How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

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IonicMomo
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How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#1 Post by IonicMomo » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:28 pm

Hi all,
I wasn't sure whether to put this topic here or under the Anime/Games/Japan section, so feel free to move it if necessary.

I came across an article on CNN.com today about rape simulation in some Japanese games. Apparently, such games, which portray brutal, graphic, and violent rape scenes (according to the reporters; I have no personal experience) have caused outrage in the international community, especially amongst women's rights groups. While I'm sure the issue has been raised many times before, I still thought it was interesting and worth discussing, and I wondered if anyone here had any views on the issue. (Most of my friends were unilaterally repulsed by the idea of games where the entire plot centers around violent and torturous rape...but have a feeling people might be more tolerant here?)

Personally, I don't play "adult" games, have no interest in such games, and I do find the premise thoroughly disgusting. Media today continues to objectify women on so many different levels, but this seems the most overt and disturbing form yet. However, I'll try not to judge people that play games like these. After all, I'm not going to lie and say I've never played Halo, a shooter game. Most people would consider murder a more serious crime than rape. But I do imagine the psychological investment of most players of these games (both physical and mental involvement) to be greater than my investment was in Halo. I don't know, but I'm interested in seeing what thoughts others have.

Here's a link to the article: link
There's also a video clip. I'm aware that both have a somewhat biased slant.
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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#2 Post by Lunethex » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:08 am

Rape is funny.

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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#3 Post by Meems » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:49 am

I find it disturbing and will avoid playing games with rape in the plot.

However, I think that a game that depicts it but treats it as a horrible thing should be considered acceptable, even if I personally won't play it. A game that encourages or fetishises rape is disgusting, IMO.

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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#4 Post by MaiMai » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:34 am

What Meems says: Rape as a plot device where it is a bad thing is believable and acceptable, rape being promoted is no.

I seem to notice in a lot of R-18 otome games is that there seems to be rape in some shape or form. I honestly wonder who makes these games targeted for girls because I am frankly confused as to why it is added in 'A'
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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#5 Post by papillon » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:02 am

Romance novels used to be piled high with rape as well, presumably because it was the only way to have the heroine have sex while not having yet resolved her romantic issues (because otherwise the book would be over) or being a Fallen Woman in the eyes of the author/reader. A good girl would never have sex before marriage, but if she's raped, then it's 'okay'. Especially when the person who rapes her turns out to be her Twoo Wuv and they get married and live happily ever after.

I find something like RapeLay *less* creepy than that, because a rape fetish game at least admits that it's targeting a particular weird fetish and that this is not normal behavior. Rape-as-romance feeds into these crazy notions about "proper" feminine behavior and how you should wait for the boy to pay attention to you rather than do anything yourself. And if he rapes you, well, it's because he just "LOVES YOU SO MUCH". Gross, wrong, and dangerous.

Rape-fetish games are icky and I won't play them, but I know perfectly well that many people who do play them are not bad people. So long as it's clearly marked as rape-fetish and comes with appropriate disclaimers, I don't care.

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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#6 Post by number473 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:14 am

I think that most reasonably moral people would agree that it is not acceptable. But there are a lot weirder things out there on the Japanese market, which end up being mostly acceptable to those that actually indulge in that kind of thing. Where they then bring pressure against the society to "grant them their rights to expression" or whatever, it is the society which is weakened for condoning such behavior.
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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#7 Post by Wintermoon » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:29 am

I'm disgusted and insulted by the inclusion of rape scenes in visual novels that don't cater specifically to a rape fetish.

However, I'm glad that rape fetish games exist. If somebody has a rape fetish, then providing a harmless outlet for that fetish is a good thing because it reduces the chance that that person will someday snap and actually rape someone.

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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#8 Post by LVUER » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:23 am

At least rather than unleashing your lust into some innocent by-stander, it's better to play "rape" game and unleash your lust to your pillow.
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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#9 Post by CaesMRaenes » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:22 pm

Rape as a plot device is good but not in too much detail. For victims who've been consoling themselves, you don't really want them to put down your VN cuz you "described their experience too much." It really is disheartening and such a pity to put down a good novel for one scene so keep that in mind.
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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#10 Post by LVUER » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:51 pm

If it's a rape game (or sex simulation game, or whatever), then of course a rape (or more rapes) is acceptable.

But if it's other kind of game, it could be not acceptable unless it's very important to the plot. Since rape is very different than normal sex scene.

Fushigi Yugi have a rape (though not explicitly described). But it's an important plot (I won't tell why to avoid becoming a spoiler) so everyone could understand that.
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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#11 Post by Blue Sky » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:12 am

Anything more than vanilla sex banned in eroge! was basically what everyone and their mom was worried about in June. :B

You can read about it at canned dogs.

Edit: http://zepy.momotato.com/2009/06/02/pro ... be-banned/

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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#12 Post by LVUER » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:27 am

Rather than banning rape games, why don't they ban violence or gore games? I think it's not because what rape games could potentially do, but rather the fan based or income they generate for some people.
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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#13 Post by IonicMomo » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:33 pm

I'm not really for or against rape simulation games (which is what I was referring to by the topic of this thread; sorry for not being clear) since they have nothing to do with me, but I don't know if they're really an "outlet" for lust. I don't know if there have been any studies on rape-based games (since they have limited availability in the United States). However, there have been studies on violent games, such as Grand Theft Auto, which includes murder, beating prostitutes, etc. Rather than providing a harmless outlet for violent behavior, studies indicate that games actually desensitized people, in particular young males, to violence, even glorifying/anesthetizing that behavior. There have been a number of reported incidents where people snapped after playing video games and actually gone out and murdered people; to some degree, it might them a distorted sense of reality or affect their moral reasoning.

For that reason, I have to question how safe these games really are. Obviously the majority of us can distinguish between right and wrong, reality and gaming, etc. but there is a percentage of who can't, or who will come to see rape as acceptable. For those of you that checked out the link to the article, the premise of the game is not just rape, but brutal and violent rape, multiple rapes, and rapes of several different women. There is no plot, just rape. To me, that's frightening. I do think that banning these games would be entirely ineffective anyway, so that's a moot point. I also can't imagine that these games would be popular outside of a very small niche fetish group. And, being an American, I have a certain bias as well (I know the rest of world probably sees America as having a very self-contradictory prudish culture, and maybe these games would be more dangerous in America than they would anywhere else.)

According to Wikipedia (I know, I know...), a large percentage of women actually have rape fantasies. That's not to say they actually want to be raped (note the word "fantasy"), but it shows us that there is still this culture where a woman is supposed see herself as a submissive and, desirable object, rather than a human being with rights. As MaiMai pointed out, a lot of games targeted at girls seem to have a really creepy stalker/rapist type chaseable character. And, whether it's true or not, society seems to believe that women prefer the bad boy to the nice guy. I could get into a whole Freudian discussion of Eros and Thanatos here, but I will spare you. Finally, another danger of allowing these games to be easily accessible online is that young children, who are much more impressionable than adults, could get their hands on them. So for all you parents out there (and I know you've heard this many times before): make sure you know what your kids are doing online.
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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#14 Post by Deviot » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:13 pm

I derno, don't the women's right groups have much more stuff to do before trying to protect the rights of eroge game characters?
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Re: How Acceptable is Rape in Games?

#15 Post by IonicMomo » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:36 pm

Well, I think that the treatment and portrayal of women in culture/media/society falls within the realm of women's issues. In many ways, the media affects the way men see women, the way women see themselves, and the relationships between the sexes. Obviously activists are tackling bigger issues also, but that doesn't mean that this isn't important. As long as there is a dominant trend of acceptance of violence towards women in media (most of all simulated violence, which is much more active than a novel or film because the player is physically carrying out the act, albeit in a virtual reality format), this violence is largely seen as acceptable in society at large. They're not defending the rights of animated characters, they're considering the impact that such games could have on relationships and women's rights in the real world. I'm pretty sure that most women's rights groups accept that these games can't be banned in any feasible way, but I don't think that their reaction is really that surprising. After all, there is strong support for a link between violence in games/media and violence in real life. (This link is somewhat exaggerated though; clearly, the vast majority of gamers don't commit antisocial acts after playing games.) There's no reason to assume that link doesn't include sexual violence.

Sorry to sound so humorless. I'm not trying to take sides, and I don't claim to fully understand the issue myself. This is just one of those topics...-_-
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