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What is ‘Super Seducer 3’ and why won’t Steam sell it?

Steam has made the decision not to platform Super Seducer 3, citing the game as too sexually explicit for their store.

Developers of the controversial video game Super Seducer 3 have been told they will not be able to sell their product on Steam – gaming’s biggest digital retailer. The Super Seducer series is a creation of dating coach, Richard La Ruina.

The game rose to notoriety in 2018 after streamers such as Myth, Pokimane, Amouranth, and xQc live-streamed their playthroughs of the title. And of course, there was Videogamedunkey’s highlight video on YouTube.

The structure of Super Seducer is focused on successfully seducing women. In the video game, players are asked choose different dialogue options which trigger scenes. If you choose the wrong option, players are told why they were wrong.

Usually, the essence of the message is ‘You were a creep, don’t be a creep’. There are multiple scenarios and environments that can be played, from approaching someone at a club to striking up a conversation at the gym.

Steam rejected the game’s latest build and told Ruina that they will not be putting it on their platform as they have a “policy against showing sexually explicit images of real people”. Ruina responded to Steam, pleading with them, stating that he would go back to the drawing board with a “butcher’s knife” and change anything that they deemed inappropriate. Steam responded with a ‘yeah-nah we’re good buddy’.

Fans of the Super Seducer series were quick to point out Steam’s decision seemed hypocritical, highlighting the thousands of games portraying hyper-sexualised, often underaged-looking anime girls on the platform. Steam responded, stating that these depictions are fine because they don’t feature real people, which was again rebutted with an argument that the hyper-sexualisation of these characters still creates real-life damage through the fetishisation of underage Asian women.

When the Super Seducer series first launched in 2018, the game was met with a significant amount of backlash from critics and journalists, some lobbying for its removal from digital retailers. Ruina defended his video game, stating that the series is “very stupid” and “not serious”. 

I have not played the Super Seducer games, but after watching excerpts of playthroughs from the second game, it’s hard not to laugh. The situations are so cringeworthy and ridiculous, it’s hard to see whether anyone would take the game seriously. But although the game has a comedic value to it, it’s the structure can still be deemed problematic and inherently misogynistic.

The games makes light of experiences that some women have gone through which may have made them feel uncomfortable or in danger. The reason I was able to laugh at the game was that it did not bring up any of these negative emotions associated with an experience like that – others may not have the same privileges as me.

In a statement on Twitter, Ruina said they were looking at alternative ways to launch the title, but that may be easier said than done. The Epic Games Store and GOG also declined to launch Super Seducer 3 prior to Steam’s indictment, suggesting that there may be an issue with this particular instalment of the game, rather than the series itself.

As of now Super Seducer 1 and 2 are still available to purchase on Steam.