Valve is changing the way games with nudity, violence, and sexual content are presented on Steam

Valve has outlined a series of imminent changes to Steam, designed to help more effectively filter violent and sexual content on the platform. While the announcement doesn't contain a verdict on whether previously banned sexual content will soon be re-introduced to the storefront, it does show how Valve intends to deal with similar software into the future.

Possibly the most significant change is that Steam will now require developers to describe whatever violent or sexual content appears in games. The screenshot above provides an example. " We think the context of how content is presented is important and giving a developer a place to describe and explain what's in their game gives you even more information when browsing and considering a purchase," the blogpost reads. "When you're looking at the store page of a game with mature content, we'll display that developer-written description to you." 

Valve has said that every developer responsible for games with mature content will be "encouraged" to add these new descriptions to existing titles. Meanwhile, Valve will task moderators with ensuring applicable games are complying with the new rules.

Valve defines what trolling means on Steam

Also of special interest is clarification regarding what Valve considers trolling on the platform. Admitting that the term troll is vague, the blogpost summarises that trolls, as far as Valve is concerned, are developers who "aren't actually interested in good faith efforts to make and sell games to you or anyone."

"On Steam, some are simply trying to rile people up with something we call 'a game shaped object' (ie: a crudely made piece of software that technically and just barely passes our bar as a functioning video game but isn't what 99.9% of folks would say is "good")," the post reads. 

"Some trolls are trying to scam folks out of their Steam inventory items, others are looking for a way to generate a small amount of money off Steam through a series of schemes that revolve around how we let developers use Steam keys. Others are just trying to incite and sow discord."

User filters have also been reworked. Previously users could ignore up to three game tags in their account preferences; now that limit has been increased to ten. These filters previously only affected recommendations, but now they will exclude any and all games with these tags applied. That doesn't mean these games won't appear in search results. Instead, a message will indicate that a title has been "excluded based on your preferences". Finally, you can now filter types of mature content. If you'd prefer to see sexual content, but not violent content, that is now possible.

These are the biggest points in what is a lengthy update, but again, no clarity is given regarding the fate of games that have recently been removed from the storefront due to their adult content. We'll reach out to Valve for more information.