Jimquisition: Rape vs. Murder

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Andy of Comix Inc:
I can think of a lot of ways you can be a victim of murder and have to live with it. The murdered isn't the only one who could be witness. And in that case, arguing murder's relative harmless to rape becomes less... solid. I mean, I know friends who have watched people be killed in front of them. Are they not a victim of murder? Shellshocked soldiers, are they?

That's my only real issue with the argument though. Everything else is pretty solid. But really, that this topic has even been coming up recently shows just how petty and incessant the gaming industry and community really is. Film and books have moved past this ages ago. But in gaming, both its audience and creators, it's an area that needs debate...? What. What.

It's immature, it's childish. This and the whole gender wars and politics in gaming. It all reeks of a high schooler's approach to the subjects. It's honestly baffling.

Jigero:
I think rape is just as much fair game as torture. How many times have we seen torture in video games? It has the same long lasting effects as rape, and can be just as traumatizing if not more.

But I've yet to see anyone make a big deal about torture in video games? Heck the Diablo series has tons of depictions of torture.

When they release a game about torture, in which you commit the torture, come back to me.

Do flash games count?

Ashoten:
See Jim you can be thoughtful when you try lol.

But seriously rape is even worse then being an animal. From everything I know about Zoology in every species it is the female that makes the ultimate choice of who to mate with and when. I am sure there are a few exceptions like for invertebrates where mating doesn't involve sex.

Dolphins and penguins both rape, ducks have been recorded committing necrophilia (which isn't nearly as bad as rape I admit but still).

Jim, let me go over a few things for you:

1.) Statistics for rape by gender are incredibly unreliable. For starters, the legal codes in most countries define rape as a crime only a man is capable of committing. In the UK, for instance, female rapists cannot be charged as such because the act of rape requires having a penis. The most commonly quoted rape statistics for the US come from the NCVS, a survey which defined rape purely as a penetrative act. This meant that the only female rapists counted were the ones that used strap-ons and that most victims of female rapists, female as well as male, were completely erased. The successor to that survey, the NISVS, counted rape by envelopment but listed it under "other sexual violence" as "forced to penetrate". This meant that the majority of male rape victims were not counted in the "rape" statistics and female victims of female rapists were still completely erased. Rectifying this error in categorization gives numbers far closer to parity for both perpetration and victimization. However, these numbers are still not terribly reliable because the NISVS has come under heavy criticism for using definitions designed to inflate their statistics far beyond the actual instance of rape in the US. This leaves out rape in prisons, where some estimates place the number of male victims in excess of those in the civilian female population and recent studies have shown female guards to commit a disproportionate number of rapes (often framed as "relationships" or the woman being "seduced" when reported in the media). In the Congo, rape of male captives is a widespread cultural practice ignored by both international media and aid organizations.

2.) It is a blatant falsehood that society does not tell men not to rape. Upon entering university, I was required to attend three separate programs on how not to commit rape (current legal definitions mean that it is often possible to do so entirely by accident). Female students were exempt from all three sessions and no mention that men could be raped or should take precautions against being rape was ever made. Indeed, I did not hear about men being raped outside of prison until it happened to someone I knew. As you yourself mentioned, rape is seen as a horrific crime in our society. Where are these messages telling men that rape is okay?

3.) It is incredibly dishonest to frame rape as purely or primarily an act of physical force used to overpower a victim. The majority of rapes in our society involve the use of drugs or alcohol to render the victim incapable of resisting, or the use of social or economic pressures to force their submission. Men are just as susceptible to these methods as women, and it is incredibly dismissive and dishonest to say they have nothing to worry about. That the average man does not fear being raped is not a testament to his protection from that possibility, but to the fact that no one has ever educated him of the possibility or warned him to be careful.

You are, however, generally correct in your reasoning as to why rape is both less common and less okay than murder in games, although I think you significantly underestimate the effect depictions of graphic violence can have on victims of actual violence (they don't all die, and it can be every bit as traumatic).

good points. just a little surprised he dint say anything about tomb raider. there was a huge outcry regarding lara getting sort of raped. or better said, intended getting raped. CD was forced to apologize due misunderstanding. but still, they got in trouble because of this scene in the trailer.

rape is bad, we all agree with that. but then i ask my self why no one makes a problem if you see a scene like this in movies or read about it in books. so why are games seen as the bad guy here? unless you take full control to rape someone, its more then understandable that this is a problem but just seeing it in a game, is not as bad as in movies.

Starik20X6:
Thank Jim for Jim.

Rape is a whole other level of evil than murder, and it disturbs me that people want to include something so horrendous in their leisure time. I don't get the whole 'gun-wank' thing, much less why anyone would want to play a game that glorifies such an unmitigatedly evil crime.

That said, I've got no problem with a game that features a rapist getting what they deserve (having their 'weapon' taken away from them). A lot of game stories are built on revenge, and getting revenge for a rape would be a damn strong motivation. It's when you decide that you're going to glorify it, or make it a core mechanic of the game, that you cross the line and should have your genitals removed.

This comment is ridiculous and actually quite frightening. Rape is more evil than murder? When did human life become so cheap?

And anyone who plays the evil path of a game where they abuse NPC's verbally and or physically in order to achieve a role of dominance, are essentially playing a game as a rapist, even if they don't do anything sexual. Victims of domestic abuse, or even bullying are often haunted in the same way as rape victims and society often disregards these people in a similar way as well.

daltonlaffs:

Whether or not you or I like the idea of rape is irrelevant, as irrelevant as the fact that some religious extremists think all forms of violent media should be banned. It's victimless, and if anything, it's preventing the horrible acts it depicts by giving people that are considering them a harmless alternative to the real thing.

Is it really right to go with the "It could be worse, they could be raping real people" hand-wave here? To me that's even worse. Not that they're raping fictional characters, but that we have to cater to them as our very own rapist demographic... or else. That scares me. A lot.

hooksashands:

daltonlaffs:

Whether or not you or I like the idea of rape is irrelevant, as irrelevant as the fact that some religious extremists think all forms of violent media should be banned. It's victimless, and if anything, it's preventing the horrible acts it depicts by giving people that are considering them a harmless alternative to the real thing.

Is it really right to go with the "It could be worse, they could be raping real people" hand-wave here? To me that's even worse. Not that they're raping fictional characters, but that we have to cater to them as our very own rapist demographic... or else. That scares me. A lot.

But I suppose "It could be worse, they could be killing real people" is okay?

One of the few times I agree with your stance. Good points, well made

5ilver:
I disagree. If you ban rape and rape discussions and somehow remove it from life entirely, why not do the same for dentistry, dentists, everything to do with teeth? I mean, it's pretty traumatic, painful, everybody hates it... Or paper-cuts. Man, those hurt.
Death on the other hand is a final full stop, a big ending, there is nothing (as far as I know) beyond death. There are no chances to heal yourself emotionally and physically.

Tl;dr: Death-end, rape-pain, thus saying rape is NONO while death is ok is hypocrisy.

The issue with your statement is that you are likening rape to a visit to the dentist. I cannot even begin to describe how much that disgusts me.

You say that there is no chance to heal yourself after death. This is true. However, you don't have to live with it. You don't heal after rape. It says with you for the rest of your life.

ah humble jim sterling - shocking - but very good!

Jimothy Sterling:

Stripes:
I understand rape is bad, and that its not always obvious, however I disagree that men need to be reminded that fact. Do you need to be reminded not to murder or steal? No you and everyone else old enough to be responsible for their actions knows bad and good and does not need to be reminded what is what, you dont refer to people as potential rapists or murderers so dont treat them like they are.

Actually ... we ARE reminded not to steal and kill. From birth, we're raised to be told not to kill people, not to steal, to be honest and tell the truth. Nowhere are the boys set aside and told, "Now, you're going to have to not rape people." I understand that bringing up sexual issues -- especially concepts such as rape -- to young children is not going to whet the appetite of many parents, but the point remains that men really AREN'T told not to do it in any way. Parents don't tell their kids at any point, concerned more as they are with ensuring they don't smoke or do drugs.

In fact, there are PLENTY of organizations, poster campaigns, and commercials warning us not to smoke and do drugs. I'd say that's a great instance of society being told things it "doesn't need to learn" but having the lesson reinforced anyway. And I'd say that, "don't put the weird pill in your mouth that you know nothing about" is a FAR more obvious lesson than, "Here are the signs that maybe a woman doesn't want to sleep with you."

I have been required to attend (and answer quizzes on) several "don't rape" lectures as part of both high school and university curricula. There is no shortage of "don't rape" posters adorning the hallways and buildings at my university (which is fairly large and considered among the best in the US). I personally know people who work for organizations that work to disseminate this message (there are several and they are fairly well funded). Protest signs reading "tell men not to rape" have become commonplace, even at protests for entirely unrelated causes. A fair number of parents do, in fact, include this in the talks they have with their children. Many forms of religious education include a message not to rape. Men accused of rape are subject to higher rates of vigilante violence than people accused of any other crime, even if they are proven to have been falsely accused. You are merely reiterating a message of ignorance and bigotry.

A better comparison than smoking or drinking would be child abuse. Are there any campaigns telling women not to abuse children? According to the DoJ, they do it twice as often as men. Clearly all women need to be told not to. After all, when was the last time you saw a poster showing a mother beating her children that said "don't do this"?

Also, I notice that you are always careful to choose your pronouns when referring to rape so that the rapist is always a "he" and the victim is always a "she". I have explained earlier in this thread why this is incredibly problematic. Gendered terminology only serves to alienate and erase victims who do not fit that narrative, whereas gender-neutral terminology would allow you to address all cases inclusively.

Oh wow I loved this episode. I've gotten into this argument before and always tried to present that rape was worse and should be restricted. However, I was never really able to articulate my argument too well so thanks again for the video. Great episode as always Jim.

Yabu:
-snip-

I think you misinterpreted my post. I'm in no way condoning murder, but as mentioned in the video, there are instances where killing can be justified. There is no instance where rape could be justified. Ever. That's what I meant by it being a whole other level of evil. As for when human life became cheap? Don't ask me, ask the people who play war shooters.

I'm going to stay away from talking about rape, but personally I think it's harder to separate yourself from that sort of act when compared to killing in a videogame.

You know what game had surprisingly violent killing? Minecraft pvp.

Take cod or whatever if you knife someone then it's usually an instant kill, but in Minecraft you need to stab them over and over again as they stab you back and it's actually pretty horrific and you understand something, if you are killing someone in close range, they are usually going to try defending themselves. The other thing that I appreciated? The longer and more random points at which you were attacked, there isn't any buildup in fps pvp games, and it uses the instant gratification of constant murders as opposed to this build up and sometimes knowing you are stuffed (you don't respawn till the map resets in pvp matches).

Which is why minecraft pvp gets my blood pumping and in CoD or Battlefield I can cold bloodedly kill or be killed and not feel a thing, actually sometimes I feel actively bored.

Jim I'd love to know how you manage to get into my head and speak my mind for me sometimes. Honestly though this video summarizes my whole view on rape in fiction. I had an argument with a co-worker, about this same topic not too long ago actually (Although we were talking about comic books not video games).

Jimothy Sterling:

Rape isn't always (often isn't) a violent back-alley thing like we see in movies. I think it would behoove society to make us all more aware of that, and understand that just because we're not forcing someone to do something at knifepoint, we still may be making someone do something they don't want to do, and that it could severely affect them emotionally.

Just to help back up your argument:

73% of rapes are perpetrated by someone known to the victim

38% of rapists are a friend of acquaintance

4 in 10 rapes happen within the victim's home

44% of victims are under 18 years old

Source: RAINN.org

A little more on topic. Jim, thanks for putting out this episode.

Yabu:

hooksashands:

daltonlaffs:

Whether or not you or I like the idea of rape is irrelevant, as irrelevant as the fact that some religious extremists think all forms of violent media should be banned. It's victimless, and if anything, it's preventing the horrible acts it depicts by giving people that are considering them a harmless alternative to the real thing.

Is it really right to go with the "It could be worse, they could be raping real people" hand-wave here? To me that's even worse. Not that they're raping fictional characters, but that we have to cater to them as our very own rapist demographic... or else. That scares me. A lot.

But I suppose "It could be worse, they could be killing real people" is okay?

Here's the problem: Murder has already become commonplace in videogames. There is literally nothing we can do as a society to de-engineer games with respawn points and slow motion kill cams, things that trivialize and glorify death. Rape is still taboo. I understand your anger about how killing is downplayed but honestly, it's out of our hands now. But if nothing else we have to keep rape morally deplorable because we've failed to do that with murder.

A bit off topic yet not... What about consensual sex in a game? Murder and killing are inherently unnatural acts. We are not programmed to kill each other, and as social, sentient beings, even professional soldiers have some degree of trauma performing the act. Not everyone will kill someone in their lifetime, but consensual sex is something the vast majority of people will enjoy with someone else. Not only will most of us perform the act, and not only are we programmed to perform it, it is the sole reason our species continues to exist. So why are we so squeamish about any media visibly portraying sex?

I dunno, just thought I'd mention it. Society makes sense much of the time, but some ancient societal norms are really quite silly. Glorify violence, and shame those who enjoy pleasures of the flesh we all in some way desire.

*Clap*

Nice presentation of a very polarizing issue.

bullet_sandw1ch:

DiMono:
If I'm playing a game and another character actually rapes me, it means the other player has to actively continue doing things to me, and I have to sit there and watch it happen, or else try to resist.

i may be a bad person for this, but i just pictured a fellow player walking up to you, and in the family guy character herberts voice say: "hey there young fella, you want a cold popsicle to cool you down? the one who swallows the most tylenol pm's wins!" and your character shouts "i need an adult! i need an adult!"

I say that line for humour value much more frequently than I probably should at my age.

Starik20X6:

Yabu:
-snip-

I think you misinterpreted my post. I'm in no way condoning murder, but as mentioned in the video, there are instances where killing can be justified. There is no instance where rape could be justified. Ever. That's what I meant by it being a whole other level of evil. As for when human life became cheap? Don't ask me, ask the people who play war shooters.

Maybe you can justify killing, but I don't think you can justify murder ever either. Merriam Webster defines murder as "the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought". That being said, I think it is fair game to use it in video games or in any type of fiction other than hate propaganda.

I also don't think playing a war shooter means you devalue life. There is a distinct difference between reality and fiction. When I said when did life become cheap, I mean in context to a real murderer being considered less evil than a real rapist.

DVS BSTrD:
You don't rape in self-defense.
I could defend a game with rape IN it but not a game that is ABOUT rape.

You don't murder in self-defense either. I mean, it's legal to do so, hence not murder.

I would have to agree right up to signs telling men not to rape, because unless you are of that mindset you wont go raping people. TO do so does nothing but demonize males & engender resentment towards women. What would need done is teach the wide definition of rape(a sensible wide not 'you might be a rape supporter if' wide) in basic legal classes. Educate as to what the broader definitions are & its half solved. If they know what most cases are, what is and is not rape. Inform them of the broader definition beyond the violent & the drugged instances of the crime. Next start drilling it into the skulls of the limbaughs, orileys, becks, & santorums of the world that every view they have on rape is dead wrong. The sure understand its wrong, but they go through too much to justify it against the woman & i feel that is more from misogyny than anything else. But dont just put up a blanket statement saying 'men, yes the lot of you. Stop raping people' because most men know that 7 most would never do that. If we didn't brush it off we would be pissed that we are essentially being accused of conspiracy to commit rape, And that feeling of being accused will only make things worse. With that grey area that's been forged, you kill it by stopping those that build it, being those i listed above.
Rape as a crime will never go away. We can lessen it by forcing legislation to provide more extensive trauma support for reported cases, work to counter the current beliefs that cause fewer reports to be filed.

hooksashands:

Yabu:

hooksashands:

Is it really right to go with the "It could be worse, they could be raping real people" hand-wave here? To me that's even worse. Not that they're raping fictional characters, but that we have to cater to them as our very own rapist demographic... or else. That scares me. A lot.

But I suppose "It could be worse, they could be killing real people" is okay?

Here's the problem: Murder has already become commonplace in videogames. There is literally nothing we can do as a society to de-engineer games with respawn points and slow motion kill cams, things that trivialize and glorify death. Rape is still taboo. I understand your anger about how killing is downplayed but honestly, it's out of our hands now. But if nothing else we have to keep rape morally deplorable because we've failed to do that with murder.

Actually that was not my point at all. I am not angered at all about the downplay of murder in video games. I enjoy playing many video games where the protagonist is given the opportunity to commit murder or even does it as a plot point.

I was just trying to make a point that separating some level of morality from everyday entertainment is commonplace and enjoyed by most people. Be it violence, infidelity, lying, or a number of other morally wrong things to do. Fictional characters throughout history, which we enjoy are constantly wrapped up in fictional problems that we lose ourselves in as an escape from our own lives. When this is done in poor taste, the content usually doesn't do to well. I think you can explore a wide variety of themes in fiction to cater to any number of demographics.

Yabu:
-snip-

Fair point, I could have worded my original post a bit better. Oh there's absolutely a line between reality and fiction, I'm not one of those people who thinks people can't tell the difference. I just can't understand why anyone would enjoy playing a game where the objective was to rape, much less defend it as something that should exist. As for real life murderer or rapist, either has crossed the moral event horizon, they're both deplorable acts and there's no coming back from it. I guess rape just disturbs me more for some reason.

Blood Brain Barrier:

DVS BSTrD:
You don't rape in self-defense.
I could defend a game with rape IN it but not a game that is ABOUT rape.

You don't murder in self-defense either. I mean, it's legal to do so, hence not murder.

Yes, you kill a lot more than you murder in most games.

I always thought Other M was about rape. I mean, it showed Samus flash back to being a kid when she saw Ridly and it's like..."so he raped her?"

I was wrong, of course.

Very well done, Bob.

Mikeyfell:
Yes, I agree with you 100% on every point.

All that being said though, I'm still looking forward to the new Tomb Raider. If any game looks like it could handle the subject matter well it's that one.

...but it won't. Crystal Dynamics have been very, VERY clear on that, no matter what their idiot of a PR agent says.

lacktheknack:

Mikeyfell:
Yes, I agree with you 100% on every point.

All that being said though, I'm still looking forward to the new Tomb Raider. If any game looks like it could handle the subject matter well it's that one.

...but it won't. Crystal Dynamics have been very, VERY clear on that, no matter what their idiot of a PR agent says.

Alright, so If the new Tomb Raider wont feature any rapists I guess it'll be a huge win for the LGBTQ community as the first game featuring the largest population of homosexual pirates.
Seriously, what the fuck.

That's very disappointing, I mean seriously out of ALL the E3 coverage I read I can't even find 3 games that look like they might be worth playing.

How the fuck are they... why did they... fuck. Yeah, see what I care if they want to give their dark gritty Tomb Raider reboot some Disney fuck villains.
Sorry, I'm back to being cynical now. Thanks for warning me before I got my hopes up or anything.

I hate the idea of rape...
however comming at it from a purely intellectual stand point its good to see society has moved away from Rape as being a given right of conquest - hence the term Rape and Pillage... counquring armies had the right to rape its population before they were allowed to loot - its good to know this is no longer the case but maybe we need to be reimded of what used to be considered right is not the case... should rape be in games ... maybe in extreme circumstances...certainly it shouldn't be used to entertain but educate maybe...

Who knows maybe a game in which the main character is raped and the rest of the game is them seeking retribution or acceptance might be a socially successful thing...

just stating now Im not a fan or rape and only looked at it from an intellectual view point - My wife was raped before she ever met me and if I ever bump into the guy that did that to her in a dark alley,m he will quickly find he might soon lose the ability to do that ever again.

Mikeyfell:

lacktheknack:

Mikeyfell:
Yes, I agree with you 100% on every point.

All that being said though, I'm still looking forward to the new Tomb Raider. If any game looks like it could handle the subject matter well it's that one.

...but it won't. Crystal Dynamics have been very, VERY clear on that, no matter what their idiot of a PR agent says.

Alright, so If the new Tomb Raider wont feature any rapists I guess it'll be a huge win for the LGBTQ community as the first game featuring the largest population of homosexual pirates.
Seriously, what the fuck.

That's very disappointing, I mean seriously out of ALL the E3 coverage I read I can't even find 3 games that look like they might be worth playing.

How the fuck are they... why did they... fuck. Yeah, see what I care if they want to give their dark gritty Tomb Raider reboot some Disney fuck villains.
Sorry, I'm back to being cynical now. Thanks for warning me before I got my hopes up or anything.

One of them does try to rape her. You see all one attempt of it in the freaking E3 trailer. It's an unfailable sequence, the fight afterwards is failable through death only.

You're doing waaaay too much projection here. For all you know, Lara never remains in their hands for long enough for anything else to happen. For all you know, they're religious psychos who intend to sacrifice them (see the hanging-upside-down part). For all you know, they're deliciously evil except they don't rape people because that would be an atrocious idea at this point.

(Also, if they WERE all homosexual, then the other male survivors we see in the trailer have a problem now, don't they?)

So wait, Torture is more okay than rape?...even though both are exactly the same thing in the form of the whole "Power" argument you were making? True I would find neither rape or murder okay. Also men do not just rape because of media influence. They were either traumatized or psychologically messed up already.

The true common sense comes from playing "influential" games but knowing better than to do any of it. Though Rape is a societal issue, not a moral one. Also, murder is not always equal on both sides. Most of the time the victims never see it coming and/or are never prepared. Sure it's "quick", but the fact is that once murder does happen...that victim no longer exists in any physical form we know of. Sure "religion" is an excuse to believe there is something to look forward to, but that is just self-denial until proven of the afterlives existence...which is a pretty scary thought for some people.

To Jim's point, there are a LOT of games where you simply kill innocent people who have done nothing wrong. You can take their lives without a second thought. That is every bit as vile as rape in my eyes. If someone just came up and shot my mother in the head and walked away, well, you can't tell me "at least he didn't rape her and leave her alive". There are games that allow you to do that sort of killing.

My point is, I don't think people should justify all killing as somehow being "better" than rape. I realize that's not what Jim was trying to do, and that there is a grey area with killing, but needless killing of the innocent far surpasses that grey area. That said, I don't think these games should be censored. Just as I don't think games about rape should be censored. People SHOULD be able to have their Rapelays. Just because we as a culture collectively view it as vile and disgusting act doesn't mean that we suddenly should have the right to say what forms of entertainment people can and can't have (as long as it's not directly endangering someone else). Imo anyway.

In AvP for PC you could play as an Alien face hugger. Isn't that a form of rape game play mechanic?

well said, "victim" factor is kinda the key, but the murder games with "victim" in it would totally defeat that one (skyrim;Evil characters/missions/choices, or remember MassEffect3 when you shot Merdin in the back to keep Genealfauge?) Need more solid stuff, this alone, you would still be attacked... but over all, a VERY NICE, and well done Vid... May I ask Why this subject? just out of curiosity...

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