Japanese rape game auctions pulled from eBay

(Trigger Warning: Simulated rape, forced abortion)

A 2006 Japanese game called Rapelay with the objective of assaulting and raping women has had all of its eBay auctions  pulled down today.  The game requires players to use wind to raise the skirts of girls, rape them, and then force them to have an abortion before they become too pregnant.  There is also the ability to invite others in for a simulated gang-rape scenario.

The Amazon listing previously read:

RapeLay is an offshoot of the Illusion series, Interact Play. You, like in previous installments, play as a public nuisance that gets away from captivity and starts scouting for new targets. This time around you find a family of a single mother and her two daughters. You quickly begin your hunt and capture each woman one by one. The gameplay involves an amusing training/disposition system with which to break each respective target to your liking. Watch where you blow your load, or you might get them pregnant!

(Source)

The cover of Rapelay, featuring two women holding each other.

The cover of Rapelay, featuring two women holding each other.

The company that develops this game, Illusion, only sells their games within Japan to people 18 and up.  Other games include the Battle Raper series with a similar objective, and Reversible Face which is a simulated female stalking game.  This particular game was pulled down from Amazon in February.

I’m thankful these auctions were pulled down from eBay, but it’s absurd that these games are legal in Japan.  There are some really disgusting walkthroughs available on the web that I found during my research for this article that left me sick to my stomach.

15 thoughts on “Japanese rape game auctions pulled from eBay”

  1. I am at a loss for words.. I had no idea this even existed and I don’t think I have ever seen such a disgusting game idea.

    I love free speech and will defend it till I turn blue, but this just crossed the line and I am afraid it will lead from game to reality and at the very least it reinforces the classic Japanese submissive female that rightfully isn’t nearly as common as it once was.

  2. I’m glad it was pulled from eBay.

    What annoys me about discussions of this game is that they nearly always devolve into people wailing about defending free speech, when the more important question at hand is, what does this game say about our global culture and attitudes toward women, sex, and sexualized violence?

    Sigh. If I never have to hear about this game again, it will be too soon.

  3. Wow… Just… Wow…
    There are no words for this horror (The game its self mind you. Thank God it’s been taken down a few places,).

  4. Although it’s utterly abhorrent in almost any incarnation (there’s an exception to every rule where art’s concerned, but I don’t know what this one would be), why is rape a sacred cow but genocide and war crimes aren’t? Violence is defended pretty easily by gamers who profess that they can tell the difference between fiction and reality; why is rape different? Or rather, why is rape excessive, but decapitations, killing innocents in the street, etc. are not?

    I’m not necessarily saying it isn’t excessive, but I’m definitely curious to hear your arguments on the topic.

    1. I may write about this more in the future, but for now here’s a short answer: a more apt comparison to rape is torture, not violence in general. Killing in general does not leave survivors that are scarred their entire lives. But we have yet to see any games that actually involve waterboarding or other forms of torture.

      Another way to think of it: there are situations where society has deemed violence, even killing, to be acceptable, such as in war, in self-defense, and so on. But rape and torture are never, ever acceptable (contrary to what Dick Cheney says).

      See also this thread: http://forums.theirisnetwork.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1451

      1. That’s a good distinction and a better analogy than to GTA, CoD etc. I’ll definitely grant you that rape and torture are steps across the line in a manner that killing generally isn’t.

        However, I still don’t see a refutation of the “fantasy v. reality” aspect of the argument. I’m not a fan of GTA’s domestic terrorism, but I don’t think it encourages people to go out and kill cops/innocent people. Maybe it’s an outlet for some people’s misanthropy, but I’d need to be better convinced that it actually contributes to the sentiment.

        Likewise, while I’m not going anywhere near a rape game, I’m not so sure that the people playing it are going to be more likely to think raping women is ok. I’m even more skeptical because it’s mixed up with sexuality which is complex and multifaceted in its manifestations and appeal (BDSM, etc being ways individuals express their sexuality in “deviant and demeaning” ways. If I’m a proponent of allowing individuals to do as they please as long as they don’t harm others, I can’t very well judge that).

        I realize this is, in many ways, a rehashing of the porn wars in feminism, but I still don’t know why this particular form of escapism/fantasy is abhorrent if we’re to say other forms of escapism/fantasy are “mostly harmless” precisely because they’re methods of consciously going into a different reality where the possible, plausible, and socially permissible change.

        In short, I’m not convinced that most or even a significant majority of individuals who would purchase and use this product would condone and/or commit real-life rape. And yet, the tone from this post and the forum posts seem to indicate that this game and its consumers should be held is specifically low disdain for the way they choose to express their sexuality in a victimless setting. (Just like I don’t think most people who play the cop-killer in GTA want to do it in real life). There’s just an element of hypocrisy about it in a blog about subverting sexual norms in games.

        I may be completely off-base, and I’m not well-versed in BSDM circles as to how this argument plays out, but I definitely think it’s more nuanced than the arguments that I derived from the linked forum post (ie, rape is bad, therefore things with fantasy rape support rape and are bad, too).

        1. Regarding the fantasy vs. reality argument…

          IMO, there’s a huuuuge difference between a BDSM scene negotiated between two people and a video game marketed to thousands if not more. That’s acted out of individual fantasies. A game which has the base purpose of the player hunting down and raping virtual women — this is not personal, because it’s mass-marketed. This is a product of rape culture.

          Truthfully, speaking as someone who does have rape fantasies, games like RapeLay bother me more than the large amount of erotic fiction available or even rape fantasy pornographic films, because it puts control in the player’s hands. The player is no longer a viewer watching someone else do the raping; the player is the one doing it.

          They’ve found that with violent video games, the more graphic the game, the more desensitized the player becomes, and the more likely that they will “lose it” and commit some sort of violent act. I don’t think anyone ever thinks “it’s okay in the video game, so it’s okay in the real world”, but if someone played a game like this enough — yes, I could absolutely see it leading to a real-world rape, particularly considering the vast length of what constitutes “rape.”

          1. They’ve found that with violent video games, the more graphic the game, the more desensitized the player becomes, and the more likely that they will “lose it” and commit some sort of violent act.

            My impression was that these studies showed that that tendency only existed in the period during and right after playing, that it was a kind of “violence rush” that increased aggression temporarily, not permanently.

            Then again, I haven’t been following this as closely as I probably should have. Does anyone here know of a study looking at long-term effects of playing violent video games?

          2. I can definitely understand that argument, and if you’re consistently against violence in video games too (as in, GTA is comparably abhorrent to the Rapelay game), then keeping fighting the good fight!

  5. Equality Now have had an action alert for Rapelay to be withdrawn from sale in Japan and to draw attention generally to the impact of video games depicting & eroticizing sexual violence. You can see their action here:
    http://www.equalitynow.org/english/actions/action_3302_en.html
    And check out the transcription of their presentation within MUVE Second Life as part of the 16 days of activism for the elimination of violence against women, here:
    http://slactivists.ning.com/

  6. That’s just sick. Freedom of speech is protected as long as it does not harm other people. This most definitely harms women because it influences and encourages people to rape women. What kind of message do we want to send to our children? This is the equivalent of running into a movie theater and yelling “Fire!” causing a stampede. That is not protected by the first amendment. This game is awful.

Comments are closed.