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‘AIDS Simulator’ Game For Sale on Steam After Platform Relaxes Content Rules

Can it be “game over” for this video game?

A controversial new video game on distribution platform Steam drew the ire of gamers online on Thursday. Developer BunchOD00dz — yeesh — gave the game, titled “AIDS Simulator” the following description:  “Welcome to Africa, you’ve got HIV! Now you’re mad and want to kill all Africans that gave you AIDS to get revenge. AIDS Simulator is a very short first-person shooter with boring gameplay, bad graphics, and generic assets.”

In a company blog post published on Wednesday, the gaming platform announced a new “anything goes” policy regarding content. The platform would sell your game — as long as it got a cut of the profits.

“We’ve decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling,” the post reads. “Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see.”

The decision was instantly controversial, leading some to fear “the prospect of zero intervention risks giving hate mobs and scam artists de facto control,” as PCGamer writes.

Steam also anticipated backlash in its blog post, saying: “The Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don’t think should exist. Unless you don’t have any opinions, that’s guaranteed to happen.”

People certainly do hate the “AIDS Simulator” and have made their feelings known to Steam on social media.

“You ARE endorsing it, because you are listing it, and you are selling it,” one person tweeted to Steam. “When someone buys it, YOUR LOGO AND SOFTWARE ARE PROMINENTLY INVOLVED. You utter human offal.”

“Everyone needs to delete their @steam_games account right the fuck now. This racist, stigmatizing SHIT SHOW of a game called AIDS Simulator is allowed (dare I say encouraged) on their platform. Encouraging the murder of Africans in this HORRIFIC game,” another Twitter user wrote.

In a YouTube video, video game critic Jim Sterling excoriated Steam for selling “AIDS Simulator.”

“You not wanting to do your due diligence as a storefront is pure fucking laziness, if not gross incompetence or again complete endorsement, which is exactly how people offline will view this,” Sterling said.

One post on Steam underneath the game summed it up as: “Wow, Steam is total trash now.”


Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew is a staff writer at INTO. His work has appeared in Mic, Slate and Complex. He loves "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Flannery O'Connor and female rappers and is working on a memoir.

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