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Virtual Insanity

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The Japanese video game Rapelay (which encourages players to rape women and then force abortions upon) that Amazon.com recently pulled from its online shelves has not only hit high on the barf-o-meter and broke the WTF Scale, but has elicited reactions from a variety of sources.

Although I first read about the game on Feministing, the Curvature had a great in-depth feminist response, and girl-gamer Leigh Alexander from SexyVideoGameland had an intriguing two cents as well. (Google result/bad-political-metaphor-maker Kevin McCullough not so much). Most interesting was the very much non-blogsphere event of the New York City Assault Alliance Against Sexual Violence calling a news conference yesterday morning specifically denouncing any US video distributors from carrying the game. Any New Yorkers hear about it or attend it? Anyone else want to weigh in on the various responses to the story or have more coverage of it?

[Thanks to Sam Ryan]

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Comments

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gaming response

so i wrote a little about this on my blog today, and while trying to do more research i came across a thread on n4g.com (news for gamers) under a blog post called "what we should not tolerate" about rapelay. of course i was happy to see a major gaming outlet condemn the game, but when i got to the comment sections, the vast majority of them are in defense of the game and peoples right to virtually rape women and young girls if they so desired. the main arguments seemed to be that rape was ok in movies and books, so why not games? or that it was ok because people were killed in games all the time, and killing is *waaaay worse* than rape.

i honestly believe that these responses are the true tragedy and hurt more than the game itself.

Games like this are a

Games like this are a disservice and disgrace not only to females and female gamers but to gaming in general. I am a an avid female gamer, I play first person shooters on the PS3 and belong to an amazing clan of about 50 people who are some of my best friends (I am one of 3 women).

I was so happy that one of the guys in my clan posted a link to this on our message boards expressing disgust, and the whole clan agreed that it is repulsive. There already exists the assumption that gaming is a male-dominated, androcentric experience... games like this further that stereotype and make it more difficult for female gamers to gain the support of fellow females and feminists. It's a shame that games like this may turn some women off from the gaming experience in general; it would be great to give some publicity to the sport and camaraderie of online gaming, not just the shock-and-awe of stuff like this.

I hope people understand that most gamers, male and female, have no desire to play something like this. This type of game will be purchased by the complete weirdos, by stupid teenagers looking to impress their friends, and a few people who just want to see it for the WTF value.

This game really sounds no

This game really sounds no different than Grand Theft Auto because in that game series you can kill both men and women and have sex in the back of cars with unwilling women and prostitutes.

there is a big difference

there is a big difference. the big difference is that in GTA, you press a button and the character has sex and then gets up and moves on to more killing and stuff. in rapelay, rape is the WHOLE objective of the game. and you dont just press a button, watch it happen for 20 seconds and then continue with the game, you actively control the rape. the objective is to rape them until they "like it" and become your sex slaves. there is a bar that measures their horniness. it reinforces the totally objectionable mis-belief that women can be forced to enjoy rape.

the curvature link in the

the curvature link in the article above explains the GTA/Rapeplay comparison; OP should read it.

Two wrongs don't make a right but...

I'm nauseated to the core of my being by this but remain soooo not surprised that there is such a horrific game in creation. The taboo comes to virtual reality...so what's next??
Not to condone additional violence or anything but as I said to a friend upon reading this blog and articles: I can't help wondering what the popularity of this game would have been if it's premise was for former victims to go seek out, stalk and rape known rapists, pedophiles, creators of this game, etc who are all male and well deserving of a little punishment..?
Maybe it could become a popular feminist and abuse survivor's way of acting out a brutal redemption fantasy on the attackers in VR. I would bet that female gamers might get a little satisfaction from choosing which large and painfully sized dildo they could use to humiliate the criminal and administer a little justice where the sun don't shine...

Rape victims do not want to

Rape victims do not want to go around and rape men. Some of them want to harm the man that raped them but to think that they dream about running around shoving dildoes up men is almost as sick as this game.

it's difficult to believe this even exists...

In large part I take a strong anti-censorship position as regards media, as much as I would love to see 'Rapelay' utterly eliminated; I'm heartened to hear that retailers and associations have condemned its sales. Discussions on Curvature and here at Bitch are both sharp and crucial, and I can only hope - somewhat dubiously, despondently - that in general gaming blogs and boards a similar thing might occur. The mere existence of this game ought to lead us to question by what mechanisms this very idea, let alone its creation, can possibly arise. I don't know so much about modern Japanese culture, but I don't think the US or many other western countries are entirely free of similar factors.
I've always disagreed with assertions that a violent film or a Satanic lyric, etc., will actively compel a person to stab somebody or sacrifice a goat. People aren't simply passive receptacles. But what must be borne in mind is the fact that any given culture expresses itself through representations - or systems of them, i.e., this game - and moreover is over time *made* by them. Eventually, such representations become such a standard element of cultural vocabulary as to lose any shock effect and seem simply normal, banal, even expected. I have to admit that my own addiction to zombie flicks has led me from former cringing at the creamed-corn guts spilling from a victim to my current guilty pleasure of "ooh! watch this! it's so gross!" I've learned that you can't talk about zombies without talking about disembowelment. Desensitization is a simplistic way to describe this phenomenon, but I think it can become even more fundamental than that. While maybe a 16-year-old male won't actually commit a rape, nonetheless it can become a basic element of how he speaks and thinks about women and the body as a whole. Even in a daily situation, it isn't so vital to respect a woman - or even to denounce rape in everyday discourse - when one can speak of her sexual abjection as a fun activity. It can be a joke.
Additionally - and because this demographic is by stereotype ignored, the question hasn't been particularly examined - what does the existence of 'Rapelay' make a girl gamer think about herself?

See my above post

I wrote about the perspective of a female gamer above (I think my post got put in as a 'reply' instead of as a new topic). This game doesn't influence my opinion about gaming, the gaming community, or myself. Serious gamers have no desire to play something like this, all it does is give gaming a bad name. My male clan-mates (group of gamers that play online together) are of course appalled. The sad thing is, products like this only serve to turn off other potential girl gamers and make it harder for us girls that do play to defend our hobby. It's already difficult to be a female gamer... most male gamers are surprisingly accepting, but I catch a lot of flak from my peers in grad school, feminist and intellectual friends, and male non-gamers that think it is ridiculous for a girl not only to play but to be involved in a clan. Non-gamers need to realize that, just because a game is released, does not mean it actually has a place in mainstream gaming culture.... crap like Rapeplay is considered a joke and largely ignored by people who take gaming seriously.

Oops! Sorry

Sorry, D Naomi! At times I can be a bit of a speedreader and a mental cosmonaut, but rereading, I very much appreciated your words, and I want you to know I sincerely apologize and sincerely appreciate your post!

hard to believe but true

yes all this outrage coming from a magazine that just cosponsored a strip tease with Hustler magazine? Wow.

So now take a look at their racist misogynist images and defend your alliance with a magazine that advocates that "bitches" that "tease" get raped to your reders. Take a look and defend the anti semitism and rape of animals in their "jokes". Defend your involvement with this magazine and Larry Flynt to internet feminists.

here's the Hustler Gallery: http://www.hustlingtheleft.com/gallery/index.html
Here's the Hustler Hate speech slide show: http://www.hustlingtheleft.com/slides/index.html
Also see: Hustling The Left where Hustler magazine officially declared WAR on feminists
WARNING LIKELY THE MOST HATEFUL IMAGES YOU WILL EVER RUN INTO.

I just made a post on another page which I would like to be allowed to reproduce here because it is relevant:

It's under "Huster Bitches"
http://bitchmagazine.org/post/well-this-is-one-way-of-starting-a-convers...

Hustler's Bitches?

Posted by Nikki Craft (not verified) on March 1, 2009 - 12:27pm
dear "bitches"
you "MIGHT" have reconsidered if you had known that Hustler magazine was a sponsor? Are you aware that Hustler is at WAR with feminists? We do know that one of your events, started by one of your founders or a person closely associated with your magazine, is now being sponsored by Huslter. Have you received money from Hustler directly? It's about time you let your readers know this, isn't it?

Someone wrote their speech on your door, oh boo hoo. I have no idea who did that, what you call vandalism? But some of us, and more and more of your readers and subscribers, call what you are doing to feminism vandalism. You need to come out with a much clearer statement than you MIGHT not have sponsored it, don't cha think? There's a number of other problems with the violence associated with the sponsors of that event, like the book store that sells on their front page "the history of torture" with their other so-called "adult" books and that can be gone into in a more lengthy article about your affiliation with one of the most vile, sexually violent, woman hating magazines in the history of the world, larry flynt's hustler. In the meantime you can read up on their cooptation efforts it @ http://www.hustlingtheleft.com now that you are now complicit by sponsoring that strip tease with them with a damn monkey in the advertising poster presenting the women doing the tricks. Ugh. I think your magazine should be boycotted for this cosponsoring and your weak ass response about it alone! l8er bitches. nikki craft
P.S. Don't miss our "gallery" of Hustlers SEX POSITIVE images.

online play?

I'd love it if this game has online play because then it can be destroyed. People could get in and tweak the buyers' copies: give the school girls dicks of their own and otherwise change the game.

I did not know that was all

I did not know that was all the game was about. But there is rape in GTA and you do get points for it.

I really cant believe

I really cant believe feminists are spending their enery on this everywhere. It is after all a game. I bet there are girls who enjoy this game. Gamers rarely care about the game's story line. They want a tough game challenging them with good AI good graphics good game play etc. I read about this in a gamer's forum and someone said that 40% of japanese guys dont want relationship with a real girl. go figure.