Valve has officially removed the controversial game Active Shooter from the Steam marketplace. The game allowed players to assume the roles of a school shooter, a SWAT team member or a survivor of a school shooting, and the trailer showcased a school shooter (in first-person) shooting his way through a school. Tasteless and socio-politically out of tune doesn’t begin to describe this latest example of how Steam has consistently failed at content moderation and the curation of what is available in its marketplace.
The game’s developer and publisher, Acid Games/Revived Games, was also barred from Steam for reasons not wholly due to Active Shooter’s content. The developer and publisher is a known internet shit-stirrer who, according to what a Valve representative told Kotaku, “has a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation … ”
The game should have been banned for its handling of sensitive content alone and not just for being related to Revived Games. Steam’s content policy is a cloud of gray, devoid of much concrete meaning and while Steam is actively banning games that depict sexual acts, games like Active Shooter continue to be let on Steam—only being removed in the face of public pressure.