Semantics and Silence: What is “Rape” in a Video Game? *trigger*

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3 Responses

  1. Stephen Preischel says:

    I think I get what you’re saying but I’m confused about how offensive the depiction of rape is supposed to be in video games. It’s ok for me to slaughter hundreds of people in a game but the suggestion of rape is over the line? Would it be ok if a game depicted a man being anally violated? If not, why is that worse than your character sneaking up behind someone and strangling them with piano wire? Don’t get me wrong. In reality, rape is a terrible, vicious crime. So is mass-murder. People are supposed to be able to separate the game from real life. Or is it the way designers dance around it rather than the act itself?

    • alexlayne says:

      I have an answer to this question– but I want to see what others have to say before my author-ness quashes other opinions. Though, side note, what I’m really trying to talk about here, while it may not have come across, is the idea that obscuring what an act is called means that it is not that thing anymore. As if it’s ok to commit murder (to use your example) if we call it life-endingness. This wordplay happens all too often in “sexual assault” cases and it creates a foundation for people to argue that behaviors that may otherwise be seen as inappropriate are ok. Of course this happens constantly in our culture, but to my knowledge it has not really been explored in this context much.

      But whether or not rape is worse to show in a game than murder (or why that seems to be the case) is a super prominent discussion that is fruitful. But yeah I want to see what others say first.