angry gamer
February 11, 2018

Gamers react to NCOSE’s fight against sexually exploitive video games

WARNING & POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic language and depictions are included in these sections. This article contains links to sexually graphic material. Reader discretion is advised.

Recently, a gaming blog attacked the National Center on Sexual Exploitation for fighting sexploitation by pressuring “Valve to crackdown on developers distributing uncensored patches on the Steam platform.”

This accusation refers to NCOSE’s work against sexually exploitive Steam games such as House Party, which trains players in manipulation, coercion, and blackmail tactics to rape or masturbate on women. These games embrace and celebrate the male-centered gratification through explicit female sexual objectification and assault, but the blog audience claims that these virtual situations are desirable and even normal for adolescents to consume. The gamer author and audience cry “censorship” against any attempt at eliminating sexually exploitative materials from the video game industry.

The article spawned over 60 comments ranting against both left and right political views, some of which simultaneously claim that both the religious political right and the feminist political left are attacking perfectly healthy sexual practices for 13-year-old kids. Accompanying the calls for uninhibited virtual sexual consumption, however exploitive, is a strong anti-women sentiment.

According to the readers of One Angry Gamer, fathers should objectify women and encourage their sons to do so as well. (see screenshot below.) These anti-women attitudes are shared by video game producers, according to the tweet cited below.

Steam video game hate women

Possibly because the article discussed a female politician fighting sexually exploitive video games, one commenter stated, “This is why I am skeptical about women in politics. It’s because they’re ALWAYS advocating for laws that only benefit women, and laws that are misandrist and anti-men.” (See screenshot below.)

Steam game misogyny

What this blogger apparently doesn’t understand is that a clear connection exists between raping an individual and practicing rape in a virtual world. A meta-analysis of 46 studies reported that the effects of exposure to pornographic material are “clear and consistent,” and that pornography use puts people at increased risk for committing sexual offenses and accepting rape myths.

#MeToo is a result of human beings accepting and acting upon the rape myths fed to us in pornography. If we want to change the culture, we must address the movies, television shows, magazines, video games, songs, books, and websites that promote any form of sexual exploitation.

A message to @steam_games and the gaming community at large: rape and sexual harassment is NOT a game. #NotAGame Click To Tweet

If you haven’t kept up with our ongoing fight against sexually exploitive games (like House Party and Porno Studio Tycoon, among others) that actually train players in sexual exploitation tactics and allow players to design their own pornography, all promoted to children, then read about the issue and take action here!

At NCOSE we firmly assert that sexual exploitation is not a game, and companies should not profit from promoting media that encourages a culture of sexual exploitation.

Emilee Pugh Bell

Intern

Emilee Pugh Bell is a Communications & Development intern at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. She will be graduating from Brigham Young University (BYU) in December with her degree in English language and minors in nonprofit management and editing. Before coming to NCOSE, Emilee worked with students to develop their social innovation skills as a Ballard Center internship director. She also interned with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation developing the Empowerment+ program. Emilee speaks out about sexual exploitation because of the pain it has caused many of her friends and family members. After graduation, she will continue to be involved in organizations that empower the weak and powerless. Emilee enjoys being in the outdoors, reading, knitting, and spending time with her husband, family, and church community.

Further Reading