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Rape Day prompts call for UK government review

British MP questions how Valve is "able to get away with this kind of stupidity"

A British member of parliament has slated Steam over the recent Rape Day controversy, calling for a government review.

In a statement released today, Scottish National Party MP Hannah Bardell described it as "utterly abhorrent material", and said the government must "commit to getting around the table and sorting this issue for good."

"The content of this game is utterly perverted," she said. "It's time for the UK government to undertake a full review into how tech companies and gaming platforms -- specifically Steam -- are able to get away with this kind of stupidity,"

"The culture to seek forgiveness rather than permission is a stain on an industry that otherwise has the potential to be a real force for good."

She was joined in her comments by Shona Robison, First Minister of the Scottish Parliament, who supported calls for a UK government review to "strengthen the legislation around this area."

"For any online gaming platform to allow the publishing of a so-called game, which glorifies the killing and raping of women, would be disgusting and deeply offensive," continued Robison.

"Therefore, I am delighted that Steam has rejected the distribution of this incredibly shocking game on their online platform."

Rape Day was described by developer Desk Plant as a "a game where you can rape and murder during a zombie apocalypse." Though unreleased, it was listed on Steam for over two weeks with an expected launch next month.

Valve yesterday caved to pressure and removed the title, saying its policy to such material should be "reactionary."

"We then have to make a judgement call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers," said Valve's Erik Johnson.

"After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think 'Rape Day' poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won't be on Steam."

Given that Valve is a privately-owned company based in the US, it's unclear what a British government review on this issue might look like, and what measurements might be enacted as a result.

Bardell did not respond to GamesIndustry.biz in time for publication.

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Ivy Taylor avatar

Ivy Taylor

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Ivy joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.

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