They’re coming for your vidya.
And they’re coming hard.
Valve allowed the controversial troll game Black Lives Matter onto Steam. Within hours it had collected a large number of reviews mocking both the movement and the invalids who support the movement. Well, Valve didn’t take kindly to that and various users who left negative reviews mocking the very obvious propaganda found their accounts permanently banned from the community services.
One user who left a negative review found himself on the wrong end of a community perma-ban.
In an e-mail he explained…
“I wrote one of the reviews you featured (in the time the timer took to run down…) and got perma banned from steam yesterday. I can still play games but that is it, this hasn’t just affected the account I wrote the review on, but a 2nd account I had linked to the same phone number, as well as a throwaway steam account I haven’t accessed in a year.”
He provided screenshots of the ban as well, where Valve notified him that his account violated Steam’s terms of service agreement, so account functionality would be limited.
This is the message he got:
Next time you think about writing a review on Steam, it might be a good idea to check how woke the people who made it are or aren’t.
The account limitations included no longer being able to trade with other users, no longer being able to invite people to games, no longer being able to edit the user profile, upload content, comment, or interact with any of Steam’s community features.
Worse yet is that he was then banned from being able to purchase new games, gift, trade, or even buy or sell items on the marketplace. Even CD key activation had been deactivated, meaning he can no longer purchase games from Amazon or Humble Bundle and activate the keys on his account.
They didn’t outright ban people from accessing their games like they did with the Russian guy, because I assume they figured out that’s just outright illegal.
This is idiotic for so many reasons, but think purely practical – why would you not allow people to buy games?
Banning users from writing reviews or accessing the forum would sorta make sense, but banning people from buying games is just outright hurting your own business for no reason.
It is unlikely that Gaben is aware that these things are happening. He is a busy man. And this is only getting reported on a Gamergate blog (and on Daily Stormer, sourced from the Gamergate blog).
A similar thing happened to a Russian gamer, who was also permanently banned from using Steam’s community features, but the support staff took it one step further and permanently banned him from even being able to access his game library. He decided to take measures to contact the Russian consumer protection agencies and look into suing Valve for illegally preventing him from accessing products he paid for.
In the case of the Black Lives Matter ban, it was noted that other user reviews mocking the movement and the troll propaganda on Steam were also removed from the public’s view.
In the e-mail, the user who had been banned noted…
“I’ve reached out to steam support but haven’t recieved a reply yet, and on top of this it seems that most of the high rated reviews have had their accounts banned. “Game stole my bike guy” seems to have vanished along with all but one of the reviews you featured.”
It’s not just the reviews getting axed from the store page for Black Lives Matter, users are being widespread banned from participating in the forums as well, especially if they criticize Israel.
Additionally, threads stating “All Lives Matter” are quickly locked or outright deleted.
Guilty Spark’s thead that was posted on July 20th, 2020 was locked after 41 comments.
Another thread made by One-HiT KiLLeR on July 6th, 2020 was later locked on July 21st, 2020 shortly after the game went live.
Threads that pointed out that Black Lives Matter was a terrorist organization and that ActBlue – the company who processes the payments towards the Black Lives Matter organization – is a DNC PAC, were also locked.
Essentially, Valve’s response to the criticisms is to make the critics go away; to censor dissent and to squash any attempts to mock or ridicule BLM propaganda.
Permanently restricting accounts ensures that most people will never say anything publicly about the domestic terrorist group again. This kind of heavy-handed censorship is to going to be used to create a chilling effect, to stifle speech, and to allow terrorist to continue to rape and ravage the rights of Americans.
The Russian guy is eventually gonna get his games back, but he’ll probably get all the restrictions these other people have, also on a permanent basis.
Of course, them not being able to take your games away for now doesn’t mean they won’t be able to do it some time in the future.
And it’s unclear how much longer laws are gonna matter at this point anyway…
The guy who made this “game” actually did it as some kind of protest against people not being woke the right way. It’s also not even a game. Look at the Steam page for it. It’s just a black screen with numbers.
He made a post you can read here where he admits the game was a troll to make a point, then whines that people get hysterical about internet drama and calls blacks dying from malaria in Africa a “civilizational failure of 2020,” by which he means that it’s whitey’s fault for not giving gibs fo mo programz.
But more importantly, I suggest you figure out a long-term gaming solution in case something like this happens to you, since this is all going to just get worse after Gabe Newell’s inevitable demise from turning himself into a human yurt.
He’s 57 and 570 pounds, and when he is gone (and quite possibly before that), Steam is going to have the same rules as Twitter or Facebook. The new speech and behavior restrictions will be enacted swiftly and without mercy.
I know this all sounds like a stupid concern to some people, given all the other insane stuff that’s happening all around us, but you need some escapism once in a while.
Even people in the stone age, where literally every day was a struggle for survival, painted on cave walls, invented musical instruments, whacked each other in the head with sticks, and did other things that had no survival value, because those things are necessary so you don’t lose connection to reality.