Brazil has opened a public inquiry into a controversial Steam game called Bolsomito 2k18 over concerns of homophobia, misogyny, racism, and destabilisation of the ongoing 2018 elections in the South American country. The game is titled after far-right, controversial politician Jair Bolsonaro, who is poised to win the Presidency after leading in the first round earlier in October. Bolsonaro is well-known for his opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion, and secularism, and has been called “Trump on steroids” by some.
MPDFT, Brazil’s Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories, has published a six-page circular in which it notes that Bolsomito 2k18 was timed to coincide with the “extremely polarised” election, given it released two days before the first round on October 5. It believes the game will cause “collective moral damage to the social movements [of] gays and feminists” and that it “clearly intends to harm Presidency of the Republic and thereby embarrass the 2018 elections”.
Bolsomito 2k18 lets you play as Bolsonaro and gives points for killing minorities such as gays, feminists, and members of Brazil’s long-running Landless Workers’ Movement, who pursue land reform in the country and work to achieve a better life for rural poor. The game’s developer BS Studios doesn’t shy away from its aims, with the Steam description terming it a “politically incorrect game” and calling its minority targets “enemies”.
The description for Bolsomito 2k18 adds that the so-called “enemies intend to establish a criminal ideological dictatorship in the country”, which is ironic considering Bolsonaro has voiced his support for giving more power to the Brazilian military and calling for radical interventionism, which are the kind of qualities that make a dictator. Brazil spent two decades from 1964 to 1985 under a military dictatorship.
The MPDFT notes that post-assessment, it will notify Valve – which owns Steam – to stop selling the game and seek to identify “those responsible for BS Studios”. Valve announced a new policy for Steam in June, which allows everything “except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling”. It has come under criticism from many corners, and Valve continues to expand and detail it.
The second and final round of Brazil’s 2018 elections are slated for October 28.
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