The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, a nonprofit organization focused on "exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography", has condemned Steam's adult content filter in a statement on their website.
In mid-May of 2018, a number of adult-oriented games were simultaneously warned that they were going to be removed from Steam within a matter of weeks unless they changed the content of their games. The NCOSE quickly declared victory, alluding to a two-year campaign they were running where Steam was part of their "Dirty Dozen" list that "[names] and [shames] the mainstream players in America that perpetuate sexual exploitation." The organization was formerly known as Morality in Media and was formed in 1962 by an interfaith group of clergy.
However, Valve put a stop to the removal a few weeks later with the announcement of new content-filtering tools to be deployed later in the year. These tools went live in early September, allowing for users to avoid seeing sexually-explicit adult content in their store searches and warning them before they view a page or Steam Community area for an adult-oriented game.
The NCOSE's statement particularly highlighted Negligee: Love Stories, the first explicit adult game to be approved by Valve since the institution of the filter. The game was developed and published by Dharker Studio, one of the many companies affected by the initial wave of e-mails from Steam threatening their removal from the store. It's the first game from them to not make use of an uncensor patch, and as such, they've restricted its sale in 28 countries to comply with local laws [NSFW]. Using this game as an example, the NCOSE criticizes the ease through which people can bypass the adult content filter.
We've reached out to Valve and Dharker Studio for comment and we'll update this article if we hear back from them.
As for Negligee: Love Stories, you can pick up the game for yourself on Steam [NSFW] with a 10% launch week discount or on Nutaku [NSFW] for $13.99 or your regional equivalent. You might also want to check out the Kickstarter for their newest game My Senpai.
Disclosure: Nutaku provides perks for TechRaptor members, and TechRaptor participates with an affiliate linking program with Nutaku. Some of the links in this article are affiliated.
What do you think of the NCOSE condemning Steam's adult content filter? Do you think the filtering system should be more robust or is it fine as it's currently implemented? Let us know in the comments below!