Steam now officially recognises LGBTQ+ as a game tag

By Sherif Saed
21 June 2019 14:17 GMT

Steam has created an official hub page for all games tagged LGBTQ+.

Tags have existed in Steam for five years now, but according to a Kotaku report, not every tag matters.

Though Steam users and developers can assign custom tags to any game on the store, Valve only relies on a list of what it calls approved tags. These prime tags get their own hub pages – which list all games with the same tag, and more importantly, factor into Steam’s recommendation algorithm.

But, because some of the tags can be humours, or downright toxic and misleading, Valve elected to only recognise a few descriptive ones. The only problem is, for some reason, the company had yet to consider LGBTQ+ among them – until this week.

The new LGBTQ+ Steam tag is available for anyone to browse. It was reportedly made official this week after a developer made a case for a why it should exist in Steam’s developer forums. Nepenthe developer Yitz told Kotaku of his quest to understand why LGBTQ+ is still not an official tag/what can be done about it.

Tags for LGBTQ+ content had existed before – and you can certainly tag your games as anything you want, but only now has it been made official.

As a result, the page doesn’t reflect the breadth of games on Steam with LGBTQ+ themes or characters, but games that use this tag in future will be included. This also allows developers to tag their work as LGBTQ+, something Valve previously ignored.

Perhaps the argument generated by Yitz’s thread is what motivated Valve to finally make it official. Though this will undoubtedly invite abuse from trolls and bad faith actors, its effects in the longer term are clear.

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