Jimquisition: Rape vs. Murder

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I am sorry Jim, for the first time we are going to have a complete disagreement here.

I will not argue against rape being as horrible as you described it; I totally agree. I simply don't think murdering someone is the lesser of those two evils, so how is it not hypocritical from my point of view? It's very silly and pathetic that we, as a species, have come to this point. To consider any form of assault or abuse greater then a murder is an extremely skewed outlook. Yeah, a rape victim has to live with the trauma the rest of their lives... having the opportunity to live with that trauma is far more welcoming a fate then the alternative you suggested. As bad as the worst traumas are, people usually still manage to experience good things in their lives to. There are rape victims in my own family who, for the most part have had happy, fulfilling lives. No, it's not better to die and have your problems end, not when you are still capable of experiencing joys in life.

To say that rape is worse then murder means you are so desensitized to the act of ending a life, you've forgotten the true implications of what that means.

And yes, anyone can commit murder... I honestly don't see how that plays into the discussion though. Just because everyone can do it, doesn't mean it isn't worse. It just means we (humans) are worse then you think.

And sure, you can kill another person in self defense, but really Jim, is that what we're doing in most the video games we play? I am pretty sure people plop in games revolved around killing because they feeling like killing someone in a fictional setting. We've turned that into a common day activity; the very idea of killing for fun.

Of course I still respect your opinion on the matter.

The part about films or books often using it to dehumanise someone reminded me of A Clockwork Orange. Media is often able to use rape as a tool to make a person seem as bad as they can be or give someone a dark and troubled past, but that's the only film (and book) I've seen where they use it for something more than that.
I think they were fine to use rape as a plot device in Tomb Raider. It's used in other media for the same thing. It's a much more emotional and personal event than what murder's been turned into, and it shouldn't ever be ignored out of fear of offending someone or being criticised. There's a BIG difference between using it in a story or as a game mechanic, though. Games like Rape-Lay are on a whole different level, like you explained.

I would never want rape to become something as casual in video games as killing. It is a little frustrating to see certain people try to condemn something like Battle Raper out of a false or purpose-contrived sense that it's part of mainstream gaming- it's not, and not by a long shot. Pornography is no more "the mainstream" in video games than it is in movies, and I would profoundly hope that there's a recognition that however enticing something in pornography might be to the viewer, it bears little resemblance to real life. (Ask anyone who works in pizza delivery.)

Hopefully rape is something that video games will eventually be able to handle with maturity. Someone else mentioned "I Spit on Your Grave", but- remakes aside- it's worth noting that the "rape as titilation, revenge to justify that titilation" genre has been waning for some time and has all but vanished from mainstream movies in the twenty-first century. It may be a positive sign for the growth of video games as a medium that they don't seem to have needed such growing pains in dealing with the subject.

dragongit:
I'd also like to point out, that while the discussion of rape and murder are discussed, the subject of Torture isn't brought up either, and is something that may give validity to the argument.

You see in many videogames the character can brutally eviscerate their enemies. Look at Kratos from God of War, how often he doesn't just simply and quickly kill enimies, he takes the time to slowly, and painfully murder them. Ripping off their heads from their sholders, cutting into their brains or yanking off limbs. Much like Rape, Torture takes pre meditation and conviction to accomplish, where as killing can be a reflect or a drive to survive.

Technically, though, your examples aren't torture in the usual sense. They're just extremely savage killing. All it really does is remove the ambiguity from the act--the character isn't killing because he has to, he's doing it because he likes it. It's just a glorified kill animation that says something about the protagonist's character, but nothing about torture itself.

A realistic and honest approach to torture would be, should I cause pain and suffering to this guy over prolonged periods, and thoroughly shame and dehumanize him by stripping him nude, passing an electric current through his testicles, forcing him to stand for 36 hours at a time, smashing his fingers with a hammer? If he might know where a bomb is hidden, does that justify it? What if I can't break him, but I do the above to his innocent wife or child? Is that justifiable? That would be a realistic approach to torture.

This was more intelligent and tasteful than I could have expected. I was at a loss for the question myself, "which is worse", but this gives a good perspective on the issue.

vxicepickxv:
There's a rather disturbing chapter in the webcomic Dominic Deegan about an orc price, who in order to protect a woman that he used his royal rights to protect a recently orphaned woman from death was forced to follow a different tribe's policy that a marriage was required to be consummated immediately after the ceremony. By invoking his right to marriage, he was required to rape her.

It's a rather tragic story, and he basically did it only as an experiment to see what the reaction to the character would be. Most of the feedback was unsurprisingly saying it was terrible thing to do. The only positive feedback he got was from a small handful of women, who were rape victims.

I remember that. I was a big fan of that webcomic, but it started getting a little too weird around this point for me, and not only because of that event. I admire the guy for taking risks, but the story just wasn't for me anymore.

It's always going to be a tricky subject. As an artist I feel that nothing is off limits, but there are lines that are going to have severe consequences if you cross them.

Jimothy Sterling:

Stripes:
we dont really need to be told

The fact that quite a few rapes happen seem to suggest otherwise.

And let's not forget, there are instances where rape is so insidious that even the rapist might not realize what he's doing. There have been instances of a man having unwanted sex with a woman and not even figuring that it was unwanted. Or having sex with someone drunk, on drugs, or asleep, and thinking it's okay.

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.

According to the FBI, murder is the least often committed crime, rape tends to stick around the 2nd and 3rd, after Robbery. And that's based on reported convictions.

As a wider discussion, I do think that as a society we do need to talk about it more, but we don't need to simulate it as Jim as saying. In other words, we should be more aware that it happens, and the variety that it does happen. So I think that it's a perfectly fine subject in a game, but not the aim of the game. It was certainly a fact of war during the medieval period that something like Game of Thrones is meant allude to, and it IS a fact of war now.

From our fictional media, you would think that nurder happens at least every week and solved in 45 minutes. Rapes happen once a week in New York City, and there's a pedophile on every corner (the majority of sexual assault is actually date rape, and pedophilia is usually more rare, and largely wrongfully accused due to paranoia).

I find it fair to say that rape as a form of entertainment has no real place, as opposed to killing, but I think it's important to draw a distinction between killing and murder. Murder is worse than rape because of the totality of it. The complete prevention of the possibility of recovery. I'm not saying that people "get better" after being raped, but it is at least theoretically possible where as someone who is dead cannot possibly have that opportunity. And yet, rape is worse than killing, but murder is worse than rape. Why? Because the word "killing" is distinct from murder because killing can, indeed, be justified, usually by having the person being killed fighting back. The majority of those killed in video games are soldiers for an opposing side in an active war. It's sad, but that's what war is, killing. Murder, on the other hand, generally implies that the death was not justified and, like rape, the victim had little or no possibility of fighting back.

The difference basically comes down to who the victim is and what justification can be used for the action. Murder and rape often overlap when it comes to the victims and the complete lack of justification. This is why there are very few Serial Murderer games in the world, probably even fewer than rape games. This is why there are very few fps games where you actively shoot civilians, even in a war zone. These are acts of murder on par or worse than that reputed blackest of crimes, rape. Games do include death as a simple mechanic of reducing the number of obstacles one has to face, but neither rape nor murder feature in such games because we're well aware of how immoral both of them are. It is when someone generalizes all deaths into a single blanket term that rape becomes the worse offense.

here is a little question for you guys. would you rather be dead or be raped. answer this honestly.

Frankly i'd pick getting raped over being dead. My suspicion is that at the end of the day vast majority of humanity would as well.

Jim is also hypocritical when he says he's fine with torture but rape is ebil. Many of his argument about why rape is such a heinous offense can be exported wholesale to argue that torture is worse than murder.

There's also the point in the video (instead of Jim's speech) that rape simply cannot be shown to people much.

So even the mighty Sterling can get anxious over a subject. Good to know.

In a nutshell you could say that rape can't be romanticized, but then you have The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo where the rapist himself gets raped in what is clearly a revenge fantasy scene. Had this scene been the other way around (girl first rapes guy, guy then rapes girl as act of revenge) I doubt it would be as vindictively satisfying.

I think what it all comes down to is that sex and sexuality is way more complicated than murder.

I'd be ok with rape in video games if it was used in the same way as it is in some critically acclaimed movies/books, like a Song of Ice and Fire for example. However it'd have to be done very carefully and it would only make sense in a very well written, story based game -- which as you said, doesn't really exist in video games yet.

One thing that does kind of russles my jimmies is that rape is the only thing on earth that can't be used within any sort of comedy (maybe South Park can get away with it...). When it's light hearted, silly or satirical and not in anyway used aggressively or maliciously, I just don't get how it's pretty much the only thing that's taboo. This is much different than it is in a video game where you freaking control a rapist and it's aggressive, horrible and can even glorify it.

I mean in comedy pedophilia, racial stereotypes/racism, murder, torture, assault, sexism, sexual orientation, body type are all used as subject matter and barely anybody but the Christian Republican Mothers association really bats an eye. However even something as tame and harmless as that Penny Arcade strip gets crucified (not counting the backlash to their classless response here, just the initial hate). I mean I read through that strip and didn't think much of it at all and was shocked to see a few days later, how big an issue it was.

FoolKiller:
I loved it. Good for you Jim. Excellent piece.

I do disagree with some of what you said. I think the problem isn't that rape isn't wrong, it's just the grey areas that occur in many of the scenarios. There are circumstances where there is a question of what occurred being classified as rape or not.

The problem we have with killing is what the justification is for killing. The problem we have with rape is not justification, because there isn't any. The problem is whether what occurred can actually be classified as rape. Since we cannot justify the action, we aren't able to attach a redeeming quality to the action. We don't have this problem with killing as we see killing in combat, self defence and such as justified.

In fact, I think we have the same objections in both cases. We object to being the villain and victimizing the innocent and defenceless. People even had issues when

I would argue that this is more akin to the rape situation than most of the killing that goes on in the video game industry. This is also why it caused such a fuss. People were uncomfortable with that, and the victims were impersonal. Rape would be much more intimate and personal.

I agree with the Modern Warfare 2 scenario. Murder often becomes questionable when the justification doesn't hold up, and killing a defenceless person just for the "feeling of having killed somebody" is a scary mindset.

The difference between gunning down civilians in MW2 and mowing down hordes of enemy soldiers lies in the fact that in many games your 'murder victims' are often just as able to kill you as well, perhaps not even in a face-to-face confrontation but in some other way: I killed the mad scientist because he was going to blow up the earth and that would have effectively killed me as well.

It's also one of the reasons I enjoy stealth or non-lethal approaches such as in Deus Ex HR: it's more challenging to NOT actually kill anyone, though lethality is justified (none of your enemies hesitate to enrichen your body with copious amounts of lead and tungsten)
A game that would specifically require you to kill defenceless people for no good reason I believe I would not enjoy, support, or leave unchallenged.

The same is inherently true for rape: There have rarely been situations were rape-victims were "just as able to rape the perpetrator" and as has been said before in this thread: You don't rape in self-defence (you release...THE TIGER!!!). Rape has no justification other then one's own perverted desire.

The fact that we ever need someone to go and point these facts out is a lot depressing...

What about regular sex, though? Like, just a game about regular consensual sex? I wouldn't play a rape simulator, but what about just regular old sex?

Most of the arguments in this video were pretty good, but I don't think bringing up Hannibal Lecter was a smart move in the long run. As soon as he was cited as an example of a villain who is evil incarnate yet rooted for by the fans and a weird type of sex symbol, I immediately realized that all of the same also applied to Freddy Krueger.

Y'know, the unrepentant child rapist/murderer.

Theres a lot of talk in the video about rape being used as a weapon by the player, but it doesnt really go into rape being used by a villain in a video game much like its used to in books and movies.

Lets be honest, the hot topic right now is the Tomb Raider E3 trailer, yet in that, the player wasnt the one threatening rape, it was an NPC. I think that rather then asking if Rapelay should be let off the hook or if we should be able to drag women into dark alleyways in GTAV, the real question is if rape should be in video games, even if its depicted as being something horrible and is performs only by NPC's.

Torrasque:
I was going to bring up the point "Killing can involve suffering, but when someone is killed, they are dead, no more pain or suffering. Rape is pure unending suffering, and suffering is bad, so that is why rape is so bad", but you brought it up almost immediately when I thought of it, so thanks lol.

Now I am going to sit back and see if this turns into a flame war.

Edit: I think you handled this issue very well and covered all your bases. This being the internet, someone is going to be offended by what you said, but that is nothing new. Great video, thank god for Jim.

Actually, killing can involve suffering for the victims. Games have even shown this.

There is a quest for the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim, one of the first, that proves it.

As for the rape issue, I agree almost wholeheartedly. I do say almost because I saw Tentacle Bento mentioned. I bring this up because there is some rather interesting concepts to this in its relation to rape.
Rape, as an act between two humans is quite obviously a horrible thing, and is why something like "Rapelay" was quickly shelved and forgotten.
Yet rape, as a tentacle and human, is probably one of the things Japan is most known for. There simply is no analogue in real life (besides the obvious), and as far as I'm aware of in general is completely accepted. I could turn Safety off on my google images and search "tentacle rape", but I'd rather not. I don't need to see how many results I get of it, because I know there will be a lot.

Which brings me to Tentacle Bento. I saw it, laughed a little at the idea and went on. Never had an interest in backing it, but I could see a little of the humor behind the basis of the game. Yet it apparently got kicked by kickstarter for one reason or another.
Again not having really looked too deeply into the game, from what I saw there was no real evidence that the game was saying the schoolgirls grabbed were raped. Where they? Maybe! I don't know. You just capture them, and they join your side.

So what is with that?

Also, the project apparently went to some other similar site and is succeeding from what I read on the main kickstarter page. Which obviously means that whatever site they are on definitely doesn't mind.

Jimothy Sterling:

Stripes:
we dont really need to be told

The fact that quite a few rapes happen seem to suggest otherwise.

And let's not forget, there are instances where rape is so insidious that even the rapist might not realize what he's doing. There have been instances of a man having unwanted sex with a woman and not even figuring that it was unwanted. Or having sex with someone drunk, on drugs, or asleep, and thinking it's okay.

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.

Jimothy Sterling:

Stripes:
we dont really need to be told

The fact that quite a few rapes happen seem to suggest otherwise.

And let's not forget, there are instances where rape is so insidious that even the rapist might not realize what he's doing. There have been instances of a man having unwanted sex with a woman and not even figuring that it was unwanted. Or having sex with someone drunk, on drugs, or asleep, and thinking it's okay.

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.

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.

It's fiction.
Why are we bringing real life into fiction, discussing how real life rape is different from murder and how people who made a rape game must all be weirdos (nice generalization bro)?
This is entirely irrelevant.

No theme should be "taboo" to the point where media gets taken off the market.
Once again: It's fiction.

If people say it's hypocritical that violence is acceptable but rape isn't, they probably mean it more in that sort of context.
Banging on semantics about why "rape isn't the same as murder because you can't justify it etc. etc." is kinda missing the entire point.

There was a time when we weren't desensitised to murder. That's come and gone because it's such a primary component of both fictional and reality-inspired media, given the heavy use of the good guy vs bad guy scenario in which the bad guy ends up dying. There are simple mechanical reasons behind this development. Rape by comparison is a tertiary component, though it's been around in plenty of works for the better part of our history.

Absolute morality is nonsense and I think that the reason for all this is primarily mechanical, combined with how central killing is to our biology. Taking the life of another creature, human or otherwise, is integral to nature; nature involves a lot of killing. However, there has never been nor will there ever be a circumstance in which you have to rape to survive (discounting the gun-to-your-head red herring).

Also, Dave Chappelle is misogynist prick. Even whores have the right to not be raped.

Slippery slopes and censorship. If there's a topic that cannot be written about for fear of the very real possibility of an author being accused of committing or desiring to commit the action under discussion, does that set a dangerous precedent for free speech?

The common sense argument says no, but since when have you seen common people act sensibly when it comes to censorship?

This has got to be the FIRST time ever that I have fully agreed with Jim.

Murder is always one of those things that (in one way or another) can be justified and even moralised; Whereas RAPE can never be treated or regarded as such.

Just to clarify... Rape is NOT sex!
Sex is consensual, Rape is not.

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 think that in RL there is a grey area around rape. Partly because the definition of what actually is rape is not clear-cut. Often it's not just a simple case of a man forcing himself on a woman, especially when alcohol is involved.
Also, it happens very often that men are falsely accused (about 20% of all rape accusations) of rape by women who have no idea what kind of harm they are doing with such accusations, especially because of the air of 'ultimate evil' that surrounds it. This has done very little to promote contacting the police for actual rape victims, but instead often fuels the 'woman was behaving slutty' argument. Without a doubt a bad thing, but something to think about.

Though I'm really not convinced about rape being worse than murder, I agree with all the arguments when they pertain to rape and murder in videogames. Thanks for the vid, Jim. No food as tasty as good food for thought.

dantoddd:
here is a little question for you guys. would you rather be dead or be raped. answer this honestly.

Frankly i'd pick getting raped over being dead. My suspicion is that at the end of the day vast majority of humanity would as well.

Jim is also hypocritical when he says he's fine with torture but rape is ebil. Many of his argument about why rape is such a heinous offense can be exported wholesale to argue that torture is worse than murder.

Dead by far. Rape carries with it all sorts of issues and lifelong afflictions. Death is final.

The same with torture, after all, rape is even used as a form of torture.

Pennywise12528:
Most of the arguments in this video were pretty good, but I don't think bringing up Hannibal Lecter was a smart move in the long run. As soon as he was cited as an example of a villain who is evil incarnate yet rooted for by the fans and a weird type of sex symbol, I immediately realized that all of the same also applied to Freddy Krueger.

Y'know, the unrepentant child rapist/murderer.

Hannibal actually rapes Clarice in Hannibal after messing with her head with psychotics and mental conditioning. YMMV as its never in the movies (The only Hannibal most people have seen).

Actually, I can justify rape. It requires a ridicolously convoluted situation, and even then itīs a gray area for sure, but I could justify it.

Intresting arguments. I donīt quite agree with you, but I donīt quite disagree with you.

Aureliano:
Slippery slopes and censorship. If there's a topic that cannot be written about for fear of the very real possibility of an author being accused of committing or desiring to commit the action under discussion, does that set a dangerous precedent for free speech?

The common sense argument says no, but since when have you seen common people act sensibly when it comes to censorship?

To be fair, he never advocates censorship. He even says quite explicitly he is not saying they shouldn't be made. What he's saying is it's inappropriate, in bad taste, etc. Basically he'd defend the right for someone to make a game about rape, but he wouldn't invite them home.

Think about this - the ACLU threw its weight behind the KKK and NAMBLA, not because they believe in their causes, but they believe in the right for them to speak.

cursedseishi:

Torrasque:
I was going to bring up the point "Killing can involve suffering, but when someone is killed, they are dead, no more pain or suffering. Rape is pure unending suffering, and suffering is bad, so that is why rape is so bad", but you brought it up almost immediately when I thought of it, so thanks lol.

Now I am going to sit back and see if this turns into a flame war.

Edit: I think you handled this issue very well and covered all your bases. This being the internet, someone is going to be offended by what you said, but that is nothing new. Great video, thank god for Jim.

Actually, killing can involve suffering for the victims. Games have even shown this.

There is a quest for the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim, one of the first, that proves it.

As for the rape issue, I agree almost wholeheartedly. I do say almost because I saw Tentacle Bento mentioned. I bring this up because there is some rather interesting concepts to this in its relation to rape.
Rape, as an act between two humans is quite obviously a horrible thing, and is why something like "Rapelay" was quickly shelved and forgotten.
Yet rape, as a tentacle and human, is probably one of the things Japan is most known for. There simply is no analogue in real life (besides the obvious), and as far as I'm aware of in general is completely accepted. I could turn Safety off on my google images and search "tentacle rape", but I'd rather not. I don't need to see how many results I get of it, because I know there will be a lot.

Which brings me to Tentacle Bento. I saw it, laughed a little at the idea and went on. Never had an interest in backing it, but I could see a little of the humor behind the basis of the game. Yet it apparently got kicked by kickstarter for one reason or another.
Again not having really looked too deeply into the game, from what I saw there was no real evidence that the game was saying the schoolgirls grabbed were raped. Where they? Maybe! I don't know. You just capture them, and they join your side.

So what is with that?

Also, the project apparently went to some other similar site and is succeeding from what I read on the main kickstarter page. Which obviously means that whatever site they are on definitely doesn't mind.

I assumed that psychological pain is inflicted on everyone close to the person that is killed. Just like that psychological pain is there for the people close to the rape victim.

As for tentacle bento/tentacle rape, I think that is less serious than non-tentacle rape because of the tongue in cheek nature of the rape. If tentacle rape was a real thing, then I think it would not be as popular as it is in anime and hentai.

jmarquiso:

dantoddd:
here is a little question for you guys. would you rather be dead or be raped. answer this honestly.

Frankly i'd pick getting raped over being dead. My suspicion is that at the end of the day vast majority of humanity would as well.

Jim is also hypocritical when he says he's fine with torture but rape is ebil. Many of his argument about why rape is such a heinous offense can be exported wholesale to argue that torture is worse than murder.

Dead by far. Rape carries with it all sorts of issues and lifelong afflictions. Death is final.

The same with torture, after all, rape is even used as a form of torture.

jmarquiso:

dantoddd:
here is a little question for you guys. would you rather be dead or be raped. answer this honestly.

Frankly i'd pick getting raped over being dead. My suspicion is that at the end of the day vast majority of humanity would as well.

Jim is also hypocritical when he says he's fine with torture but rape is ebil. Many of his argument about why rape is such a heinous offense can be exported wholesale to argue that torture is worse than murder.

Dead by far. Rape carries with it all sorts of issues and lifelong afflictions. Death is final.

The same with torture, after all, rape is even used as a form of torture.

Thanks.

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'm not sure I really agree there. I don't really recall being told not to kill people, "don't hit people" sure. Movies, TV and such usually portray guys who are forceful with girls as jerks, this can be taken as a moral reminder. Date rape and violent assault are usually too edgy to include in a family show however.

That said a few posters (like the ones mentioned before) wouldn't hurt.

Jimothy Sterling:
-snip-

Jim, I'm genuinely beginning to respect you more and more. Not gonna lie, when your series first came to the Escapist, I did not like it. At all. But with the last season you've really won me round, especially with the way that you're 'maturely' approaching topics which most really don't like touching.

Good job dude.

jmarquiso:

Aureliano:
Slippery slopes and censorship. If there's a topic that cannot be written about for fear of the very real possibility of an author being accused of committing or desiring to commit the action under discussion, does that set a dangerous precedent for free speech?

The common sense argument says no, but since when have you seen common people act sensibly when it comes to censorship?

To be fair, he never advocates censorship. He even says quite explicitly he is not saying they shouldn't be made. What he's saying is it's inappropriate, in bad taste, etc. Basically he'd defend the right for someone to make a game about rape, but he wouldn't invite them home.

Think about this - the ACLU threw its weight behind the KKK and NAMBLA, not because they believe in their causes, but they believe in the right for them to speak.

I wish we had an ACLU in England.

Aw, not one little rape Jim? Just a quick one?

On a more serious note: I think another important point about the "rape vs murder" debate is the methods used as well. There's many ways to murder someone with the most common being in a quick manner such as a gunshot to the head, a sword through the chest, and so on. Hell, developers tend to draw the line at drawn-out murder sequences; with torture incredibly rarely, if ever, shown in full depiction (although if it's because it's boring to drag it out or if it's full out disturbing for the view is a different matter). Rape however, isn't a quick method. It's never quick (cue "can only sexually last for a few seconds" jokes). It's something drawn out for at least ten minutes, if not for hours and hours. It's more akin to a form of torture (and was sometimes used as a form of torture way back), something developers rarely touch.

Even then, after the murder is done the pain is done and the person feels nothing (unless you're spiritual and believe in the person going to hell, but that may be going far in your imagination). Rape, the pain is drawn out beyond the event (which lasted for at least ten minutes) with a culture of shame upon the person who got raped. For death, we put up a tombstone, maybe sob for a bit for the person's sake and move on. For rape, the victim feels a strong psychological disturbance constantly due to our social norms of sexuality behaviours being not just breeched but violated in such a strong way to shatter the human mind. They're not just abnormal to themselves, they're forever outcasts who have broken one of the central code of human laws. The shame a rape victim feels, almost encouraged by the media ans social norms, is border-lining the shame a person who's committed manslaughter feels (assuming they're the typical 9-5 office worker from a middle class background and so on). It's mental torture to an extreme level, and considering video games rarely if ever show physical torture, it'd be strange for a non-villain character to take part in mental and physical torture (which for something to be as drawn out as it is, you don't feel a sense of doing it out of necessity like you do with murder, but you must get a sense of enjoyment out of it to do it that long).

If it's done in the right context and used sparingly rape can be a powerful scene in a game and it'd be an amazing scene I'd love to watch (not for the actual rape, but for the narrative elements of it), but once the "rape door" is open I can only imagine an absolute onslaught of crass and unintelligent filth flowing through the market.

I find it interesting how casual people are about rape then murder At least from my perspective. Rape is a lot more traumatizing and leaves scars that don't heal, while murder is just one guy/gal dying and everyone else reacts. I guess it's all about "taking a life" vs. "ruining it for the rest of theirs".

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