RapeLay, the difficult-to-defend game that’s a favorite target of politicians, is the focus of a CNN story which attempts to paint a picture of the game’s rising viral popularity.
While a voiceover says, “the game infuriates women’s rights groups,” the video cuts to Taina Bien-Aime, Executive Director of Equality Now. She states, “These sort of games that normalize extreme sexual violence in women and girls really have no place in our communities”
Bien-Aime later adds:
What we are calling for though, is that the Japanese government ban all games that promote and simulate sexual violence, sexual torture, stalking and rape against women and girls, and there are plenty of games like that.
Reporter Kyung Lah said that despite “repeated calls” to the Japanese government, “not a single government official would speak to CNN on camera,” or make a statement. She did manage to wrangle a comment out of an official via the telephone, who said, “The government realizes these games are a problem and it is checking to see whether self-policing by the game industry is enough.”
Lah asked a British woman, Lucy Kibble, who had sought out the game to see “what it was all about,” if she was offended by the game as a woman. Kibble replied, “No, not at all” She added, “It’s escapism, that’s why people play it.”
Jim Gardner, who appeared next to Kibble on the broadcast, offered his take on the whole situation, saying, “The idea of banning it, or telling people what they can or cannot do just because on the off chance some kid might get involved in it is just ridiculous.”
Lah closes the video report with the statement, “No one should play a game where the only way to win is to rape.”
The CNN piece spawned a wide variety of articles condemning RapeLay, including an article penned by Jill Stanek, a “national figure in the effort to protect both preborn and postborn innocent human life.”
A sampling from Stanek’s take on the game:
I wondered why abortion would be included in such a game. Wasn't it shocking enough? Apparently pregnancy and abortion are recent additions - to increase the shock value. Because abortion is gross, just like rape. It wouldn't be shocking to be impregnated by rape and deliver a beautiful baby.
I don't know. I think some pro-lifers don't really understand who we're up against, how important abortion is to satan, how powerful a part abortion plays in the world's spiral downward.
Meanwhile, in Australia, a member of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre is using the reconfirmed existence of Rapelay as a means to justify Internet filtering for the whole country, according to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald. Karen Willis “absolutely” believes in Internet filtering and told the paper, “While I don't think that playing games causes people to go out and do things, what it can do for those who may already have that preclusion is further break down social barriers to them taking that action.”
A counterpart of Willis, sexual assault victim’s advocate Nina Funnell, is against filtering, but offered, “These games are quite vile and for victims out there it's quite distressing to come across these games or even just be aware that they exist and there's a culture of rape tolerance and acceptance.”
As previously noted, a piece of pending Tokyo legislation would ban the use of “sexually stimulating” characters that appear to be under 18 years of age in a wide variety of media, including videogames. A vote on the measure has been postponed until June however.