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Valve removes AIDS Simulator, other controversial games from Steam Store

Games taken down offer slight clarification on what company means by "straight up trolling"

After a broad welcome to the Steam Store for everything that wasn't "illegal or straight up trolling," Valve's actions offer the smallest of windows into what they meant by the latter. The company seems to have removed four games: AIDS Simulator, Asset Flip Simulator, ISIS Simulator, and Triggering Simulator from the store today.

The removals were pointed out by @RobotBrush on Twitter, and confirmed that the store pages no longer exist. They are also listed as being removed on the Steam Tracker website, which shows status changes to games on the platform.

Their removal is notable in the wake of yesterday's policy update from Valve, as AIDS Simulator, in particular, was widely cited as an example of the kind of problematic games the policy seemed to welcome.

In addition, Valve had earlier provided a statement to VentureBeat in which the company elaborated on its removal of controversial game Active Shooter. Active Shooter was removed prior to Valve's content policy update with the developer's abuse of the platform cited as the reason. However, VP of Marketing Doug Lombardi indicated that Active Shooter would have been rejected on its face anyway.

"We rejected Active Shooter because it was a troll, designed to do nothing but generate outrage and cause conflict through its existence," Lombardi said. "In addition, the developer had been involved in numerous misrepresentations, copyright violations, and customer abuses. There are no second chances for Active Shooter, or its developers. And to be explicit, while the developer behind it was also a troll, we'd reject Active Shooter if it had been submitted by any other developer."

In its news release yesterday, Valve grouped "politics, sexuality, racism, gender, violence, identity" together as "controversial topics" it would welcome with impunity, while providing no official elaboration on what the company would define as trolling. With the trolling caveat seemingly being actively enforced in at least one instance, there is once again a question of what, exactly, will be allowed on Steam.

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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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