About Rape in Video Games

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#1 Edited by realph (253 posts) -

I guess this topic came off the backlash that Django Unchained has been getting recently from prominent black figures in the entertainment industry. I've seen Django twice, and deemed nothing offensive in that movie whatsoever. But this sort of reaction/controversy is what scares off people from addressing "sensitive" subjects in their movies and games. I loved the film, and I'm just glad Tarantino wasn't scared of his own movie in the end and made the movie he wanted to make.

Anyways, I digress and ask, why can't sensitive subjects be handled in video games, like racism, or rape even? The latter of which was involved most recently in a bit if controversy last year when someone from Crystal Dynamics said something about a scene in the new Tomb Raider game. I've seen plenty of films where horrifying things happen to the female lead on screen (The Girl Next Door [2007], Eden Lake), films of which conjured powerful emotions within me that made me want to rain hell on those committing these atrocities.

I feel that if Crystal Dynamics thought it best for these scenes to better show Lara's plight, then why should they be removed? I'm not talking Rapelay here. Handled in a mature way, I think taboo subjects such as these should be used, albeit carefully in video games as they are in film.

Anyways, what does everyone else think? And what sensitive subjects in video games, if any, have taken you aback, in a good way?

#2 Posted by forkboy (1107 posts) -

Because video games writing is far from mature enough to handle something like this in a way that wouldn't trivialise something horrific.

#3 Edited by Sweep (8788 posts) -

@forkboy said:

Because video games writing is far from mature enough to handle something like this in a way that wouldn't trivialise something horrific.

Gary Whitta seems to manage pretty well.

Moderator
#4 Posted by Daiphyer (1301 posts) -

I agree. I want more of those subjects explored in video games. The Witcher 2 did both, and the result was, well, fantastic.

#5 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -
@forkboy

Because video games writing is far from mature enough to handle something like this in a way that wouldn't trivialise something horrific.

Bullshit. Bad writers exist in every form and medium, but we don't censor those mediums from broaching the subject altogether. Terrible slash fiction does not justify censoring the written word, Michael Bay does not justify the silence of all film regarding whatever topic you chose.

There's two elements to this; the complete dismissal of video games as an art form, and a complete abdication of intellectual honesty in favor of emotional vulnerability. And no rational person would tolerate either.
#6 Posted by Dethfish (3618 posts) -

Sure, putting something like rape in video games might make them more realistic, or mature or whatever, but my opinion is, the less rape, the better. I don't want to see that. Maybe I'm being naive or just sticking my head in the sand though.

#7 Posted by UitDeToekomst (699 posts) -

May be going slightly off topic here, but I don't see why anyone would feel an urge to "rain hell" on any fictional character for their behavior, regardless of the medium. It is, after all, fictional.

#8 Posted by realph (253 posts) -

@Sweep Got a link? I'd love to hear what Gary Whitta thinks about this. Especially since The Walking Dead, and some of the themes that game deals with.

#9 Posted by Sweep (8788 posts) -

@Dethfish said:

Sure, putting something like rape in video games might make them more realistic, or mature or whatever, but my opinion is, the less rape, the better. I don't want to see that. Maybe I'm being naive or just sticking my head in the sand though.

It's not about wanting to see it, or glorifying it, it's about addressing issues that exist in our society and making people aware of the shit that goes on. Django was a good example in the OP because I think it brought to light the extent, or perhaps extremes, of slavery that whole generations simply weren't aware of, or didn't fully appreciate. This notion of "out of sight, out of mind" just cultivates ignorance. Rape is real - it's a thing that actually happens to people - and sticking your head in the sand isn't going to stop it from happening.

Moderator
#10 Posted by SkyTown_Drifts (47 posts) -

Because when he said it during that interview, it sounded like it was supposed to be some sort of selling point, which is just fucked up.

#11 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Dethfish said:

the less rape, the better.

Words to live by.

#12 Posted by Giefcookie (579 posts) -

It's just a much bigger taboo subject than let's say, murder. Killing hundreds or thousands of people is ok, but a mention of rape or the possibility of rape is an instant news story.

@Dethfish said:

Sure, putting something like rape in video games might make them more realistic, or mature or whatever, but my opinion is, the less rape, the better. I don't want to see that. Maybe I'm being naive or just sticking my head in the sand though.

The fact that people are sensitive about it and don't want to see it is a great reason for exploring it in a form that doesn't actually hurt anyone.

#13 Posted by Sweep (8788 posts) -

@realph said:

@Sweep Got a link? I'd love to hear what Gary Whitta thinks about this. Especially since The Walking Dead, and some of the themes that game deals with.

Haha actually what I meant by that was "Gary Whitta can write mature videogames without trivialising something horrific".

Moderator
#14 Edited by realph (253 posts) -

@UitDeToekomst: I don't think you can view these scenes of horror (like rape or slavery) and feel no way about the people committing these acts (fictional or not). During Django, people jumped up and cheered, rooting for Django to exact revenge on these evil slave owners, I think it's natural.

#15 Posted by The_Vein (269 posts) -

The danger with putting rape into any story is that it is an easy way to generate sympathy or anger towards certain characters. Writers can become quite lazy when coming up with motivations for female characters when all they have to do is throw rape around, making it into a crutch rather than really thinking about what effects it would really be having.

Not that one can't take rape and really make great stories with it being involved, it's just most people will use it as nothing more than the crutch to hang their revenge fantasy on.

#16 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (724 posts) -

Wasn't there a rape case or two in LA Noire? I remember that being handled extremely well.

#17 Posted by crusader8463 (14411 posts) -

There's implied rape in Far Cry 3 and I think it was done pretty well there. Sadly video games for the most part are still viewed as nothing more then stuff for kids and most games are not given any chance to tell a serious story. Eventually we will get to the point where writers can tell stories about stuff like that, but as evidence by the first reply to this thread we got a long way to go before even fans of the medium can handle games going that route.

#18 Posted by ch3burashka (4991 posts) -

Perfect timing.

Rape is a weird topic in general. The first question should be - is the theme of rape the best, or even only, course of action your characters can take to get their (or your) message across? Maybe it is, but highly unlikely. Stick to the old ultra-violence.

#19 Edited by frankfartmouth (1016 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@forkboy

Because video games writing is far from mature enough to handle something like this in a way that wouldn't trivialise something horrific.

Bullshit. Bad writers exist in every form and medium, but we don't censor those mediums from broaching the subject altogether. Terrible slash fiction does not justify censoring the written word, Michael Bay does not justify the silence of all film regarding whatever topic you chose. There's two elements to this; the complete dismissal of video games as an art form, and a complete abdication of intellectual honesty in favor of emotional vulnerability. And no rational person would tolerate either.

I don't think that's bullshit at all. Video game writing--up to this point anyway--hasn't shown the complexity and depth that would be needed to portray something like rape in a tasteful or thought-provoking way. That doesn't have anything to do with censorship. Of course game writers should be allowed to write about anything they want, but it would probably be best that they stay away from heavy social commentary and thorny issues like rape until the medium has grown up enough to do it without it coming off as so tacky that it makes people puke, which as of right now, it probably would.

Most games can't even show a female character without pinning giant, FF tits on her, so it's not likely that they'd pull of an appropriate conversation about rape.

But hey, I fucking love video games. I love the overboiled, ludicrous stories of Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. But they're just not suited for this type of thing. Newer franchises like Red Dead Redemption and Bioshock and, especially, The Walking Dead, are certainly getting closer to what we're talking about. But they're not quite there yet. TWD is probably the closest right now. That's probably the only one I would trust to do it right now, but even then, it would be chancy.

#20 Posted by Branthog (7340 posts) -

Games won't tackle more serious issues and won't allow even as much mature content as theater-run movies (much less porn and other things) until we do away with the influence of the ESRB and other external agents, which forces everything to be aimed at children -- with the highest marketable rating being something rated "M" for 17 and older, in which the content isn't even on-par with that found in movies rated for 17 or older. There's this secret little thing in the background always saying "okay, but even though it's M and for 17+, we really have to temper everything, such as making money poof out of people when you kill them, instead of blood . . . because even though this game is for adults and rated for adults, we have to consider the unending criticism of ignorant people who would rather censor things than just let them be".

This is why I take such issue with the whole "should we or should we not engage Joseph Lieberman and all these other idiots in discussion of videogame violence or should we just tell them to fuck off and let them sit like the yammering brick walls they are?" thing. Sitting across the table in response to accusations that mature content in games is somehow a bad influence gives some credibility to that. If everyone is gathering to speak about it, then golly it must be a problem! And if there is a problem, then gosh, that means we have to do something about it! And that isn't good for anyone, because the "do something about it" always ends up being something that impacts people's right to create, market, sell, and consume whatever content they wish.

Game writing, itself, also has to mature. We are at the point where we are so desperate for games to give us some meaningful content compared to other forms of art and media that we over-react to anything that even beings to present some semblance of mature writing by showering it with hyperbole. For the most part, the best gaming has to offer is on-par with the mid-range of what other media forms (books, movies, etc) have to offer. And, yet, we praise them and glorify them as if they are pinnacles of story telling. Because we want so badly for them to be that.

So it's a mix of those things. Society has to stop boxing gaming into this little narrow box where -- even though most gamers are adults (and middle aged, at that) -- it all has to be dumbed down and marketed with children in mind. And we have to stop letting things like "ermagherd, it might influence peoples to do bad stuffs!" shape us. We have to remove all the constraints -- from marketing and society and so on -- that fence game writers in. They need to have the option and expectation to explore in the same way writers of novels (and even movies) are free to do so. Until then, we're going to be stuck with these embarrassingly uninspired half-assed attempts to push envelopes, where the bravest we're willing to be with content is showing a little blood when a guy is shot with a weapon or someone hurls the word "dicktits" around.

And then writing itself has to evolve to being to fill-out that new space that society opens up for it when we get that stick out of our ass.

This will all happen. It's just a matter of the time-frame. If we give weight to potential censorship and harsher ratings and all of this bowing to people with agendas aimed at scapegoating games for this evil and that, then it will take longer. If we treat it like movies, music, books and other forms of art and entertainment benefiting from the full and unrestricted protection of freedom of speech, then it may happen sooner -- though probably starting with smaller developers who aren't afraid to do something that will make less money than COD-face-shooter-12 by asking more of their players.

#21 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -
@frankfartmouth No, it is bullshit. Telling an adult that "I don't think you're mature enough to talk about this, so I'm just going to stop you from speaking" is complete censorship. There is no logical way around this. This is exactly what people did with every art form that's ever been invented in free society; appeal to either law or mob rule to silence anything that they emotionally don't want to hear.

Also, the inclusion of rape as an event that happens in a story and affects the characters within IS NOT SOCIAL COMMENTARY. This would be like saying the inclusion of cancer, or childbirth, or whistling, is social commentary. The inclusion of a event that happens does not become social commentary just because one group in society wants to shut up any work that deals with it.

Also, I wonder why you bring up female characters in games as if rape is something that is a explicitly female problem.
#22 Posted by Branthog (7340 posts) -

@Giefcookie said:

It's just a much bigger taboo subject than let's say, murder. Killing hundreds or thousands of people is ok, but a mention of rape or the possibility of rape is an instant news story.

@Dethfish said:

Sure, putting something like rape in video games might make them more realistic, or mature or whatever, but my opinion is, the less rape, the better. I don't want to see that. Maybe I'm being naive or just sticking my head in the sand though.

The fact that people are sensitive about it and don't want to see it is a great reason for exploring it in a form that doesn't actually hurt anyone.

Two points, here.

The first is that there shouldn't need to be any reason for exploring something beyond the "artist/writier/whatever" wanting to do so. Whether or not the market is there to make it financially viable is a different thing, but when it comes to speech and art, I don't see how one needs to justify their exercise of it.

But more in context to your statements here, there are an endless number of books, movies, and songs about rape, incest, genocide, child abuse, and many other horrifying things. Why should games be any different? I mean, we're presumably not talking about making a game where the goal is to sneak into houses and rape the family's underage daughters in their own beds and rack up points on a leaderboard (NO JAPAN! BAD JAPAN!).

The average gamer is nearly 40 years old now. I think we can accept a game where rape and other things are used in some interesting context. Either as some sort of motivation (retribution, consoling the person, or whatever else) or as some additional element of a story. Horrible fucking things happen to people in the world and there is a lot of potential for evoking sympathy and concern from players if you had a secondary character that tagged along with you that you had or were saving from a terrible environment. Or where your own character is trying to cope with that in their own past.

If I were a better writer, I'm sure I could come up with far more compelling ways to bring these elements into a story. And, yeah, they're uncomfortable. They should be. And a talented writer would find a way to do these things without them feeling exploitative.

I would play the shit out of a dark game that took, say, sex trafficking and human trafficking seriously as a major component of the story and game-play. I would find that far more motivating than "Amurricuh fuck yeah!" where I'm supposed to go obliterate an entire nation because red white and blue and beer and tits.

#23 Posted by EvilKatarn (465 posts) -

@Branthog said:

Why should games be any different?

Because the world is run by old men and right now the hip thing is to get offended by everything.

Once those things change maybe we'll see a turn for more mature games. Although by more mature I don't mean having rape thrown in your face all the time.

Like in Dark Souls there's a sub-plot where rape is strongly implied. That works far better than what I'd imagine would happen if anyone othen than From did it.

#24 Posted by JoeyRavn (4946 posts) -

@forkboy said:

Because video games writing is far from mature enough to handle something like this in a way that wouldn't trivialise something horrific.

I couldn't agree less. The problem is not the maturity of the writers, but the maturity of the audience that consumes video games. The vast majority of players, regardless of their sex, genre, age, ethnicity or origin, are not willing to take video games as a medium in which terrible issues like rape can be discussed or, at least, mentioned. Most people see video games as simply a form of entertainment with no depth whatsoever.

If you don't believe me, just look at how people react when there's a glimpse of serious storytelling or character crafting in their video games. They go apeshit. "The Walking Dead is not a video game!" and so on and so forth.

#25 Posted by TheHT (10796 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Also, the inclusion of rape as an event that happens in a story and affects the characters within IS NOT SOCIAL COMMENTARY.

This cannot be understated. It may be social commentary, but it is not automatically social commentary. It's also not automatically nefarious. The topic should not be blacklisted as a whole, instead it ought be handled responsibly (as with any sensitive topic).

#26 Edited by EvilKatarn (465 posts) -

@JoeyRavn said:

"The Walking Dead is not a video game!" and so on and so forth.

It's not because of the writing that people say that. It's because it's barely a fucking videogame. It falls so flat on its face whenever it tries to be a game that it's not even funny.

#27 Posted by Giefcookie (579 posts) -

@Branthog: I agree that it all comes down to how its written. And it's absolutely a subject that can't be tackled or should by tackled by just anyone.

But games are weird in that sense. "A dark game with sex trafficking and human trafficking" sounds a lot like Far Cry 3. There is implied rape in that game, yet I'd mainly categorize the experience as just entertainment. Of course its a matter of how its all written (and I doubt the FC3 writers could actually pull it off) but the interplay of actually having fun playing the game while also being shocked or made to think about super fucked up stuff is unique to the medium.

#28 Posted by Branthog (7340 posts) -

@JoeyRavn said:

@forkboy said:

Because video games writing is far from mature enough to handle something like this in a way that wouldn't trivialise something horrific.

I couldn't agree less. The problem is not the maturity of the writers, but the maturity of the audience that consumes video games. The vast majority of players, regardless of their sex, genre, age, ethnicity or origin, are not willing to take video games as a medium in which terrible issues like rape can be discussed or, at least, mentioned. Most people see video games as simply a form of entertainment with no depth whatsoever.

If you don't believe me, just look at how people react when there's a glimpse of serious storytelling or character crafting in their video games. They go apeshit. "The Walking Dead is not a video game!" and so on and so forth.

I think that's only true if you base it on finances and marketability. There are going to be far more people going for Face-Shooter-2013 than Heavy Rain (which reached for more than it grabbed), but that doesn't mean there isn't an audience for it and I don't think you can judge the audience in the basis of all gamers, overall, everywhere, combined.

I also think the comment about "it's not a videogame!" for Walking Dead is a fair one. The story was very good for a video game. It was even better than the television show. However, the television show is not very good. So there's still a lot of qualification going on when we praise it for its story. And then they sacrifice a lot of mechanics to accomplish that. It's not the fault of the audience, there. It's a fault of the writers and game designers. It's not enough to just write a compelling and unique story that blows your socks off. You have to write it and implement it in such a way that it takes full advantage of the facilities gaming provides that other mediums do not. When you don't, you're going to end up with a lot of gamers seeing it as half-assed and poor attempts that are off-putting. That can seem manipulative. Or that can seem very compromising (again, to tell the story, mechanics were sacrificed). And so it makes it harder for players to take it seriously without some heavy judgement made.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's any easy thing to accomplish. Someone will figure it out and we'll have this universal gaming epiphany where mechanics, fun, story, and everything else merge in just the right way and they'll quickly transition from things that need "for a game" qualifiers to something truly great. But I'm not sure how far we are out from that, right now.

In the mean time, it's a mix of a young technology mixing with an old art form of story telling trying to find its footing in a world that still boxes games into the realm of children, even when they're marked as "mature" games, and a playerbase that is quickly aging and yearning for something serious and deep and emotional and meaningful to go alongside their spurts of running across roofs and stabbing dudes in the necks. I think we have a lot more attempts to fit parts together before the slots start to line up and there will be more awkwardness and failures galore, until we find that magic "whatever" that is needed.

#29 Posted by Phatmac (5720 posts) -

If done well I'm sure the topic can work. It's close minded to simply think that this topic should just be avoided entirely.

#30 Edited by Bollard (5202 posts) -

The backlash about Tomb Raider was not just because they mentioned using rape in the story, it was the way they were using it. The whole "feeling like you have to protect Laura" bullshit, because apparently strong female leads don't exist, and everyone who plays games is a man.

#31 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I've never seen rape in a videogame, but I have been threatened with rape by teenage boys over XBL. Kind of awkward when you think about it.

#32 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4513 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

The backlash about Tomb Raider was not just because they mentioned using rape in the story, it was the way they were using it. The whole "feeling like you have to protect Laura" bullshit, because apparently strong female leads don't exist, and everyone who plays games is a man.

1. Feeling like you have to protect a woman who is in danger is gut-instinct for males. That's your most basic instincts kicking in and saying "PROTECT THE CHILD-BEARER YOU DIPSHIT." Playing off of that is a good way to build a connection between the player and the protagonist.

2. Feeling the need to protect a person/character/whatever does not strip power from that person/character/whatever. Lara is still the one putting boots to asses. She's still the one in extremely perilous situations and (on-screen) she is the one getting herself out of it. Being a "strong female lead" does not imply that you're invulnerable to pain or the very real threat of rape on an island full of savage pirates.

3. Most of the people who will play Tomb Raider will indeed rock sausage. That's just the way the demos shake out, son.

#33 Posted by BBAlpert (1354 posts) -

Of the very few instances I can think of, the best (well, I don't want to use the word "best" for describing something so awful, so I'll say "most effective") use of rape as a plot device, definitively contributing to the larger game's "what the Christ this whole thing is so fucked up" narrative, was

the end of Ellen's section in I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. Seriously, Allied Mastercomputer? More like Asshole... uh, Mastercomputer.
Online
#34 Edited by Kieran_ES (258 posts) -

Games are at a transitional point, one that will go on for a while, from copying film for narrative to using the game as narrative (yes, I realise that games have previously done this, but I mean as a conscious, holistic movement). The problem with this is that, in regards to issues like rape, race, misogyny, etc, game writers/designers have to think a lot more about how their medium is best suited to talking about the issue. If they're stuck in the mindset of copying film, then the dissonance of placing that in the context of a game almost always causes problems. Similarly, even if you're thinking of narrative in terms of a game's inherent rules (as Journey does for instance) then you still have to essentially start with no reference point of how to do that - since you're working in a very new medium. Evoking emotion in a player is, I would argue, much easier in a game than in comparative mediums. It's how you do that, and how you approach that sensitively, that determines whether the designer is successful in trying to engage with one of these 'mature' concepts.

It's absolutely possible, it's just very hard at the moment. No-one who just tries to take something they saw in a film or a book and place it in a game is going to be successful, so the work needed to be successful is entirely new ground. What we're seeing at the moment is the very early experimentation in that. Yeah, people will screw up but that is part of the process. Plenty of great work is being done on the edges of mainstream industry games, a lot of which is more and more being picked up by big sites and really put on display.

(Edit: oh and I think that tapping into much broader, rawer emotions is where mechanics driven narrative should be going. Big strokes of emotion, immediacy, direct placement alongside those feelings, are the current strengths of the medium. See Journey, Day Z, XCOM, Cart Life, Gone Home)

#35 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

I felt like Farcry 3 handled the gratuity as well as Tarantino does, and I'm a huge fan of Tarantino. I didn't understand why game critics were so quick to jump on it. Sure the ending doesn't make good on that introduction but the gratuity was not overboard to me. Much like a Tarantino film, the violence was tied to the comedy of the open world to me and they worked in tandem to make the experience overall better.

A lot of critics that shit on Farcry 3 for the rape scene are also ones I see praising Pulp Fiction, and to be honest the male rape scene was worse because they actually showed it. Tarantino was actively acting on the fears of his male audience of being raped to say the same message that Farcry was, and I find them both to be valid because you know what, rape is fucking brutal.

#36 Edited by Abendlaender (2733 posts) -

If rape is not the central point of the entire story of the game, and the game is not a charakter focused look into the human mind, then I don't need it. Rape has probably even more of an impact on the human mind than murder (if you kill someone or see someone get killed of course) so there is no way in hell a video game should deal with this and then have the charakter jump around and kill bad guys for the rest of the game. If it's just "Oh no, my girlfriend got raped by the bad guy, let's kill him" or "Oh no, I got raped. Let's kill the raper!" than, no, I don't need it and neither should you. If it's a extremly depressiv Heavy Rain/TWD sorta game, yeah that could work. I would still don't buy it cause I can live in a world where no major video games exist that deal with rape. I don't need stuff like that in my entertainment as well and yes I'm probably naive and don't "want the medium to grow up"

To be extremly honest, I have two little sister and even the idea that something like this could happen to them would drive me crazy, so I really, really, really don't neeed to see that stuff in my video games. Just a personal thing.

#37 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

Tomb Raider has massive problems with PR that make just about anything they say sound offensive or distasteful. Nobody at Square Enix US/Eidos seems to know how to talk to the press or the fans about games. The reason Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Sleeping Dogs seem to have worked out is because it seems they simply shut up.

I would be open to honest depiction of the subject so long as the assailant and the victim are not simply left as "generic mob." The reason it does not work in Far Cry 3 is because the assailant does not exist beyond being a parody of Nic Cage's character from National Treasure and being an assailant, while the victim does not speak more than four lines throughout the game. It is meant to feel offensive that the male victim is objectified; instead, I was left completely cold, because I've grappled with the idea of male rape plenty in Alien, and this was not an example that showed nearly as much affect. The writer claims his goal was to objectify the male victim the way female victims are objectified and minimalized in games like L.A. Noire and The Witcher 2, short plotlines not touched on again. He...well, he succeeded, but he failed to offend.

Lastly, I'll say that if you felt nothing in Django Unchained was offensive, you may have missed the point of the movie. Nothing is so offensive as to remove the film from screens, but Samuel L. Jackson's character is deeply offensive and utterly tragic.

#38 Posted by Animasta (14633 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon said:

@Chavtheworld said:

The backlash about Tomb Raider was not just because they mentioned using rape in the story, it was the way they were using it. The whole "feeling like you have to protect Laura" bullshit, because apparently strong female leads don't exist, and everyone who plays games is a man.

1. Feeling like you have to protect a woman who is in danger is gut-instinct for males. That's your most basic instincts kicking in and saying "PROTECT THE CHILD-BEARER YOU DIPSHIT." Playing off of that is a good way to build a connection between the player and the protagonist.

2. Feeling the need to protect a person/character/whatever does not strip power from that person/character/whatever. Lara is still the one putting boots to asses. She's still the one in extremely perilous situations and (on-screen) she is the one getting herself out of it. Being a "strong female lead" does not imply that you're invulnerable to pain or the very real threat of rape on an island full of savage pirates.

3. Most of the people who will play Tomb Raider will indeed rock sausage. That's just the way the demos shake out, son.

you're probably correct, but it turned me off pretty hardcore?

I think the reason rape is more taboo than murder is simply because people who have been raped are still around, whilst those who were murdered... well, are not. Do you want to start putting rape warnings? does the ESRB say anything about rape I can't remember

#39 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

I haven't played these 2 games but didn't Farcry 3 have male on male rape? I have not heard any backlash about that.

Also play Edmund. It's some indie game about rape.

#40 Edited by Kieran_ES (258 posts) -

@Abendlaender said:

If rape is not the central point of the entire story of the game, and the game is not a charakter focused look into the human mind, then I don't need it. Rape has probably even more of an impact on the human mind than murder (if you kill someone or see someone get killed of course) so there is no way in hell a video game should deal with this and then have the charakter jump around and kill bad guys for the rest of the game. If it's just "Oh no, my girlfriend got raped by the bad guy, let's kill him" or "Oh no, I got raped. Let's kill the raper!" than, no, I don't need it and neither should you. If it's a extremly depressiv Heavy Rain/TWD sorta game, yeah that could work. I would still don't buy it cause I can live in a world where no major video games exist that deal with rape. I don't need stuff like that in my entertainment as well and yes I'm probably naive and don't "want the medium to grow up"

To be extremly honest, I have two little sister and even the idea that something like this could happen to them would drive me crazy, so I really, really, really don't neeed to see that stuff in my video games. Just a personal thing.

Anyone who says that to you is an utter moron. Games do not need to deal with rape specifically to 'grow up'. That's a line of argument I can't get behind. And your opinion is a perfectly valid one, almost one I would adopt myself if it weren't for having experienced (not myself, seeing in someone else) what rape can do to a person, and feeling like art can give some insight for the predominantly male audience of gamers into that situation.

#41 Posted by Natesaint (148 posts) -

I see so many threads on this topic. The "journalists" at Kotaku particularly like to start topics on this. I don't know if it is actually a change in the mind set of gamers, or just a bunch of pseudo intellectual young men who believe Joss Whedon does create strong female characters. If Lara Croft gets attacked by a rapist in the game, then that is part of the story. It us up to the writer to determine how it is handled and how well it is handled. Sometimes if you look to deeply into something, your head gets stuck in a fog of your own flatulence. Bottom line: just play the game.

#42 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -
@Abendlaender well actually rape has the exact same physiological effect on the human mind as any other form of physical assault of equitable violence; it's the social reaction governed by thousands of years of repression and gender performance that attempts to establish it as a unique form of trauma. And being social creatures raised in what remain Victorian standards, we buy in. Hopefully not for much longer.
#43 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -
@Little_Socrates Eidos' complete cluelessness (or at very least, pandering) as pertains to PR is a narrative over 15 years long.

Which reminds me, when are we going to get a Fear Effect reboot?
#44 Edited by Animasta (14633 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@Abendlaender well actually rape has the exact same physiological effect on the human mind as any other form of physical assault of equitable violence; it's the social reaction governed by thousands of years of repression and gender performance that attempts to establish it as a unique form of trauma. And being social creatures raised in what remain Victorian standards, we buy in. Hopefully not for much longer.

when's the last time you saw torture being used in a legit manner? I get what you're saying but I honestly can't say any game that gave torture the weight it deserved. maybe I am forgetting something though

edit; witcher 2 used rape and torture in a fairly well done manner now that I think about it (rape at least, but I think there was torture?)

#45 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Animasta said:

but I think there was torture?)

Yeah, that scene in the last chapter with the eyes was pretty gnarly.

#46 Posted by squidraid (129 posts) -

No, they don't need to deal with rape specifically to "grow up," but neither should the medium completely avoid the topic simply because of potential political backlash, or someone saying we're only here for kids, or whatever else. It's true that good and bad writers exist everywhere. Good writers shouldn't avoid the use of rape as a plot device just because it's a game. They shouldn't use rape as a "HEY LOOK AT ME, MY GAME HAS RAPE IN IT" kind of thing, either. Purely gratuitous content additions are what piss people off. I think the matter of whether there are writers talented enough to do it WELL in our preferred medium is a separate argument. Writers shouldn't be shot down in flames simply because they chose this medium as their preferred method to approach the subject. Film and literature have the same exact issue - they'll get their own share of backlash for handling it poorly, and of course, there will always be the people who bash them for broaching the subject regardless, no matter how insightful or thought provoking its use might have been. Video games are no different.

#47 Posted by Demoskinos (14512 posts) -
@Ravenlight

@Animasta said:

but I think there was torture?)

Yeah, that scene in the last chapter with the eyes was pretty gnarly.

Oh god.... I forgot about that. That scene made my skin crawl.
#48 Posted by Abendlaender (2733 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Abendlaender well actually rape has the exact same physiological effect on the human mind as any other form of physical assault of equitable violence; it's the social reaction governed by thousands of years of repression and gender performance that attempts to establish it as a unique form of trauma. And being social creatures raised in what remain Victorian standards, we buy in. Hopefully not for much longer.

when's the last time you saw torture being used in a legit manner? I get what you're saying but I honestly can't say any game that gave torture the weight it deserved. maybe I am forgetting something though

edit; witcher 2 used rape and torture in a fairly well done manner now that I think about it (rape at least, but I think there was torture?)

Oh, I totally agree. And that's why I also don't like torture in games. But I absolutely get what you mean, and I can't even really argue with it, I can just say that I don't mind torture as much as rape (Wow, take that out of context, and that sounds great) . Can't really explain it cause I know both is terrible, but that's just how I feel.

#49 Posted by Kieran_ES (258 posts) -

@squidraid: Uuuh, I never said the medium should avoid it. In fact I said the opposite ("art can offer some insight"), I agree with you.

#50 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -
@Animasta

@Brodehouse said:

@Abendlaender well actually rape has the exact same physiological effect on the human mind as any other form of physical assault of equitable violence; it's the social reaction governed by thousands of years of repression and gender performance that attempts to establish it as a unique form of trauma. And being social creatures raised in what remain Victorian standards, we buy in. Hopefully not for much longer.

when's the last time you saw torture being used in a legit manner? I get what you're saying but I honestly can't say any game that gave torture the weight it deserved. maybe I am forgetting something though

edit; witcher 2 used rape and torture in a fairly well done manner now that I think about it (rape at least, but I think there was torture?)

Very few indeed, you won't hear me disagree with how torture is hand-waved so easily by the audience.

I was the guy who made a series of posts of how fucked it was to have Borderlands 2 treating torture like it was high comedy. And not even in an exaggerative or clever fashion, it was largely "isn't the suffering of others HYSTERICAL?" I am extremely thick skinned when it comes to comedy, rape and race and suffering all the worst things in the world, you can craft a joke that can be funny in the blackest of circumstances... But Borderlands 2 just failed to click on such an extreme level that it left me cold. Probably didn't help that it was so one-note as well.

And at the same time, Shooty McFaceShoot or whatever his name was; pretty funny.

I think it just comes down to those old Victorian, sex repressed ideals that say that being touched in your genitals is more harmful than brutal assault, torture, and murder. And that is just a complete nonstarter with me. Sure your face is caved in and you're constantly afraid of future pain from every direction, but at least your purity is intact! Feh.

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