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Banned “RapeLay” Video Game Goes Viral - Taina Bien-Aime Interviewed on CNN

March 31, 2010

Progressive Women’s Voices alumna Taina Bien-Aime, Executive Director of Equality Now, was at the lead of several women’s organizations that worked to pull a vulgar Japanese video game, “RapeLay,” off international shelves. This morning, Bien-Aime told CNN that the groups are “now calling for the Japanese government to ban all games that promote and simulate sexual violence, sexual torture, stalking, and rape.” The banned game, which has now gone viral online, puts users in a simulated scenario of a rapist’s attack on an unsuspecting young woman waiting for the subway. The player can choose to attack, molest, and rape the victim and her family and friends countless times – the more violent you are, the more points you rack up. If the premise of the game itself isn’t enough for outcry, here’s the game’s back story and motive for the attack: revenge. While few are as explicit as “RapeLay,” many video games promote and vividly illustrate similar “seduce-and-destroy” narratives. Add to that the rapid development of technology cranking out more and more realistic computer graphics every day, and you’ve created a simulated world where violence and rape is not only normalized, but rewarded. Media outlets have provided disconcerting quotes from gamers who argue that it’s unfair to censor the game on the “off chance” it might influence someone to replicate the violent actions in real life. But where do we draw the line between “freedom of gamer” and rewarded violence against women? How might this debate change if male characters were made vulnerable and sexually attacked? This video game and others like it, depicting a devastating and all too real situation for women and girls across the world, has unquestionably gone too far. Watch Taina on CNN below: