Rape in Video Games? Top Aide to Boston Mayor Says Yes at Legislative Hearing

March 19, 2008 -
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.

A top aide to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (left) apparently offered similar commentary at yesterday's hearing by the Massachusetts Legislature's Joint Committee on the Judiciary concerning HB1423, a proposal designed to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors.

As reported by the Boston Herald, Larry Mayes, Mayor Menino’s director of Health and Human Services, claimed that gamers score points for, among other acts, raping women:
Larry Mayes, Menino’s director of Health and Human Services, urged lawmakers to view for themselves some “Mature”-rated games, many of which award players points for shooting people, raping women or setting people on fire. Mayes pointed to several researchers who have found a correlation between such games and aggression.

“I’m sure you will conclude Mayor Menino is in fact right to do all he can to protect children, even if it means pushing back on a multi-billion-dollar industry.”

Testifying for the video game industry were ESA VP Gail Markels and Sean Bersell, VP of the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), the trade organization which represents video game retailers. As reported by the Herald:
Markels... said the industry has a board that rates games’ appropriateness for youngsters, and it is up to retailers whether to sell or rent to minors, based on a game’s rating.

“While the state may regulate minors’ access to materials defined as harmful under state law,” [Markels] said, “such restrictions are limited to depictions of sexually explicit conduct that is obscene to minors.”

GP: As we asked Keith Vaz when he made similar remarks, can Larry Mayes name even a single game which features rape as a playable option?

UPDATE: PopMatters offers an analysis of the Massachusetts bill.


Comments

@Bob

GTA IV doesn't come out till the 29th. lol

of april

I want to know were these guys buy their games because I want to see some of these so called murder simulators.

Alright then, two can play at this game. Larry Mayes rapes people on a daily basis.


Figuratively speaking.

http://www.cityofboston.gov/contact/default.asp?ID=84

contact info for this moron. Make it epic!

Japan has TONS of sex simulators, some are rape simulators. Just Google or search ebay for Rapelay, battleraper or battle raper and Biko

@ JB

Actually, there is one way for it to be non-consensual...

;) OF course, to avoid it, you just don't buy your adult male sim that really expensive telescope he wants until either you have 8 sims on your lot or he's an old geezer!

Probably a better question would be..

'How many games involving rape have been allowed onto the market by either the ESRB or BBFC?'

Since the pixellated crap that was Custers Revenge was released before the BBFC started rating games, the correct answer is none, they can only be imported, and at least in the UK, that is, strictly speaking, illegal.

You can't even really mention Japanese games unless America is basing it's laws on what is available in an entirely different country.

Just figured it out, they've finally worked out that the 'violence' angle isn't working, so now they are trying the 'sex' angle, which everyone knows the American Public are a lot more sensitive about

@ GoodRobotUs

You're on to something there.

Everytime I read about this guy and his bill, I try to remember that the same man is afraid of Lite Brite. Talk about being nuts.

Now that I think about it, maybe they're talking about the Witcher. I heard some people accuse that game of some real borderline misoginy(sp?); I don't think the R word was ever really used though.

We had both an ESA and a EMA rep on the floor there. From how the story reads, they were there when the "rape games" comment was made.

Why in the @#$% aren't they calling these blatant lies out for what they are?

Truth is, the only games that would simulate rape would be in Japan, and they wouldn't be playable in the states barring some illegal hardware or a Japanese game system (the sort of games in question are illegal to ship outside of Japan).

@Starsmore:

There's no way for them to prove that there aren't while they're in there, I would assume.

It's funny how people will hear a news clipping about the adult aspects of the GTA series and somehow they assume rape is a part of the game. It's like they're kids who've just heard about their new teacher during summer break. They'll hear snippets of information from other students saying "Mrs. Smith? My brother says she's so mean she'll staples your hands to your desk if you talk out of line" and "Mrs. Smith once beat a kid so hard with a ruler they had to send him to a hospital. I mean, I wasn't there but I heard from some guy who said it happened to his brother". Of course, on the first day of class they're sitting in the back, avoiding all eye contact and scared to hell of a fictional persona.

But there is some porn games made in United States, like Sexvilla 3D, but is not in the mainstream industry, and is not about rape and it is only about porn.

Somewhere I read about in Japan is illegal to sold their games in foreing countries. I think Illusion (Schoolmate, Rapelay, Artificial Girl) said in their official page they can´t sold their games on United States, even when there are many people interesed in their games in America.

The legitimacy of it doesn't matter, the fact is, one person made comment about Rape in videogames, so simply is the case that other uninformed people will spread it as fact if they need ammunition. No-one is calling the politicians up on it so they feel happy to continue safe that the water-brains will simply believe them and the ones who know better don't carry enough credibility to get the message to the mainstream.

Been said before, but I'll say it again, PROOF WERE IS THE PROOF?!?!
ARE WE SUPPOSED TO TAKE THESE HONEST (ie. LYING) GENTLEMEN (ie. MORONS) AT FACE VALUE?!?!?

@Rodrigo

There have been commercial pornographic games as well, and they got AO ratings and are, as far as I'm aware, already covered by the same Pornography laws that covers Film etc, using the Miller Test. However, once again, none of them contained Rape, and I suspect that if someone DID submit an interactive Rape game to the ESRB you would see the first case of a rating being refused.

@ GoodRobotUs

Yeah, and those games you don´t know anything about their existense.

I heard one time that in United States is illegal to make porn movies about rape. Is that truth?

@GoodRobotUs

Also such games can only get a PC release as no console will touch them.

@Starsmore

It's like they're expecting us to do it on their behalf, AGAIN!!!

@ Thefremen:

"There’s no way for them to prove that there aren’t while they’re in there, I would assume."

Burden of proof is on the accuser. He has to provide the examples that the ESA/EMA would refute; they are not obligated to defend EVERY GAME EVAR from his blanket accusation.

Hmm, shooting for points yep, setting people on fire? yep Rape? What game that IS NOT a hentia sim that has interactive rape?

@Lumi

Of course in rational human thought that's how things work but you forget that this is a witch-hunt. Video games have to prove they don't contain rape by sinking or if they float they do contain rape and will be burned.

I've little doubt that he thinks GTA has rape in it. I've got a video clip somewhere of Lieberman saying the same thing. I wrote a post on my blog a couple years ago saying that there is no rape in GTA and it still gets occasional hits from people searching for "gta rape" or "videogame rape" http://popularculturegaming.com/?p=167

@Japan-Has-Rape-Games

"Japan has TONS of sex simulators, some are rape simulators. Just Google or search ebay for Rapelay, battleraper or battle raper and Biko"

True. Now how exactly will this bill affect Japan? How many of those rape sims are being played by children in the US? The only people who get them are middle-aged Otakus who jump through hoops and drop big bucks to import these games and please their fetish.

Mark Foley was one of the foremost opponents of child pornography, and was found to be soliciting sex form young pages in the senate.

Spitzer vowed to end prostitution in New York, and got caught dipping.

So Menino is against rape, eh.....

@Christian Astrup

1) It's probably like "The Game" except played by the aristocracy of the US. It would explain a lot, they probably just assume that Video Games have analogues to the games they play since their world-view is skewed by their own life experiences. They assume that since they keep track of how many women they rape and keep score the younger generation does as well.

2) The kind of parents who get thier kids into the Skull & Bones. Sick sick people.

@Christian Astrup

1) Concensus seems to be that it is called Battle Raper, or it is a figment of a diseased mind ;)

2) Stupid ones who cannot be bothered to read the age ratings that already exist on games, and beleive the child telling them there is no objectionable content over the sales clerk reading them the rating descriptors and telling them, from personal experience, what the game contains.

@monkeypeaches

Happy birthday! Have some virtual orgasmic rape for me

@JackDon'tKnowJack

Because the poor tend not to vote and tend not to make campaign contributions.

Makes we wonder if this guy wasn't watching the "Atari Porn" episode of the Angry Video Game Nerd.

I would guess his statements are covered under the "Speech and debate clause" (did he make these statements on the statehouse floor?). But in any case it's getting so frustrating that no one calls these guys to task at the moment.

My guess is this won't change until someone from the gamer generation gets elected to high office. Until we have real representation nothing will change.

Sad, and even sadder, not surprising.

5 dollars says that if we ask Menino proof of rape in games, he will say either "GTA" or "Custer's Revenge".

@Buckeye531

Or Super Smash Bros. Brawl because of the suggestive grab Snake has :D

@Christian Astrup
1.I believe politicians are so used to raping and killing prostitutes they raped that they see flash backs everywhere... or they often visit Japan and play mainstream rape hentai games there... Then they see how low the crime rate in Japan is and realize that games must be banned or our youth will no longer support the government commiting violent and criminal acts...

Seriously Japan has like the lowest crime rate in the world and has the most violent and sexually explicit media... and hentai games are almost mainstream(almost)...Shouldn't that tell us that the problem isn't games?

2. The stupid parents that buy M rated games and R rated movies for their kids...
"here 5 year old billy watch some hostel movies and then play some manhunt..."

@ Buckeye531

Or a JT press release LOL

WHY in the year 2008 does ANYONE believe what spews from the mouths of politicians?!?!?! WHY!?!?

Game proposal: Get permission from Steven Colbert to create the game "Truthiness" where the whole point is to find out if a politician is lying or telling the truth. Rated S for Sheeple.

Fallout 2 has one, but the player will likley die if they try it, and if they somehow survive there karma goes to ****.

@Waffles:

Yeah see now you're getting it....

@Mr Keyes:

*Cue angry email to the 'censor in chief' of that particular website in 3... 2... 1...* :P (Apologies to Dennis, but I thought it was appropriate in this instance. ;))

@Black Manta

"Finally what Jack Thompson won’t tell you is that his law license is in order. He was recently tried for a variety of ethical misconduct charges going back as far as 20 years. The decsion is expected next month and could likely result in his disbarment. Thompson has responded by sending the court a “picture book for adults” and threatening to “figuratively” bomb out the Florida Supreme Court building."

Now why would he tell you a silly thing like that? Especially when it would paint a negative picture of him... besides it's all just lies and slander/libel cooked up by the Videogame industry because they're all out to get him!

@Void Munashii:

"I think he must be playing some hentai PC games or online flash games, or something. He’s certainly not playing any games that I can wander over to Gamestop and buy."

... as if he'd be able to tell the difference?

@Buckeye531

I bet you he would mention "Custer's Revenge" it's like whenever we here this argument the media ends up showing the same footage from the original Doom and talking as if its a recent game.

@ Vinzent

I don't think he is for rape, maybe he's for "Catching person unaware for surprise sex." He is a politician after all, he's a politicain he'll find some way to spin it.

And since when is the Feds in the business for telling parents how to raise kids?

According to most Senators EVERY gamer has or will commit multiple counts of homicides/rapes/GTA/Larciny/Blackmail/Possestion of Illegal weaponary.

Hmm come to think of it maybe we should be like those pro-life groups who "accidently" destroy a family clinic, but instead of explosives, we run around towns putting 360/Wii/PS3 on avid anti-video game people's doors steps and offices. Gorrila tatic it only minus the mayhem and destrution of property. Except not in Boston they did go ape s**t over the lite-bright of ATHF.

@nightstalker160:

Or GTA3 :P

And which game is this? Not that I would want to play it but really now. I go to many sites devoted to the development of video games. Developers pay attention to what other developers are doing in games. And there has NEVER been any news of any video game, official or otherwise, that has rape in it.

This guys is a total asshole....

Isn't raping someone in an FPS an [albeit really nasty to the point I file complaints] common expression in the Timmy Community?


thats figurative, right?


Wires crossed? possibly.
Too Old to understand? definitely.

im still looking for a game that awards you points for killing people rapping hookers and stealing cars..... but I just can't seem to find it anywhere..

@Buckeye531

I think, if he were to answer (I think he would dodge) it is more likely he will reference some long ago debunked blog/news article, some online flash game, or he'll come up with a title that does not exist.

Now...correct me if I'm wrong, but is this the same mayor that seemed to think that the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Mooninites were terrorist bombs? You'd think with Harvard and MIT so close, Bostonians wouldn't be so stupid.

Man, it's been some time seen I've seen points in a game.

At least in the British Parlament when an idiot started spouting this drivel an opposing member called him on it. There are no American mainstream games rated by the ESRB where the player rapes another person. He wants his bill to pass so much that he is willing to lie about what it is protecting against. Then, after it psses, we would say "There aren't any games like that!" to which he will reply:
"See how well my bill works!"

What I would say as a rebuttal to Larry Mayes, Mayor Menino’s director of Health and Human Services.
*B**** slap*
That's my rebuttal to his ignorance.

@ Luke

Yes he infact is. And Boston is know for lawyers and medical students than for computer sciences. I made fun of my home town for that Lite-Bright Moon-nite incident.

Bottom line is this: Because they don't understand games and don't understand our Generation, they want to take away everything that we called fun.

Just because the generation before them attempted the same thing and failed doesn't mean that they're going to succeed here.

I think that these politicians are afraid of the fact that their time is almost over and that with our generation, we're a lot smarter than they are. But it would be nice to see a lot more gamers as congressmen.
 
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