The Superhot Team has made the decision to remove scenes relating to self-harm from its 2017 release Superhot VR, noting in a recent game update on Steam that they "regret it took us so long" to make the change.
Originally, Superhot VR included moments where players had to deliberately cause harm to their own player character in order to progress during certain parts of the game. An update later on added a "skip disturbing scenes" toggle that allowed players to skip over those moments, but the Superhot Team has now come to the realization that a toggle was simply not enough.
"Considering [the] sensitive time we’re living in, we can do better than that. You deserve better," reads the team's update. "All scenes alluding to self-harm are now completely removed from the game. These scenes have no place in Superhot Virtual Reality. We regret it took us so long."
The update hit Steam first, but the team notes they plan to bring the change to Superhot VR on other platforms as well.
Virtual reality games uniquely put players in the shoes of a game's protagonist in a quite literal sense. However, because virtual reality introduces that deeper level of immersion, moments of violence or horror can feel more impactful than they would to a player sitting on a couch and watching those scenes unfold on a TV screen.
This Superhot VR update looks to be an acknowledgment of that difference and the responsibility developers have to their players when working with potentially disturbing content.
However, not all of Superhot VR's playerbase is in support of the change, as reflected by the current state of the Superhot VR Steam page. Review bombing of that Steam Store page, or a sudden influx of negative reviews from people upset about something not directly related to the game's overall quality, started not long after the update went live.
Steam's anti-review bombing tools are currently in effect on the page, alongside the note that "this product has experienced one or more periods of off-topic review activity. Based on your preferences, the reviews within these periods have been excluded from this product's Review Score."