There's been a lot of coverage over the last two days about a Japanese video game called Rapelay. The game's goal seems to involve stalking and violently raping a mother and her two 'virginal schoolgirl' daughters. Other features include gang rapes, forced abortions and ultra-realistic tears in the girls' eyes.
Jezebel did a nice report of this story:
Following a report from the Belfast Telegraph that Amazon was selling the English version of the game, the company has removed it from the site. Amazon has not commented on the item or said why it was being sold through their website.
The game is produced by the Japanese company Illusion, which makes other 3D adult video games. According to the Illusion Wikipedia page, company policy says that, "games are not intended to be sold or used outside of Japan, and official support is only given in Japanese and for use in Japan." As if somehow the game being sold only in Japan makes it any less disgusting.
British MP Keith Vaz says he is planning to raise the issue in Parliament. "It is intolerable that anyone would purchase a game that simulates the criminal offence of rape," said Vaz. "To know that this widely available through a major online retailer is utterly shocking, I do not see how this can be allowed." Last year, when Vaz brought up rape simulation video games during a discussion on a bill about film ratings, he was criticized by other MPs who said such games didn't exist and gamers who commented online that he didn't know what he was talking about.
The content of this game is totally vile, but the reaction to it brings up interesting questions:
Is this game more reprehensible than games which let you torture and murder people? Is fantasy a good outlet for violent thoughts, which then prevent real-life violence? You can read commentary from the Feministing Community here.
In a weird zeitgeist-y coincidence, The Onion's Valentine's Issue ran this story: Japan Pledges To Halt Production Of Weirdo Porn That Makes People Puke