Video publisher Valve, which drew outrage over ‘Active Shooter’ game, decides to allow almost ‘everything’ on platform now

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SEATTLE -- A Bellevue-based video game publisher is at the center of controversy again.

Last month, we told you about a game called "Active Shooter," which promised to allow users to play as both police and the gunman during a simulated mass shootings in settings that included a school.

Bellevue-based Valve took worldwide criticism for allowing the game to be offered for purchase on its Steam platform.  Valve later booted the game and its developer, calling the person a troll with a history of customer abuse.

Now the company is saying it will allow just about anything to be sold on Steam, with a few restrictions

That's not sitting well with a Mercer Island mom who led a petition campaign to get the Active Shooter video game pulled from the platform.

Stephanie Robinett isn't quite sure what to make of Wednesday's announcement by Valve.

In a blog post Wednesday, a Valve company official said it's not Valve's place to decide what's acceptable and what's not when it comes to the games made available on its wildly popular Steam platform. So, the post says Valve has 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."

That wasn't what Robinett was expecting to hear.

"That's subjective -- what 'straight up trolling' means is completely subjective," she said.

Q13 News reached out to Valve for clarification on what that means and we're still waiting for a response.

"If this is a platform that's going to allow any content on it, it is not safe for children, period," Robinett said.

The blog post says the company feels it's not Valve's place to decide what kind of content developers should be allowed to create, and that allowing a game into the Steam store doesn't mean Valve condones its message.

Many gamers are praising the decision as progressive.

Robinett can't agree.

"There is some subjectivity to it. I mean, all of those games are legal. They are games and even this, it's just a game, but at some point we have to say shooting children as the main point of a game is too far," Robinett said.

Valve says it will be adding more tools to allow users and parents to better filter games, along with tools to protect developers from harassment by users who don't like their games.

We've asked Valve for more details on how those tools will work and haven't heard back yet.


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