Video Games Linked to Rape in Parliament Debate

March 3, 2008 -

Although we can't think of a single commercial video game with an interactive rape scene, British MP - and frequent game critic - Keith Vaz (left) made sexual violence sound like a gaming staple in a debate on Friday.

As reported by Spong, the issue under consideration was Conservative MP Julian Brazier's bill to bring additional censorship to games in the U.K. Although Brazier's attempt ultimately failed, Vaz, not surprisingly, was a supporter:

Someone sitting at a computer playing a video game, or someone with one of those small devices that young people have these days, the name of which I forget - PlayStations or PSPs, something of that kind...

Well, whatever they are called, when people play these things, they can interact. They can shoot people; they can kill people. As the honourable Gentleman said, they can rape women.


Conservative MP Edward Vaizey, speaking later, questioned Vaz's rape assertion:

...the right honourable Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz), who chairs the Home Affairs Committee, mentioned that some video games allow the participant to engage in a rape act... I checked the point with the BBFC and found it to be completely unaware of any such video game.

 

Is the honourable Gentleman aware of any video game that has as its intention the carrying out of rape or that allows the game player to carry out such an act? The BBFC and I are unaware of any such game.


Vaz, however, was not present to respond to Vaizey. But the frequent game critic also took time to paint the U.K.'s video game industry and gaming press as malign forces:

The industry is one of the strongest and most powerful in the media today, and London is the centre of that industry.

 

Whenever those of us who raise the issue of video games have done so positively in relation to concerns about violence, we have been pilloried in the press that is sponsored by the video games industry for trying in some way to destroy it.


Link to full debate here...

Comments

In his defense, there is a rape game. "Rapelay".

Somethingawful has the only review for it of which I know about:
http://www.somethingawful.com/d/hentai-game-reviews/rapelay.php


I doubt Mr. Vaz actually has any idea that this game exists, however. I'm also pretty doubtful that it will be coming to the PSP or DS anytime soon.

In other news, video games have interactive pedophilia... and interactive necrophilia, and interactive... what? what games you ask? why would you ask me? ppft.

@nightwing

"Yet, who speaks out? Another politician. And still referring to Vaz as honorable and gentleman. Seriously, tradition or policy aside, someone just needs to call Vaz a lying git."

They have to refer to each other as honourable members, they aren't allowed to use specific names and calling a fellow MP a liar would probably land someone in hot water (though it happens every now and again all the same).

As another interesting FYI, anything said within the house is not actionable as slander... i.e. Keith can lie his vacuous head off in the houses of parliament and not have to face the consequences. So while Keith may be "pilloried in the press" (and they often support rather than attack him on this issue), he's the only one with licence to say whatever he pleases without fear of the consequences.

Gift.

Well in GTA Vice City....if you had a hooker in your car....and drove against a wall so she couldnt leave...your health kept going up as if she was having sex, and then she started screaming...if that counts...but thats about it...

@x(wai)x

They've met the Thompsonian expert test.

Ok, I know it's not exactly in the way that Vaz implied and in fact I only heard this from a friend that played the game so I could be wrong, but doesn't Fallout 2, at one point, give you the option of raping someone? Someone else who's played the game or has read about it enough should confirm or deny it and shed some more light on the subject, I'm pretty sure if it does tho it's probably in some RPG fashion of selecting from a menue and doesn't graphically show much if anything, just thought it was worth pointing out if it is true tho...

Canary,
The BBFC wouldn't need to be at the parliment to confirm Vaz's comments as being incorrect. The discussion, while in a closed session, was clearly publicized, made available to the general Public.

As such, there would, or should, be nothing wrong with the BBFC making an equally Public statement.

Indeed, the BBFC doesn't even need to make it a political issue. Merely an informative one. Vaz botched his claim, the BBFC could make a formal correction. They are, after all, the specialists in the area. Even Vaz showed his lack of knowledge on the issue. The BBFC would merely be invoking their expertise on the subject matter. There is no way the BBFC could be seen as influencing the government in whole or part. They don't have the power. Indeed, even local governments, as noted in the Wikipedia article, can abide or ignore BBFC ratings at their own discretion.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

@ Nightwing

The move by an independent body such as the BBFC to correct the statement of an MP would be seen by the party concerned to be an unequivocal attack on their member, while the opposition would attempt to maximise the publicity out of it. The media would then get heavily involved, all of which is hassle the BBFC cannot simply be bothered with.

In this case Mr Vaz raised a fact that as incorrect, the fact was then questioned later in the same debate. The issue is closed, why bother making a mountain out of a molehill?

The only reason we are discussing this at all is becuase a media source has isolated and highlighted a single incorrect line of text and presented it in a sensationalist manner. The BBFC doesnt want the hassle of having the same occur throughout our entire national press, they are a low key organisation and want to remain so.

And thats why I'm voting conservative in the next election. At least they're freaking checking before they spout nonsense

Someone must be doing all their research at J-List.

@Sai
Yeah they have some scary stuff on that there J-List

And you have to love the "I'm sarcastic because I know I'm right." sarcasm that eludes from what this guy says.

Oh, and don't forget another Vaz's quote :

"The issue concerns our children and protecting them from the violence that video games sometimes portray. The vast majority of video games sail through the classification; I think the figure was 99 per cent. We are talking about the tiny minority of games that are full of dreadful violence: glorification of the Nazis, violence against women and, in the case of the game "Bully", violence against children. That is what the Bill addresses, not freedom of speech or censorship. I hope that it gets a fair wind from the House."

There's only one game I can think off right away that has the character rape a woman: Custer's Revenge way back on the 2600. But that thing is crap.

"Whenever those of us who raise the issue of video games have done so positively in relation to concerns about violence, we have been pilloried in the press that is sponsored by the video games industry for trying in some way to destroy it."

No shit, because youre ingorant fucktards!

"I could be wrong, but doesn’t Fallout 2, at one point, give you the option of raping someone?"

Kind of. You don't actually see any sex anywhere in the game.

It's in Modoc. There's a farm there with a Male and Female NPC you can sleep with.

You have to sweet-talk the female NPC into sleeping with you. There's a conversation choice at the end that says "you know you want it", and everyone goes hostile if you pick it. It's generally assumed that you rape her.

I wouldn't call everyone in town trying to kill you a "reward", but it would depend on how you were playing.

Vaz is a corrupt moron.

Hey I Know, are there any video games with corrupt politics who take bribes.

Cause maybe those influenced Vaz.

The problem is that Vaz might have been a cabinet minister by now but several questions about his integrity pretty much killed his political career.

As a result the only thing that ever gets him any attention is violent media, so he milks it for all he is worth.

The guy is what is wrong with politics, he is self serving, corrupt and a joke

i propose that Mr. Vaz is the cause of all the 12-year-old-boy rape in India. please let him disprove it.

What the hell??????????????

This man has absolutely no sway on the games industry or politics in Britain. He's also not very clued up on the British gaming industry. He needs to take his head out of his arse and realise there's bits in Britain other than London.

Dundee is the seat of gaming power in the UK followed shortly by Edinburgh.

[...] Aujourd’hui, les choses ont changé. Le peu de respect que j’avais pour ce type s’est envolé pour longtemps. Même s’il est moins actif et bien moins teigneux que Jack Thompson, il est capable de descendre aussi bas. Et dans son cas, c’est plus grave, parce qu’il s’agit d’un élu du peuple. Que s’est-il donc passé ? Il y a quelques jours, un débat a eu lieu à la Chambre des Communes Britannique, à propos d’une loi visant à renforcer les pouvoirs de la BBFC (British Board of Film Classication), l’organisme chargé de classer les films et les jeux vidéo (1). Et lors de ce débat, Keith Vaz s’est particulièrement illustré, ainsi que nous l’apprend GamePolitics. [...]

Custer's Revenge is the game he is talking about?

@ King of Fiji
And think of all the EVEN WORSE stuff NOT on Jlist...

Rape is just about the lowest crime in my book (even worse than murder), right next to human experimentation and mass murder.

To label video games as causing such a heinous crime--and by extension labeling gamers as the darkest of criminals--is a crime in itself.

And yeah, there are H-games where you do rape women, but that's all they are: games. With fictional women, fictional rapists, and fictional TMI content, all of which are but products of the author's imagination.

If anything, H-games have the potential to REDUCE rape by giving would-be rapists an outlet.

So Vaz is partially right. There are rape games out there. They're just not on the shelves and not on any handhelds. Oops. Fortunately only three people even pay attention to what Vaz is saying and two of those write for GamePolitics.

Hey, hey! It's the return of the Hamburglar!
*ba-dum psssh* :D

@Matthew
So YOU'VE been writing all these comments?
Think before you type.

Siturations like this is the reason why I am so thankful for the internet.

As an Anime and Videogame fan, I feel that it will be very hard to even make a game where you are a hero who SAVES women from being raped by monsters....

The consequence of this is giving anti-gamers like this man any ammunition to impose their moral values onto us all and painting us with a deeply negative picture,

So that is why even though I would like to play some H-anime games someday without Politicians looking over my shoulder to hang shit over me all because I like these games, I feel better to just play a game where I can save the Princess, or a girl, who is being captured by some monster, and just leave my fantasies be fantasies until there will be a time when people would understand videogames by just playing them more instead of making gross Generalizations without even taking to time to know the game or even know the consoles that they come from.

In the end, there are just a few minority Politicians that are just so stupid not to realise that.

There's actually a character in Japan called "Rapeman". He rapes people.

Maybe Kaz has a secret, Japanese rape fetish? It'd be like a homophobe being gay, except, it'd just be an "honorable" old guy being secretly pervy.

@ Barly

A homophobic gay man has been done, look at Mr Garrison from south park...

His ignorance scares me.

@ Matthew

Well, the third is obviously not Vaz, so who is it?

On an unrelated note, incompetency gets people fired from other jobs, why not politics? It would seem like the politicians are the people who MOST need to be fired if they prove themselves to be consistently, incorrigibly ignorant and perfectly willing to wield that ignorance as a taxes-paid-for cause.

Isn't that why you don't re-elect them?

@Coravin:

Evidently Edward Vaizey.

Coravin:

Not just incompetant, but corrupt too. He was accused of helping a couple of businessmen in his constituency of getting passports in return for payments made to him. I recall he was suspended from the House of Commons for a while but I don't think any formal charges were brought. Either way, he's hardly the most moral upstanding person in the world.

Matthew:

"So Vaz is partially right. There are rape games out there. They’re just not on the shelves and not on any handhelds. Oops."

Well not exactly, no. Those games do not get sold in this country and therefore do not come under the remit of the BBFC. Thus holding them up as examples of the gaming industry is like holding up snuff films as an example of the film industry.

Blase:

"Dear god.. and here I was, thinking that some of the MPs in my country were retarded asshats.."

Alas, yes, we have our fair share over here too :/

@DarkSaber2k: Please stop propagating rumours about the SA Minister of Health. Yes, she is incompetent and should be tried in court for genocide by refusing to provide antiretrovirals to the AIDS infected, but she did not AT ANY STAGE say that sex with a virgin cures AIDS. Pls get facts strt. Kthxbye.

Battle Raper... and it's sequel...

*sigh*

I'd just like to point out that the UK is comparatively liberal on the issue of game censorship, age ratings may be "better" enforced in the UK than in the US but often those ratings are lower in the UK. For example Mass Effect got a 12+ rating in the UK and a Mature (17+) in the US, Halo 3 got a 15 in the UK and a Mature in the US.

Also on the topic of London being the centre of "that industry", London itself isnt but the UK as a whole is home to Bizarre creations of PGR and Geometry wars fame, Lionhead games, and Rockstar North makers of GTA.....Anyway I think that got my brief sense of patriotism out of my system.

British MPs are immune to libel and slander laws whilst speaking in "The House" which is why he can come out with this sort of stuff. Other than that, what can you expect of someone who uses videogames to further his career. He was railing about putting age certificates on games years after the BBFC had already started to do so.

[...] Rape in Video Games? Top Aide to Boston Mayor Says Yes at Legislative Hearing March 19th, 2008 | Category: Gaming News Last Month, British Parliamentarian - and frequent video game industry critic - Keith Vaz sparked a bit of controversy by claiming that interactive rape is depicted in video games. [...]

@ TruthVersesEvil
Thanks for clearing that up, I was pretty sure you didn't actually see any sex and that the rape was more or less implied and the only interactivity involved was the same interactivity involved in slashing someone with a sword in an RPG by choosing "Attack" from a menue. In other words, I was pretty certain that it wasn't at all what our good friend across the pond implied it was. I just figured if we were going to say there was no such industry made game we might as well go full disclosure.

@Marlowe:

No problem, Fallout's one of my favourite games, mainly due to some of the humour in it. The bit where you're caught and have a Combat Shotgun wedding is quite humorous.

You pretty much sum it up. It's kind of a shame that Mr Vaz won't be brought to account for the things he's said.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Vaz the same guy a certain Lawyer in Miami claimed to be working with? If so, that *definately* leaves me in no doubt as to the "Honourable" Gentlemen's credibility...

It's just that the ignorance of people truly astounds me.

I think that he knows full well that the games kids will get access to have no rape in them. What I think is that he has heard a bit about Mass Effect and taken it from there, of course without fully researching the topic.

It's a politicians lot to over sensationalize problems and make themselves look like the heroic combatant and our last hope against such an evil.

I am fully surprised that Vaz hasn't outwardly denounced his time with good old Jack, because everyone even common media generally knows how mentally unstable he is and how little sense he makes. Vaz is probably afraid of another of Thompson's petty little lawsuits that he throws at anyone who disagrees with him.

That being said, the British Parliament has a history of over sensationalizing everything they deal with in order to get the publics support.

On top of that, I think a lot of these conflicts come from the stereotypes everyone seems to have with us. ex: All gamers are kids, all gamers are boys, no one who plays video games has a life, if you spend too much time playing video games you become unstable."

Never mind the fact That most gamers are of the age 18-32 and that 38 percent of gamers are female.

Since these facts are unknown to them for some reason(cough cough ignorance) they assume that the game industry is like some kind of evil industry that they couple with the tobacco industries because they assume they're just representing their own interests. Maybe if they knew that the industry and the ECA are also largely representing gamers as well they would begin to understand.

and goddamit if I hear another referance to Craig Anderson's crappy studies that state violence in games is harmful to a developing mind. They use him just to cloud the issue, and goddamit there are neutral scientist's who note that Andersons studies are of a crappy quality

@Keith Vaz

Click the link. I dare you.

He probably wants a rape game.

Whatever happened to 'Don't criticise something you know nothing about'?

Because this man has no right to even talk about video games when he groups together all consoles as 'Playstations'.

The dude has 'moron' written across his forehead. Don't listen to him.

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