A Brazilian game sold on Steam is landing Valve in hot water for promoting violence against minorities in Brazil’s election.
For those of you not up on your Brazilian politics, they’re having an election right now that’s considered by some to be the most hate-filled election the country has ever seen. The leading candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, has spoken out against women, LGBTQ people, people of color, and general left-leaning politicians on his campaign trail, inciting violence against these groups along the way.
At one point, he even said he’d return Brazil to a military dictatorship if elected. That’s the kind of guy Brazil is dealing with.
What has this all got to do with a video game? Well, There’s a game on Steam called Bolsomito 2k18 that has a main protagonist (and we use the term loosely) that bears an awfully close resemblance to Bolsonaro. And you spend the game beating up minorities, leftists, LGBTQ people, and… well, you get the idea.
The Steam description says that Bolsomito 2k18 was “inspired by the current Brazilian political climate,” which seems a bit of an understatement. You play as Bolsonaro in a pixel art beat-‘em-up where your enemies turn into piles of manure once defeated. Or worse.
Brazilian politics aside, this game is pretty disgusting. One Steam user described it as like “Postal without sarcasm.”
It’s so bad, in fact, that the Brazilian government has opened an investigation into Bolsomito 2k18, its developer, BS Studios, and Valve.
Brazil's Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories (MPDFT) opened the investigation to determine if Bolsomito 2k18 and its developers violated local election laws. The game was released 2 days before the first round of elections, and as per the investigation document, "clearly intends to harm [the] Presidency of the Republic and thereby embarrass the 2018 elections" and "cause collective moral damages to the movements social, gays and feminists".
The government of Brazil is asking Valve to remove the game as a violation of Steam’s community guidelines. No word yet from Valve on whether they will perform their own internal investigation or if they'll remove Bolsomito 2k18 from the Steam storefront.