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Marika Guggisberg does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. A graphic new video game called Rape Day, set to launch in April, triggered a swift and widespread public outcry.
But why do we consider depictions of rape in video games to cross the line, but not other forms of violence? It is a well-established fact that most incidences of sexual assault remain undetectedwhereas homicides are commonly uncovered and perpetrators brought to the attention of the authorities.
'rape game' where you play a raping serial killer is exactly why gaming has a bad reputation
: Violence towards women in the video game Red Dead Redemption 2 evokes toxic masculinity. It is important, however, not to fall into the trap of assuming a definitive cause-effect relationship. Video games like Rape Day contribute to rape culture, but it s a raft of other cultural influences.
The global MeToo movement resulted in many victims of sexual harassment and violence coming forward. They used a collective voice to speak out against gendered violence, sharing their experiences of unacceptable masculine sexual domination, and continues to be empowering.
Sexual violence has also led to national strategies to influence societal and individual attitudes, including engaging men in the process of changing gender norms and assumptions. The game went online on March 6,sparking a petition on change. It is likely to have contributed to the decision to pull Rape Day from the gaming distribution service Steam Direct.
Steam, owned by a US private company Valve, released a statement on their decision to not distribute Rape Day, saying:. We then have to make a judgement call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers. We cannot normalize gender violence or rape.
Comments such as these acknowledge the difference between making a game from sexual violence that objectifies women and reinforces sexism, and other violent content commonly present in video games. : Violent video games and real violence: there's a link but it's not so simple. There were strong reactions around the world.
‘rape day’ game where you play as a ‘dangerous rapist’ pulled after backlash
Not only was Rape Day banned in European countries such as Germanybut politicians in Austria and the UK became involved, calling for more restrictive legislation. Consumers can also make complaints to the Classification Review Board about video game ratings or other decisions about games under the National Classification Code. Japanese game Omega Labyrinth Z, for instance, is situated within a school setting where players can control a of young girls battling evil forces.
The Classification Board banned the game because of the gratuitous, exploitative depictions of sexual activity with characters appearing under 18 years of age, violating classification rules. : Curious Kids: Why do adults think video games are bad?
When Rape Day was pulled from Steam, the developer, Desk Plant, acknowledged that the game could be seen as problematic. Maybe that would have been a better move for me from the start. But still, the game will be available to any player choosing to purchase it in some countries around the worldeven though restrictions are currently being discussed. Navigating this space requires sensitive decision-making, not only among overseeing bodies but also video game players.
Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. And the rape of women is encouraged to progress the plot.
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