Set in a zombie apocalypse, Rape Day is a game where players are not only allowed to but encouraged to rape and murder women. Unsurprisingly, Valve has since issued an official statement confirming that the controversial game will not be available on Steam.
The decision was most likely made in response to intense publish backlash. Just a couple days ago, a Change.org petition began gaining traction around Rape Day. The petition called for Steam to make sure that the game never hit their online marketplace. As of right now, the petition has nearly 8,000 signatures.
The petition starter Cecelia Cosenza issued the following statement after news first broke about Valve’s decision.
“For as long as there is something to stand for, I will stand for it, and the right to protect the womanhood in society. As we remember for years women have marched, declared, proclaimed, asserted and because of this we have gained freedom and equality. A game like this is only made to make woman’s history take a step backwards.”
On supporter believed that the game was “trivializing an already difficult aspect of life women face on a daily basis, the threat of being assaulted.”
Joseph Pasek, another signer commented by saying the following:
“The developer claims that historians will look back upon this game from the future the same way we look upon games such as Grand Theft Auto now. I disagree. Games and other mediums have broached the subject before in a more nuanced, tasteful, and respectful manner to truly kickstart a discussion. ‘Rape Day’ is nothing more than pornography for those with sociopathic tendencies and contributes nothing to further a discussion aside from being intentionally offensive and inflammatory.”
Valve’s Erik Johnson addressed the issue on Steam’s official blog where he explained that “much of (Steam’s) policy around what we distribute is, and must be, reactionary—we simply have to wait and see what comes to us via Steam Direct.” Johnson continued by explaining that Steam has “to make a judgement call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers. After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think ‘Rape Day’ poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won’t be on Steam.”
While Valve’s decision is obviously a good one, it seems to contradict what they have already stated about their new “anything goes” policy. What’s worse is that Johnson’s statement remains very vague and doesn’t really outline why exactly the game was banned. If Valve wants to avoid any backlash in the future, their policies are going to have to be revamped.
Regardless, Rape Day remains an intensely disturbing game that is obviously unfit to be sold on the platform.