11 votes

Why “rape games” are worse than violent games

25 comments

  1. [2]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I think this is actually a matter of duration. In most games where you can kill other people it's a matter of shooting them for a few seconds at most. If instead someone created a saw-like...
    • Exemplary

    I think this is actually a matter of duration. In most games where you can kill other people it's a matter of shooting them for a few seconds at most. If instead someone created a saw-like torture-someone-to-death simulator there's a huge difference there. You go from a shooting gallery to drawing pleasure from suffering (even if that suffering is simulated).

    That's the same as the murder vs rape situation. To enjoy a simulated rape you need to wish to witness and participate in making someone suffer.

    22 votes
    1. TheJorro
      Link Parent
      I'm with you on this. We can replace "rape" with "torture" for the sake of argument and then look at all those games that feature torture sequences. There's that one part of GTAV that's infamously...

      I'm with you on this. We can replace "rape" with "torture" for the sake of argument and then look at all those games that feature torture sequences. There's that one part of GTAV that's infamously difficult for many to get through because the game makes you actively torture someone for a certain period of time, even if you as a player do not want to.

      Out of all the things you can do in a GTA game, that is the sequence that most people have an issue with participating in.

      It's one thing to press a button and have a virtual person cease to be. It's another to do acts upon them and hear them beg, scream, plead, cry, wail, pray, or beg for mercy. The former is a lot easier to contextualize as enjoyment, and it really makes you wonder about the people who are seeking to derive entertainment from the latter.

      11 votes
  2. [2]
    Bullmaestro
    Link
    Unpopular opinion: Valve's laissez-faire approach towards approving content for release on Steam is one brought out of pure laziness and inconsistency. The fact that Active Shooter and Rape Day...

    Unpopular opinion: Valve's laissez-faire approach towards approving content for release on Steam is one brought out of pure laziness and inconsistency. The fact that Active Shooter and Rape Day were only pulled by Valve because of the negative press they accumulated prior to their scheduled launch shows this.

    Steam are taking what I can best describe as the "Reddit approach," and that is hurting their legitimacy as a digital distribution platform greatly.

    I call it the Reddit approach because bad publicity seems to be the core thing that has shaped Reddit's Content Policy, because a lot of the really bad stuff that used to plague Reddit like racial hatred, creepshots, gore, graphic clips of people dying and content sexualising minors was only purged in direct response to negative publicity rather than out of a proactive policy to bar such content.

    I've genuinely seen games on Steam more disturbing than the two examples shown. One was an indie simulation game I saw the other day (Ouction) which had been on sale for over a week and features graphic depictions of slavery, rape and forced breeding prominently. The only thing remotely censored is the male genitalia of your character. It's far more offensive than anything banned from Steam over the past year yet Valve seemingly don't give a hoot.

    15 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      This is the scale "problem" that so many tech giants face. They operate beyond their means while externalizing work onto their users. It's a double dip, allowing for simultaneous growth and...

      This is the scale "problem" that so many tech giants face. They operate beyond their means while externalizing work onto their users. It's a double dip, allowing for simultaneous growth and cost-cutting: win-win for businesses.

      Additional bonus: when this setup results in something that crosses lines, it also allows them to deny responsibility, whether using the defense of size ("there's just too much for us to possibly police!") or by passing the buck ("it's up to users to let us know what doesn't belong here!" or, alternately, "it's the responsibility of users/devs to post appropriate content").

      Though controversies can generate occasional blips of bad press, these companies have no doubt done the cost-benefit analysis that lets them know that they're getting a good deal in the long run by permitting unsavory elements.

      7 votes
  3. Grawlix
    Link
    I thought about this point a lot recently, as I looking at the (Ennie Award-winning) tabletop adventure module Blood in the Chocolate. It's a darker take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,...

    I thought about this point a lot recently, as I looking at the (Ennie Award-winning) tabletop adventure module Blood in the Chocolate.

    It's a darker take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where the chocolate is addictive, weird magic causes candy-based diseases with a heaping helping of body horror, a rather uncomfortable confrontation of colonialism... and sexual assault. Pretty much everything else ranged from me thinking it was rad to, you know, maybe having a discussion with the group about the Oompa Loompa analogues. I cut out the sexual assault themes entirely.

    It amounts to one possible result on a random even table ("blood orgy"), and a character who is at least heavily implied to have been sexually assaulted by Lucia de Castillo, the adventure's Willy Wonka analog.

    And speaking of distance, it sort of covered two different forms of the issue. The "blood orgy" is so over-the top and cartoonish, while the captive victim feels a lot more real... even if she is swollen into a giant blueberry and needs to be pressed periodically to keep her from exploding.

    I think a part of it is that, yes, rape is more common than murder. Even besides people at the table possibly having experienced it, knowing someone who has experienced it, or been in positions where they were afraid of it happening, there's also the fact that it can evoke unpleasant feelings from other situations, like sexual harassment. Some people may want to confront that at the table, but I wasn't comfortable with it, especially as I was running the game.

    Another part is that, while murder is one thing, there's something about pain. I don't want to show the physical and emotional pain of the sacrificial victim of the blood orgy, and I don't feel equipped to play the trauma of a rape victim. I can't say this is supposed to be an artful depiction of Trauma, either, so it just felt like those torture porn movies that were a fad for a few years, and which I completely avoided.

    It did make me consider, firstly, why I have different feelings about fictional depictions of different kinds of violence, as the author of the essay linked above by OP discussed. It also made me really think of how I look at the content of an adventure, and how my discomfort makes me view the work as a whole.

    I guess, finally, it really is a good adventure with a ton of neat stuff. :p It's just very much a horror show, and I wanted to play it more cartoony with a dark edge rather than something a bit more disturbing. Plus, from what I can tell, the author has a good head on his shoulders. The publisher... not so much.

    4 votes
  4. Macil
    (edited )
    Link
    I like the article's argument. I've seen the argument that slurs/racism/sexism etc are fine to encourage in games and don't matter at all because killing is already popular in games, and I...

    I like the article's argument. I've seen the argument that slurs/racism/sexism etc are fine to encourage in games and don't matter at all because killing is already popular in games, and I absolutely detest that argument.

    Killing in most games is generally an abstract game mechanic compared to what it's like in regular life, and people are less sensitive to it in media because society already does a good job of stigmatizing it. Regular people generally don't run into people that openly think killing is low-key okay, get emboldened by media portrayal of it, and then wantonly commit it while their victims have no recourse and have trouble convincing anyone there's even an issue. That's not so true about sexual assault or bigotry.

    I don't think I'd be for making games like Rape Day illegal (without some specific evidence of the harm it does at large to society), but I think it's good to push back as a consumer and advocate that storefronts and other companies involved with games shouldn't help enable these kinds of games. Someone can make a rape simulator on their own, but I don't want to do business with anyone enabling it so I'd rather Steam didn't.

    3 votes
  5. [19]
    gogoigo
    Link
    You can ask to anyone and all answer will be: murder is wrong. However not all people think the same about rape. If you play a rape game you can think this is a ok situation.

    You can ask to anyone and all answer will be: murder is wrong. However not all people think the same about rape. If you play a rape game you can think this is a ok situation.

    1 vote
    1. [9]
      arp242
      Link Parent
      Are there really a lot of people who think there is nothing wrong with rape? It happens, of course, just like theft happens, but I don't think there are many people – even thieves – who think...

      Are there really a lot of people who think there is nothing wrong with rape? It happens, of course, just like theft happens, but I don't think there are many people – even thieves – who think there is nothing wrong with it. Instead, they find excuses to "justify" their behaviour.

      16 votes
      1. [4]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        Sure, they're called rapists. Justifications are lies one will tell themselves to say it's okay, but there are people that honestly think rape is okay, that the people that they rape are asking...

        Are there really a lot of people who think there is nothing wrong with rape?

        Sure, they're called rapists. Justifications are lies one will tell themselves to say it's okay, but there are people that honestly think rape is okay, that the people that they rape are asking for it, are beneath them and so there's no reason not to rape them, etc.

        Then there are people that genuinely have a rape fetish. It's a requirement to get them off sexually.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          arp242
          Link Parent
          I think this is far too simplistic and black/white. Just because you did something wrong doesn't mean you think it's okay to do something wrong. Especially in cases of sexual assault where there's...

          I think this is far too simplistic and black/white. Just because you did something wrong doesn't mean you think it's okay to do something wrong. Especially in cases of sexual assault where there's some amount of grey area, slippery slope, and mismatched experiences of the situation.

          Then there are people that genuinely have a rape fetish. It's a requirement to get them off sexually.

          Yes, I am aware of this, and I've done my fair share of CNC ("consensual non-consensual") or "rape play". That doesn't mean that I think rape is okay, as you seem to be suggesting here.

          4 votes
          1. AugustusFerdinand
            Link Parent
            You're the one that is making this black and white. I'm not saying that all rapists think it's okay. I said there are people that... I did say that you think rape is okay. I didn't say rape is...

            You're the one that is making this black and white. I'm not saying that all rapists think it's okay. I said there are people that...

            honestly think rape is okay, that the people that they rape are asking for it, are beneath them and so there's no reason not to rape them, etc.

            I did say that you think rape is okay. I didn't say rape is okay. I'm answering your question on if there are people that think rape is okay.

            The CNC and rape play you are referencing are kinks. A fetish isn't a kink. One is something you like, the other is something you require. Very few people have fetishes, but there are still people that have rape fetishes.

            2 votes
        2. papasquat
          Link Parent
          That's probably not true in the vast majority of cases. Most rapists would say rape is wrong if you asked them. They would either justify what they did as not rape, make up an exception for why in...

          Sure, they're called rapists. Justifications are lies one will tell themselves to say it's okay, but there are people that honestly think rape is okay, that the people that they rape are asking for it, are beneath them and so there's no reason not to rape them, etc.

          That's probably not true in the vast majority of cases. Most rapists would say rape is wrong if you asked them. They would either justify what they did as not rape, make up an exception for why in that specific case it wasn't wrong, or just admit to themselves that they fucked up.

          You could easily say that murderers also don't think that murder is wrong. That's probably true in some cases, but not in most cases.

          1 vote
      2. gogoigo
        Link Parent
        I'm from Spain, in recent years group rapes have come to light. It's usual (WTF?!) watch in TV people trying to defend the aggressors.

        I'm from Spain, in recent years group rapes have come to light. It's usual (WTF?!) watch in TV people trying to defend the aggressors.

        3 votes
      3. DanBC
        Link Parent
        Rape is sex without consent. There are plenty of people who impose other restrictions. They'll say rape requires force, or that if the victim hasn't struggled it's not rape.

        Rape is sex without consent. There are plenty of people who impose other restrictions. They'll say rape requires force, or that if the victim hasn't struggled it's not rape.

        2 votes
      4. babypuncher
        Link Parent
        You don't need to look much further than the ancient sacred texts of a few different prominent religions to find some disgustingly regressive attitudes on rape.

        You don't need to look much further than the ancient sacred texts of a few different prominent religions to find some disgustingly regressive attitudes on rape.

      5. vorotato
        Link Parent
        Name any crime against society, humanity, or nature, and there are a lot of people who think that such a restriction is an unnecessary constraint on "natural human behavior". They may not talk to...

        Name any crime against society, humanity, or nature, and there are a lot of people who think that such a restriction is an unnecessary constraint on "natural human behavior". They may not talk to you about it, but they exist. Being said, I think rape is much much much more common to be hand waved, excused or victim blamed. It's uncomfortably common where I live.

    2. [3]
      Grzmot
      Link Parent
      Not the hill I want to die on, but you'll get plenty of people who will say murder isn't wrong. This seems like the wrong approach to differentiate sexual violence from violence.

      anyone

      Not the hill I want to die on, but you'll get plenty of people who will say murder isn't wrong. This seems like the wrong approach to differentiate sexual violence from violence.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        gogoigo
        Link Parent
        I'm talking in general. I'm sure a game about kill Muslim (it's only a example) will be forbidden too.

        I'm talking in general. I'm sure a game about kill Muslim (it's only a example) will be forbidden too.

        1. NaraVara
          Link Parent
          Ehhh not really. There are lots of mods for games That try to do just that. Take “Crusader Kings” as an example. There are several mods that really ramp up the genocidal violence angle, and that...

          Ehhh not really. There are lots of mods for games That try to do just that. Take “Crusader Kings” as an example. There are several mods that really ramp up the genocidal violence angle, and that games central premise is already focused on an act of genocidal violence.

          1 vote
    3. [2]
      iiv
      Link Parent
      I have no data for this, but I'm 99% sure that more people think murder is ok than people who think rape is ok.

      I have no data for this, but I'm 99% sure that more people think murder is ok than people who think rape is ok.

      1 vote
    4. [4]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Source? We've long since established that violent video games don't cause violent behavior, so what makes you think that a rape video game will cause rapes?

      If you play a rape game you can think this is a ok situation.

      Source?

      We've long since established that violent video games don't cause violent behavior, so what makes you think that a rape video game will cause rapes?

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        gogoigo
        Link Parent
        I didn't say that it will cause rapes.

        I didn't say that it will cause rapes.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          ... Fine, I apparently need to edit the statement to account for literal interpretation. We've long since established that violent video games don't cause violent behavior /thoughts that violence...

          ...

          Fine, I apparently need to edit the statement to account for literal interpretation.

          We've long since established that violent video games don't cause violent behavior /thoughts that violence is okay, so what makes you think that a rape video game will cause rapes /thoughts that rape is okay?

          1 vote
          1. TheJorro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I'm pretty sure this is just a simple communication issue, English does not seem to be their first language. They're not saying rape games are causing anything, they are saying there are people...

            I'm pretty sure this is just a simple communication issue, English does not seem to be their first language. They're not saying rape games are causing anything, they are saying there are people who will not mind them.

            They clarified in other comments that there are people in their country (Spain) that will make all kinds of excuses for why rape isn't a rape, so "don't rape" is (unfortunately) not something that can be considered as universal principle as "don't murder".

            5 votes