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.