The Dangers of Rape Day

The game was banned by Steam, but it had supporters.

It’s been well over a month and you’ve probably forgotten – or never even heard – about the controversy revolving around a game, titled Rape Day, that was up for release on the popular gaming platform, Steam.

This was a game where the sole premise and core mechanic needed to proceed through the ‘storyline’ was to rape and kill women during a zombie apocalypse.

You deserve it.

I bet a shudder just went down your spine.

Your first thought (if you’re against banning the game) might be ‘well, game X as assault and rape in it …’ This was one of the first rebuttals I ran into when I made a post against this game on Twitter in the vain hope Steam would read it’s player’s thoughts.

Fast forward, they pulled the game. Release the breath you were holding.

Well, my darlings, for starters the difference between that game and this game is that that game may have contained the aforementioned acts, but was not based solely upon them, glorifying them as this one does.

Another major rebuttal I was faced with was the assertion that murder is ok in games, but rape is not.

Well, in this instance, yes.

Let me explain.

Murder is an act that we all know is wrong. Everyone knows it is wrong. Children and toddlers know that killing another human being is wrong. Nobody kills someone and says ‘Well, they didn’t protest so I thought it was ok.’ Or, ‘They only got killed, what’s the big deal?’ > Based on a comment I read once that has stuck with me for years ‘You only got fucked, you’re not a survivor, what’s the big deal?’

Nobody questions murder being bad. Nobody says ‘Aw, the way they were dressed though, they deserved it.’

This was a hard topic to make a decision on. I stand for free speech, you should be able to say what you want, create what you want, publish what you want, whether its PG or NSFW. That’s my stand on it. Writing, games, TV, comics, art … Everything, anything! I am working on a series of books and short stories, and yes assault exists within my fictional world, as it exists in the real world. You can call me a hypocrite if you want, but you’d be incorrect.

When I spoke against this game, I specifically stated I didn’t believe it belonged on Steam. If the creator wants to publish elsewhere, that’s on him to find someone willing to accept it.

My ultimate decision was based on a few things.

Firstly, a game such as this, glorifying rape and assault and telling players (let’s face it, men) that they deserve this. That they deserve to enjoy themselves while they commit these acts, even in a fictional sense, is horrifying. Why? Because we exist in a time where we are still trying to get the world to see these acts as horrifying, wrong, bad, unacceptable, horrendous … you can probably interject any negative adjective here and it’ll fit.

The world as a whole has yet to understand and accept that this is fucking wrong.

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong, and I’ll point out that we have a sitting president who as admitting to assaulting women and faced no repercussions for it. Instead, he stood up and said that one woman was too ugly for him to assault.

I’ll point to the incel movement comprised of men who believe women are lesser humans who all owe them sex and servitude, who actively speak and fantasise violently about women. (See the Toronto man who ran his car through pedestrians because he was a self-proclaimed ‘incel’)

I’ve been on these incel forums. If you meet anyone who says they are an incel, you need to run the fuck away.

-I’ll point to Brock Turner, who only spent three months in county jail for getting caught raping a woman because a proper sentence would interfere with his future and wellbeing. I’ll point to the fact that his swimming scores were posted in the first articles about the incident because his ability was more valuable than her life.

-I’ll point to the man who raped a one-year-old child and posted footage of it online did not do jail time, despite having premeditated the act. He was also planning to do it again against a young boy. I don’t give a fuck that the parents didn’t want jail time for him, he should be rotting in a cell. >They wanted treatment for him instead.<

-I’ll point to the Indiana University student who was charged with raping two women and spent one day in jail. Total.

-I shouldn’t even have to point to Harvey Weinstein.

-I’ll point to the Baylor University student who only got a fine of $400 for his 4 sexual assault charges.

-I’ll point to the man from the University of Boulder-Colorado that received no jail time for assaulting a half-conscious woman he said he was going to take home.

I’ll point to the man who committed a school shooting based on the fact that a girl rejected him.

I can keep doing this. I can sit here and write about hundreds of instances where men were held in higher esteem and value than the women they assaulted and destroyed, and those are the extreme minority of cases. Why? Because a minuscule percentage of rapes are actually reported. Even less of them are convicted. Even less are rightfully convicted with actual sentences.

Mind you, most of these were in America, supposedly the greatest country in the world.

So yes, I said Fuck No to a game based solely on rape and murder being published on Steam, because the world has yet to understand that rape is wrong.

It is a crime that has no justification. There is literally no instance where rape is warranted or justified in any way, nor will there ever be.

Still, to this day, I listen to people’s first response being ‘well, she dressed like a slut.’ Or something similar. I recently cut off an (ex) online friend who told me about a girl he knew from India who’d told him she didn’t want a boyfriend because her uncle had raped her. He thought that this was an isolated incident that only happened in places like India. He steadfastly refused to listen or take it seriously when I said that things like this happen all the time to women all over the world. Instead, he tried to compare it to his ex-girlfriend being mean to him.

Snip snip snip. Out of my life you go.

So, we are living in a world where we are trying to make people, (mostly men, but also women) take this shit seriously, and introducing a game such as this, a game that glorifies what we’re trying to tell them is bad, a game that tells them its ok and they deserve to enjoy it, will have the opposite effect we are trying to achieve.

Another reason I decided to stand against it is that Steam is a platform where a vast majority of the audience is young boys and men. Sure, this game would have been for adults only, but it’s not that hard to plug in a birthday and get access to the adult stuff. Is this what you want your kid playing in the middle of the night? Do you want to pay for this shit?

The next reason I stand against this game is that there is a scene within the game where a baby dies in the context of rape scene (as if there’s a lack of those within the game). Whether it is against the child or a different character I don’t actually know, but placing a baby into that scene puts it on the wrong side of child exploitation. It’s not an episode of Criminal Minds where we stop the bad guy and rescue the kids. You’re supposed to be having fun with this, according to the creator.

Another reason, that is far less important, is that I barely regard this as a game. I’m all for choose-your-own-adventure games and interactive novels. Hell, I even started one before I pulled it back and made it a novella instead. I love them. This was meant to be that, but there was no story here. It was just — rape this woman, run over and rape that woman, choose how to rape this woman, choose how to rape that corpse, choose between this woman and that corpse or do them at the same time — and on and on it went.

The creator did the bare minimum to house his neurotic fantasy in a game scenario so it could fly on a public platform like Steam.

He also claims to have created the game because he has a dark sense of humour…

Anyone who thinks things like this are funny needs a mental evaluation.

An online petition garnered over 3000 signatures to have this game banned from Steam.

Last year someone created a School Shooting game that Steam didn’t hesitate to ban. It had a petition of over 280,000 signatures to be banned. Based on them banning that game, I still question how this game made it past the first round of checkups on Steam in the first place.

I am against censorship, but there are lines of human decency that we shouldn’t cross. Publish those games if you want, but we can react and opt to not have your bullshit active on our platforms. Go find a black hole corner in the dark recesses of the internet that we’ll never see and enjoy yourself because we’re not going to give you a green light to darken our days with it.

There is controversy and debate, and then there is just wrong.

This was just wrong.

As an end note, I return to my initial twitter post. It received a great amount of support, but it also received pushback. During my, unfortunate, dealings with the supporters, I ran into many that tried to defend it by saying murder was ok so this should be.

What stood out the most, however, were comments made by one user defending it. His defence lay in free speech, but his justification of it was … perverted, in my mind. He tried to defend the creator by saying that slavery used to be legal, until voices stood up and spoke out against it and said it was wrong. Rape is illegal now, but this is a voice standing out against that fact and that silencing him would be like silencing the people who fought against slavery. He then stated that rape is a ‘absolutely’ a matter of opinion.

I wish I had kept screenshots of this bullshittery, but the loser-user blocked me after I lost my temper with his stance on the topic of assault, and after going back on another account, I think he deleted all of his comments.

I can’t imagine why.

JLRose is an American fantasy writer, 3D artist and game designer living in Melbourne, Australia. She’s spent the past three years working on the first full-length book of The Galean Universe and has released the first short story of The Lockwood Series.