Dr. Olson Brings Some Reasoning to RapeLay Hysteria

Grand Theft Childhood co-author Dr. Cheryl Olson appeared yesterday on CNN Prime News in order to bring a little grounding to the network’s coverage of the game RapeLay.

Anchor Mike Galanos introduces the piece with a dire tone, saying, “Parents, we’ve got to warn you about this videogame, because your kids could get their hands on it,” before bringing in Dr. Olson. Galanos asks Olson about how easy it would be for a kid to download the game.

In answering, Olson puts some of the onus on CNN for their sensationalistic coverage of RapeLay, “One of my concerns is that kids generally never hear about this stuff unless it gets this kind of publicity.”

Olson mentions the Grand Theft Auto “Hot Coffee” mod, which went under the radar until politicians and the media drew attention to it.

Galanos then turns to violent games in general, asking, “What does this do to our kids?” Olson responded:

We’ve had concerns about media violence and content ever since the paperback novel and the gangster film.” Citing her own research, Olson continued, “We found it’s normal for boys to play these games once in a while and pretty much everything we worry about—violence and crime—is down, rather than up. Now this doesn’t mean an individual child could not be badly affected…

Galanos interjects with “It’s moderation right Cheryl? It’s gotta be moderation.”  To which Olson answers, “Yes. We don’t want in this country, censorship, where someone’s trying to figure out well, what’s violent, what’s not, what can my kids see, and going down that slope… That’s not the American way.”

Olson ended the show with some advice for parents, which drew a “Yep,” and “Well put” from Galanos:

Get the game system, the computer, the TV and the cell phone (at night), out of the kids bedroom. If you’ve got that in a common area of the house, you can walk by and see what’s going on…

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  1. hellfire7885 says:

    Far as I heard the comic book industy STILL hasn’t fully recovered from those days, which makes me double glad the game industry hasn’t caved as a whole. It scares the industry into takign far fewer chances.

  2. E. Zachary Knight says:

    And yet there are people out there that want all media to be the equivalent of Archie Comics. They try it with TV, Film, Video games, Comics, everything. One that comes to mind very easily is the PTC.

    There really is no reason why all media should be dumbed down to be suitable for children, because not all media is created with children as the target audiences.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
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    My Patreon

  3. Thad says:

    Just last week I read, for the first time, Jack Cole’s "Murder, Morphine and Me" — a comic that was exhibit A in the Senate hearings on comic books, best remembered for a shocking panel where a junkie is about to stab a woman in the eye with a needle.

    That’s the sort of thing that led to the creation of the Comics Code, which severely restricted what comics were allowed to do for decades.  It was a long time before the world saw anything like "Murder, Morphine and Me" again.

    And you know what?  That’s a damn shame.  It’s a great story — beautifully drawn, fast-paced, with believable characters and sincere drama.  Sure, it’s got its faults — ethnic stereotypes, a predictable twist ending, and overly-earnest afterschool-special moralizing that’s incongruous with its adult violence — but it’s very effective and well-told.  The industry should have incouraged MORE stories like it, not fewer.

    (Of course, in practice "more like this" means "crappy imitations that mimic the violence without the soul of the original work" — see the 20 years or so of grim-n-gritty nonsense that followed Watchmen — but that’s a separate rant.)

    RapeLay is, of course, no "Murder, Morphine and Me", but I think GTA has a reasonable claim to its legacy.  Fortunately, in this industry and in this century, the publishers have circled the wagons and stood up for one another rather than impose a code that just so happens to put their most profitable competitors out of business.  I have my issues with the rating system, but on the whole it’s worked out well.  And it DOES keep the most objectionable games off the market — you’ll never find the likes of RapeLay from a major US publisher or distributor.

  4. State says:

    Rapelay is the only game that people in the west have heard of. There are plenty of other dodgy pornographic titles that would kick up a fuss in the west if we had heard of them, but I don’t think people are going to be researching them. They’ve found Rapelay and that’s good enough, no need to find any more titles like it.

  5. 4nBlue says:

    They already did that last summer with Yuusha Kara wa Nigerare Nai/You Can’t Escape From The Heroine. Not so surprisingly no one was angered by female heroes raping the poor devil king Healthy Tarou.

    Japan is already full of stuff involving females and males raping men and boys, but why would the feminist care about that?

  6. hellfire7885 says:

    Heh, and as a playon words call it RevengeLay, one of the females from the previous game getting revenge on males and not caring who it is or if they were connected.

  7. Neeneko says:

    Yeah, they sculpt things a little too carefully.

    My favoriate tactic of theirs is that they seem to ‘balance’ the comments on their stories,.. and by balance I mean remove any moderate posts and only keep the two extremes.  I had fun tracking which types of posts got removed for a while there.

  8. lordlundar says:

    Ahh yes, CNN’s favorite tactic when it comes to bashing gamers. Put out a sensationalist story and only after it has been aired multiple times release a more even toned approach to the story as an apology so they can claim they’re not biased against gamers.

    And they wonder why when they asked the posters here in GP to participate they were treated with skepticism?

  9. Quarantine says:

    Hahaha, ditto.


    "Because this town is under the stranglehold of a few tight eyed Tree Huggers who would rather play Hacky Sack than lock up the homeless" — Birch Barlow

  10. Andrew Eisen says:

    You say there’s this horrifically deplorable game out there that you absolutely don’t want me to play?  It’s called Rapelay?  It’s easily available online?

    Sweet!  I’m going to check this out right now!  Thanks CNN and everyone else who overreacts to and draws attention to stuff I otherwise never would have heard of!


    Andrew Eisen

  11. nightwng2000 says:

    Actually, they should make a "revenge" game with a female(s) rapist(s) and men and boys vitms.

    Then, be very, very public about its release and see how many of those same individuals, organizations, and government officals raise a stink over it.

    Or if they start recommending it as the height of "erotic" gameplay.


    NW2K Software


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

  12. Thad says:

    "Illusion Soft should make another Rapelay just to take advantage of all the free publicity they are getting with this game."

    Except that it’s not sold in the States, where it’s getting all the free publicity.

    Though there’s been some movement against manga depicting sexual violence in Japan lately.

  13. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    “One of my concerns is that kids generally never hear about this stuff unless it gets this kind of publicity.”

    She just miss to say: "you idiots"…

    Illusion Soft should make another Rapelay just to take advantage of all the free publicity they are getting with this game.


    Kudos for Dr. Olson. She should have her own show.

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

  14. Father Time says:

    They can always sell it online.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  15. PHX Corp says:

    I literally HATE the cable news networks for peddling this and calling it news, the same goes for Broadcast television, which i believe the FCC should Take the spectrum and use it for a Broadband plan as a result

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  16. Ratros says:

    wow….actually research and common sense…damn…I’m surprised.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  17. Adrian Lopez says:

    Mike Galanos is such a blowhard. Earlier he was complaining about the fake Scarface School Play, employing the same kind of practiced outrage he always uses in order to rile up his audience. It’s a shame what passes for journalism these days.

  18. axiomatic says:

    Good job Dr. Cheryl Olson, interject a little reason in to the argument. This stuff is Parenting 101 but apparently CNN and their listeners needed to hear it because the nanny-state arguments were starting to hit a fevered pitch.

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