NoFap® recently published a story about a popular game distribution platform, Steam®, selling a porn company simulation video game called “Porno Studio Tycoon.” Since Steam® announced that it has over 125 million accounts and that roughly 29% of gamers are under 18, it is plausible that any game published on the platform can reach an audience of over 36,250,000 underage users.
One of our users (who wishes to remain anonymous) told NoFap® that a game listed on Steam® resulted in them relapsing back into heavy pornography usage, launching our investigation into Steam® and the sexually explicit games that are currently available for purchase. Most of the games that we browsed through contained sexual themes and sexualized imagery depicting scantily-clothed animated models, but didn’t feature actual nudity or explicit pornography. Until now.
A game published on Steam®, House Party, tasks players with the sole purpose of “getting laid” and features animated pornography. By default, players have a first person view, where they can pull out their penis, get women drunk, and receive oral and penetrative sex from partygoers. During penetrative sex, where the genitals and the women’s breasts are fully visible and include a bouncing animation (the developer blog indicates “improved breast physics” for version 0.6.2), an orgasm-meter gradually fills up until the players ejaculates onto the faces or bodies of the women.
The game developer included some humor, adding in references to a popular video game YouTuber PewDiePie and existential dialogues. At one moment, one of the women characters, Rachael, asked you (the player) how they got invited to the party, and one of the response options was that we’re in a video game simulation and it doesn’t matter. She replied, “Yeah, I guess that makes sense.” You can talk to partygoers and go through dialogue menus, often receiving quests like finding objects or participating in interpersonal quarrels – all with the goal of raising how attractive a particular woman finds you so that you can participate in a sex act with her. A woman’s interest in the player is gauged by 3 criteria: friendship level, romantic interest level, and how much alcohol that they have consumed.
All of the sexual scenarios in the game involved manipulative tactics of some kind. In one scenario, you spoof a character’s friend’s phone number to send them fraudulent “dares” for an over-the-phone “truth or dare” game that they’re playing. You impersonate their friend with the hijacked phone number, daring them to attend the rest of the party without shoes or pants, to dance in a bikini, and to flash you. You eventually task them with a dare, again posing as their friend, to have sex with you.
In another scenario, you have to get a woman high on nitrous oxide and drunk enough that she’s willing to dance topless. In another, you have to disable a woman’s cell phone (using a jamming device to ensure that her phone cannot send or receive transmissions) to get her alone in a room away from other party guests, trade in photos of her breasts for alcohol to get her buzzed, and flash everybody at the party before she agrees to sleep with you.
You can blackmail the party host by breaking into her phone and using her nude photos to coerce her into giving you oral sex or to pose nude for photographs. Alternatively, the host rewards you with fallacio if you manipulate the host’s sister, whom she has a rivalry with, into undressing after having beer poured onto her, then poison her with eye drops and lock the bathroom doors so that she has to run around those house naked in front of the other party guests.
Overall, the game seems to promote manipulation, coercion, the use of alcohol as a seduction tool, and risky sexual behavior (using condoms isn’t even an option).
Eventually, you can sleep with some of the characters, while other characters perform oral sex on you. The game developer promises future updates to either add more characters and complete partially-developed story-lines. For example, there is only one female character in the game that you currently cannot get naked – but we expect that to be “fixed” in time. The game is still in development. Steam’s “Early Access” program is where people can buy the game before it is fully completed, in exchange for beta access to help fund the completion of the game’s development. Additionally, players of the House Party community are encouraged by the game developers to participate in creating custom content for the game using their “Custom Story Creator” tool.
According to Steam’s rules and guidelines, this game should be in violation of their rule against pornography. But since the game has been for sale since June 30th, 2017, we are left wondering how this game made it past Steam’s game publishing review process, or if there is any such process that takes place at all? Why is this game listed for sale on their main page to gamers of all ages and the general public, instead of being sectioned off into an area for people over the age of 18 who have indicated interest in viewing pornography?
The NoFap® organization supports an individual’s freedom and personal choice to create and consume pornography or pornographic games, although NoFap® also advocates for greater public awareness about the potential associated harms. As a non-partisan, non-legislative company, NoFap® doesn’t endorse legislation designed to regulate pornography. This is not an attack against the video game industry, nor is this a call to limit the creative expression of game developers or the ability of gamers to download the types of video games that interest them. In fact, the two team members who worked on the investigation for this article are avid gamers.
The issue is that this game is being openly marketed to child gamers and those who aren’t interested in consuming pornography. Furthermore, those recovering from porn addiction don’t currently have an option to opt-out of being exposed to the marketing materials for these types of games in the Steam® Store. People who are actively trying to quit porn might turn to video games to distract them from their urges to relapse back into old habits – and they would rather not be marketed pornography while they aren’t seeking it out.
As of now, the advertising image is viewable before the age of the viewer is confirmed. And to confirm the age, the viewer only needs to click once. Steam® could work to address this by instituting an adult-only category that is only visible if the gamer is over the age of 18 and has positively opted-in to seeing such content. But as it stands, this explicit game is being openly listed on their Store page for all audiences to see. People should be able to make an educated decision whether or not they wish to view pornography, not have it unwillingly inserted into their daily lives.