RapeLay could help identify budding sociopaths

Trigger warning: there’s a video game called RapeLay. I’ve read a lot of descriptions of it online, and much discussion of whether it should be sold and by whom (do not miss Shakesville on this creepy Amazon backdoor rape search). I’m going to describe the game and then provide a meaningful answer to precisely what’s wrong with it. See, once you read the description, vomit, bleach your brain out, and come back quivering to see if you can finish reading this post, it’ll seem so obvious what’s wrong with it that it doesn’t need saying. Except I think it does.

And then: I’m not touching the subject of rape for two weeks. I just can’t.

In this game, you, the player, rape a teenage girl and her mother and sister because the teenage girl once had you put in jail for molesting her on the subway and this is your revenge. Then your friends rape them, too. Then you all go rape some other women. Actually, I’m oversimplifying – it’s a game, after all, so there are steps you must take before you get to rape anybody. You first have to “pray” that God will send a wind to lift up the mother’s skirt – He does, of course, bless Him. Then you have to grope and fondle her in various ways to get her “arousal meter” to go up. When she’s sufficiently aroused, then you get to rape her. Then you get to rape her daughters and all sorts of other alleged women. These “rapes” involve crying and screaming and saying “I want to die” on the part of the victims (when they complain they want to die, one of your options is to rape them again to shut them up). One of the rape victims looks 10 years old and you rape her in her bedroom full of teddy bears and other childish stuff. Then there’s this neat twist where the women and girls being raped can become pregnant, and if you don’t force them to have abortions, they throw you under a train. And according to Slate, the rape victims have orgasms. And it’s good to know the game is designed for one-handed control in case you need to wank off while watching it.

Something Awful (NSFW! and TRIGGER WARNING!) has a very detailed and sickening review (complete with screencaps – again NSFW!) which includes a priceless paragraph:

There are many lessons to be learned from RapeLay, about not wearing a skirt on a train in Japan or the need to equip your daughters with suicide pills, but the lesson foremost in this game is that rape is easy. You can wantonly grope women on a train without consequence and repeatedly rape their entire families without much fear. The only thing you can’t do is not force them to get an abortion, because that’s a sin in the eye’s of god and leads to murder. He is the same god that answers the prayers of rapists standing on subway platforms.

Unfortunately, somebody managed to get this game banned, so now it’s all over the internet for free. Enjoy! (This is why I don’t support censorship – it tends to become self-defeating.)

So what precisely is wrong with the game? Some gamers asked this at Jezebel, but most of them behaved like trolls rather than asking in a reasonable way, so the conversation devolved. I want to attempt to answer that question specifically.

What’s wrong with this game is that it’s more of a rape primer than a rape fantasy. The game is geared toward letting players know what it really feels like to rape somebody. For example, it would seem to come under the heading of “rape fantasy” if the victims get aroused first. But isn’t this exactly the lie many rapists convince themselves of? That their victims enjoyed it? Or deserved it anyway? That particular “fantasy” is part and parcel of the experienced as perceived by many perpetrators. Instead of being a consensual sex fantasy with a patina of resistance added for kicks, like the traditional “boddice-ripper” romance novel genre, this game focuses on the anguish and vulnerability of the victims. That’s what the player is wanking off to.

There’s a psychiatric term for people who get a sexual high from a victim’s anguish: sexual sadists*.

Each offender’s account confirms that it is the suffering of the victim, not the infliction of physical or psychological pain, that is sexually arousing. In fact, one of these men resuscitated his victim from unconsciousness so that he could continue to savor her suffering. Inflicting pain is a means to create suffering and to elicit the desired responses of obedience, submission, humiliation, fear, and terror.

If you find this game arousing, you can consider yourself in good company with Ted Bundy, Robert Leroy Anderson, Mike DeBardeleben and others. Here’s what you have to look forward to in your life: if the fantasies stop doing it for you at some point in your life, you’ll move onto roleplaying with paid or consensual partners. If roleplaying loses its appeal, you will become a perpetrator.

Which is why I suggest that, far from trying to have the game banned (which got it more attention than it ever would’ve had if we’d just ignored it and drove it underground where anyone can get it online now), maybe we should simply have required stores selling it to take down the driver’s license information of everyone buying it (like they do when you buy pseudoephedrine now). That way, we’d have a list of likely next generation sex offenders to look for next time someone’s victimized in their area. Of course, that’s not fair to those who would buy it out of curiosity and find it too icky to play. I’m being facetious. I think.

The real solution I advocate is this. Every country where this thing has been downloaded or sold needs to sit down and think – really think: how did there get to be a market for this game in my culture? Are there so many sexual sadists out there that they constitute a market niche? And do you really think culture can’t change this? Culture is what’s making it happen in the first place. My culture has been teaching us “sex is bad” for so long it’s hardly surprising people can’t tell sexual assault from sex, since it’s all “bad.” It also teaches victim-blaming, and that all human downfall is Eve’s fault. It teaches that men are predators and women are prey. And in a final ironic twist, it teaches many men to feel such shame and self-loathing that the only way they can feel anything is by perceiving the suffering of someone they’ve brutally degraded.

That’s what this game is about.

*Any comments saying, “You’re mean – sexual sadists are nice people” will be deleted. “Sexual sadist” is an actual psychiatric term, as the article explains, complete with a helpful link. People who roleplay sexual sadism are not actually sexual sadists. That’s why it’s called roleplaying. Do you get it now?

Comments

  1. says

    I remember hearing about this game years ago from a Japanese products blog, and reading the linked-to article. I was as disgusted and horrified then as I am now.

    Before anybody says it, I’d like to put in: this isn’t a “deviant Japanese thing.” While there are cultural phenomena at play in Japan that western cultures look on disgustedly (fetishization of youth, schoolgirls, etc.) none of it is absent from American culture. Catholic school uniforms replace sailor-suit uniforms, and different things are tolerated in the light of day with winks, nudges, and attitudes of “we don’t talk about that,” but don’t anybody kid yourselves. If games like this can be written off as “the Japanese are just freaks,” then nobody else would buy them. There are twisted perverts worldwide.

    Just my 2c. I get tired of people excusing one abominable behavior with another– racism.

  2. Karakuri says

    Ogod. Japan. *sigh* I’m not at all surprised. I don’t know if I’m qualified to comment, but..

    I agree with you that it’s a symptom of a cultural problem, although I’m not sure if it contributes significantly to actual rape looking at Japan’s low rate of sexual assault. It seems to me like a symptom of the infantile relationship between the sexes in Japan – the ideal wife is a child, yet the wife is also a surrogate mother. I don’t think most of these guys who enjoy these kinds of games would be able to actually assault a woman. They like to think themselves predators, but I think most of them are just incredibly infantile. They think of these games more shallowly than we do, they’re not serious enough to consider doing this in real life. Maybe I’m totally wrong but, it’s the impression I get.

    One thing I found interesting about hentai games is that out of the ones for women, there are quite a few that depict men being raped. The main difference between the games for men and the games for women is this: in the games for men, the main character is YOU. YOU are the owner of that invisible penis. That’s why they usually don’t show the character himself (one guy told me it’s cause the male gamer wouldn’t want to see another guy’s dick in his game). The ones for females – all of the ones I’ve seen, have a visible main character, with his/her own personality, who is clearly separate from the player, and the action on the screen is for the female’s voyeuristic pleasure. Interesting.

  3. Karakuri says

    Sorry, what I mean in the above post is, they’re just so incredibly inhibited that if they were to assault a woman, it would be a wild lashing out rather than some cold, calculating, predatory thing. Not that that’s any less fucked up.

  4. Maria says

    A rape culture isn’t about strangers raping strangers. It’s about the vulnerability of women — so the rates of assault you ref aren’t really useful in saying whether or not Japan has a rape culture, since the way you’re talking about rape ignores intimate partner violence, partner/acquantaince rape, etc.

  5. says

    @nijireiki: I wasn’t clear on whether you thought I was implying it was a Japanese problem or were just talking about the many commentaries online that suggest that. But re-reading my post, I realized I used the phrase “Every country where this thing has sold” and since it got banned in the US so quickly, some might think I’m excluding the US. I am SO not. I’ve edited that phrase to say “Every country where this thing has been downloaded or sold.”

    If there’s a nation on the planet that doesn’t have a rape culture, I am unfamiliar with it.

    @Karakuri, this post is not about hentai in general. It’s about a particular game that distinguishes itself from the rest of hentai by playing to actual rapist fantasies rather than rape fantasies. No one’s saying hentai contributes to incidents of rape – it could just as easily satisfy some who are leaning in that direction so they don’t escalate to assault. But not this game. That was the whole point of the post. Hentai could appeal to someone who absolutely lacks the potential to become a real life rapist. This game could only appeal to someone who IS a potential rapist.

    Also, what Maria said. Rape culture is also about men dictating and controlling women’s lives in ways other than rape. Because it’s the idea that “I can do with her what I want because she is my property” that leads to rape in the first place.

  6. says

    Jennifer, I was mostly referring to online commentaries and my experience with people IRL who use the “Japanese problem” excuse. I didn’t think you were excluding the US, but I also didn’t know the US banned the game so quickly, so any implication would have been lost on me anyway.

  7. Maria says

    Piping in again for historical context:

    I think that deviant Asian thing has an especially long history in the US. I’m thinking of 1916’s *Patria* and even the last *Pirates of the Caribbean.*

  8. says

    You know, I am really against this game being banned, as stomach-turning as it is – and I was curious to test this game until I found a detailed review and thought I actually didn’t need to test it, thank you very much.

    But I wonder how close you are to the truth? I’m sure you’d get quite a few false positives from people just wanting to see what the fuzz was about, and from people mistakenly buying this – and you will also get people playing this who are not in danger of doing something criminal in the real world. But still, say you’d make the game send an online status of how long it was played, or after it’s been played for longer than, say 30 minutes (to account for the curious) – would that be a halfway decent diagnostic tool? Aside from the privacy concerns, of course, and from the fact that if you required registration, the real perverts would get it illegally.

  9. says

    The Other Patrick, it’s scary, isn’t it? Of course, everything we’re talking about here is extremely Big Brother, and I’m a firm believer we can reduce rape and violent crimes without violating privacy like that. But yeah, what if you framed it as a study? Invited people to play, noted how long they played… or more importantly, whether they became aroused or discomfited at the game victims expressing their pain and suffering? Then you check up on them in 20 years and see who’s been charged with and/or convicted of rape.

  10. Karakuri says

    Hmm. Fair enough. I just see this huge grey area between “rapist fantasy” and “rape fantasy”, is all. There are games where you force people to become emotionally dependent on you, games where rape leads to True Love, etc.

  11. Elee says

    I know, I certaily would want to “see what the fuzz was about”, because my morbid curiosity isn’t satisfied with second-hand accounting (and probably weep myself to sleep for the next month, X( but that is not point). An online status would certainly be a better indicator. Though I think – from what I hear of the game there is a good likelihood someone who (just) likes to torture and kill people will be just as possible as player. So if one would want to frame a study like that, a correlation not only to a specific crime – rape -, but to crime of violent nature in general would probably be better.

  12. Savannah says

    There was a period in my teens where I was seeking out hentai (Japanese anime porn) and one of the main reasons I stopped bothering with it was that almost everything I tried focused on the female’s anguish. I haven’t watched a lot of “real-life” porn (Japanese or otherwise), because at the time it bothered me and these days I have no interest in either types. But from the sampling I was exposed to, I noticed that in hentai, even when the sex is supposed to be “consensual,” the focus is on the female’s embarrassment, pain, insecurity, and reluctance. The most frequent Western porn trope seems to be the “eager slut” who empowers the male’s ego with her enjoyment, encouragement, etc. Obviously, there is a lot of overlap (there’s lots of rape porn in Western culture and lots of consensual porn in hentai), but I found there to be a certain obsession with the protesting female in hentai that I’ve never really seen anywhere else. I agree with Nijireiki that sexualization of youth is a problem everwhere. Obviously, Western culture is obsessed with youth and virginity too, but it’s interesting to me that the difference seems to be that the willing, seductive “Lolita” nymphet is the typical Western fantasy, where an actual, innocent, objecting young girl is the usual fantasy in hentai. I’d be interested to know how much of a niche hentai is– is it just that a lot of hentai in particular seems to focus on female discomfort? Is that just because it’s animated and it’s a better medium to do whatever you want to the victim?

    Either way, I’m always happy to see blogs about this game that do not discuss whether or not it needs to be banned, but why it is a cultural problem that it was even created and has a market.

  13. Anemone says

    I suspect that anyone old enough to play this game is already old enough to be a danger to other people, right now. Never mind following up in 20 years. Typically males who go out and prey on people have already gotten off to a good start by puberty. (Females generally take longer to become dangerous violent criminals, according to the research I’ve read.)

    My thoughts on reading this, other than that orgasms do occur during rape (nothing to do with pleasure), is that this is the logical outcome of all those video games already out there that encourage killing digital people for fun. People do lose empathy and become more aggressive from mainstream video games, so why be surprised when it goes this far? Are there any video games yet that let you kill people more slowly so that they suffer more? Or do people have to watch Saw or Hostel for that, still?

  14. says

    I just see this huge grey area between “rapist fantasy” and “rape fantasy”, is all. There are games where you force people to become emotionally dependent on you, games where rape leads to True Love, etc.

    I’m not convinced there’s much gray area in the fantasist’s mind: either (s)he gets off on the character’s suffering, or (s)he doesn’t. In this game, there doesn’t seem to be much else for a player to get off on.

    So if one would want to frame a study like that, a correlation not only to a specific crime – rape -, but to crime of violent nature in general would probably be better.

    Elee, sexual sadists are not just rapists – some of them substitute acts of torture for sex but still get off on the victim’s suffering. So yeah, you’re right – in 20 years you wouldn’t just look for rape, but killings, torturings, etc. Of course, the whole concept of the study is shaky because it depends on law enforcement catching up to these people, and as we all know, that doesn’t happen nearly as often as we’d like.

    Savannah, you raise some great questions there. We do have a “protesting prude who gets raped and becomes an eager slut” trope in our porn/erotica, which I would guess serves the dual purposes of (a) reinforcing that cultural idea that women don’t really have any autonomy and (b) letting victims work through their own issues. (At least some of the time I see this trope, I really get the feeling the person writing it, male or female, has been sexually assaulted and is fantasizing about transforming that into a magical and constantly thrilling situation.)

    People do lose empathy and become more aggressive from mainstream video games, so why be surprised when it goes this far?

    I’d say those of us reading up on psychology and/or abuse mentality were less surprised (or not at all) than people who don’t study that stuff and think it’s not a part of their world. What concerns me is that, clearly, enough empathy has already been lost that this game has a market. And lest anyone think I’m overstating, let me make this clearer:

    –I realize there’s a gap between “not being bothered by an animated scene where a ten year old is brutally and bloodily raped” and “I’m gonna go rape people.”
    –There’s a smaller gap between people who find that scene entertaining and people who actually have it in them to rape people.
    –You don’t make a video game unless you’re sure enough people will find it entertaining for you to make a profit.

    This game isn’t targeting people who can stomach these scenes – it’s targeting people who enjoy them enough to masturbate to them (remember, you can conveniently play the whole game with just one hand). If “people who can masturbate to scenes of a 10 year old being brutally raped” is a niche audience the same way “people who enjoy monster truck rallies” is a niche audience, that highlights how many more remorseless, empathy-free people there are out there than the average person imagines.

  15. says

    This is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. To the point that I don’t have a proper response. Instead, I offer you this, a link to someone’s video blog responding to this game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICQ5SIFld1A&feature=related

    Here’s what I don’t get/am pondering. Clearly, there is a market for this. However, is that market driven by sexual sadists who, thank heavens, are too timid to act out their “fantasies” or is it a market that’s been created by continual one-up-manship? If Grand Theft Auto is risque, is this just another video game company pushing the line of what is acceptable and, as a result, creating a whole new line of acceptability?

    I concur with the statement that this is a cultural (read: human vs. place) issue. The YouTube clip, which is presented by a young woman, clearly shows that culturally, we’ve desensitized ourselves to the point that representation of rape is no big thing (I’m mean, really, its not “real” so… *insert sarcasm here*). What I find incredibly problematic is that there is a much smaller than should be group of people who protest against this. I agree, I don’t think censorship is the way to go as it just generates more interest (again, the girl in the clip talked about how all she had to do was google it–which I did myself and the third link down on the page was a free download of this “game”). Education yes, most definitely. I feel like (and maybe this is just me “getting old” at the ripe age of 30) that people are no longer educated about topics such as this, or, if they are, the topics are either rushed over or treated with kid gloves. For example, AIDS. There has been an incredible slow-down in AIDS awareness education. I teach college composition and last year, when I told my class that the group most at-risk now was young heterosexual women, they were flabbergasted. They thought AIDS was still a “gay” disease, and that it was now close to be cured. I feel like rape is the same way. We barely teach our kids how to prevent pregnancy, let alone the proper steps to avoid/deal with rape (specifically date rape). Example: a student at the college I worked at two years ago now came to me because she had a been raped. She didn’t want to go to the hospital because she was worried they’d tell her parents because she’s on their insurance and, unfortunately, had showered immediately after she had been raped. A nursing student, she admitted that she knew, SHE KNEW, she shouldn’t have showered but she did anyways because she “didn’t want to get the boy in trouble” nor did she want this to get out to her classmates. The schools response was to tell me that I was responsible for reporting this “incident” so that they could bring the girl in and make sure she wouldn’t “damage the school.” Of course, they assured me, they’d help her get counseling as well assuming she was telling the truth. This is how rape is dealt with in our American culture. I’d hate to see how it was dealt with in a culture that allows “creative minds” to create such video game.

  16. Karakuri says

    Tons of people play sickening games for fun or curiosity even though they don’t get off on them at all. I wonder what the ratio is, between these types and actual sexual sadists? But well, since that’s been brought up, as well as the whole violating freedom thing, I’m going to shut up now.

  17. Elee says

    “People do lose empathy and become more aggressive from mainstream video games, so why be surprised when it goes this far?”
    I thought it was unproven yet, whether violent games are helpful in giving an outlet for people likely to act out on their violent leanings or desensitizing thus making players to commit more acts of violence? Aren’t there to many factors to determine the videogames as a culprit of sorts? (Personally I think the truth isn’t inbetween but on the latter, but I don’t know enough about the subject to say what group actually is prevalent). What I find additionally troubling besides the knowledge that there is a market for these games, that there seems to be a trend to make the games more realistically looking. It is much easier to hold an emotional distance to a cutesy cartoon, where violence happens nonstop than to game where the setup and the charas look like they could be from my neighbourhood. Also: I have a feeling, that there is much more of a market for such “risque” games? I remember reading something about a pimp game, and now that I am on Facebook I’m constantly seeing Mafia Wars. Admittedly, I’ve never played either one, so I don’t know what exactly they are about, but the premise alone was disgusting enough.

  18. Anemone says

    Elee, according to the research I’ve read, the catharsis theory doesn’t hold water at all, and I think it’s pretty much been proven that violent media including video games are a risk factor contributing to real life violence. Of course it’s not a simple direct relationship, but nonetheless there’s still a significant effect.

    I think the research also says that the more realistic the violence is (showing consequences, like injured people in pain, surviving family members being upset), the less harmful it is. I found a couple of good books from 2003 in the library that summarized the research pretty well.

    Interestingly, sexualized content (violent or nonviolent) also has the same effect.

    • Casey says

      “I think the research also says that the more realistic the violence is (showing consequences, like injured people in pain, surviving family members being upset), the less harmful it is.”

      I think you’ve got something there. I was playing Saint’s Row 2, often considered a more “cartoony” version of GTA, but in the first level, I* had broken out of jail and accidentally shot a female police officer in the crotch (I was aiming for the head, but I was still getting used to the controls), she crouched down wincing in pain and I just felt so awful I shut the game off and restarted the game. In all the GTA games I’ve played/observed most of the time the people you kill are just cannon fodder.

      (*I was playing as a female character, which made me feel even WORSE)

  19. Elee says

    How can it be less harmful? I’ll give you that the more realistic the violence the less likely it is, players who only in for the game and haven’t thought about the consequences of the acts in real life, will play it. Which would leave the players who are more likely to cause problems. And players who want to be cool, so they playing it suppressing their “do not want”-reaction. But this pool of fewer players is likely to be more violent than the other, exactly because they it allows more room for identification and see what the consequences are – and enjoy it. Their reaction to real life slights, however imaginary, is going to be blown way out of proportion, and thus causing more harm.

    I am not arguing your point, Anemone, I am just wondering how valid this research is and what their criteria for “less harmful” is. Less violent responses as in under 3%? Or less violent responses as in “fewer players than before acted on their urge to kill, substituting it for shoving out of the way”?

  20. Anemone says

    Elee, if you want the details, you should probably read the research. Two good books I came across: The 11 Myths of Media Violence by W. James Potter, and Media violence and children: A complete guide for parents and professionals, edited by Douglas A. Gentile. Both published 2003. And from there you can follow their references to get into as much detail as you want.

  21. says

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that there is no evidence to support the idea that simply playing violent video games makes a kid become violent. If values disallowing violence are already set in him, the game alone won’t corrupt him.

    But we know that budding serial killers seek out material like this to enhance the fantasies that are a step on their path to committing violent crimes. From this, it seems sensible to suppose that violent media could empower any pre-existing urges in an individual.

    On the other hand, if someone’s already heading in that direction, NOT having access to violent media may not prevent him from graduating to violent behavior.

  22. Elee says

    Honestly? I love how eloquent you put what I think into words, because I really have a difficulty to tell exactly what I mean (not even taking into account that neither english nor german are my first languages, which is an excuse I am shamelessly using). Also, I love that I can talk about serious matters here without feeling like a constant killjoy. That said, yes, that was partly the reason why I questioned Anemones statement – I think there needs to be way more than the influence of a game to turn someone violent – and a violence glorifying society is at least one such factor. Anemone, thanks for references, I’ll see if I can find the books in german, might be easier for me.

  23. says

    I think there needs to be way more than the influence of a game to turn someone violent

    Violence against women came before violent media, therefore I think it’s hard to establish precisely what effect violent media has on people who commit violent crimes. That’s what the research Anemone’s talking about is trying to sort out, but I don’t think any firm conclusions can be reached yet.

    What I feel violent media like this DOES tell us, however, is that aberrant behavior is NOT rare. There are enough people out there who are capable of rape that “more jails” or “longer sentences” is not the answer. “Chemical castration” is not the answer. There is no simple answer: we need to change our entire social outlook on sexuality and violence and abuse of power.

  24. says

    Being a sexual sadist does not equal being the kind of person who is likely to commit henious crimes against another person.
    Yes, I am turned on by the sight of other people in pain. That is a fact. That is my sexual orientation. I cannot change it. There is nothing I can do about what turns me on.
    However, nothing forces me to act on that arousal by hurting people nonconsensually. Enjoyment of pain is not the same thing as enjoyment of nonconsensual activities.
    I may be a sexual sadist, but I have a conscience. People might be hurt by what I like to do, but they’ll never be harmed and they’ll never have their consent violated.
    Please don’t tar everyone with my sexuality with the ‘rapist’ brush.

  25. says

    Viola, the fact that you think sexual sadism is a form of sexuality rather than psychopathy, combined with your inference that anyone said anything about sexual sadists being without conscience (no one did, undermines any credibility your comment may have had. I went to the trouble of quoting an article that made that distinction:

    Each offender’s account confirms that it is the suffering of the victim, not the infliction of physical or psychological pain, that is sexually arousing.

    It’s the suffering, not the physical pain, that sadists get off on. You don’t describe enjoying them suffer.

    No matter how turned on you are by others’ physical pain, you are not a sexual sadist. You are a person who likes sex that involves physical pain. That does not indicate any sort of problem with your mental health, nor does it suggest you are a danger to anyone in any way.

    Thanks for dropping by! Next time, you might want to actually read the article with some comprehension before assuming it’s all about you.

  26. says

    Viola: the difference is that between kinks and psychopathology. I know that sometimes it’s a knee jerk reaction to defend your kinks, as people confuse them with psychopathology, but here on Hathor it’s normally pretty good. Note that you don’t just need to be turned on by pain, but also:

    “The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviours cause clinically significant stress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of function.”

    As for violence and media, Jennifer is right, and Anemone, too. Catharsis seems to be a bunk concept, but media doesn’t turn people violent – but violent people use it to fire themselves up. I propose a simple check: look at crime figures from before personal computers to now – with the rise of ego shooters and similar, crime numbers should rise significantly as more and more people play and get turned into killers. But the numbers don’t rise. Granted, that’s circumstancial, but I’ve found that that convinces more people than delving into psychology and sociology and studies and such.

  27. Ache says

    I’ve read a lot of posts here and have a lot of respect for the good and true things you have to say. What I say here is not out of disrespect – I just thought it might be interesting to hear the opposite view.

    I am the least likely person anyone’d ever say was sexual. I am not. I don’t like sex – not the physical act anyway. I participate in it because I love my partner and the closeness that comes with it.

    I have also been interested in rape play and fantasies since my sexual appetites emerged fully, around age 11. Do I ever express it or partake of it outside of entirely fictional mediums, where no real human beings are involved? No. Erotic literature, manga, animations, or even roleplay. My tasted are selective – I do not enjoy debasement, gore, or humiliation. It’s just the act of sex with an unwilling partner. Generally, in the things I read or watch, the partner becomes willing near the end (orgasms, asks for more, etc) or equivalent.

    Is it about the power? Maybe. I have been powerless, incredibly so. I was abused throughout childhood and had a terrible, scarring experience with a partner that took over a good portion of my young adult life.

    RapeLay is not quite my taste, but I completely understand why someone would play it. The issue here is that, while there is no crime in fantasies – hell, people fantasize about stuff that is just as disconcerting, if not outright terrifying, all the time and you’d never know – there is a difference between the balanced and the imbalanced. Those with impulse control and those without it. I’ve never fantasized about beating the living crap out of someone, but lots have, and do nothing. I fantasize about my power being taken away, or taking away someone else’s power, but would never cause that kind of harm. Because the arousal, for me, and for most people who would play games like RapeLay, is in knowing that your conscience can rest easy, because no one is being hurt, but the fantasy is still there playing out before you.

    I write this knowing that there are people who play this who are not balanced, who have no impulse control, no conscience to hear, who may – or will – use this game as a model, as something that makes their actions okay in real life. Unfortunately, that is what comes with all indulgences – violent, sexual, etc. Someone’s going to do something stupid and uncalled for, and all members of it’s genre are branded. What’s not fair is that Halo isn’t just as decried as RapeLay.

    I hope this was cohesive. I didn’t edit it; just let it stand as it came out.

  28. says

    Two things

    Even though it’s not the reply to the article I’ll start with this first because second is massive trigger.

    Casey: Although it IS heavily more cartoonish throughout, the actual reaction animations are pretty brutal-looking compared to GTA because of who made it. Volition also makes Red Faction. It’s just something you unfortunately have to take with it. The ‘skeleton beneath’ before it’s converted to 3rd person or has all the nifty character sliders put in, is still Volition’s main engine. It’s like sometimes how you can tell right off, even if they are completely different genres, which games are using Epic’s Unreal engine. The same sorts of ‘base reactions’ exist in each without heavy modding. Everything sits atop this until the next engine debuts. That’s just my own anecdotal IMO though, from experience on PC games, I have no idea if Volition has a similar workflow being mostly console, just my hypothesis on that.

    Now as to RapeLay… This is not the tip of the iceberg, but it’s not also the very bottom. An old article I found through anipike which unfortunately is no longer up (damn you robots.txt), it had an interview with one of the RapeLay guys. He is definitely in the too timid boat. Illusion, actually, deals mostly with, now this may be your own mileage, but deals mostly with the in my opinion more damaging ‘she secretly wants me’ kind of creeper/stalker/hikkikomori play. They have fighting games where you beat your female opponent and then take her as the prize, right there on the ring, the whole time she is doing the whole “No, no, yes, THIS IS GREAt, this is dirty, stop it, OH YES I LOVE YOU” thing. Yes, it’s a common fantasy but, it’s also a bit enabling to the fencesitters, or to someone who had a confusing breakup&makeup and gets the idea women are always like that. You aren’t really pulling the pud for RapeLay without actually being a sadist, though. It’s gonna turn off those fence sitters. The girls kill you ending doesn’t seem like a real ending, more like a sick afterthought of a joke, too.
    However that isn’t to defend it, just saying, it’s not going to be a ‘tool’ to me to leap over into real life. Not like how a lot of fantasy content gets abused by apologists to say ‘she secretly wanted me.’ It feeds the sexually stunted something fierce, especially the ‘otaku’ and ‘moe’ demographics.

    Furthermore the reason why RapeLay has a more squicky ‘realistic’ bent (as mentioned, the whole getting off on the suffering bit other posters pointed out) on this is because it WAS headed by sexual sadists. A very extreme trio for that matter well. RapeLay isn’t like other Illusion games because it didn’t appeal to their main demographic. They were let go after it didn’t perform very well. Illusion went back to ‘creeper/groper/perfect CG girlfriend’ games. The trio formed their own company, which does primarily flash games. They can be found at swfchan by searching for the seemingly mundane sounding ‘Studio S’. Their games and animation are horrifying enough to be ‘triggers’ to career war veterans. I don’t even know if there’s a word for the level of ‘trigger’ there. You could only find an equal level of sadism by watching videos put together by Balkan war soldiers. One of the animations even has a ‘faux-real-country’ setup where a soldier abducts a 10 year old girl. I’m not even going to outline what can be done to the girls in the games. Through swf diving and decompiling each ‘game’ has around five endings on average. The girls must die to see any of them. Thankfully (yeah, wow, there’s something you didn’t think would be said here) the ‘interactive’ ones have only of-age girls. the swfchan listing is incomplete, I saw a lot more for sale on their site back when I first found it a year ago.

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