Indie Game Edmund Imitates Rapelay; To Ban Or Not To Ban?

By William Usher 2009-08-12 17:05:01 discussion comments
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Just last week a whole breakdown within the gaming community created a social divide on the topic of whether or not rape simulators need to exist. It’s a hotly debated topic mainly because a lot of male gamers don’t have girlfriends and probably never talked to a woman before.

Nevertheless, shortly after the N4G/Destructoid fallout from the article I wrote regarding their users defending and condoning raping women in games, Jim Sterling of Destructoid wrote a counter-editorial defending the position and the stance of like-minded gamers against the subject matter but not against free-speech. Well, furthering this decline in moral boundaries within the gaming society is the recent shock-value indie title, Edmund. But not everyone is digging the “artistic” imitation of real life.

In an interview with Colin Robinson from Gamer Limit, Australian game designer Paul Greasley talked openly about his racy indie title, Edmund. The game sees players playing as a rapist using blocky graphics from the NES era. Still, it seems like it’s a tough subject to dodge this quarter, eh? Well, many of the users were actually abhorred at the subject matter while others felt it was necessary within its indie medium.

Well, naturally there was a fallout from outside of the indie community, from gamers who exercise common sense over the common egoism of simply trying to maintain "rights". Let’s get one thing clear, unless players are a vigilante or an observing entity of intervention the subject matter of rape in interactive entertainment will always be unwelcoming. Many people who say “rape” and “killing” in games are the same are completely absent-minded of the phrase “context defines content”. In that regards, it’s why we celebrate movies like Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List and despise movies like Philosophy of the Knife or Hostel.

As mentioned in the previous article: these games should not become mainstream. It’s one thing to do a social commentary on games exploring territory in a mature and reasonable manner, but this is usually not the case. Attemps at making these games “stick out from the crowd” looks bad for gaming in general. Every group voicing efforts to keep all forms of these games off the shelf, away from retailers and out of the hands of the general public are doing the gaming community a great service.

Gamers get a bad enough rap with [misunderstood] titles like GTA and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, we really don’t need people promoting games that diminutively promote the degradation of females anymore than mainstream games already do.

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