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Brazilian government opens investigation into Valve, Steam, and developers behind Bolsomito 2k18

Game features character based on Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro punching minorities with the aim of purging "the evils of communism"

The Brazilian Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories (MPDFT) has opened an investigation into Valve, Steam, and the creators of a game currently on the Steam Store called Bolsomito 2k18.

Bolsomito 2k18 was developed by BS Studios and features a main character similar in appearance and name to current right-wing Brazilian presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has been the subject of widespread protests throughout the election for his rhetoric, which has included homophobic, sexist, and racist remarks. He has been referred to by a number of publications and individuals as "Brazil's Donald Trump."

In Bolsomito, a 2D pixel beat 'em up, the main character walks around and punches people in an effort to stop the "Red Army" and a "communist revolution." Per the game's Steam page, it purports to be "inspired by the current Brazilian political climate and has as a protagonist a good willing citizen who has had enough of the growing corruption and inversion of values that plages his society."

In a trailer, the character beats up a number of women and people of color before preparing to run a crowd of them over with a semi truck.

Per a report and translation of the government inquiry by our sister-site Eurogamer, the MPDFT's investgation seeks to determine whether the game "clearly intends to harm [the] Presidency of the Republic and thereby embarrass the 2018 elections" and "cause collective moral damages to social movements, gays and feminists". The inquiry notes that the game was released two days ahead of the first round of Brazilian elections, which were to determine which two candidates would move forward to the final election on October 28.

"On tense days with an election extremely polarised in progress, a game developer has created a game that promises controversy," reads the document. "In the animation, the player places himself in the skin of the PSL to the Presidency of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, and earn[s] points by killing militants, gays, feminists and members of landless movements."

The Brazilian government plans to ask Valve to remove the game from Steam and "identify and qualify those responsible for BS Studios."

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Rebekah Valentine avatar
Rebekah Valentine: Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.
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