In a similar vein to the Active Shooter removal, Valve has removed four games from steam since the post went live, kicking the games AIDS Simulator, Asset Flip Simulator, ISIS Simulator, and Triggering Simulator off Steam in one fell swoop. 

While these games seem to have embodied the same ill-intentioned spirit as Active Shooter, the removal isn’t any sort of line in the sand for Valve’s new policy on controversial content. In the original statement, Valve noted that it didn’t plan to make an significant changes to what it allows on the store until new tools to help Steam users better filter the content they see on the store are in place, so it’s still best to keep an eye on what Steam allows and removes in the near future to get a feel for its policies. 

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