Poll: Are Any Video Game Topics Taboo?

August 22, 2012 -

Are there any themes or topics that should never be explored in a video game?

"Violent Games Lead to Rape" Doc Cites Sources

February 15, 2011 -

This Valentine’s Day, a girl gave me something I honestly wasn’t expecting.  Granted, she also gave it to everyone else in her address book but hey, I’m not jealous.

Yes, yesterday, Carole Lieberman finally provided the blogosphere with “examples of research linking video games to real life violence (including rape).”  Do the various studies, papers, and opinion pieces she provided actually back up her claims?  I’ll leave that to you.

-American Psychological Association’s Resolution on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media

-How Fantasy Becomes Reality (Karen Dill)

-Attorney General's Commission on Pornography (1986)

15 comments | Read more

Benzaie Takes on RapeLay

June 7, 2010 -

If you’ve always wondered exactly what type of gameplay is in the infamous RapeLay, head on over to That Guy With Glasses and allow Benzaie to give you a walk through.

As Banzaie notes, “The sexual nature of whatever you are doing [to] these 3D rendered cartoon characters might shock you,” but, “If you’re not American, please ignore this warning since all there is to see is a bunch of polygonized girls in undies wiggling their asses in the air.”

There is some coarse language as well, so the video is probably not work safe.


Thanks Andrew!

6 comments

GameStop Fired RapeLay Commenter to Save $$, Stop Boycotts

May 12, 2010 -

A GameStop employee fired for discussing piracy and RapeLay in a college newspaper says that he was canned in order to avoid costing the videogame retailer “millions of dollars.”

Derek Littlejohn told Kotaku that following publication of The Globe article, his District Manager was contacted by a GameStop Vice President, who said he was getting calls about an article in the Globe, which the VP thought alluded to the British tabloid of the same name. Littlejohn’s manager told him that he was fired because “people were threatening to boycott and picket GameStop, which would cost the company millions of dollars.”

Littlejohn indicated that the author of the Globe piece, Ann Straub, was a friend of his, but that he “Didn't know she was gonna cite me as an employee of Gamestop, which is what they were able to use as for firing me…”

20 comments | Read more

GameStop Employee Canned for RapeLay Comments?

May 10, 2010 -

Being interviewed for an article on RapeLay may have cost a GameStop employee his job.

GameStop employee Derek Littlejohn was interviewed for a piece on the controversial game which ran in the Point Park University publication The Globe. Littlejohn was quoted in the story stating, “I’ve both heard about and played RapeLay myself, and I find it as nothing more than a game.”

Littlejohn went on to offer some theories on Japanese culture before discussing banned games, saying, “It’s relatively easy to pirate these games, when all one has to do is type in the name of what they want and add ‘torrent.'" He added, "Usually, some sort of link turns up.”

GameRant claims LittleJohn, employed for about two years by GameStop in Oakland, was fired shortly after the article was published.

43 comments | Read more

Gamer Offers Counterpoint to Girl against RapeLay

April 26, 2010 -

In response to last week’s story by Charleston, South Carolina’s News 2 on a 14-year old girl who started petitions against the game RapeLay, a local gamer called the station and offered a point of view on the dangers of banning any games.

While he empathized with the plight of Elena Lyons, thirty-two year old Dondi Wiggins took issue with the banning of any game, saying that gamers, “…should have the right to decide for ourselves” what to play.

Wiggins, President of a local gaming group called Lowcountry Anime and Gaming (a group that is a chapter of the Entertainment Consumer Association [ECA]), said that he personally would not play Rapelay.

Wiggins added, “I don’t think video games should be banned.  I think we as gamers should decide what we want to play as an adult.  We have free speech.”

60 comments | Read more

RapeLay Coverage Hits Home for Teen Girl

April 23, 2010 -

While we often make light of reactions to RapeLay from the media and politicians, the recent reemergence of the game into the spotlight has caused a 14-year old victim of sexual assault to come out and publicly denounce the title.

Well-meaning teen Elena Lyons contacted Charleston, South Carolina’s News 2 in order to voice her concerns over the game, saying, “This game is wrong.  It needs to be stopped.  No game like this should ever be put out there. Rape is not a joke.  People seem to think that it is.  They don’t take it seriously, but rape isn’t a joke. It is very hurtful.”

Lyons, who says she was sexually assaulted by a non-family member at age eight, has started an online petition against the game and is organizing a walk that she hopes will stop the game.

Unfortunately, short of destroying all the tubes that comprise the Internet, there’s not much that can be done about the availability of RapeLay, perhaps someone should have told Lyons that.

54 comments

Argentina Reacts to RapeLay

April 21, 2010 -

No doubt motivated by CNN’s sensationalistic coverage of the game, an Argentinean politician has taken the bait and warned that the controversial game RapeLay violates the country's criminal codes.

Argentina's Ministry of Justice called RapeLay (translated) a “clear vindication of the crimes of sexual abuse, violation, against sexual integrity and discrimination against the women,” and warned the populace that the sale or commercialization of games featuring explicit sexual activities is in direct opposition to article 128 of Argentina’s penal code. Those who break such laws are subject to prison terms ranging from six months to four years.

18 comments | Read more

Manga Artist Objects to CNN RapeLay Coverage

April 6, 2010 -

In response to CNN’s RapeLay coverage, a Japanese artist has penned an open letter to the network decrying its reporting of the matter.

Nogami Takeshi wrote that his career began drawing hentai manga (sexually explicit anime comic), though most of his current work was described as non-hentai manga. As such, Nogami calls himself “well qualified to object to the views you present.”

After noting that, “... we Japanese enjoy one of the most safe and peaceful societies on Earth,” Nogami admits that Japanese society does have its problems, but that, “I frankly do not think that you are the ones to tell us [about the problems]."

He continued:

33 comments | Read more

Dr. Olson Brings Some Reasoning to RapeLay Hysteria

April 1, 2010 -

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:

25 comments | Read more

RapeLay Resurfaces on CNN

March 31, 2010 -

RapeLay, the difficult-to-defend game that’s a favorite target of politicians, is the focus of a CNN story which attempts to paint a picture of the game’s rising viral popularity.

While a voiceover says, “the game infuriates women’s rights groups,” the video cuts to Taina Bien-Aime, Executive Director of Equality Now. She states, “These sort of games that normalize extreme sexual violence in women and girls really have no place in our communities”

Bien-Aime later adds:

What we are calling for though, is that the Japanese government ban all games that promote and simulate sexual violence, sexual torture, stalking and rape against women and girls, and there are plenty of games like that.

69 comments | Read more

Rapelay Furor Hits Italy

February 11, 2010 -

It’s the game that has enraged populaces around the world and now Italy has apparently noticed that Rapelay can indeed be found on the Internet.

Italian newspaper Il Corriere (translation here) has a story up which features an assemblage of important types screaming about the game being just a series of tubes away from common citizens.

Giorgia Meloni, Minister of Youth, said that he would speak to Postal and Communications Police to get the game removed from the Net, while the Mayor of Rome himself, Gianni Alemanno, called for the game to be banned.

Gabriella Moscatelli, President of Telefono Rosa, a group that fights violence against women, also came out against the availability of Rapelay, saying that it was an “incitement to commit a crime.”

Also joining in the condemnation of Rapelay were Barbara Saltamartini from the People of Freedom (PDL) party and Dorina Bianchi of the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC), who said something along the lines of “while spending commitment and energy to propose and promote policies to support women, we discover that the creators of a video game put the same amount of commitment to train a generation of rapists. I drop my arms.

GP: Just to clarify, the premise for the game is sick, there’s no doubt about that. The furor that continually crops over it each time a country “discovers” it however is bizarre, as are the subsequent attempts to scrub it from the Internet. Rapelay is definitely a uniter, in that it has virtually zero backers (other than Penn Jillette perhaps), making it the ultimate safe target for attack."


Thanks to reader ItaliAnon for the link and translation assistance!

47 comments

Erotic Japanese Title Lampoons Rape Game Ban

December 22, 2009 -

In deference to games from the same genre as RapeLay, a title so controversial even the United Nations urged it be banned, a new Japanese erotic game sends up Japanese restrictions on games that contain content simulating forced sex.

Shinobiryuu, a Softhouse developed PC game of the eroge variety, revolves around several Japanese warrior clans that end up having consensual sex with members of the opposite sex, as described by the website Canned Dogs. The consensual part of the description is key, especially in light of a ban of games featuring rape by Japan’s Ethics Organization of Computer Software (EOCS).

Before even beginning Shinobiryuu, users are presented with the following declaration:

This is a declaration made with the consensus of all the characters that appear in this story.

All the characters appearing in this game have gone through special training and all actions carried out are done on the basis of mutual agreement.

Even if you’re a inhuman person who believes that fictional characters in creative works do not have human rights, please do not ignore this.

We also thank all the kind people who see a character in the story saying phrases such as “help me” and take it as a real call for help.

However, even though you are worrying for the characters in the story, these are all lines spoken from a script.

They are not saying all this from the bottom of their hearts. We are sorry that they have put in so much effort into their acting that some people will confuse it as something that is really happening.

This game is a fictional story.

Canned Dogs also has some sample character dialogue from Shinobiryuu that has a little fun with the topic. Head over to their website to read the translation.



|Via GameSetWatch|

59 comments

U.N. Steps Into RapeLay Controversy, Urges Ban

August 28, 2009 -

The debate over graphic Japanese sex games such as the disgusting and controversial RapeLay continues with word that the United Nations is stepping in.

At a meeting earlier this month, the U.N.'s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women called for a ban on explicit video games and anime. As reported by Anime News Network, the committee urged Japan to ban "the sale of video games or cartoons involving rape and sexual violence against women which normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls."

The committee also expressed concern "at the normalization of sexual violence in the State party as reflected by the prevalence of pornographic video games and cartoons featuring rape, gang rape, stalking and the sexual molestation of woman and girls."

Via: Kotaku

167 comments

In Parliament, Suggestion of "Global Regulatory Future" For Video Games

July 21, 2009 -

In Parliament yesterday, longtime video game industry critic Keith Vaz (Labour) quizzed Siôn Simon (left), Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Culture, Media & Sport about PEGI ratings and the controversial Japanese game RapeLay.

Conservative Mark Field jumped in on the topic, appearing to suggest the pursuit of a global content rating system for video games. Surprisingly, Simon said that the UK's recent adoption of the European PEGI system was viewed by the Gordon Brown government as "the building block to moving towards a global regulatory future."

The conversation went something like this:

Keith Vaz: What recent discussions has [Simon] had with pan-European game information on the age classification of video games?

Siôn Simon:
I have spoken to the Video Standards Council—the current UK agents for the PEGI system—about the classification of video games and have another meeting scheduled with it very soon. I have also had discussions with the British Board of Film Classification. Both organisations are working hard to ensure the success of the new system.

Keith Vaz:
I thank the Minister for his answer and welcome the steps that the Government are taking on this issue. However, it is still a matter of concern that a game such as "RapeLay", which shows extreme violence against women, can be downloaded from the internet. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that such games are not accessed from the internet, so that children and young people are properly protected?

Siôn Simon: We should be clear that [RapeLay] was not classified, but was briefly available on Amazon and then was banned. The point that my right hon. Friend is making is about games that, like other brutal, unpleasant, illegal content, can be available on the internet. All steps that apply to any other content on the internet will apply to games. Specifically, as part of the Byron review we set up the UK Council for Child Internet Safety to work with content providers, internet service providers and all aspects of Government to make sure that such content cannot be accessed, particularly by children.

Mark Field: The Minister will know that Britain is a great leader in video and computer games, and while I take on board many of the concerns expressed by Keith Vaz, will the Minister recognise that this is a global industry, not simply a European one, and in so far as we are going to have the safeguards to which the right hon. Gentleman refers, we will clearly also need to have global regulation along those lines?

Siôn Simon: The system of regulation for which we have opted—the PEGI system—is pan-European, and as such, we see it as the building block to moving towards a global regulatory future. The key principle is that the markings on games should make it clear to parents which games are suitable for adults and which are suitable and unsuitable for children and young children. Adults should be allowed to access adult content; children most certainly should not.

GP: Readers, what do you think of the idea of a global content rating system? Is it even possible? If so, is it desirable?

Source: They Work For You

175 comments

GP on CBC

June 24, 2009 -

I just completed an interview on CBC's Q program. Also appearing was Mike Thomsen of IGN.

The show was styled as a debate on sexual violence in games, with a lot of attention paid to RapeLay. I've never held back my contempt for the game and didn't on today's program.

I believe that they archive the previous day's show into a podcast. If you're interested in listening, check out the Q show website.

UPDATE: If you missed the program, CBC has posted the podcast version.

70 comments

Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United States?

June 19, 2009 -

Much has been written about RapeLay since the controversial Hentai game was discovered for sale on Amazon a few months back.

But while the debate thus far has largely centered around whether Japan, where RapeLay and most similar titles originate, should allow games featuring sexual violence to be published, a recent court ruling suggests that U.S. citizens who possess RapeLay and games of its ilk may be guilty of a federal offense.

Wired's Threat Level blog reports that on Monday the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to consider the appeal of Dwight Whorley, a Virginia man who was convicted in U.S. District Court of possessing actual kiddie porn. But, under what is known as the 2003 Protect Act, prosecutors also charged Whorley with possessing manga which depicted minors having explicit sex. From the relevant section of the Protect Act:

Any person who... knowingly possesses a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, that—

 

(1) (A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and

(B) is obscene; or

(2) (A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; and

(B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value... shall be subject to the penalties provided...

(c) Nonrequired Element of Offense.— It is not a required element of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exist.

Threat Level also cites a similar conviction against Christopher Handley, a comic book collector who imported sexually explicit manga containing illustrations of child sex abuse and bestiality. Unlike Whorley, Handley possessed no actual child pornography.

So how does this connect to the RapeLay situation? A [NSFW] review of the game posted on Something Awful describes graphic, forced sex with a mother and her two minor daughters, the youngest of whom appears to be about ten years old. Save for the fact that it's interactive, RapeLay is not much different from the type of hardcore manga which earned federal time for Whorley and Handley.

We should note that a single judge on the 4th Circuit dissented from the opinion upholding Whorley's conviction and urged that the case be sent to the U.S. Supreme Court. But for now, at least, owning a copy of RapeLay seems like a risky legal proposition, indeed.

110 comments

Japanese Industry Group Cracks Down on RapeLay, Similar Games

June 5, 2009 -

A Japanese industry standards group has issued a ban on the controversial RapeLay and games of its ilk, according to Bloomberg.

While reports last week that the Ethics Organization of Computer Software had taken such a step were premature, the ban, which carries no legal authority, has now been confirmed. 233 Japanese software firms belong to EOCS, including 90% of the country's makers of adult software. In issuing the ban EOCS made reference to a February motion in the British Parliament which condemned RapeLay.

Such games are a thriving business in Japan, Bloomberg reports:

The adult software games industry had sales of 34.1 billion yen ($353 million) in 2007...

Computer games containing rape scenes are readily available in Japanese stores. Yodobashi Camera Co., an electronics retailer, sells ‘Rape!Rape!Rape!’... at its store in Akihabara, a shopping area of Tokyo famous for stores popular with fans of the Japanese cartoons known as manga.

With RapeLay requiring players to assault a 12-year-old girl character, Bloomberg notes that possession of real child pornography, much less the virtual kind, is not illegal in Japan. Former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer criticized Japan over the issue in January of this year:

Only Japan allows people to possess these hideous images without penalty...  Is it not time for Japan to find a way to punish the guilty?

Although the EOCS ban lacks the force of law, Singapore's Straits Times reports that most Japanese retailers will follow the edict.

33 comments

Why Fret Over Japanese Ban? RapeLay Is Already Banned in the U.S.

May 29, 2009 -

The embers of the RapeLay controversy were stirred a bit yesterday with a report that the game - and others of its ilk - had been banned in Japan. Not by the government, mind you, but by an industry standards organization.

As it turned out, the report was false, but it prompted a great deal of hand-wringing about Japanese censorship. And yet, RapeLay is already banned - in advance - in the United States by an industry standards organization: the ESRB. Again, it's not a government ban, but it is a de facto ban.

Think about it. Video game retailers won't carry unrated games, which would require RapeLay's publisher to submit the software to the ESRB for a rating. Given its digusting subject matter, RapeLay would certainly be tagged with the quickest AO (adults only) rating ever issued by the ESRB. If you think back to the 2007 Manhunt 2 situation, you'll recall that major retailers won't carry AO-rated games and console manufacturers won't license them. That last bit wouldn't be a problem for RapeLay, of course, since it's a PC game.

Yes, the game could still be sold online by independents. Even governments have a hard time stopping that. But the AO rating is retail death and everyone in the video game business understands that. No publisher would waste their time and money submitting a RapeLay to the ESRB, which is why I maintain that such games are banned in advance. I don't have a problem with any of this, by the way. It's how the system was designed to work. True, there are occasional calls for a marketable AO rating. But the ESRB would probably need to create an XXX rating to accomodate games like RapeLay if AO ever became acceptable to Wal-Mart and GameStop.

And while RapeLay's developers are within their rights to create a game based upon sexual violence and pedophilia, retailers are certainly within theirs not to carry the game. Women's groups are free to protest its messages. And the rest of us are free to be creeped out by RapeLay.

79 comments

Penn Jillette Argues Against RapeLay Ban

May 29, 2009 -

Penn Jillette has weighed in on the controversy over Japanese PC game RapeLay in a YouTube video.

The comedian argues against banning such games:

Prosecuting thought crimes is wrong...

 

[Critics'] complaint is that this game normalizes sexual violence. I think that blaming a video game for rape is normalizing violent sexual behavior. What that says is that we are all rapists and that rape is just under the surface of us and all we need is a video game to just push us a little way.

 

What blaming the video game does is it shows compassion for the rapist. It shows understanding. At some level, in some small amount, it says, "It's not really the rapist's fault; it's society's fault for putting this stuff out here." And I think that the rapist deserves no understanding and no compassion whatsoever.

GP: Thanks to GamePolitics reader Thomas McKenna for alerting us to the video...

55 comments

Japanese Political Party Targets Rape Games

May 21, 2009 -

In the wake of the controversy generated by RapeLay, one of Japan's political parties has issued a general condemnation against computer games featuring forced sex.

The news comes by way of erotic games site Sankaku Complex (NSFW):

Japan’s Koumeito party, long a member of the ruling coalition, has condemned adult games featuring sexual coercion and violence as being a highly negative influence on Japan’s tiny rates of sex crimes. They are calling for a ban or further restrictions on their sale.

GP: I'll confess to having little knowledge of Japanese politics. Meanwhile, Sankaku Complex veers off into a rant, as one might expect for a site that supports such games, so I'll just leave it there.

Via: Kotaku

55 comments

RapeLay Passed Japanese Software Group's Ethics Screening Process

May 15, 2009 -

The controversial Japanese game RapeLay was cleared by a software industry screening board, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.

According to the newspaper, the Tokyo-based Ethics Organization of Computer Software screened RapeLay without advising its publisher, Illusion, to make any edits. 235 computer game firms belong to the supposedly self-regulating organization. While an unnamed official of the group would not reveal its screening standards, he told the newspaper:

[The organization] follows the Penal Code and the law, which bans child prostitution and child pornography. Also, we ask for self-regulation of games, to ensure stories depicted stay at a permissible level from a social perspective...

 

[Given the RapeLay controversy the organization] should discuss what kind of self-imposed regulations are required to ensure [games] are acceptable to society.

The Yomiuri Shimbun also reports that RapeLay which caused an uproar when it was found to be available on Amazon.com via a third-party reseller, has been pulled from the market. The move comes in the wake of a protest lodged by New York-based women's rights organization Equality Now. Attorney Yukiko Tsunoda, a member of Equality Now,commented:

The problem isn't just about this specific game, but about all similar games still available [in Japan].

49 comments

RapeLay Developer "Bewildered" By Furor Over Game

May 8, 2009 -

The controversy over RapeLay, an obscure but disgusting forced sex simulation, appears to be rekindling. GamePolitics readers will recall that the game sparked a furor earlier this year after it was found to be for sale by a third-party reseller on Amazon.com. In response to complaints the online retailer quickly removed the listing.

This month, New York-based women's group Equality Now has targeted RapeLay and similar games for a letter-writing campaign:

Please write to [developer] Illusion Software asking it to withdraw immediately from sale of all games, including RapeLay, which involve rape, stalking or other forms of sexual violence or which otherwise denigrate women... Please write a similar letter to Amazon Japan.

 

Write also to... Japanese government officials... calling on them to comply with Japan’s obligations under [the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women] and the Japanese Constitution to... ban the sale of computer games such as RapeLay, which normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls.

Australian news site ABC.net reports that the Japanese developer of RapeLay, Illusion, claims to be "bewildered" by the uproar. Spokesman Makoto Nakaoka told ABC.net:

We are simply bewildered by the [Equality Now protest]. We make the games for the domestic market and abide by laws here. We cannot possibly comment on [the campaign] because we don't sell them overseas.

A Japanese Government spokeswoman to ABC.net:

[The government] realises the problem is there. While we recognise that some sort of measures need to be taken, the office is currently studying what can be done.

194 comments

Faux Religious Site Satirizes RapeLay Controversy

March 26, 2009 -

RapeLay, an obscure Japanese hentai game, sparked controversy earlier this year when an Amazon re-seller was found to be offering the PC title in the U.S. market.

Although there would seem to almost limitless room to criticize the thoroughly disgusting RapeLay, parody site Christwire added a satirical touch yesterday with some over-the-top commentary:

My friends the Japanese are at it again, this time as they prepare to rape your child’s mind and ethics with a horrifying new video game named Rapelay...

I cannot find the words to express my outrage, disgust and disbelief with this anime pornography game, especially the liberals who are trying to market it in America.

Last year studies revealed that 98% of games being marketed to teens contain violence, and after playing a violent video games teens may become 3 times more likely to commit acts of murder, drug violence and date rape...

 

America is a land that is being overrun with video game violence. Last year California banned the banning of violent video game sales and Barack Obama allows a Wii in the White House while not pushing for a universal anti-violent video game law.

How many more of these games are we going to allow to exist anywhere on Earth? ...

My friends, the gaming liberals and their atheistic Japanese allies are without morals when it comes to video game violence...

GP: Some around the web seem confused as to whether Christwire is a parody. But gay-oriented news site The Advocate reports that Christwire is an affiliate of The Onion.

26 comments

L.A. Times: If Japanese Rape Game Was Banned From Amazon.com, Why Did Film with Brutal Rape Scene Get R-rating?

March 12, 2009 -

Just yesterday, Los Angeles Times entertainment columnist Patrick Goldstein suggested that RapeLay, the controversial Japanese hentai game, was sleazier than any Hollywood movie.

Today, he is apparently not so sure.

What happened to change his mind? Goldstein writes that he wasn't aware of the new film The Last House on the Left:

I guess I owe the makers of RapeLay, the vile Japanese rape-simulator video game, an apology... the [Last House on the Left] remake is even more graphic and disturbing than the [original]. The film's rape scene has already aroused widespread critical outrage...

Roger Ebert, the dean of American critics... lamented: "So now my job as a film critic involves grading rape scenes..."

 

How is it possible that the MPAA ratings board could give a film with this much brutal, graphic violence an R rating instead of an NC-17? I mean, what would it take for the clueless MPAA, which is supposed to serve concerned parents, not powerful studios, to ever draw the line and say to a filmmaker: "You've gone too far..."

 

If the MPAA is willing to give an R rating to "The Last House on the Left," which would allow me to take a bunch of kids to see this new film, then why shouldn't Amazon be allowed to sell Japan's RapeLay video game? It sounds to me like the movie and the video game are really playing in the same "How low can you go?" ballpark.

GP: For clarification's sake, there is no regulatory bar to stop Amazon from selling RapeLay. The giant online retailer voluntarily removed the game, which was being offered by an obscure third-party re-seller.

43 comments

Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese Problem, Not an American One

March 10, 2009 -

In an opinion piece for Slate, game journo Leigh Alexander ties up the loose ends on the recent controversy surrounding RapeLay, a particularly despicable PC game which migrated from Japan to the retail pages of Amazon.com via a third-party merchant.

After the news broke. Amazon, which almost certainly was unaware of the game in the first place, quickly banished it.

Alexander views RapeLay and its ilk as a largely Japanese problem:

It's an old cliché that the more repressed a society, the more extreme its pornography—but more upsetting than RapeLay is the social environment that birthed it. The premise here is that a wealthy man is out for revenge against the schoolgirl who had him jailed as a chikan, or subway pervert. The epidemic of chikan is an enormous problem in Japan, particularly in major cities...

While the moral outrage from the New York City Council and Web sites... is obviously well-placed, there's little hope that legislation or activism can stem the perversion. Not only is RapeLay rooted in a social illness that's embedded in Japanese society, it's just one game in a niche industry that's more closely related to the porn business than to the video game world.

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Britain's Keith Vaz Calls for Implementation of Byron Report Recommendations

March 6, 2009 -

British Labour MP - and serial game critic - Keith Vaz spoke out against violent video game content in Parliament this week:

In a survey published last week, 74 percent of parents said that they were very concerned about the increasing level of violence in video games.  Given the fact that there is increasing availability of these games on the internet exhibiting scenes of graphic and gratuitous violence, when is the government proposing to implement the Byron Report in full? This is not about censorship; it is about protecting our children.

In regards to the Byron Report, Vaz appears to be referring to the suggestion that it be unlawful for retailers to sell any video game to a child younger than the age rating on the box. Currently, only the most violent and sexually explicit games are classified by the BBFC.  The rest are rated by PEGI whose ratings, like America’s ESRB, are recommendations and not backed by force of law.

Labour MP Harriet Harman, who serves as the Leader of the House of Commons, responded to Vaz in what seemed to be a sympathetic fashion:

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his long-standing campaign on the issue. We need to make sure that we have tough classifications that are properly enforced. We need to make sure that parents have the information that they need. We need to make sure that the industry plays its part. The Government will take action on all those fronts.

It is perhaps worth noting that some of the games which Vaz has raised a fuss about in recent times have been non-industry products such as Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game or obscure foreign titles like RapeLay.  Neither game is subject to the rating system currently, nor would they be if Dr. Byron's recommendations are implemented.

Via: Edge Online

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen

16 comments

Keith Vaz Moves in Parliament for UK Ban on Rape Game

February 25, 2009 -

Making good on a vow to bring up Japanese PC title RapeLay in Parliament, British Labour MP Keith Vaz has issued a call for the game to be banned in the U.K., reports the Evening Standard:

Mr Vaz, who campaigns against violent computer games, called on the Government to ban [RapeLay] from sale to UK players over the internet.

In a Commons motion, he said he was "appalled that a video game that simulates rape has been readily available for sale on the internet".

He welcomed the decision by Amazon to withdraw the game.

As GamePolitics reported earlier this month, Vaz was one the first to speak out against RapeLay.

72 comments

NY City Council Speaker Will Call for Retail Boycott of Rape Game

February 23, 2009 -

The Speaker of the New York City Council is expected to denounce a controversial Japanese rape simulation game this morning on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan.

Councilwoman Christine Quinn (middle left) will hold a news conference in protest of RapeLay at 11:00 A.M. As GamePolitics has reported, the hentai game was recently removed from product listings on Amazon.com where a re-seller had been offering it for sale.

Quinn will be joined by the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. A press release announcing the event includes the following description:

A teenage video "game" simulating brutal gang rape and other horrifying sexual violence — just pulled by Amazon.com — will be the subject of a news conference hosted by [Quinn]... who will call on all U.S. video distributors to refuse its distribution or sale...

 

The "game" is now available in the U.S. market...

We should point out that RapeLay, while despicable, is not a product of the U.S. video game industry and is not rated by the ESRB.

UPDATE: Newsday has the first mainstream media coverage of today's press conference:

Amazon and eBay have already banned the sale of the game... but New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said Monday that the game is available on other Web sites...

UPDATE 2: The photo at left is from the news conference. Speaker Quinn is in the middle. At left, holding artwork from RapeLay, is  Harriett Lessel, Executive Director of The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. Of the game, Lessel said:

Video games of this nature are beyond appalling, and people of good conscience need to speak out against them. Sexual violence is a major problem in America and video games like this send the exact wrong message to young people. It tells boys it’s okay to sexually assault girls, and it tells girls they are worthless. The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault is hopeful that American distributors will reject this game and the aberrant behavior it promotes.

272 comments

Conservative Blogger Who Triggered 2008 Mass Effect Debacle Equates Obama Stimulus Plan with Rape Game

February 18, 2009 -

Just when you thought the RapeLay mini-scandal was over...

Kevin McCullough, the conservative blogger who in 2008 lit the fuse that would eventually detonate as pop psychologist Cooper Lawrence's misguided attack on Xbox 360 hit Mass Effect, is back.

In a piece for the conservative Townhall blog, McCullough draws similarities between the despicable RapeLay PC game and President Obama's just-signed stimulus package.

You can't make this stuff up. Here's what McCullough, who eventually backed off of his incorrect allegations against Mass Effect, wrote regarding RapeLay and the stimulus package:

This week Amazon.com after many complaints finally decided to ban a virtual reality game called "Rapelay." Defenders of the game say it's not real rape because it only occurs between computer animations. There are no genuine side effects. And it won't impact reality.

Sort of like what liberals sound like when it comes to our money. The money we work increasingly harder to earn. And with one uber-partisan vote they take away. Taken faster than the speed of light or at least in shorter than being allowed to read the legislation that does so.

In the game Rapelay, reviewers have stated that the player must first sexually assault a mother character and her two daughters before being allowed to then "pick" their next series of victims.

In the Congress of Washington DC liberals have seen to it that our mothers and daughters will have less money in the home budget working for their protection and welfare.

In the game Rapelay the reviews indicate that the rapist can even convince one of the animated computer characters that they like what's happening to them.

In Washington DC liberals in Congress sent their lapdog "Mr. President" out to the masses to do the same thing...

 

I've tried to be as tasteful as possible in explaining this comparison, and due to the passion of the natural man that was not an easy thing to do!
 

Class act, that Kevin McCullough...

Via: N'Gai Croal

221 comments

 
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Andrew EisenThe story you just linked to? The story you asked if anyone had seen? Yes, THAT obnoxiousness. I've heard it parroted for nearly two years now.11/27/2014 - 7:57pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: That shes an ex con man?11/27/2014 - 7:54pm
Andrew EisenI've heard the same obnoxious horse poo for years. It's nothing new.11/27/2014 - 7:45pm
ZippyDSMleeAlso anyone see this? http://guardianlv.com/2014/11/anita-sarkeesian-unmasked-feminist-icon-or-con-artist/11/27/2014 - 7:28pm
ZippyDSMleeEvil within is a badly designed game.11/27/2014 - 7:28pm
Andrew EisenSure but you said "widens," hence my confusion. Looking into it, yep, there's a tweak to completely re-frame the image, adding more info at the top and bottom. You apparently need a fairly beefy rig to keep it running smooth when you do that though.11/27/2014 - 6:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthere is vertical fov, not just horizontal fov11/27/2014 - 6:38pm
Andrew EisenWell, you can widen it to 3:1 or even 10:1 but I don't know why you'd want to. From what I understand it's the missing visual info at the top and bottom that some object to, not that there isn't enough on either side.11/27/2014 - 6:36pm
Matthew WilsonI think it widenss the fov, so you get to see more.11/27/2014 - 6:31pm
Andrew EisenI don't see how as doing so would not add any visual information to the top or bottom of the screen.11/27/2014 - 6:04pm
Matthew Wilsonfrom what I read, getting rid of the black bars and stretching it out made for a better play experience.11/27/2014 - 5:59pm
Andrew EisenFrom what I hear, there's a ton of "look up and shoot at the guys above you" stuff in the game that the wider frame doesn't accommodate such actions well.11/27/2014 - 5:55pm
Andrew EisenHaving a game run in scope is not necessarily a bad thing but like any aspect ratio, you have to compose your shots correctly.11/27/2014 - 5:55pm
Neo_DrKefkaThe Evil Within was pretty bad and to make it worse the way the screen size made it hard for you to see even on a big screen it really hurt the game. Being Artistic is great but when you focus on art rather than what sells you run the risk of that happen11/27/2014 - 5:33pm
Matthew WilsonI kinda hope this is not true. http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/11/nintendo_might_not_be_making_more_gamecube_controller_adapters_at_the_moment11/27/2014 - 1:34pm
Matthew WilsonI saw that. I wish people would stop preording, but sadly that will never happen.11/27/2014 - 1:26pm
Papa MidnightUbisoft has cancelled the Season Pass for Assassin's Creed: Unity (http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/2ni2ac/ubisoft_cancel_season_pass_for_ac_unity/)11/27/2014 - 1:08pm
NeenekoBut now I can use the christmas discount justification too,11/27/2014 - 11:46am
NeenekoI am also sorely temped by Civ:BE, mostly because I have a demo coming up and I know my productivity will tank.11/27/2014 - 11:45am
MaskedPixelanteThe Evil Within is only a month old, right? And it's already 66% off...11/27/2014 - 10:29am
 

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