Japanese Rape Video Game: Rapelay
My friend Kelly sent me an email today asking me if I'd heard of the Japanese Rape game in which you get to choose your victim. I'm probably the last person to hear about this since I seem to live in a separate time zone when it comes to current information. For instance, my mother asked me if I knew that Patrick Swayze had died and before I got a chance to answer she added: "If you don't, lie to me." More often than not, I haven't heard about whatever current news she brings up, which pisses her off to no extent.
So, when I got Kel's facebook message I hadn't heard of this game, but after a quick google search I found a ton of information.
Here's the lowdown:
* It's a video game in which the player rapes women.
* You have the option to choose between certain outcomes (i.e. you can impregnate your victim).
* The victims enjoy being raped (i.e. they orgasm).
* If you choose to impregnate your victim she can a) have an abortion or b) throw herself under a train.
There's been a widespread revolt against this game, which has lead to it being banned from the U.S. and from Amazon.com, although there are other online sources where you can purchase it or even download a free pirated copy. I've never been on board with the whole let's ban violence from T.V. or let's blame violent behavior on video games. I strongly believe in free speech and the right to create whatever it is you want and put it out there, but what worries me is that this kind of game is something that people want to play and presumably get off doing so.
This game troubles me, because I'm not sure what to make of it. Let's be honest here, rape is a very large problem in our society, HUGE really, but when it comes to virtual reality, whether it's on paper, on screen or in your mind there's also a large component of people (men and women) who indulge in rape fantasies.
Most women will agree that being raped would probably be one of the worst things that could ever happen to them or to any other women, but some of those woman also integrate violence in their fantasies or into their sexual lives. The psychology of this phenomena could probably be discussed at length and it's one hell of a good topic to get into, but I personally don't want to pass judgment on the morality of anybody's fantasies (I mean there are limits, children being one of them).
Rape has personally been on the top of the list of things I fear most, but I've also downloaded a couple porn clips that feature bondage and violence in a way that was filmed to appear non-consensual, and I've been turned on. Hell, I love japanese porn anime and a lot of that features demon rape fests, and I've never paused to ask myself whether that was wrong or not or why that turns me on in the first place. Sure, it's probably messed up, but sexual fetishes, turn ons, and fantasies shouldn't always be examined so closely. They serve their purpose.
Just like going to see a movie or a play that deals with fucked up human behavior and pain can lead to a sort of catharsis, so can your sexual fantasies. Dreams, thoughts, fantasies, it's how we process things. But this game, it just rubs me the wrong way. I don't feel comfortable with it. It makes me question what the fuck is wrong with our society, but it also makes me question myself, because torture and murder are definitely on par with rape in terms of how wrong and fucked up it is, but I don't have the same feeling towards games that portray torture and murder. Maybe, it's because you never see a murder victim enjoy his or her own demise. Maybe, it's because I'm a chick and this offends my delicate sensibilities.
Maybe, I'm just concerned that like so many other things this game will enter the collective subconscious and make it that much easier to dismiss rape and make it seem like a jolly good time.
I really hope it doesn't.