@squad Thanks! =) I hope I don’t blow your trust as the conversation ranges even further afield! D:
@cgrajko Hey don’t sweat it, it takes a loooong and overt set of profanity to feel someone is personally attacking me, discussion boards are for discussions and that requires two people minimum. Please also accept my returned assurance that nothing here is personal, it’s all for the chin strokey. We’re all Squadmates here, we few, we proud, we Band of Brothers. so, without more ado, lets dive into some analysis!
As far as I’m given to understand, Duke didn’t “normalize” rape at all, it did the opposite! Though I might be wrong any rape in the game is very specifically made insane and over the top and committed by the inhuman antagonists, hardly the best ‘sell’ if it really was pushing for that.
It would have been one thing if the game came out and everyone said “Fuck yeah! rape wooooo~!” but they didn’t, the majority opinion has been either “Ick!” or alternately “omgwtf XD” neither is the “hey yeah, maybe that IS the way it should be, those aliens sure have the right idea! Go aliens!”
DNF actually pushes for the negative reaction itself with the setting and circumstance. It isn’t rape by a 1950s american dad father figure set to some patriotic hymn. The protagonist himself isn’t raping anyone. DNF is *trying* to disgust you by making it alien and weird and very difficult to enjoy in a normal sexual way. . Even if you are part of the 1% that have a thing for big bellies and alien protuberances, they’re cracking jokes the whole way through.
Hell, according to that post, in the most overt part of it where you would have the most investment the game *literally* attacks you. Like sarcasm, just because the topic is brought up without a disclaimer or denouncement doesn’t mean the same thing as supporting it. Certainly it’s done in a more crass, less artistic manner then say, Heavy Rain’s “feeling of powerlessness” scene, but still in its own way, saying the same thing
You just have to think of it like South Park, are they actually for the things they parody and portray? For example, the NAMBLA episode. They’re taking the piss out of it, basically saying “dude, check this out, is this not the most fucked up thing you ever did see?” Hardly a ringing endorsement, and you can hear those exact words echoing throughout the Hive level just as loud.
Now here is where I separate from games a bit, and thus, this is the most likely place where someone gets offended (probably unmanneddrone, sorry! =) ) I hope it’s not too controversial or anything, I don’t know if this is the time or place for it, I’ll take it down if it isn’t, but there are a few facts that I would feel are better discussed then not. This part doesn’t answer what my personal relationship to fiction is, but it does suggest a very important Human/Fiction relationship that I feel isn’t commonly considered.
Japan, I guarantee you *does* have the oddest fictional porn in all the world fairly available and has had such for years. I know unmanneddrone, it’s not like they’re all into it, but there is a market there you gotta admit that. =P A significant portion of it rape fantasy even in the nonfiction, (though the fiction also checks boxes by guro, vore, loli, unbirthing, kemono, and other things that would make you go all Macbeth “Out Damned Spot!” on your brain, trust me, don’t google search any of that, monitor 4chan’s /D/ board for a few days if you must that’ll edge near it.)
Simultaneously it has has some of the lowest actual rape numbers in all the world and tenths the numbers of our own puritan “what about the children” based culture. According to Google as of 2010 per 1000 people .3(us) vs .01(Japan)
The closest thing I remember to institutionalized sexual abuse, was in churches where the culture not only promoted abstinence (no catharsis whatsoever) but also taught that getting your rocks off by yourself was a sin, correlation is not causation, but in my opinion this at least indicates that the culture of prohibition is definitely Not Healthy to the average human animal.
I remember a quote from one of Dennis Miller’s HBO “I don’t want to get off on a rant here” rants back when he wasn’t crazy that went something like the following (I think it was about eating but it holds just as true for any taboo) “We desperately try to remove it from our lives and in our panic to avoid it at all costs we become obsessed with it, abstinence leads to craving and we’re right back to square one on the crash and burn game board.”
So at least when it comes to sexual things, I tolerate fiction (<- key word) of even the worst and most despicable types even if I personally find it repugnant, because I'd much rather someone with darker impulses have catharsis and be at peace Dexter style. As opposed to someone being sexually frustrated and antsy on the street as it were. I honestly don't know the science behind this, but that reasoning makes sense to me.
If you want to save culture from humankind's darker impulses, the way to do it isn't to ban or rail against certain types of media or topics, whether the hive level or the Penny Arcade Dickwolves comic, it's to educate your populous. Encourage people to read to develop imagination and by extension, empathy. Provide a good example to a person, better yet *be* that example. Protect the real victims of sexual crime rather then trying to socially crucify people for drawing a picture, writing a book or making a game that involves the topic *especially* if it’s not an actual outright polemic. Rape is definitely a problem, but I just can’t see DNF or any related media pushing towards rape, if anything it pushes away and forgetting that the topic is a problem I think is more dangerous then a background loop of oohs and ahhs in someone’s free time.
And by all means if you find a certain media appalling, then feel free to say so! That feeling is true too, and worth expressing just to ensure that culture remembers where people stand on the real issue, but always always always be reasonable and reasoned. don’t put words in peoples mouth or start linking “A Causes B because: Common Sense, also: Ick” If you’re going to say that violent video games fuel a culture of violence, or the hive fuels a culture of rape, examine the matter very very carefully, and be very very sure what you’re saying is what you mean. Find the science of the matter. Dig deep and consider it from all angles. The worst thing anyone can do is get into a group think knee-jerk mentality triggered by emotion. The last time this country did that as a whole we got Iraq and the Patriot Act. We live in a world where no information or taboo can be kept out of the light, so I feel the best thing to do is to own the taboo, face it, and eliminate its power over us. If we become stronger, more well adjusted people in the process? So much the better.
(Addendum: Games and their associative issues go wayyyy deeper then I think most people give them credit for.)
TL:DR: DNF doesn’t support rape clearly, you can see the signs in the events. Mentioning a thing without decrying or throwing up a disclaimer doesn’t mean you support it. “In our panic to avoid it at all costs we become obsessed with it, abstinance leads to craving and we’re right back to square 1 on the crash and burn game board.” You catch more flies with honey then with vinegar. The majority of us have our hearts in the right places, so we’re okay. Love and Peace!