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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.
Earlier this week, one particular game on the Steam store gained notoriety in a way few others have. The name of the game is 'Rape Day' and it pretty much involves you controlling a serial killer that lures women into his home, before raping and murdering them.
And it's games like these that are spoiling the reputation of gaming everywhere. The game is by an indie developer called Desk Plant, who describes it as a "a visual novel where you control the choices of a sociopath during a zombie apocalypse.
Since hitting the headlines, the game has received a massive amount of backlash from the general public, even becoming the subject of a Change. The petition, which received almost 8, supporters, said, "We need to let reviewers know that a game centered on raping and killing women is unacceptable and cannot hit the market.
The game was originally scheduled for release via Steam Direct in April.
Valve has now, days later, made a statement saying online rape games is indeed banning the game from its store. And those few days it spent silent are not improving the company's reputation. In the past, Steam and its owner Valve have gotten a bad rap for its hands-off approach to moderating games on the platform. Users have raised complaints over both badly deed money grabbing titles on the site, as well as inappropriate content like Rape Day.
It was only back in September that Steam codified and published a new moderation system, with tags and auto filters deed to hide sexual and gory content, unless you go looking for it. That's how the first percent uncensored game officially made it to the store that month. Unfortunately, that means Valve has, for the most part, backed away from manually screening incoming games, instead choosing to let its system just sweep it all under the rug.
With regards to Rape Day, Steam explained its decision in a blog post yesterday. For his part, the unnamed creator had a strange defense of his creation to offer.
It's for a niche audience; If it's not your type of game you definitely don't need to play it but as other's have said I tried to make a game that I would enjoy playing, and there are other people like me. He's since agreed that Steam may not be the best platform for his game's release, and says he's looking into building his own distribution site to release the game.
Unfortunately, aside from those calling for the game's ban are plenty of voice insisting there's nothing wrong with it. That could very well be true, it hasn't yet been proved that games incite people to violence. Then again, it hasn't been disproved either. Multiple studies over the years have been conducted to investigate this phenomenon, without much agreement. In 'Metal Gear Solid 5' Quiet is a badass assassin sniper that wears a bikini and ripped clothes because "reasons".
However, you don't need to be a scientist to know one thing here. Whether or not 'Rape Day' would incite men to go about wantonly raping and killing women is moot, because what it does is normalize a grievous crime. Rape is and should be considered a horrific crime against humanity, so we're pushed to deal with the underlying issue, that of the dehumanisation of women.
This particular game is only the most egregious of examples, but the gaming industry is full of examples of bad portrayals of women. If they're not headless chickens pleading for the "hero's" help, unable to act in their own defense, they're trophies to be won, to be conquered.
Or worse, they're just there for titillation.
Some of the biggest titles and developers are responsible for this mindset. And each time gamers say any offense taken is ridiculous, and attempts to block it a violation of their freedom. This from the same groups that oppose a character in a game like Baldur's Gate: Siege Of Dragonspear' off-handedly mentioning being trans.
That's Bayonetta in actual in-game footage from the sequel, somehow in the middle of a fight crotch-first. But art often influences life.
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And it's not okay to portray women as objects of our power fantasy, it's not okay to turn them into the just the means for violence and sexual gratification. Because when that becomes, "just a game", it also becomes that much more acceptable. It's never been about playing a game once and being brainwashed by it. It's about years of rehashing a negative theme over and over until the lines are blurred and there's no difference between fiction and fact.
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NEWS 2 years ago. Images courtesy Steam The game is by an indie developer called Desk Plant, who describes it as a "a visual novel where you control the choices of a sociopath during a zombie apocalypse. In 'Metal Gear Solid 5' Quiet is a badass assassin sniper that wears a bikini and ripped clothes because "reasons" However, you don't need to be a scientist to know one thing here. That's Bayonetta in actual in-game footage from the sequel, somehow in the middle of a fight crotch-first But art often influences life. The Conversation 0 Start a conversation, not a fire. Post with kindness.
A rape to remember