Valve, its distribution platform Steam, and developer BS Studios is under investigation by Brazil’s Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories (MPDFT) following the release of a politicised beat-‘em-up called Bolsomito 2k18.
The game, a simplistic-looking brawler, sees players take on the role of real world Brazilian Presidential hopeful – and current electoral frontrunner – Jair Bolsonaro. Harmless enough, right? Except the entire point of the game is to beat up anyone the man disagrees with – basically anyone who’s black, LGBT, left-wing, female, that kind of thing. It’s accurate to the real man, by the way.
As reported over on Eurogamer, the investigation centres on the claim the game was released ‘to harm the Presidency of the Republic’ and cause ‘collective moral damages’ to the people it has players attack. The MPDFT has asked Valve to remove the game from sale, and is investigating developer BS Studios – though what punitive measures could arise are not clear.
Obviously the game’s Steam reviews are currently being bombed with positives, most of which using the term ‘SJW’, because that’s how the internet works. It’s hilarious! Except for the fact this man has already been blamed for rising levels of violence – in the real world - against all those tagged as ‘enemies’ in the game. This is not satire, even if the word is used in the game’s description.
The political situation over in Brazil is fractious at best, so it’s good to see there may be action being taken to curb more egregious elements like this. Whether it proves to be lip service or an actual move to get rid of the game though, we’ve yet to see.
So is this ‘straight-up trolling’, or not?