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.


Comments

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese ...

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese ...

Lol I know what the game is about, I was roundabout calling GP a hypocrite and saying he won't explain.


Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese ...

He ran out of adjectives.

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

You know what I hate?  What I can't stand?  You know what I despise with every fiber of my being and find to be completely repugnant, unredeemable garbage?

Reality television.

Good thing I can simply choose not to watch it.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

The problem is, it's getting to the point that if you want to watch TV at all, you're probably going to find reality TV on every channel.  It's like this: what if every store was a shoe store?  Sure, you could just stop shopping, but do you really have the acreage and the free time to grow and harvest your own crops?

On the issue of porn though, I agree.  It's a niche market anyway, so it's easy to avoid.  As long as we can think for ourselves there's no need for laws restricting adults from getting it.

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

Not even Ninja Warrior or Wipeout???

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

Ninja Warrior and Wipeout are awesome.

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

Ninja Warrior?

I've never heard of it but It mustb e awesome.

IMA FIRIN MAH LASER!!!

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

It would be very interesting to see the sexual violence statistics for Japan Vs the US or UK, because I'm fairly certain that in the land of Hentai and H-Games, the sexual violence stats will be much lower.

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

Exactly... The writer of the column is obviously fairly clueless about Japan. Certain elements of Japan society like to play these sorts of game or watch japanese adult video becuse it allows them an escape mechanism...  in US and Europe, our youth and other hoodlums tend to take the action to real streets...  I live in Japan and can tell you I am dead certain the crime rates in US and Europe far exceed those here...

While I would not watch or play this game, I support its existence in the correct context of gaming and japanese adult content...

It SHOULD NOT be available to minors just like all of the content here http://jbunnyplanet.com/JAV-porn/ should only be viewed by consenting adults who love japanese women and their sexuality.

The Game would be more at home here http://www.juicybunny-dvd.com/store/  rather than AMAZON or EBAY unless it is specifically in the adult section.

Komaji

 

 

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

I think you're right, but I'll bet the instances of schoolgirls being molested on subways are higher in Japan. I mean, what a weird phenomenon. You'd think that the second anybody started to be molested, they'd kind of make a big deal about it.

---------------------------------

Internet troll > internet paladin

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

The Gimmick manga once had a quick story with this issue. Guy said "huh, what are you talking about? Got any evidence? Accusing me from the blind like that..." and she gets embarassed and runs off, then when she goes back on the train a few days later he does it again. (He also did it several days before she finally had the guts to respond to it.)

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

From what I know of Japanese culture, it would be deeply embarassing for a girl or woman to admit to being groped.  That's why the problem is so large - and it's probably a lot bigger than the reports would indicate.

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

I think that's more to do with a combination of japanese trains being packed like crazy (very high urban population density, IIRC), so you can get away with a quick grope, and japanese school uniforms being..."easy access"

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

Question.... dose this not fall under pron/obscity law's? If so why the moral outrage since it would be illegal to sell it to a minor....

 


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

In America it would have to pass the Miller test to be considered obscenity and there are a lot of arguments both for and against.

My personal opinion is that it does not pass the Miller test.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

To be fair the Miller test has been fleshed out somewhat in subsequent court decisions. That's the way U.S. Constitutional Law works. You get a really vague test that then gets applied and you look to conform with the applications.

The Miller Test Basically says

  • Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
  • Whether the work depicts/describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions[2] specifically defined by applicable state law,
  • Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. (This is also known as the (S)LAPS test- [Serious] Literary, Artistic, Political, Scientific.)

IMO RapeLay definitely satisfies the Miller Test. Believe it or not, its pretty damn hard to get past that test. It hasn't happened often since Miller was announced in 1973.

I'll agree with you that Miller is a vague test. But its been fleshed out a LITTLE. The Court has shown that it is DAMN serious about that "taken as a whole" thing. To the point where works that are like 80% sex and only 20% commentary etc have been labelled NOT obscene.

Lacks has basically come out to mean NONE. But RapeLay pretty clearly falls under that rubric, I think. Especially given the current, conservative, court.

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

I disagree.  I find Rapelay to have serious artistic and scientific value.  I even find it to have literary value.  Serious literary value?  Hard to say since it's not clear how "serious value" can be quantified.

I also don't find the depiction of sexual conduct in that game "patently offensive."

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

I'm curious as to what scientific value you see in RapeLay.

If you're talking about things like the engine, graphics, coding etc. It's pretty clear that that isn't what the test refers to (especially given subsequent ruling).

The SLAPS prong isn't dealing with the "hard" aspects of the media if you will (I'm making an analogy to hardware vs. software here) as those are NOT accesible generally to the audience and are not the motivation behind the purchase of the media. Consumers do not generally by RapeLay to examine the coding, the graphics engine or any of the other "hard" aspects.

SLAPS deals with the "soft" aspects such as the narrative, visual depictions, and content.

To put it another way, a porno movie doesn't gain scientific value because it uses the newest and best video codec to run.

As for literary value, that's fair enough. I don't feel it has any, but if you do that's your opinion and your entitled to it. And you're right that "Serious" is a pretty amorphous word.

However, you have to remember that this whole test is applied taking into account contemporary COMMUNITY standards. I would wager a wild guess that the VAST and OVERWHELMING majority of people (on both sides of the debate on this issue) find the game patently offensive and lacking in serious value. Enough of a majority that you can easily say that the COMMUNITY finds the game lacking and offensive. THAT is the standard you have to apply.

Additionally, courts do consider the intent of the creator (this is something added to the Miller test by subsequent court cases). The creators of RapeLay (and obviously this really only comes up in an actual court case) probably did not create this game with a serious intent. They created it to make a rape game.

And I have to say, I find any media in which Rape is depicted graphically as the primary GOAL of the protagonist and as some kind of "justified" reaction to be patently offensive.

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

He gets murdered, doesn't he? Punishment for his horrible acts.

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

Like I've always said, there are arguments to be made from both sides.

What about artistic value?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

Again taken as a whole? No, I dont find this has any serious artistic value.

It hardly breaks new grounds in terms of art direction or graphics. Plus you do have to look at the intention of the creator, was this meant to be art? Probably not.

And while RapeLay might have SOME artistic value, I don't think it has SERIOUS artistic value. It is pretty clearly not meant to be taken seriously as some kind of artistic statement.

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

Interesting.  This leads into my whole problem with the Miller Test.  What constitutes "serious value"?  Does it have to break new ground?  Does it have to make a statement?  Does it have to be good?

To me, the game has artistic value but I do see why to others it does not.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

You should probably clarify that nothing passes the Miller test in your opinion.

---------------------------------

Internet troll > internet paladin

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

Okay.  Yes, to be honest, I can't think of anything that would pass the Miller Test.  But that's a function of the Miller Test not defining its terms and confining itself to sexuality.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

I suppose if it shows aroused genitalia badly pixilated or not in acts of intercourse that would count?



If hard core porn is censored like Japanese porn IE genitalia blocked/blurred it would be R/NC17 level?


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Leigh Alexander: Controversial Rape Game is a Japanese

"I suppose if it shows aroused genitalia badly pixilated or not in acts of intercourse that would count?"

Who knows?  The second prong only states that the depiction has to be "patently offensive."

"If hard core porn is censored like Japanese porn IE genitalia blocked/blurred it would be R/NC17 level?"

It would be NC-17 even unblocked as that's the highest rating the MPAA currently has.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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