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GamingThread Steam is Banning Sex Games With Young Looking Characters
Reason User Banned (Duration Pending): Rationalizing sexualization of minors
I don't play any of the games affected but I do feel like there may be an argument to be made for them. For one, from what it says in the OP, these characters appear to be (or appear to look like) high school students, so maybe around 16 or 17. At that age you're able to have consensual, uncoerced sex with someone without it having to be "exploitative". The main reason why the porn featuring under-18s tends to be banned (even in countries where the age of consent is well below 18) is that, once you add commercial motives, the potential for the exploitation and abuse of those hypothetical performers increases dramatically. However, with video games, we're talking about virtual characters so there are no underage people involved in their production who could be exploited or abused. It's a bit like live action porn featuring adult actors doing some teacher/student role-playing. Never heard anyone call for a ban on those specifically. The only real issue I could see with these games is that, if they do feature sexually exploitative and/or abusive situations (which, again, just standard consensual sex featuring a slightly-younger-than-18-year-old does not automatically qualify for that), they may not contextualise them properly and normalise them instead. But for that, you really would have to look at each game individually and see if that's the case. At the end of the day, it is Steam's right, of course, to decide what they want to sell but this feels more like them jumping on the pseudo-pedo hysteria bandwagon than making an informed, well-thought-out decision.