Guardian: Videogames are “extreme pornography”

Guardian journalist Jacqueline Hunt has stepped on her soapbox to declare that videogames are nothing more than “extreme pornography,” arguing that “many […] promote violence against women.”

To bolster her case, Hunt focuses on RapeLay (pictured above), an extremely obscure Japan-only title in which the player manipulates an onscreen penis to simulate the rape of teenage girls. There’s an incredibly brief mention of Grand Theft Auto IV, but aside from that, RapeLay is the focus of Hunt’s ire.

What Hunt fails to address is that many gamers – myself included – would completely agree that RapeLay is deeply unsavory and depraved. However, Hunt doesn’t acknowledge (or doesn’t realize – a scarier possibility) that RapeLay is in no way representative of mainstream gaming.

Or, to put it another way, I could just as easily write a column in which I cherry-pick and then lambast films with extreme content, but I would never tar all films with the same brush, as Hunt seems to in her misguided diatribe. That would be ludicrous.

As a final note, I’m surprised that this appeared in the Guardian. The famously lefty newspaper is renowned for its open-minded approach to videogames, has an excellent blog dedicated to the medium, and only last week ran a truly heartening Charlie Brooker column extolling the wonders of gaming. I suppose it’s nice they’re covering all sides of the debate, but when a viewpoint as misinformed as Jacqueline Hunt’s is published, what’s the point?

[The Guardian]