Recently there was a game that was going to hit Steam’s storefront which really shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The game was called “Rape Day” and had you as the player character sexually assault and rape several women in a post-apocalyptic scenario. Now the game was very clearly an edgy attempt to cause controversy but the interesting thing is that Valve removed the game from Steam due to the public outcry that the game created.
This sets an interesting precedence as Valve seemingly will remove content simply because people get upset about it. Now don’t get me wrong I think this game is a piece of garbage and doesn’t deserve to get nearly the amount of attention that it has had and I also believe that Steam is well within their rights to take content off their store if they don’t want to sell it. The problem comes from if they start listening to mob mentality which could lead to massive issues. The other difficult situation comes from the fact that other games on Steam have questionable content of this kind and are still happily being sold. House Party is one such example, a simulation/puzzle game where you have to have sex with women at a party. One of the encounters in this game has you blackmailing a woman to have sex with you which I would classify as rape too and yet that game is still on the store. This shows that Valve seemingly doesn’t have a problem with the content itself but cares only about its image in the public eye.
While I feel games like this shouldn’t exist due to the fact that gaming adds a personal touch to the act of sexual assault, which is a troubling trait, I do believe that these horrible acts have a place in being depicted. Having an antagonist character performing rape in a cutscene is a valid choice in my opinion as it works to make that person more unlikeable and just like in movies by seeing how certain characters react to the repercussions of this horrible act they can perhaps find a platform to talk with others about their own experiences. I just feel as though you should never be able to do this as a player character, not even to build a character profile due to how that depicts not only the developers for even programming a ‘Rape gameplay element’ but also the people who decide to play a game like that. The situation is a tricky one as I am not for censorship of art in any way but I do believe that clear attempts to be edgy and disgusting like Rape Day deserve to only be found on the deepest recesses of the Dark Web. And don’t give me the lectures on how rape depictions in gaming can help potential rapists by releasing their desires in a virtual environment as that’s not how that works. If you’re already thinking about even possibly raping someone then you are a lost cause and ‘gamifying’ rape will just make the urges even easier to justify. I’m just glad to see this game gone from the store front but I am scared that Valve will start to let the public define their choices for choosing what to sell rather than taking a hard stance on how they feel about these games.
Anyway I’m done talking about this horrible subject, the developer of this game should be ashamed of themselves. That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.