Rape Is NOT A Game

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 10, 2009 9:06 am

rapelay_c.jpgI’m not particularly good at video games. My brother always beat me on the original Nintendo and I never graduated to another system. Once in a while I’ll try someone’s Wii, but don’t seem to have the attention span gaming requires. Guitar Hero never made much sense either–I’d rather jam on real instruments. Still, from a distance I can appreciate the leaps and bounds of progress in virtual technology. Yesterday, I even learned avatars can now give birth in Second Life. Go figure. That said, there’s a boundary that should NEVER be crossed, imaginary or not. I draw the line at rape.

Rape is NOT a game.

Unfortunately, the Japanese production house Illusion seems to think it provides quality entertainment. In 2006 they released ‘RapeLay,’ after the previous titles ‘Battle Raper‘ and ‘Artificial Girl.’ The premise… well, ready for this?

Players stalk a female character as she waits for a train in the subway station. Apparently, you can even virtually pray for a gust of wind that blows up her skirt to peek at her underwear and fondle her body while she tries to fight back. Sure sounds familiar so far–can anyone say post-traumatic stress?

Next, the goal is to rape the woman… followed by her two virgin daughters (pictured on the cover above). According to Persia:

One of them resembles a girl of about 10 and, horrifically, you can see tears coming out of her eyes. “Sniff… sniff… I w-w-want to die,” is one of the comments she’s automated to cry.

It still gets worse.  Players invite friends to participate in gang-raping the children and if the woman becomes pregnant, she must be forced to have an abortion. Otherwise, she becomes more visibly pregnant with each subsequent rape. Should she finally have the baby… GAME OVER.

According to a spokesman for the company:

We believe there is no problem with the software, which has cleared the domestic ratings of an ethics watchdog body.

Seriously? There’s a big problem. And I can’t decide which is worse–that this abomination was created or that there’s enough of a market to distribute it. Although words fail me, I will not be silent.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture

Comments (60)

  1. To say that is disturbing is putting it mildly. How the heck did this clear “the domestic ratings of an ethics watchdog body“? And who the heck is this watchdog body?

  2. hopefulever

    I have read a couple of articles lately which discussed the types of behaviour that the Japanese tolerate. They seem, from what the articles state, to enjoy a rather “liberal” lifestyle and tolerate some things that North Americans just would not think of in the first place. If they want to play these types of games, so be it. Let’s hope that the games are never imported to our much more civilized countries. You are right, rape is not a game!!! This type of “game” should never have been “invented”.

  3. Yes, I remember reading an article on this a couple of months back. It’s abhorrent. Seems to somewhat dovetail with the date-rape scene in Seth Rogen’s movie. But I have to say without a hint of discrimination that the Japanese do things differently.

  4. Consider their worship of schoolgirl underwear

  5. While I agree that the game is distasteful, I have to play a bit of devil’s advocate here.

    Is war a game? How about out-and-out murder? Why can’t you apply all the same arguments here to a substantial fraction of the video games that are out there?

  6. Dan F

    I have always thought that violence in video games was, acceptable, I enjoyed playing through GTA III (last year … but still, I did play it). But Rob Knop raises exactly the question I’m thinking.

    Violence is indeed dispicable in real life, yet is tolerated in games, what is the difference here? My gut tells me there is one … my intellect can’t find it.

  7. M Go Blue Fan

    This is sick, twisted s**t. I imagine that it primarily appeals to people with sick, twisted leanings. What’s next – games based on beating up old ladies in nursing homes or a campus sniper???

    Don’t the Japamese also sell used schoolgirl underwear in vending machines?

    OMFG!

  8. Unfortunately there are many ways for people to buy a game like this over the net.
    They don’t care if they’re purchasing it in a illegal manner, so I’m sure somewhere it’s floating around in the states.
    The difference between a war game & a rape game, is this is a personal assault & only on the female in the game.
    That doesn’t even bring up the fact that there is child molesting in this game as well.
    It was one very mentally sick person or persons to think up such a game.
    “Just my Opinion” Much Love & Peace” Kat

  9. Eamon

    Sheril,

    that kind of stuff is the tip of the iceberg in Japan. The shelves of the convenience stores are filled with manga mags with bound ladies with ‘fluid’ dripping on them. The big manga chains have sections filled with cartoon child pornography – and not hidden away either: I was in the new releases section of a store in Sapporo, and there, mixed in with the action, kiddy and romance manga was one that featured two prepubescent kids copulating on it’s cover.

    These things really shouldn’t be so surprising, seeing that this nation also gave the world ‘The Rapeman”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rapeman

  10. Dan F

    The difference alluded to in my previous post could be:

    In war games, or most games with significant violence components, the targets of that violence are, at some level, willing participants in the activities.

    In the case of rape, the whole point is that the participant is NOT willing.

  11. Dave

    This is frustrating and sad, I find. I wish more people would speak up against such garbage. Something that is evident also is the rape fantasies that are available through porno sights, here I’m only thinking the free ones, such as the porntubes, I’m sure there’s plenty of pay sites which cater to rape fantasies. I’ve watched some of these and I can tell you they look frighteningly real, and not in the cinematic fictional sense. What separates what I have seen from the movie fiction type of rape is the lengths it goes to. It would seem true that the women do make themselves available for such scenes, but I fail to see how this makes it more acceptable, at least to me, especially easily available on the net.

    I think what often gets lost when discussing such issues is the extent to which these images are reinforcing, it would be difficult to think of way to reinforce the violence and scenes of forced sex then with ejaculation while watching. I would imagine part of the thrill of a game like this is sensing a more intimate feeling of being involved in the rape, then ejaculating during or following the forced violent rape sex with the cries and screams.

  12. How about out-and-out murder?

  13. jc

    “spokesman for the company: We believe there is no problem with the software, which has cleared the domestic ratings of an ethics watchdog body”

    Bzzzzt. Here I’ll fix it.
    We are a bunch of sick deranged women-hating scumbags with an “ethics watchdog body” consisting of more sick deranged woman-hating scumbags.
    Done.
    IBTP

  14. Dan F asks: Violence is indeed dispicable in real life, yet is tolerated in games, what is the difference here?

    Well, if that is the case, is it acceptable to have a game where one can run around and virtually lynch African Americans? I mean, where is the difference?

    As has been pointed out, there is a difference between war games (soldiers are professional combatants) and the game pictured here. I’d even go as far as saying that the GTA games are in extremely poor taste because they revolve around wanton and random violence.

    I personally have no problem playing a FPS such as Unreal Tournament. I don’t play GTA however because IMO it’s done in poor taste.

  15. Yeah, I’ve been trying to ignore the existence of this f***ed up game for a while. But on the good side, there are prosocial uses for games too. This was post I was writing when yours went up:

    http://scienceblogs.com/bioephemera/2009/06/could_video_games_be_the_new_h.php

  16. Matthew

    Let’s not let the comments turn to disparaging remarks against the Japanese.

    Why do you people care what fetishist do? A game like this breaks through the mainstream surface but it’s not much worse than typical BDSM fetishism. I don’t know if your complaint stems from the belief that video games are exclusively the domain of family-friendly entertainment or that video games are too participatory for a game about rape but my opinion is that video games are an entertainment medium and, in this perspective, hardly groundbreaking in terms of depicting rape. There are men and women who have and participate in (legal) rape fantasies and I see this game as another legal outlet for that fetish.

    These are niche games made by small developers for a small audience but mainstream society catches a glimpse and it’s viewed as abhorrent and symptomatic of the societal degradation. I understand rape is a sensitive subject to many people but that shouldn’t preclude anybody from participating in their own rape fantasy. With the democratizing force of the internet, sexual fetish entertainment has mushroomed and that’s where I see this game coming from.

    @TomJoe: GTA is absolutley not based on wanton and random violence. The game series has a story line which involves doing “jobs” for mob-like people and working your way up. I don’t see how anyone who has actually played the game could think it was in bad taste unless you a huge puritan.

  17. Ian

    Why would you be shocked at this to the point where you’d blog about it, but not be shocked about the murdering “games”, racketeering “games”, and theft “games” that have been a mainstay of computer gaming for years?

  18. Linda

    I am shocked to read your post on this Japanese computer game about rape.
    I gave them more credit towards enlightenment in this present day world than as to inflict horror for greed. HORROR for GREED!!

  19. Davo

    I don’t see a very big difference between this game and games in which you randomly blow people’s (and civilians’) heads off. A woman would naturally feel more shocked by this game since it involves rape, but to me both seem equally despicable. We are simply a society that tacitly encourages and celebrates violence in all its forms. Sad.

  20. Davo

    I should also note that there is no reason to ask that such games be banned. As someone noticed before, they have a niche market. If we find them abhorrent we should not watch them, quite simple. If enough people find them abhorrent the company that makes them will go bankrupt. But otherwise these games are as much a part of the free market as anything else. If someone wants to play them in the privacy of his or her home it’s not up to us to demand they he or she be deprived of them.

  21. Matthew says: GTA is absolutley not based on wanton and random violence. The game series has a story line which involves doing “jobs” for mob-like people …

    Ah yes, it’s not wanton and random violence because “mob-like people” ask you to do it. Do you have another silly defense you’d like to make? For reference, GameFaq in reviewing GTA III said that the “random violence” was the “filler, not the full game“. Well bully for that! Good to know that random violence is only part of the game, you know … the part that keeps you coming back for more … as you struggle with the boredom of finishing the plot behind the game. Jimminy.

  22. andrew

    Banning things because I find them disturbing or offensive is not a game I play, but this should be a good forum for the bold and brave to come out against rape…

  23. Matthew: this is a FAR cry from BDSM. BDSM occurs between two willing partners. They create a safe environment for acting out their desires and whims. There are rules they create to keep themselves safe from serious harm. Rape is serious harm. It is NOT between two willing participants. It is under NO circumstances acceptable. I don’t care where you’re from. It’s dehumanizing.

  24. dreamstretch

    ktbug ladydid: He didn’t say rape was OK he said fantasizing about rape was OK. This isn’t between two willing participants; it’s between one willing participant and a video game. Comparing this to actual rape is absurd.

  25. Brian M

    The argument that violence is violence…maybe. But I’m afraid I don’t see a moral equivalency between a game “murder” and a game “rape” because in the real world the murder victim is past suffering and the rape victim is in for a lifetime of it. It’s more like kidnapping someone and torturing them. The other issue with a game like this is that it appears that every rapist goes through an escalation process, mimicked in the game by the forced fondling prior to the rape. It seems to me fairly obvious that this game would serve as that escalation process. No “normal” man wants to rape. Therefore, anyone who buys this game already has rape fantasies that could escalate. BTW, I know Japan is different, but I wonder for the sake of argument what the incidence of rape is there compared to here. And how much goes unreported. I can’t imagine that their acceptance of this sort of sick entertainment doesn’t have consequences.

  26. Dave

    Davo said: “I should also note that there is no reason to ask that such games be banned.”

    I should note that I think these games SHOULD be banned, unless I see a rational argument presented, I simply don’t care about the “niche market” this trash serves.

    Are we all reading the same blog post?

    –”Players invite friends to participate in gang-raping the children and if the woman becomes pregnant, she must be forced to have an abortion. Otherwise, she becomes more visibly pregnant with each subsequent rape. Should she finally have the baby… GAME OVER.”–

    Is it really this hard to focus on one issue at a time?

  27. Davo

    If there is evidence that these games result in harm to other human beings they certainly should be banned. Do people who play these games become more susceptible to actually raping someone? Does Japan have a higher incidence of rape? I think this is imilar to the debate about the correlation between viiolent video games and violent crimes, a correlation that I believe has never been exactly validated.

    Otherwise if someone wants to play this game in the privacy of their homes, I am not in a position to judge that they should not. Note that this is completely different from any personal opinion. I may not associate with that person and may despise him. But I still cannot dictate what games he should privately play or not play, and whether a company should make such games or not.

  28. peaches

    Friends:

    This is an interactive game where the player IS the stalker, abuser and rapist. The player inserts his organ into the vagina of the teen virgin and she bleeds. The player deliberately and repeatedly victimizes the others. That is a huge difference from war games where everybody comes armed to the teeth. Rape? I game? I think not. THAT is the difference.

  29. Okay, this is in no way equivalent to BDSM which is between consenting adults. This is a game that glorifies rape.

    I’m not saying the game should be banned, the idea of free speech is it applies to things I find abhorrent as much as things which I agree. Just because a holocaust denier has the right to spout his nonsense doesn’t make it actually right. This game is just plain wrong and disgusting, I’m appalled that a company would think it’s a good thing to produce such a game.

  30. This is certainly appalling. However the company clearly produced the game because it believed that there would be a market and audience for it. And the game has not stopped selling until now because they were right. This is what is more disturbing, that there are people who relish such games. But another way to look at it is to see it as a further reinforcement of our animal instincts and be glad that the market for such things is surprisingly small. In any case, we are not in the business of banning thoughtcrime so I do agree that we cannot ask for such games to actually be banned.

  31. TRN

    I understand the desire to dismiss the game by saying that it was created in Japan, where such things are “more common” and they have a “different culture”, but it doesn’t really work that way. For one thing, the aforementioned games (RapeLay in particular) were sold on the US Amazon site, and enjoyed by plenty of Americans and other English speakers. Secondly, just a week or two ago, Amazon got in trouble for selling yet another rape simulation game (or interactive DVD) named “Stockholm” (as in “syndrome”), wherein it was the player’s job to psychologically and sexually torture a prisoner until she fell in love with you. The creator was Stanton Audemars – not, AFAIK, Japanese. And both this game, the Rapelay game, and similar ones have enjoyed vociferous support from Americans and other non-Japanese people. Lots and LOTS of people. Misogyny is a great cross-cultural uniter.
    Rape and sexual assault are not BDSM, because they are not consensual. War games are violent and perhaps reprehensible, but not the same thing – fighting against more-or-less equally armed opponents for a (semi) legitimate reason is not the same as a man punishing a woman by forcing her to submit to his sexual advances. In real life, men are raped as well, but they aren’t in these games, because they pure misogyny: men getting off on the power they have to humiliate and terrorize women. If you can’t see why these types of games are upsetting, maybe you need to take a step back and think about what it would take for them to be.

  32. Noadi says: I’m not saying the game should be banned, the idea of free speech is it applies to things I find abhorrent as much as things which I agree. Just because a holocaust denier has the right to spout his nonsense doesn’t make it actually right. This game is just plain wrong and disgusting, I’m appalled that a company would think it’s a good thing to produce such a game.

    This is a completely horrendous analogy, you should be ashamed to actually giving birth to it. First of all, there is a difference between thinking and expressing that the holocaust didn’t exist, and producing tools which prompt people to think it’s alright to kill Jews. Free speech is not this all encompassing right where we can say and do whatever we like. You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater, you can’t yell “Bomb!’ in an airport, you can’t yell “He has a gun!” in a Post Office. Likewise you can’t tell people that you’d like to kill them, or confer some sort of bodily harm upon them.

    I think Brian M hit the nail on the head when he said that rapists aren’t made in a vacuum. Rather, they escalate and this sort of game can easily cater to this crowd, helping them work up the courage to try it outside the virtual world. In that regard, I think there is a valid argument that can be made for banning this sort of software, and any software which does nothing but wallow in nothing other than violence and illegal activity.

  33. But this analogy is not the right one. You cannot yell “Fire” in a movie theater because you are violating the laws of the movie theater’s private property and you run the risk of hurting others. Therefore such behavior is naturally banned. However if you harbor a rape fantasy and indulge it in the privacy of your home through a game, I won’t associate with you and would personally think you are abhorrent, but I would have no right to say that the game should be banned since you are actually hurting no one. It *is* a free speech issue since it pertains to private activities. Let there be evidence that playing such games is not a victimless crime and there will be a good reason to ban them. Until then we should simply nod our heads and keep a distance from such people.

  34. Dave

    Curious Wavefunction: “Until then we should simply nod our heads and keep a distance from such people.”

    Out of curiosity, how do you propose we do that? Do we ask people, run trackers on the buyers, hope they bring it up in casual conversation, what?

  35. Well, for one thing we can condemn them on blogs, like Sheril did.

  36. Dave

    As far as I can tell, that’s simply not an answer to the question.

    You also say: “However if you harbor a rape fantasy and indulge it in the privacy of your home through a game, I won’t associate with you and would personally think you are abhorrent…”

    The same question would apply, how would you know? By condemning the game on a blog, as good as that may be, does not tell us how we can keep a distance from those that use these games. It appears to me that you are just saying we can somehow, but not saying how it’s possible.

  37. Dave

    I may also note that a few comments here seem to imply that those which may use this game (and I say use, because it is a sexual fantasy which will be used to ejaculate and that includes being in control of gang rape scenarios of children), may be a bit of a danger, or a potential danger? Why else would we condemn or be weary of those that play it and advise keeping a distance?

  38. My point is that our personal disdain for people who are fond of such escapades should not translate into an encroachment on their freedom to behave as they want in the privacy of their homes. That was about it. If you don’t want to associate with such people, don’t do it, that’s simply how you keep a distance.

  39. Dave

    What could possibly be a reason for me to keep a distance from someone who uses such a game? Since you seem to think it’s a good idea, why would you?

    I don’t wish to keep returning to this question, but you say “don’t do it”, it’s difficult for me to tell if you understand my question. How would I know if someone had the game to begin with? How do I keep a distance when I don’t know who has it?

  40. Well, you wouldn’t know. But you don’t know about so many things that people do in private and whether those things would have untoward consequences. People do many things in private (engage in certain sexual practices for instance), which if we knew about them, we would find appalling or unsettling at the least. But we don’t bother about them because firstly we are not in the business of prying into people’s private lives, and secondly because we don’t really care if those things don’t have any untoward consequences. It’s a similar case here.

  41. I don’t think this rape game is any different than virtual child pornography (which, unfortunately SCOTUS has deemed “free speech”. In an article by Neil Levy of the Centre of Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics in the journal Ethics and Information Technology*, he wrote: Child pornography, actual or virtual, necessarily eroticizes inequality; in a sexist society it therefore contributes to the subordination of women. This game does the very same thing. So while it may be considered “free speech”, it also infringes on the rights of women.

    *http://www.springerlink.com/content/l13412g37682p358/fulltext.pdf (hopefully this is available to anyone who wishes to read it.

  42. Eamon

    Tom@16
    Let’s not let the comments turn to disparaging remarks against the Japanese.

    True, but let’s not stifle any discussion either.

  43. Dave

    CW: “Well, you wouldn’t know. ” Yes, that’s my point, but it is you that has said we can keep a distance.

    –”if you harbor a rape fantasy and indulge it in the privacy of your home through a game, I won’t associate with you and would personally think you are abhorrent…”–

    –”Until then we should simply nod our heads and keep a distance from such people.”–

    It would go back to my original question in order for your ideas here to make sense in any real way: “Do we ask people, run trackers on the buyers, hope they bring it up in casual conversation, what?” Otherwise they’re just consoling thoughts that lack any content.

  44. Dave

    TomJoe Wrote: “I don’t think this rape game is any different than virtual child pornography”

    That thought has crossed my mind. Virtual child porn serves a “market niche” , like this game I think that “market niche” are largely people who want to have sex with children, I feel quite certain pedophiles would seek this game out (potential or otherwise pedophiles – it being downloaded by the thousands on torrent sites as I noticed yesterday), which would be rape anyway, but with this game it is very violent and gang rape. Of course, there’s “just” the rape fantasy part. I do think there is a difference here however, an important one. Which is the player is in control, this would I think have the very real potential of increasing arousal of the sexual violence. Like most porn, this rape game, the virtual child porn, men will masturbate and ejaculate to these scenarios and in this rape game they have more “control”, thus the reward and reinforcement is enhanced, which I think is a bad idea in rape in general and certainly when it comes to having sex with children, the “realism” (which these game go for) of the violent rape of children is very troubling. The “free speech” and “market niche” arguments presented here do not at this time seem reasonably thought out.

  45. Dave @45: I agree with you. I think there is a difference between virtual child porn and virtual rape software. As I re-read my post @42, it seems that I am saying that they’re the same, and since SCOTUS said virtual child porn is “free speech” that this should end the discussion on virtual rape software. That isn’t what I meant to say. Rather, I think that the article I cited in my comment (and which I’ve now blogged onhere indicates that these things are more than just “free speech”. They actually and actively turn society against women and infringe upon their rights. As such, they should be banned.

    *Link to my blog entry should it be eaten up by the software upon posting: http://bioenergyrus.blogspot.com/2009/06/when-irresistable-force-meets.html

  46. To Neil Levy; so does that mean that if we have games involving male rape it will even things out? And I agree with you; we cannot know, but neither should we care, unless there is proof that such activities are harmful to others. Let there be evidence that watching child porn turns an excess, statistically significant percentage of the population into pedophiles. But turning to a more well-documented phenomenon, is there evidence that watching violent video games turns an excess, statistically significant percentage of teens into criminals? I ask because I am not aware of such data. As an added point of curiosity, how would the playing field look if these women were provided with weapons with which they could potentially kill you? Would that make this game look more like typical war games? Would that make it more acceptable? I don’t know. But it’s an interesting debate.

  47. Dave

    CW: –”Let there be evidence that watching child porn turns an excess, statistically significant percentage of the population into pedophiles.”–

    Perhaps you would like to rephrase this, or clarify the point?

  48. The point is that we should be worried about consequences, not processes. I may find the process of someone watching child porn or rape loathsome but I have no right to demand a ban on the private watching of child porn or rape if it does not result in harm to others.

  49. Neil Levy’s point (which I tried to further to the argument at hand) was that there appears to be strong evidence that child pornography (virtual or real) actually impinges upon the rights of adult women. As such, there is a clash between First Amendment rights and Fourteenth Amendment rights (which is what many people argue).

    In such a give and take, one must then weigh the greater good. The First Amendment is important to further political debate, as it allows people to present multiple sides of an argument without fear of censorship. Pornography (including rape software) has no such content, and as such, if both amendments come into conflict, the courts should obviously choose in favor of the 14th amendment.

    It isn’t about leveling the playing field by introducing “male rape software”, it is about balancing the rights of free speech with the rights of equal protection under the law.

  50. Dave

    CW: –”I may find the process of someone watching child porn or rape loathsome but I have no right to demand a ban on the private watching of child porn or rape if it does not result in harm to others.”–

    CW, I think you need to stop and think about what you’re saying. If you are being honest about your position here, then it is very troubling, but helps me to understand your argument a little better. Also, making the viewing of child pornography as simply a privacy issue is joke. If you’re not careful in the future with your phrasing (though I have more than once now considered the idea there’s more to this), it may appear you do not see the harm in child porn.

  51. Jim Ernst

    What is the company that makes this software? Do they have contact information? They should be flooded with negative letters and emails. What other products do they make?

  52. Dave, this discussion unfortunately got steered toward child porn when it was initially focused on the rape game, and I think we had a little misunderstanding there. Of course a rape game and actual, *real* child porn are *COMPLETELY* different. Let me be very clear about this; child porn SHOULD be banned at any costs and it should *always* be illegal since it involves actually subjecting children against their will to pornography. People indulging in child porn should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and there should be *absolutely* no exceptions. “Free speech” is not even remotely an issue here.

    But we were talking about someone indulging in a rape *fantasy* through a *game* and the issue was not about whether I find it loathsome- of course I do and I personally would not associate with such a person on any grounds- but whether it should be *legally* banned if it’s simply indulged in in the privacy of someone’s home. My point is that it should not be banned if it is truly a victimless crime. I am saying that since we do not yet know if it’s one, this raises a dilemma.

  53. My point is that it should not be banned if it is truly a victimless crime.

    My point in raising the virtual child pornography issue is that it does not appear to be victimless. Rather, there is a real issue of infringement upon women’s rights to equal protection. If such is the case for virtual child pornography, the same case could easily (if not more strongly so) be made in the case of virtual rape software.

  54. Erasmussimo

    I’m a little late to this discussion, but I’d like to offer some comments, because I possess some special expertise on videogame design issues.

    This game goes well beyond most games in the degree of explicitness but is, at a fundamental level, not that far out of the range, because games really are, at the most fundamental level, about young male fantasies. The blood-soaked violence of many games is the most obvious manifestation of this, but there’s another, more profound indicator: the absence of any true social interaction in games. Games as currently designed are asocial; they have no social component. What’s striking about this is that those few games that DO present any kind of social component, no matter how weak, are phenomenally successful. The best example of this is The Sims, the most successful game of all time, which is also the most social game of all time — yet the social interaction in The Sims is really weak. To use an odd metaphor, all games right now are soda pop, except for The Sims, which is near beer. If somebody actually started making wine or even hard liquor, what possibilities might open up?

  55. jemand

    There is another difference between this game and the games such as GTA… This game, from the other things I’ve read, is absolutely no challenge. There are only two ways for the game to be over and those are VERY RARE situations. GTA? All other “violent” games? You’re always on the run, there is a WIDE variety of programmed situations and possible actions. This game is EXTREMELY targeted, so much so that if it were about violence it would be boring. There is NO game I know of where you shoot random civilians with nothing happening to you for it, no need to really worry about hiding it and nothing else that’s possible to do in the game. People would get bored in 2 minutes.

    THAT kind of limited scope of “violence” does NOT have a niche, but this does, and that is what bothers me.

  56. jemand

    Curious Wavefunction,

    actually, if there was a significant likelihood the woman would kill you before the first rape ever happened, and if there was as steep a learning curve to “finish” the game as there is in, say, halo, I WOULDN”T have such a big problem with it. I’m not entirely sure why. Making it seem so easy… I dunno, it just seems more wrong. More like they are playing the game not for the challenge but because they like rape, particularly child and gang rapes, and that they know there’s nothing that could stop them. That would also though, expand the end options of the game and actually make it more of a “game” than pure pornography, child pornography at that.

  57. Sarah

    As a rape survivor I have a problem with anything that glorifies rape. It’s hard to tell from usernames but I would be willing to bet that the people defending the game on this board are a) male and b) have never been raped/sexually assaulted.

    Viscerally, I would love to see this game banned and people who play it locked up (same with GTA and war games). Cognitively I realize that banning things is a slippery slope so I would not try to ban the game.

    Perhaps women wouldn’t be so upset about the game if the rape victims could fight back and perhaps gauge out an eye or two or stab the rapist in the nuts. Make it a two player game where one person plays the rapist and one plays the victim and it could be a good learning experience. Oh, and also, have the victims be male.

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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.

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