Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Problem With "Rapeage"

I really try to avoid ranting (unsuccessfully as we say last week regarding WAR) and weighing in on so-called ‘serious’ discussions within the sphere of my blog. I feel that there is enough to deal with in real life without getting worked up about gaming issues but sometimes I just can’t do it. I am, in fact, easily trolled, because I am so often annoyed by others and their stupidity. Maybe I should start a Serious Saturday blog series, but in all honesty serious stuff bores the crap out of me, so you’ll have to settle for random, unpredictable rants.

This, in all fairness, isn’t even worth commenting on. Fox is like a giant Troll so I think it’s best not to feed it. I remember the controversy over arcades years ago and how they were destroying the youth. In my father’s day it was the pool halls. Dungeons and Dragons had it’s day of infamy when it was revealed that some degenerate, murdering scum-bag not worth mentioning was a player, and so it goes...... The media are always looking for a story. Their job is to sell news, not report it, so I tend to avoid it.

I am going to successfully avoid ranting about Fox, and won’t bother scientifically challenging their data (because I’m not going to give them the satisfaction of reading it carefully enough). It’s really not worth my time, or yours. What I will weigh in on, however, is a related topic that has been bothering me for some time and that I think is a bigger problem within the gaming community.


The casual use of this word by some players in the gaming community is unacceptable. I’m sorry that it has to be me to say it, but for feck sake grow up. I understand the analogy, but really? Is it necessary to use it in such a casual way, as if it didn’t actually refer to a life-altering offense which affects approximately 1 in 3 females and 1 in 4 males (last time I checked the stats in any case)?  Am I an ‘old fuddy duddy’? Am I out of touch? Maybe.

Trust me, I’m the first to make all kinds of off-side jokes and references- for example my post regarding the fear of rape in my communal shower, and my continual reference to candy and white vans. I think that at times these jokes can, actually, be funny, and they also serve to bring the issues into the foreground. I think we all lose if we pretend terrible things aren’t happening all around us and that can be, in a way, a victory for the bad guys if we do so. Take back the night and all that.
I also understand that youth (or who I assume are the youth) using this particular analogy are just that- young. The young like to challenge the norms of society, and shock. I know I certainly did (and still do at times). I do think, however, that the casual incorporation of references to violence against a particular group of people (women mostly as they make up the majority of sexual assault victims) is just plain wrong. Would it be less socially acceptable if the references were directed at a different group of people? Or do they have to be more explicit? Would people care then?

How about: “He got ethnically cleansed!” Not funny? Okay: “We ovened him Like a J*w!” Not acceptable? Okay, what about “We lynched him Like a N****r!” No? Still not acceptable?

Let's face it, none of them would be acceptable in-game or out, but “We face-raped him!” “We ass-raped him!”, or just plain old “Rapeage!” somehow is? Interesting, isn’t it?

It’s not about what’s being said, really, it’s about the casual nature of it, and how it has become acceptable to both say, and see, in-game. When an offside joke is made (be it about rape, race or whatever), it is something that is ‘other’: it is outside the parameters of normal conversation. It is noted, and remarked upon. It is understood that it is ‘not real’. It is meant to shock or offend and that is understood by all. When it is used casually, in chat, it becomes something a bit more insidious....a bit more acceptable.....a bit more dangerous.

Isn’t there a fairly famous quote about evil prevailing when good men do nothing?

There has been a lot of talk lately about the community in MMO games within the blogosphere. People are unfriendly, rude, and not fun to be around ‘they’ are saying. No one has mentioned the whole rape thing at all- and that’s what worries me. Do you think, if women made up 80% of the gaming population, this would be tolerated in-game? If you’ve come this far in the post you might agree. If I still haven’t convinced you, and you think I’m being a bit of a preachy ass-hat then try this:

Following a particularly successful gaming session phone your mom, grandma, or go to your daughter, or your younger sister and proudly tell her this:

“God, it was great. We totally raped them, I mean it was sick- complete rapeage really.”

No mom, sister, or daughter hanging about? No worries, phone up the sexual assault help line and say it to them.

Thus ends the ‘real-life’ rant. Let’s get back to some (socially responsible) gaming, shall we?


  1. Maybe I'm just a bad person, but all three of your examples made me chortle, especially the "ethnically cleansed".

  2. It only makes you a bad person if you think it's a great idea and start using it in-game!