Back in June, Valve unveiled its new content control policy, giving even the most controversial titles the ability to sell on Steam, provided they stay within the law and don’t troll users. Now Valve has worked out its definition of trolling and redesigned Steam’s search functionality with a brand new customizable filter.
To help the user curate their own customized experience, Valve has given each user the ability to remove certain developers, publishers, curators, and games from search results. The latter uses Steam’s tagging system, which previously allowed the user to list up to 3 tags of which they wanted to see fewer.
This has since been increased to 10 and made a “hard filter” according to Valve’s blog post. “In short, the store now assumes that you want to ignore all games that contain one of these tags in the most popular tags, instead of just using them as suggestions for our recommendation engine,” the developer describes.
With a stricter filter, there is of course the risk that games that should be searchable will get caught in the crossfire. These titles are still directly searchable but will either appear as excluded at the top of the list or remain hidden. Hovering your mouse over faded games will tell the user exactly why they were filtered (see image above).
While frequent violence / gore and nudity / sexual content are already set filters, Valve added two more. Legacy content includes games that are aimed at older audiences but lack sex or violence as the previous tags suggest. And Adults Only helps users remove more explicit content from their searches.
In order to work, developers need to define violent or sexual content in their game. When it comes to older games, Valve encourages developers to refresh their store page again for the best experience possible.
“We think the context in which content is presented is important. Giving a developer a place to describe and explain what’s in their game will give you even more information when looking for a purchase. When you look at the store page of a game with mature content, we are bringing you this developer-written description. “
All in all, this should make it a lot easier for developers to add new games to the Steam Store without worrying about the sexually explicit or controversial content being thrown back. Provided the game itself is not illegal or trolls the consumer. Valve knows it’s vague when it says “downright trolling” is not being accepted for good reason.
Trolls come in all shapes and sizes, and wreak havoc everywhere. The more specific the rule set, the easier it is to manipulate by people who want to cause harm. To keep scammers out of using in-game items and those who abuse Steam Keys, Valve conducts a “thorough assessment that actually starts with the developer,” including their history, their developer staff, their banking information, and even the type and type Way they shop as a customer.
KitGuru Says: It’s wonderful to see such an emphasis being placed on context rather than an automated algorithm making a blanket decision. While I won’t get my hopes up, this seems like the beginning of a valve that users have wanted for a while. How do you feel about the new filter system?
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