March 31, 2010
'RapeLay' video game goes viral amid outrage
Posted: 02:33 PM ET
By Kyung Lah, CNN
Tokyo, Japan (CNN) - The game begins with a teenage girl on a subway platform. She notices you are looking at her and asks, "Can I help you with something?"
That is when you, the player, can choose your method of assault.
With the click of your mouse, you can grope her and lift her skirt. Then you can follow her aboard the train, assaulting her sister and her mother.
As you continue to play, "friends" join in and in a series of graphic, interactive scenes, you can corner the women, rape them again and again.
The game allows you to even impregnate a girl and urge her to have an abortion. The reason behind your assault, explains the game, is that the teenage girl has accused you of molesting her on the train. The motive is revenge.
It is little wonder that the game, titled RapeLay, sparked international outrage from women's groups. Taina Bien-Aime helped yank the game off store shelves worldwide.
"This was a game that had absolutely no place on the market," said Taina Bien-Aime of women's rights organization Equality Now which has campaigned for the game to be taken off the shelves.
But the controversy that led to stopping sales of the game instead took it viral.
That was how Lucy Kibble and Jim Gardner in Britain heard about it.
"I think the idea that you can do it by wholesale banning is just never going to work anyway because we downloaded it for free off the Internet," Gardner said.
In the case of RapeLay, he was right. It is still readily available on dozens of Web sites, sometimes for free.
What happened to RapeLay is an example, said Bien-Aime, of why Japan needs to police game makers.
"It's obviously very difficult to curtail activity on the Internet. But the governments do have a role in trying to regulate this sort of extreme pornography of children, both in their countries, and through the Internet ," she said, adding that they were calling for the Japanese government "to 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. "
Filed under: International
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