A video game has become the subject of outrage from women’s groups, according to CNN. It is called RapeLay and it originates from Japan. From a CNN report:
The game begins with a teenage girl on a subway platform. She notices you are looking at her and asks, “Can I help you with something?”
That is when you, the player, can choose your method of assault.
With the click of your mouse, you can grope her and lift her skirt. Then you can follow her aboard the train, assaulting her sister and her mother.
As you continue to play, “friends” join in and in a series of graphic, interactive scenes, you can corner the women, rape them again and again.
First issue: entertainment value.
RapeLay is a simulation game where the player engages in role playing. In a larger context, every aspect of RapeLay spells escapism as it allows the player to engage in something that he cannot do in real life without negative consequences.
Escapist activities can be as harmless as daydreaming or as extreme as running away from reality. Where do video games like RapeLay fall under?
RapeLay is simulated rape. Simulation is a common technique for training. There are simulated aircrafts for pilots, for instance. In the context of simulation, what is the value of games like RapeLay?
Roleplaying is a common form of entertainment for young and old alike. Young girls play “mother” with dolls while young boys play “soldier” with toy guns. Adults pretend they are famous singers with karaoke and videoke machines. Where does healthy roleplaying (if it is healthy at all) end and mind-altering role playing begin?
Second issue: double standards.
Hentai, sexually explicit cartoons or animation associated with sexual perversity, has long been popular in Japan and the rest of the world seemed willing to take on the live and let live attitude. But with the advent of the internet and the much easier ways of distributing materials, well, there has been some very strong reactions.
Pornography, and I don’t mean cartoons or other forms of animation, is very much a part of Western culture. AS A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT. And there are sub-genres of pornography that deal with sexual perversity that would be the equivalent of video games like RapeLay. There are pornographic movies that feature (staged) rape, bondage and sex with animals, for instance. Heck, I only have to look through the Akismet spam filter in this blog to read the many, many kinds of pornography that exist in Western culture.
The question is why should a video game of simulated rape be more objectionable than the version that features real people? Or is it just CNN that’s making a big deal out of it? It’s confusing, really, because RapeLay was released in 2006 and the brouhaha came years later.