Reappearance of RapeLay on CNN prompts world of stupid

Posted by | April 26, 2010

Horrifying as it is, to defend freedom of expression and the freedom to access expression one must often discover themselves defending the expression of the indefensible. In a culture that horror and fantasy games garner a great deal of attention sometimes truly scary, socially worrisome games emerge.

And then people get stupid.

Meanwhile, in Australia, a member of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre is using the reconfirmed existence of Rapelay as a means to justify Internet filtering for the whole country, according to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald. Karen Willis “absolutely” believes in Internet filtering and told the paper, “While I don’t think that playing games causes people to go out and do things, what it can do for those who may already have that preclusion is further break down social barriers to them taking that action.”

Australia, already known for idiot-as-she-goes approaches to censorship couldn’t possibly pass up a boatload of sensationalism to promote an approach to making moral decisions for their own population on what expression they should be able to access. The above quote, of course, comes from a propaganda source who don’t need to back up their bias; but due to their poorly constructed media rating system can basically ban anything they want for any reason by not rating it.

Not to be left out, Argentina decided to take the bait (ignoring already present laws that ban this type of game) in order to play the censor card as well.

Argentina’s Ministry of Justice called RapeLay (translated) a “clear vindication of the crimes of sexual abuse, violation, against sexual integrity and discrimination against the women,” and warned the populace that the sale or commercialization of games featuring explicit sexual activities is in direct opposition to article 128 of Argentina’s penal code. Those who break such laws are subject to prison terms ranging from six months to four years.

Attorney General Julio Alak said that the country is taking steps to ensure that the game cannot enter the country. He also warned ISPs that they could incur sanctions for allowing access to the game online.

Because ISPs should police what other people access and think.

Censorship promotes a sense of ignorance, a taboo to awareness that violates a deeper strain of human dignity than even this video game can hope to touch. Promoting awareness of sexual assault, rape, and what it can do to people would be a far more reaching and enduring effect than censoring this video game can ever do. It’s a cheap, easy, and foolish solution to a problem of social discourse better resolved by actually addressing the human condition.

In a few months this game might be forgotten, there are thousands to take its place no doubt, but the cultural unconscious of those who drink the poison of censorship won’t take away a message about approaching human dignity, they’ll end up with further claws of taboo and inability to access the questions.

Think: Educate; not retaliate.

Link, via Gamepolitics.

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