Take Action Against Subway Groping/Assault Video Game

A few months ago I wrote about the Japanese video game RapeLay, which allows players to grope young women on subways and then allows players to escalate their actions to lots of raping. At that time, activists were successful in getting the game banned from the US Amazon.com and Ebay, but the game is still easily found elsewhere online, including, apparently, Japan’s Amazon.com.

Equality Now has a new call to action around this horrible video game.

“Japan has an obligation under Article 5(a) of CEDAW ‘to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women.’ In addition, Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution guarantees equality under the law and states that there shall be no ‘discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.’ Computer games such as RapeLay condone gender-based discriminatory attitudes and stereotypes, which perpetuate violence against women. Rather than allowing them to flourish, the Japanese government should be taking effective measures to overcome these attitudes and practices, which hinder women’s equality.”

Visit Equality Now’s website for contact info and sample letters you can use:

“Please write to Illusion Software asking it to withdraw immediately from sale of all games, including RapeLay, which involve rape, stalking or other forms of sexual violence or which otherwise denigrate women. Suggest that corporations have a responsibility to consider, as good business practice, any negative impact their activities may have on society and the public interest. Please write a similar letter to Amazon Japan. Write also to the Japanese government officials below, calling on them to comply with Japan’s obligations under CEDAW and the Japanese Constitution to eliminate discrimination against women and particularly to ban the sale of computer games such as RapeLay, which normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls.”

I’m going to write! I hate subway groping, I hate rape, I hate violence! And I hate video games that portray these horrible acts as something “fun” for players to do.

6 Responses to Take Action Against Subway Groping/Assault Video Game

  1. Beckie says:

    I’m going to write too. Thanks for keeping us informed!

  2. I sent e-mails to Amazon Japan, Illusion Software, and the Minister of State for Social Affairs and Gender Equality. I personalized the suggested letters with info about my experiences as a volunteer on the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and street harassment activist. I’ll post any response I get back.

  3. Marcos says:

    Have you written letters asking for Grand Theft Auto to be banned?

    That game glorifies violence that, with all due respect, isn’t any better or any worse…yet people have these remarkable double standards about violence and sex.

    Even if this game were to be banned, and this is just one of a thousand or more similar games that have already been produced in Japan for decades, the same hypocrisy will remain in the air.

    Goodbye. I’ll now go run over some pedestrians in GTA.

  4. KW says:

    I’ve written letters against the ban as it’s a blatant violation of free speech (aka not cool).

  5. Margaret says:

    While I don’t know if banning the game is the best course of action, it is a disturbing game. I’ve done my share of gaming in my life, including a lot of time spent playing World of Warcraft, so I understand that fantasy and reality are different things with regard to gaming.

    However, this game contributes to an unsafe environment for women and girls by normalizing sexual violence. Games about killing people are not quite the same, as murder is seen as the most serious crime, and you face serious legal ramifications if you murder someone. With the majority of rapists escaping justice, it seems to be a potentially dangerous game. Never mind the actual amount of groping on public transit in Japan (and other parts of the world). I’d be more inclined to support this game if rape trials actually progressed in a just manner, resulting in rapists being severely punished. Until that happens, it’s just another manifestation of rape culture.

  6. Disco 4tu says:

    Sounds like a stupid game

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