Steam Really Is Living up to Its Name
Yet another controversy has erupted from the bowels of Steam, which has motivated the Brazillian government’s intervention. A new game, so-called Bolsomito 2K18, was published on October 5, 2018, and touts a message of violence against political left-wingers in Brazil.
Bolsomito 2K18 is a retro-style beat-em-up game in which players fill the crooked shoes of a man in a suit (a politician) and take a crack at hordes of communism, allegedly. According to the official description: “The game is inspired by the current Brazilian political climate and has as a protagonist a good willing citizen who has had enough of the growing corruption and inversion of values that plages [Sic] his society.”
While most people tend to root for a title that fights “plages” on society, Bosomito 2K18 ignores the parody route and dives right into propaganda. The most upvoted comment on the game’s page, written by user Cyberpunk, calls it “an obvious incitation of violence against black, women, LGBT and left-wing people”.
Now if we dive into Brazil’s current political climate, we see fewer gamer-friendly terms and more jargon. Basically, “Bolsomito” sounds an awful lot like Bolsonaro, Jair Bolsonaro who’s the right-wing candidate in Brazil’s ongoing presidential election. Apparently, his racist and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is so bad that he makes Trump look like Gandhi. The point is, Bolsonaro’s hate speech seems to be working on his behalf, and he’s inspired the playable character of Bolsomito 2K18, a man who beats up gays, women, and blacks, all of which fall under the broad umbrella of “communism.” To be born black is to be born a Communist, according to the game’s logic.
Brazil’s Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories (MPDFT) has opened an investigation in the game’s developer, BS Studios, as well as Steam and Valve Corporation. The game’s release was timely, two days before the first round of Brazillian elections, which the government found suspicious. Their document calls it a game that “clearly intends to harm [the] Presidency of the Republic and thereby embarrass the 2018 elections.”
“On tense days with an election extremely polarised in progress, a game developer has created a game that promises controversy,” the document continued. “In the animation, the player places himself in the skin of the PSL to the Presidency of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, and earn[s] points by killing militants, gays, feminists and members of landless movements.”
Steam recently instituted new rules meant to weed out troll IPs, the same document that now allows adult-only content. Remarkably, Bosomito didn’t fall under the troll category when it got published. Needless to say, the platform has earned some additional flank for a review process that has already fallen under dire scrutiny.
What are your thoughts on Bolsomito 2K18 and Steam’s review process? Feel free to comment down below.