Rapeisnotok

Last month, controversy erupted over the fact that the demo for indie sequel Hotline Miami 2 featured a simulated, forced rape scene. Some felt the game crossed an ethical line, with others finding the inclusion of the scene to be a brave and bold way to tackle real-world social issues in a medium that tends to gloss over them in favour of digitally killing things. That scene will no longer be in the demo, and will be reworked for the final game.

Speaking to Rock, Paper Shotgun, developer Dennaton’s Dennis Wedin explained that the scene, as it stands in the demo, is shown without context, which makes it all seem far more gratuitous than it rightly is.

“We were really sad that some people were so affected by it, because maybe they had been through something like that of their own,” Wedin said. “Maybe they had a terrible experience of their own that was triggered by the game. That was not intentional at all. We didn’t add the scene just to be controversial. There is a meaning to these two characters. There’s a lot more to them than just this scene.

“We removed it for the demo. We’re going to work with it, see if we can fix it. You get a bigger picture when you play the whole game, which is lost in the demo of course.”

The controversial scene, though making it clear that it’s fiction-within-fiction, struck many a nerve, and I believe that it’s largely because of the way it’s presented in the demo; without context. People have a right to be upset, and while many will argue about a double-standard in the wanton murder in the game being overlooked, there is a key difference between murder and rape; the victims of murder generally aren’t around to relive their awful, traumatic experiences whenever the topic is brought up.

That said, I do support the developers and their decision to keep the scene in the final game, provided it isn’t as gratuitous as it seems and the context is able to foster real, meaningful insight and promote awareness of a very real, and very serious topic. Rape should never be entertainment, but even media that primarily serves as entertainment has the right to meaningfully examine its consequences.

We’ll have to wait and see whether or not Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number manages to do just that. Here’s the scene that caused the commotion.

Last Updated: September 6, 2013

1.1
was reviewed on PC

36 Comments

  1. Jonah Cash

    September 6, 2013 at 08:44

    Having people in my life that has gone through some of these things, I find it very distasteful… I know that my perspective is skewed because of that, but I will bet that I am not the only one who feels like this..

    Reply

  2. Admiral Chief of Rivia

    September 6, 2013 at 08:48

    Good. They should donate 5% of all revenue to charity as well

    Reply

    • Mossel

      September 6, 2013 at 09:06

      You from Rivia now? Have you schmeered your sword with any oils yet? hehe

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief of Rivia

        September 6, 2013 at 09:50

        Nay good sir, tonight, there shall be no arrows in knees, but SCHMEEEEEERING OF THE SCHMORDS…I mean swords

        Reply

        • Mossel

          September 6, 2013 at 09:53

          I like it! Rub it in good…wait, what are talking about?

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            September 6, 2013 at 09:54

            o_O

  3. Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

    September 6, 2013 at 08:49

    I honestly believe them when they said it was not their intention. what I find really horrible is the things these developers were called….Angry mobs calling them pigs, trash and all sorts of names…I understand the uproar and various discussions have already been made about it…but developers get too much heat from the gaming community and general public.

    There are certain things these developers and companies do that warrant our anger.On disc DLC,Broken games , horrible milking DLC etc. But a typical example of things going too far is the ME 3 ending debacle. Bioware received so much hate, threats and slander, I was surprised they still made a DLC ending. I know we love games, but these are people too, with families and lives of their own, they do not exist solely to please us, so why then do people threaten to kill developers over an ending.

    I understand that this rape scene is not the same, it is controversial and I know it’s hard for people to understand their intention , but it is still their vision and they did not do it to offend rape victims or any other type of person, so do not call them all these hideous things and accuse them of some nasty things…

    On a side note, I feel really passionate about this subject, evident by my use of paragraphs 😛

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      September 6, 2013 at 09:01

      There’s always a line. People can call outs devs or companies over what they do, they have every right to express disappointment, disapproval, etc – but then resorting to the levels of bile anonymity allows just takes it too far.

      Reply

      • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

        September 6, 2013 at 09:06

        Agree, I’m on the frontline to call them out, but seriously, death threats and slander….not cool at all, and think it is something that needs to be addressed and stopped. We as consumers and gamers are entitled to fair treatment, we are not however entitled to use that as an excuse to cross that moral line

        Reply

    • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

      September 6, 2013 at 09:03

      You… Used… PARAGRAPHS! I don’t know you any more…

      Reply

      • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

        September 6, 2013 at 09:06

        I be burning with passion this morning lol

        Reply

        • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

          September 6, 2013 at 09:11

          I do agree with you though. EXAMPLE. Lauren Beukes has recently won critical acclaim for the amazing book The Shining Girls. This book has one of the most vivid rape/murder scenes ever imagined, it’s not only visceral, but very very emotional. Now, she, along with many other authors and film makers, can depict rape in their stories and it is accepted (as long as it is contextually placed). However, when it is done in a game, it is not. I mean flipping heck, look at MANGA! The number of ridiculous rape scenes by tentacle etc is ludicrous but it is accepted. I can only come to the conclusion that those who are promoting the merits of gaming as being a true art form do not entirely believe that yet.

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            September 6, 2013 at 09:15

            I think the problem is too many people rushing to judgement who are not gamers, don’t understand the medium and/or think games are a just thing for kids.

          • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

            September 6, 2013 at 09:17

            I agree. You don’t hear people calling for blood when there is a rape scene in True Blood or the like now do you.

          • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

            September 6, 2013 at 09:18

            I agree with trev . lack of understanding and too many people looking for controversy and a bandwagon to jump on, and gaming has so much controversial things going on.

          • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

            September 6, 2013 at 09:21

            Why is it gaming has controversial things but television doesn’t? I don’t differentiate the two. They are both a medium that can be used for story telling. I too know people who have had bad things happen to them, shit I’ve had a gun pressed up against my chest by 5 gangsters, that doesn’t mean I am going to email GTAV and tell them they are out of order for depicting gang violence no. I think people like to use games as a target of their frustration.

          • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

            September 6, 2013 at 09:23

            Ignorance bro….gaming is still not seen as a serious story telling medium…All anyone ever sees with gaming is ‘Murder Simulators’

          • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

            September 6, 2013 at 09:23

            Le Sigh?

          • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

            September 6, 2013 at 09:25

            Double Le sigh X infinity + 2

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            September 6, 2013 at 09:26

            Oddly enough, also the title for the next FF game 😉

          • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

            September 6, 2013 at 09:30

            LOL nice and actually totally legit

          • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

            September 6, 2013 at 09:39

            BWAHAHAH!

          • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

            September 6, 2013 at 09:30

            LE siiiiiigh!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            September 6, 2013 at 09:25

            Because games are for kids & are their new babysitters.

  4. Alien Emperor Trevor

    September 6, 2013 at 08:53

    Good. What bugged me about the demo was it just looked like “pew pew pew rape rape pew pew pew game over everything’s awesome.” If context makes it clear there’s some kind of message being delivered that’s a different story.

    Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    September 6, 2013 at 09:08

    So what’s the thinking here? Remove sexual violence but leave in the mass murder. Someone knows somebody who was raped so they remove it from the game? But murder is fine? No one who has had a relative killed bats an eye? In the context of Hotline they are telling a story. Not tasteful at all but neither are games like Manhunt or some of the stuff in Saints Row. Even the fatalities in MK can be stomach churning to someone who has never seen it

    Frankly they should remove blood and murder from games as well. But they won’t. The industry is making to much money with violent games. People are just not used to the last act of violence left not portrayed in main stream gaming. That and killing babies or clubbing seals.

    I don’t condone violence in any form. But who would have thought that one day we would find the one acceptable and the other not. It took us just almost 20 years and it all start with Sub-zero’s fatality.

    Reply

    • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

      September 6, 2013 at 09:12

      Well said mate, well said.

      Reply

    • SaintsRowLee

      September 6, 2013 at 09:40

      Shoot me if I’m wrong, but I do wish that gaming would grow up. It seems to me it is the only entertainment medium where we will happily slap an 18+ age restriction on a game, but still make it kid friendly enough so that parents will not cry foul.
      A developer puts a rape scene in a game, and the world screams bloody murder. Charlize Theron gets raped in a movie scene (Monster) and we give her an Oscar.

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        September 6, 2013 at 09:55

        Yip, it’s the double standard that bugs me. Parent complains about how an 18+ movie isn’t appropriate for their kid – gets told to piss off, stop being stupid & look at the age restriction. Parent complains about how an 18+ game isn’t appropriate for their kid – OMG yes you’re right think of the children!!!!!

        Reply

        • Purple_Dragon

          September 6, 2013 at 10:07

          Yes, I agree completely. This is my biggest bug bear. The damn games have age restrictions for a reason. I don’t see parents buying porn for their kids? Same principle.

          It’s like that story recently about the kid who shot his grandma. No, let’s not look at the fact that he was 8 and far under the age restriction, no let’s not look at the fact that there was a gun lying around for him to shoot. Let’s scream blue murder about the game that he might have been playing.

          Morons.

          Reply

  6. JHN

    September 6, 2013 at 09:29

    I am glad its been removed, there are certain things I dont want to experience in my gaming and rape is one of them.

    Reply

  7. Purple_Dragon

    September 6, 2013 at 09:39

    I don’t like how movies can depict some really hectic rape scenes, look at Irreversible and I Spit on your grave (the original) and not much get said. Meanwhile in games, holy fuck, all hell breaks loose.

    Ok, maybe not I Spit on Your Grave, that was originally banned but the new one also depicts some hectic shit.

    I just think games are the new punching bag. Not too long ago it was Marilyn Manson that was “corrupting” minds and “causing” school shootings.

    Reply

  8. CypherGate

    September 6, 2013 at 10:03

    Im not a fan of these styled games. Cant bring myself around to play these types. As for the rape scene… I think they could have left it out in some way or create the scene a bit different to what is shown in some sort of way. They all creative so it shouldn’t be an issue. Rape is a big thing and for the women, children and men out there thats been through it knows the psychological effect it has on a person. I look at some issues like this… If a gamer went through something traumatic like this and heshe decides hey lets try out this game and they end up seeing this scene, im sure it would effect them (flashback).

    Reply

    • SaintsRowLee

      September 6, 2013 at 10:06

      But just answer me this, and I am not instigating a fight here, but it is a question a lot of gamers are asking: Why is it okay to show rape on TV, in movies, books, music, hell almost every entertainment media you can shake a stick at? But the minute that it is in a game, the world cries foul?

      Reply

      • CypherGate

        September 6, 2013 at 10:13

        I totally agree with you on that as well. Its everywhere basically. I think the media is too fixated on the gaming scene in general. In my comment i kinda just tried to view from someone who experienced it. My comment wasnt just for games, but various other media as well. I actually had to edit it now cause i didnt add in the fact i meant various other media, but yip again i do agree with you!

        Reply

  9. Devourer of Small Bunnies

    September 6, 2013 at 10:21

    OH FOR FUCK SAKE! If you carry on treating the gaming industry as a childs entertainment platform we will never have games that ask the hard questions, tackle the actual real world issues. This is a fucking sad day indeed. I cant tell you how much this disgusts me to my core.

    Reply

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