I just received an email from Steam that a week ago I up-voted a few screenshots of Agony (3, to be exact) that have since been banned for violating Steam Rules & Guidelines. As a result of not reading through the Rules & Guidelines to confirm that each and every screenshot I consider up-voting as being helpful conforms with the guidelines, I am now banned from voting on user generated content for a month.

Of course, I don't know why the screenshots violated the Rules & Guidelines, I don't know what screenshots they were, and I certainly don't remember what screenshots I may have up-voted a week ago.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, but it strikes me as pretty ridiculous to ban people for a month for up-voting screenshots of a game when the game obviously doesn't violate Steam's Rules & Guidelines. Steam can advertise and sell the game, we can buy and play the game, the devs / publisher can post screenshots of the game, but up-voting user-posted screenshots is clearly way over the line. And because I up-voted a few screenshots that apparently violate Steam's rules, now I can't vote on user reviews for a month?

3 weeks ago

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Is this some really stupid BS?

View Results
Darn right it is!
Steam should be banned from making up stupid guidelines for a month!
Ooh, this sort of nonsense really boils my potato!

Is there any way you can respond to the email and ask for additional clarification? I'm really curious as to what happened here.

3 weeks ago
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Respond to a Steam email? Hah! As if!

The only option they give me at the bottom of the email is to contact Steam Support via the generic Steam Support link. I guess I'd have to file a ticket and try to explain what the ticket is about?

3 weeks ago
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I would email them to contest. Sounds like the worst rule ever made up.

3 weeks ago
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Valve's logic on this one is really weird, to some extent I understand removing screenshots but banning you for upvoting them is ridiculous. They're punishing you for liking something, wtf?

3 weeks ago
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Steam be like:

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3 weeks ago
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Exactly XD

3 weeks ago
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Hahaha, thank you for that! :)

3 weeks ago
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They aired that episode just yesterday here, and I happened to see just that part in the few minutes I watched. :P

3 weeks ago
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Exactly. They decide those screenshots are against their rules (which seems ridiculous to me, but whatever), fine, remove the screenshots. But banning me for liking the screenshots? It's shifting the burden of upholding Steam's rules to each and every member who views reviews and screenshots.

And it's not like I was voting on screenshots to be a jerk. I don't know what screenshots Steam had issues with, but whatever I voted for were screenshots that I felt were representative of the game and useful for potential buyers to see.

3 weeks ago
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It basically extends the concept of "wrong opinion" to clicking the wrong button. Not the best example of how to regulate a community, more like killing a fly with an axe.

3 weeks ago
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Why is there no option for No?

Also, email them and ask for proof, or it didn't happen XD

3 weeks ago
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Why is there no option for No?

Said option violates Steam's Rules and Guidelines, and thus had to be removed.

3 weeks ago
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back during the great skyrim paid mods massacre they were handing out 1 month bans on all comments left and right and it would WIPE every comment you ever made clean off steam. they didnt give a fuck what you said or did if you commented on the skyrim board you got a BAN. our lord and savoir gaben stepped in and fixed it all. got unbanned but all my comments had already been blackholed. 5 years of shit gone and it was mostly helping other people on message board for games/asking for help. things other players will want 2 see when they run into the same problem

3 weeks ago
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Did he fire/ban those moderators?

3 weeks ago
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he should they waited to push the paid mods until gaben went in for surgery

3 weeks ago
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Wow. I missed all of that, but wiping every comment you ever made? That's beyond over-reacting.

3 weeks ago
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It felt like it was a real war back then, nobody was talking about anything but paid mods.

3 weeks ago
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200$ for HD horse genitals

3 weeks ago
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Is this still possible? I need to delete my comment history...

3 weeks ago
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just take a break for a month. the stress isn't worth the ticket

3 weeks ago
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Yeah, you're completely right. I'm not angry, just really surprised and confused.

Though I'm sure I'll be pretty annoyed the next time I try to up-vote a helpful user review (they exist, I swear!), and get an error message saying, "No voting for you, you naughty screenshot up-voter!"

3 weeks ago
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steam mods in a nutshell lols

3 weeks ago
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In case of a single incident I agree with you. If this starts to happen more often or has something like a three-strikes rule it can get problematic.

3 weeks ago
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Maybe of of those screenshots showed a nipple? I know Americans are terrified of those.

3 weeks ago
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As an American, I can confirm that we are, in fact, deathly afraid of nipples.

I saw a pair of nipples once, and they've been haunting me every since. They're seldom visible, but I just know that they've been following me everywhere I go ever since - just waiting, biding their time, until I lower my guard and they can pop into view again.

3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
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But... without nipples, breasts would be pointless!

3 weeks ago
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Not for Americans.

3 weeks ago
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The pun flew over your head :D

3 weeks ago
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Yeah i have to admit thats the case:)

3 weeks ago
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It flew over my head until you pointed it out.

Do you see what I did there.

3 weeks ago
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Oh, relax. In some countries, you could go to jail for such a terrible act as voting for the wrong thing in the internet, you could get a lower "social rating" and so on. Steam is only on the way to dystopia, still not quite there

3 weeks ago
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That is some straight-up BS, but I too wouldn't bother making a ticket if it's only a month-long ban on voting of all things. It definitely makes no sense to ban every voter on a screenshot of a game buyable on their platform, now the next time anyone carelessly votes on one of those funny or biased reviews, I'd think again, if only slightly.

3 weeks ago
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I wish. If anyone deserves a ban, it's the people who vote the joke and meme reviews up as the most helpful. "git gud" and "died in a fire, 10/10," is helpful to absolutely no one.

3 weeks ago
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Yes, sadly, typical Valve logic:

"Okay, guys, no more censoring, everything goes!"
"Does that mean tits and dicks are okay now?"
"Everything goes!"
"You are not answering the question. Is it okay to post pornographic content, you allow that now?"
"Everything goes, guys!"
"Please answer the damn question with a yes or no: your 'everything goes' means sexual content too?"
"Everything goes!"
sigh "Okay then, so everything goes, here is this." posts a pornographic game and makes a screenshot of it
"You have violated the Terms of Service and we are now banning you."
"You just said four times that everything goes, but now you are saying it violates the terms. Where?"
"It is right there: 'We can boot your ass off if we think the game is bad for our reputation.'"
"So, where are the guidelines to know what harms your reputation?"
"We know those, you don't have to. It is not public."
"So, I can post anything, unless you say it violates a guideline I cannot know of, after which you just ban me for a reason that is not explained?"
permabans user and never responds to messages any more

3 weeks ago
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Yep. Sounds about right.

3 weeks ago
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This sums it up perfectly.

3 weeks ago
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Can't vote all of the above.

3 weeks ago
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Valve can and will ban in-game screenshots for violations that aren't there. It's happened to me.

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3 weeks ago
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Well you're pointing a gun at someone. You're clearly a psychopath or something. You might encourage people to become mass shooters!

3 weeks ago
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WTF.... then, maybe they should stop selling games like that if they are triggered about their content. Oh wait that's not gonna happen because it will mean less money for valve.

3 weeks ago
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Yeah I think Valve suffers from a multiple personality disorder and none of the personalities know what the others are doing.

3 weeks ago
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Quest; Freedom of speech.
Valve; TRIGGERED

3 weeks ago
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Better yet, it says so underneath: "Return to the censorbot"

3 weeks ago
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What a paradox. He didn't complete that step yet, yet he completed that step... hmm...

3 weeks ago
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Hahaha, good perspective! Well, you know that bots are always one step ahead :D

3 weeks ago
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lol wtf

3 weeks ago
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Serves you right for screenshotting an obviously alt-right Trump-supporting, woman-hating Tru Gamer. Ban GamerGate.

Or something. I dunno. Every time I attempt to try and make sense of Valve logic, my ability to think straight takes a break anyway, and all I'm stuck with is:

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3 weeks ago
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China is quite a big market.
You can't post stuff with "Freedom of speech" wherever you want!

3 weeks ago
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Soon they'll have their own Steam client

3 weeks ago
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Bizarre. Any idea on what the issue with that screenshot might be?

3 weeks ago
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Well, it does say "Return to the censorbot" underneath a quest titled Freedom of Speech...

3 weeks ago
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Banning someone for posting a screenshot with a quest titled "Freedom of Speech" seems too on the nose.

3 weeks ago
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Either that or someone had a too few before/during working hours and thought it would be funny xD

3 weeks ago
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It's an in-game screenshot anyone could take.

3 weeks ago
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Now that's dumb. I feel for ya, dude. Even more of a reason to not take an active part in the Steam Community. I love how they keep shooting themselves in the foot with these decisions...

3 weeks ago
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this is the result of always living over the line, Timo... you should be thankful that somebody is still trying to enlighten you.
...
can't believe that someone has been payed to do that. i might be wrong, but this smells like someone has reported you, and then Steam support has banned you, without paying too much attention.
anyway, this is hella fun. i'm sorry, Timo, but this is fun!

edit:from what i'm reading, it looks like i'm "a tad" wrong. unbelievable.

3 weeks ago*
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this is the result of always living over the line, Timo...

You know me, always the rebel. Not only do I vote on screenshots without first checking whether they might violate some terms of service, but I even sometimes eat food that's past it's "Eat by" date! And, when there are no cars around, I'll cross the street outside of a sidewalk!

anyway, this is hella fun. i'm sorry, Timo, but this is fun!

Nothing to be sorry about. Amusing people is all I really hoped for with my post. :)

3 weeks ago
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How do you know you were banned for upvoting Agony screenshots? I thought they don't specify for which exactly upvoted community item you are getting banned? Or you haven't upvoted anything else except Agony and it's just your guess?

3 weeks ago
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It said in the email what game the screenshots were for. It also gave me the time that I up-voted them. I think that's them trying to make sure that someone didn't hack my account to up-vote game screenshots.

Now, I don't actually remember up-voting the screenshots, and particularly not at the time they specify (really early morning). But I do remember looking at the game at some point in the past since it was part of a bundle, and I can't imagine that someone would hack my account to vote on screenshots.

3 weeks ago
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I'm happy to see nobody (yet) came here with the usual argument "but Valve is a private entity so it's not censorship".
That being said, that kind of BS is one of the main things that refrain me from spending money on Steam. Wallet-voting is the only thing that works.

3 weeks ago
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but Valve is a private entity so it's not censorship

3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
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Next you will be banned from Steam discussions for half a year for posting this thread.

3 weeks ago
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So... now I'm supposed to check every single screenshot on steam and check whether I liked something with nipples or not? How am I supposed to do that?

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3 weeks ago
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Only items that are marked scam will give ban. Same goes for reviews, if you upvote review with scam links, you'll get banned from voting reviews.

3 weeks ago
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That is one way and it won't affect me because i try to not support scam in any form.
But there is another way - for posting/liking nsfw content. Even now, when nsfw games - even with pure porn in it are allowed - you can get ban for posting screenshot. And some people were complaining about getting community ban for just liking nsfw screenshot.

3 weeks ago
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I don't even know if nipples were the problem. The true stupidity of this is that I have no idea what screenshots they were, or why they violated the ToS. Given this example of a banned screenshot, it could be absolutely anything.

It's the equivalent of someone saying, "A week ago you did something wrong, and now you're grounded for a month!" But, what did I do? "You know what you did!" No, no, I really don't. "Grounded for a month! Now go and think about what you did wrong!"

3 weeks ago
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There was "freedom of speech" mentioned. One month community ban is nothing - in some countries you could get death sentence for that xD
But yeah - i get the point. Got community ban once - for posting screenshots from mafia 2.
But if somebody could be banned for liking that screenshot... well - that would be fucked up.
Edit - especially - that I was banned about 2 years after posting it!

3 weeks ago
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It just seems like a really stupid thing to do. Banning someone for liking a screenshot seems incredible over-reach.

And you were banned 2 years after posting a screenshot? That's pretty crazy.

3 weeks ago
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If you were banned recently, it supposes to say in that support message for which upvoted community item you were banned. I was trying to find out for a long time how those messages looked like exactly, and I found it today - https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/593085870647803914/624943014220922890/unknown.png Looks like at first this guy was banned for upvoting community item called "How to get FULL trading cards sets without buying them" on August 16, which looks like a guide with scam links, so it's understandable.

But the second item is from "BERSERK and the Band of the Hawk", but it doesn't have the name so it's hard to understand what's exactly it is, probably a screenshot or artwork. And screenshots from this game can be kinda NSFW (SERIOUSLY, DON'T CLICK IF YOU AT WORK) - https://steamcommunity.com/app/502280/screenshots/ but that doesn't look like a valid reason for such radical measures like community a ban since the game itself is approved on Steam store so screenshots from this game shouldn't get people in trouble, this is stupid.

I'm trying to investigate what's going on with that recent wave of bans, but it's hard to find more info about this stuff and Valve still hasn't specified new rules of what exactly is prohibited to share and upvote on Steam. I guess they started to ban for rate ups because of this - https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/152884184065507328/613679440983097380/unknown.png At some point there was a huge influx of scam videos and reviews with links on phishing sites that were getting tons of rate ups withing few minutes and always staying on top. Again, banning for an upvoting obvious scam is fine, but that new wave of bans look like affecting people who just rate up 18+ screenshots, which is not fine at all and kinda worrying.

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3 weeks ago
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It just says, Item: Screenshot.

It's very helpful and informative.

3 weeks ago
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Yeah, that's not very informative, I wonder what the hell Valve is doing

3 weeks ago
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Same here mate

Your account will be unable to vote on some user generated content on Steam until 18 Oct @ 12:13pm

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3 weeks ago
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Yeah, it seems a wave of bans have hit lots of people and multiple games.

We should just make our own digital distribution service, with blackjack, and hookers! It'll be epic! ;)

3 weeks ago
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In the meantime EPIC games store:

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3 weeks ago
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Say what you will about Epic, so far they've given me lots of free games and not banned me once for liking a screenshot. ;)

It's like Steam's trying to make themselves look less appealing.

3 weeks ago
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That's what I mean! I was wondering when they will stop giving free games - but now I have quite nice games library there :)
And one thing that steam NEVER did right - key activation! You never know what game it is for if you don't try to activate it on steam. I was browsing my old bundles on hb couple of days ago and noticed that in one game that had already used steam key - appeard additional key for epic... So I copied it - pasted on epic site... and got message: "this is key for GAME NAME HERE - do you want to activate it?"
And valve is pretending that it's impossible for years!

3 weeks ago
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wooow first Time I read something like that. wich games give you epic Keys? do you remember?

3 weeks ago
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Key from 2016 for: Shadow Complex Remastered
No idea if there is more - I'm cleaning my bundle keys but really slow xD

3 weeks ago
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yep. i see that one. thanks for the reply

3 weeks ago
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Wow, I didn't know that about Epic. I really wish Steam would let you know what game it is before actually adding the game to your account. I believe GOG also lets you know what game it is before activating it and adding it to your account.

3 weeks ago
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Yep, same thing for me on Control on EGS, was honestly surprised in a good way. I remember the same on Blizzard when I activated my Destiny 2 key. Steam is just lazy as always.

3 weeks ago
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This logic always baffled me.
So, you are going to ban anyone and everyone for posting, or in this case, voting on, a screenshot, for allegedly breaking whatever rules, and yet you have that same game in your store and selling it. WTH am I making a screenshot of if not of the content you endorse and market? I screenshotted a product, ban the product then.

3 weeks ago
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This is one of those Steam things that should be completely avoidable, but because of the lack of any real support staff being employed by Valve, it leads to this type of scenario. As much money as Valve makes, it's always been a little offensive that they aren't willing to hire a legit CS staff/department. 15 million active users at any given moment. 5ish support staff members to monitor and handle all that. Even a staff of 100 would probably be overwhelmed by sheer volume of reports, support requests, refunds, and so on. But at least they might use a little discretion with each individual case.

3 weeks ago
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W.T.F.
I mean... first of all if they don't want screenshots of games that are R rated, they shouldn't sell R rated games? Double standards maybe?
I guess if they made money off screenshots, they'd be cool with it.
Second; ban the creator, not the people voting on it. Ridiculous.

Steam, sometimes you just suck.

3 weeks ago
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Ah, Steam... "We can support a dev by letting them sell this game, but you can't support content found within said game." I like my Gabens with salt and hypocrisy.

3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
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