I read on The Forum Whatever about Rapelay, a Japanese video game which, well, read the article here, which will tell you no more than you need to know.
The thing is, though, it’s a game where the aim is to rape people; why is it that that seems so much worse than games in which the idea is to gratuitously kill others who are unarmed? I don’t have a problem with violent games in which you’re actually in combat with others who are also armed and it’s kill-or-be-killed, because there is an objective to your violence and it’s not absolutely the entire point of the game. The point of the game there is your own imaginary survival; fair enough. But when you’re not at risk from the people you’re killing how has that become acceptable (e.g. in Grand Theft Auto) when surely it ought to ring as terrible as this rape-simulation game? Or is there a reasonable justification for feeling that a game centred on raping girls and women is in some way morally worse than a game which is primarily about killing innocent bystanders?
And what about films? When is it acceptable to portray graphic, violent rape scenes, and what do we mean by ‘in the name of art’? Is it OK if you’re trying to shock your audience, but not if you know they’re just going to get off on it? And is that the true difference between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture?