Valve Corp. said it won’t distribute a game called “Rape Day” — described by its developers as “a game where you can rape and murder during a zombie apocalypse” — after almost 8,000 consumers signed a petition protesting the game’s violence towards women.
In a blog post, Valve’s Steam video-game platform said it decided to block the game because of “unknown costs and risks,” adding that “we respect developers’ desire to express themselves.” Some consumers said the statement didn’t go far enough, pointing out the statement didn’t condemn the game’s violence and depiction of sexual assault of women.
“Valve: “We respect developers’ desire to express themselves” Me: you respect the developers desire to make a game where you can rape women for fun??????????? how about no, that’s not something to respect at all actually,” game designer Nina Freeman wrote on Twitter.
Valve did not immediately return a request for comment.
“Rape Day” is no longer available for preview on Steam, but it was slated to go on sale in April. The video-game platform has previously faced criticism over the content of the games sold on the service, including “Active Shooter,” which wasby the parents of students who were shot to death during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Steam removed “Active Shooter,” but it also acknowledged that games with controversial content would continue to be sold on its service. “The games we allow onto the Store will not be a reflection of Valve’s values, beyond a simple belief that you all have the right to create & consume the content you choose,” it wrote in June.
In the Change.org petition against “Rape Day,” signers said they were protesting the game because of its “sick” and “disgusting” content.
“There is enough violence against women in real life and in current media,” one signer wrote. “The idea of a game specifically about raping is nauseating. There is freedom of expression and then there is encouraging sexual assault and turning it into an actual game.”