Responses I’ve heard:
“This is the most sickening thing I have ever heard of in my life.”
“this is gross. how perverted would you have to be to actually play this game?”
“This is disgusting. I feel like this is basically encouraging sexual violence even if it’s just some stupid video game. When I have children, I’m monitoring ALL of their online activities!”
Okay, okay. So what was my first response? My first thought was, oh man…it’s a media story…a -mainstream- media story…and about video games! It’s GOTTA be faulty, or wrong, or stupid, in SOME way. And then I see everyone start to hop on the bandwagon and go “oh god this is horrible” and this is yet another warning sign–mainstream popular opinion does not tend to sit well with me, since it’s too easy to say something out of something like peer pressure as opposed to actually knowing what you’re talking about (not that that’s necessarily what’s happening).
One of my other initial thoughts was, huh…okay, a game that lets you act out something horrible. Haven’t I heard that somewhere before??? So I thought about Super Columbine Massacre RPG. But then realized that SCMRPG was probably more thought-provoking and meant to send some messages to people, rather than RapeLay which is not really meant to make a bold statement. It might probably be able to do a rape game like that, sending some message, but looking briefly at the description of RapeLay, that’s definitely not what it is.
Which brings us to the next thing…the fact that this is…nothing new…at all…whatsoever. Okay, okay, I guess the whole Japan legislation debate involving this sort of thing is -sort of- recent, so that’s valid. But really?
“People here obviously know very little about Japanese H-Games. Rape games have been around for well over a decade in Japan. This is not some new phenomenon. There are probably thousands of them out there given how quickly the H-game industry pushes out titles in Japan. This article is a decade too late.”
And that pretty much sums up what’s wrong with the article. DURRRRR.
Okay, but even if we get past the slightly disappointing fact that the media brings up some really old thing and everyone is like “ZOMG!”, there is still the underlying issue of whether to support or defend these games.
We obviously already know what popular opinion dictates “ZOMG BAN!”, but again, that immediately pushes me to look for something to push back with. I guess I really really don’t like mainstream opinions. -_- It’s actually a really strong urge that I have sometimes, to rebel against societal norms. It’s somewhat frightening to think about it, actually–I think it keeps me from liking Pixar movies as much, for example, or it makes me more sympathetic towards Twilight…things like that.
Okay, so what is there in defense of these games? There’s gotta be something right? After all, this seems suspiciously familiar to “ZOMG Grand Theft Auto lets you kill people! BADDDD”, and “ZOMG WoW is addictive! BADDDD”
On the one hand, there’s the escapism argument:
“In my mind the issue is simple. People have fetishes and they need to be satisfied. Would you rather they satisfy their fetish on a computer game or should we ban it and risk them satisfying their fetish on real people?”
“Apparently the argument is that these games promote rape in real life.
Japan has had comics and games like this for ages. Yet the per capita rate of rape in the US is 16 times higher than in Japan! So censoring them seems counter productive, even if you are not a fan of freedom.”
and my favorite:
“Japan has pretty high suicide rates too. Clearly playing video games featuring rape leads to suicide.”
…but there’s not really much I can say there. You either agree or disagree.
Looking at it from another view, there’s the “what’s the big deal/this is hypocritical” argument (which goes along with the “wow this is old news” point):
“So anyone can go on a imaginary rampage and do whatever they want in pretty much any game, killing hundreds if not thousands of imaginary people doing much more damage than imaginable, but when a game is based on rape, then everyone goes bat-**** crazy? Honestly, what is wrong with society?”
But there’s also the free speech argument (let people say whatever they want, and if you don’t like it then don’t listen). And the too-hard-to-ban-anyways argument (people will do what they want anyways, so banning these things won’t do anything). And I think both of these are valid; though with the first one you can’t go TOO far because past a certain point you get into things that you can’t just sit around with.
That’s not saying anything about the ironic point that this 10-year-old game will suddenly see a massive surge in popularity by a “new” article that says it’s bad. hehe.
I think at the end of the day, the only thing I can say is that it’s disturbing to see so many knee-jerk responses to something without truly trying to understand it. But I suppose that’s what popular opinion means anyways. Regarding the -actual- Japan legislation issue (which is really, the only issue worth -actually- thinking about), I have no idea where to stand; as I clearly don’t know enough about the issue at all (I don’t even know what to call it!). But it is disappointing.
Bringing this into the scope of the omg nazi badstuff lololol realm (ugh), we reach an interesting point, because on the one hand if there is something terrible happening, then some might have it as an ethical responsibility to speak out against it, no? Okay, but on the other hand, isn’t it also scary that we can speak out against something “terrible” so readily without really pausing to give it some sort of benefit of the doubt? Isn’t this how people used to feel about Homosexuality (ZOMG BAD)? Hmm…