Torture game banned and mock rape trial

// 16 December 2006

The EU is attempting to ban the release of a game which involves a girl being humiliated and beaten as she attempts to escape from an orphanage. There are conflicting reports as to whether the game, Rule of Rose, has already been banned in the UK. The GAME website lists it as out of stock.

According to the Times, you play a teenage girl who is “bound, gagged, doused with liquids, buried alive and thrown into the ‘Filth Room'”.

Of course, it is really impossible to know whether this is as bad as it sounds without playing the game (after all, Lara Croft suffers many a grisly death during the course of the game).

But based on this review, it seems to be in a class of horrificness all of its own. The reviewer for IGN criticises the gameplay thus:

Sure, we’ll go along with this whole “unlucky girl” shtick – it makes sense that Jennifer, thrust into her nightmare world with nothing but a tiny selection of kitchen utensils to defend herself, isn’t going to be the most brutal of brawlers.

If you’re going to play up your main character’s vulnerability though, you should at least give her a fighting chance for survival. As it is, combat is so clumsy, collision detection so utterly dubious and successful blows landing so seemingly random, it’d be funny if it wasn’t so infuriating.

That suggests to me that there is something fundamentally wrong with the game. Not only does the plot involve torturing a teenage girl, the game developers didn’t even compensate by letting her kick ass. In fact, they seem to have made her “fight like a girl”. Yuck.

Meanwhile, BBC is to screen a mock rape trial – with a celebrity jury. A good way to highlight the failings of the Criminal Justice System? Well, check out who will be on the jury.

As well as purjuror Jeffrey Archer, it includes “Stan Collymore, the former footballer involved in well-publicised domestic violence and “dogging” incidents” and “So Solid Crew rapper Megaman, real name Dwayne Vincent, who was recently acquitted of murder at the Old Bailey after three trials and 18 months on remand”. And the mother of Sarah Payne, whose murder by a convicted paedophile. Just to mix things up a bit.

Once more, they seem to have based the mock trial on a case in which the accused rapists were famously acquitted:

They will be charged with determining if two fictional footballers gang-raped an imaginary 19-year-old young woman in a London hotel suite.

BBC2 controller, Roly Keating, also defended his motives. “It’s an ambitious project that is attempting to bring the law and the jury system to life in a new way. It’s an extremely complex, finely balanced case derived from case law but fictitious in its detail.”

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