Games People Play

The existence of perverted rape games reveals the prevalence of misogyny in the world of online gaming

I had come across this tasteless video game online a few years back while researching for Wikigender. The game is called RapeLay, (trigger warning: this link contains explicit descriptions of rape and other crime against women that could be disturbing) a 3D game created by a Japanese firm, Illusion, and it prods the player to rape a woman and her two teenaged daughters in a moving train, a park and a restroom.

The game lets the player rape, impregnate and abort the three women. Points are awarded for such acts of sexual violence, and the game, to this day, remains among the hot picks in grey markets across the world.

I remember there was a massive outcry in 2009 when some copies of this game were put up on Amazon, and the Ethics Organization of Computer Software (EOCS), Japan’s PC game rating agency, had called for a halt to the retail sale of videogames that simulate rape. (The EOCS is a voluntary organization and the ban is not legally binding)

The Yokohama-based games manufacturer Illusion had then said that the campaign to have the game RapeLay banned in Japan was pointless because it was perfectly legal in Japan. Spokesman Makoto Nakaoka said he was bewildered by the move as it made games for Japanese tastes and laws and that he didn’t need to know what was acceptable elsewhere in the world.

In India, when the easy online availability of this game was brought to the notice of the Computer Emergency Reaction Team (Cert-In) of the Ministry of Information Technology a few years back, its spokesperson had said, “Our primary job is to prevent cyber crimes that threaten the national security. When such offensive websites are hosted in other countries, there is little we can do.”

Maintaining that obscene rape games may prove more dangerous than the offence of actual rape, cyber law expert Pawan Duggal said that the Information Technology Act, 2000, must be tightened, and that, “…these rape games are more dangerous than an actual rapist. A rapist may abuse one or two women before being caught, but obscene Japanese rape games like RapeLay would surely infect young and impressionable minds and lure them into becoming pervert rapists.”

(I just did a quick search on Google for ‘Japanese rape game’ and got 29,300,000 results in 0.18 seconds, including many that offer a download, while others offer a trial version)


About the Author


I am a former bureaucrat, and have worked a lot on gender issues, disaster management and good governance. I am also the proud father of two lovely daughters. read more...

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