Virtual depravity

Amazon will no longer sell a computer game called Rapelay:

In Rapelay, gamers direct a character to sexually assault a mother and her two young daughters at an underground station, before raping any of a selection female characters. . . .

Rapelay was developed by the Japanese production house Illusion, which makes a number of sexually violent games for the domestic market. Their other titles include “Battle Raper” and “Artificial Girl”.

A spokesman for the company said: “We believe there is no problem with the software, which has cleared the domestic ratings of an ethics watchdog body.” . . .

Rapelay, which was released in 2006, encourages players to force the virtual woman they rape to have an abortion. If they are allowed to give birth the woman throws the player’s character under a train, according to reviews of the game. It also has a feature allowing several players to team up against individual women.

Reducing rape and abortion to a game, a mere fun diversion, is monstrous, a sign of an inward depravity that is staggering. I would remind gamers that, according to Jesus Himself, fantasizing about sinning is sin and deserves a horrible judgment (Matthew 5:21-30).

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • EconJeff

    That is just horrible. Horrible. I’d like to know who the “ethics watchdog body” is and who they report to.

  • Gulliver

    Through music and films, the United States has dumped a lot of its cultural baggage on the world. Here is a case where a pagan cultural ethos is dumped on the U.S. In some few societies, women are not highly regarded. A daughter’s death is sad, but a son’s death is a tragedy and is accompanied with great mourning.
    Feminists have accused Christianity of putting women undere bondage in marriage, but would they want a world where men can behead their wives or treat them as sex toys?
    I am glad that Amazon pulled this game from their site. Does anyone know how long this game was for sale before they took it off their site?

  • wcwirla

    What amazes me is that Amazon.com did sell it for a while until watchdoggers flagged it

    Some will do anything for a buck.

  • Stephanie

    With any web site as large as Amazon’s, chances are that no human at the company actually saw the game or its description before it was placed on the site. Much of that type of thing is automated. Having never worked at Amazon I can’t say for sure, but it would not surprise me at all if most, if not all, of the products listed are simply read in from a file provided by manufacturers or publishers. I could be wrong though.

  • Tom

    Having lived in and studied Japanese and the culture. This is not that surprising to me. It is a VERY male dominated, violent society. Just look to their history and you will see over 500 years of civil war. There is all kinds of manga (Japanse styled comic books) and anime that are sexually offensive and degrading toward women. I find the game disgusting and offensive. It saddens me to think that people could come up with this and not have ANY flags go off in their collective heads.

  • Booklover

    Highly hideous.

    However, the US of A has been exporting our own monstrous movies, music, porn, ad nauseum, for years now. Many Christians have not spoken up in outrage because they partake of much of it.

  • Jay D

    Agreed, it is monstrous. It does raise some questions. Games featuring realistic cold-blooded murder are not uncommon (Grand Theft Auto). Is rape worse? Why is murder less unacceptable? De-sensitization?

  • WebMonk

    Jay D, I’m not sure that either rape or murder is worse, but on a purely pragmatic level, rape is something that is much more likely to happen than murder. Essentially there is a lower barrier to cross in today’s society to commit rape than murder. (dunno why, it just is)

    So encouraging or desensitizing someone to committing rape has a much higher likelihood of resulting in an actualized rape. Desensitizing or encouraging someone to murder is less likely to result in a murder.

    There could also be side effects short of rape or murder which might be more prevalent with one than the other.

    There might also be some difference between a “quickie” virtual murder and its impact on a person, and the invested time and planning put into arranging a rape. The mindless killings might have less effect on a person (hence the ‘mindless’ term) than the more involving carrying out of a video game rape.

    I don’t really have any concrete answers, I’m just tossing out some possibilities.


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