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Old 02-09-2016, 02:43 PM   #1
dark acacia
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Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

I've been to some MUDs in the past where rape RP was allowed as an acceptable part of player-to-player interaction. It was always explicitly stated in the rules in these games that both parties must consent to rape RP first, or else the alternative was to "fade to black" while accepting that the rape occurred.

These games were not the "adult" "entertainment" MUDs with the BDSM and RP sex and consensual sex slavery and stuff like that. I stay out of those games completely anyway. The games I played with allowable rape RP were RPI games for "mature" players where character death was permanent and irreversible. One game had an in-game attitude where rape was culturally acceptable and the PC victims were sometimes considered privileged to have been raped; while in another game, aggressors could (and usually did) choose to rape a PC victim in lieu of PK. Both examples I'm using (and I won't name games due to the nature of the subject) were games where sex was not the primary focus of the story--people didn't log in necessarily for sex-related RP. I rarely heard of male PCs being raped, though my characters would sometimes hear that some female PC or other was raped in various orifices by another PC.

I understand that, in a game where death happens once and is irreversible, PKers may not always want to kill off a good RPer or rival in order to be gracious to the person losing out in a hostile interaction. I would say that this is perfectly understandable, and even I would hesitate to kill someone off completely unless there was a very good reason why my character would want the person dead--for instance, my character would want to kill a villain like Adolf Hitler, but not a rival like Pokemon's Gary Oak. There are ways to punish characters through RP: maybe RP out a good beating that the victim will have to heal up from, or take away a valuable possession or money, or (in a brutal, lawless, dog-eat-dog game world) cut off the victim's off-hand.

But it's 2016. What good does it do in any RP situation to rape a PC? Who really wants to fantasize about raping someone? Who really wants to fantasize about their character being raped (whether they act it out in accordance with game rules or just "fade to black"), and then have to RP the emotional trauma which accompanies rape? Who really wants to act out a rape scenario? Why should rape be considered a "privilege" in some settings? Too many people in the real world have suffered from rape, and in some places of the world, barbaric idiots have the nerve to blame, chastise, and even punish the victim for being raped.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:17 AM   #2
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

It's the Internet. There are weirdos.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:46 PM   #3
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

Before addressing your question, I'll point out that violence is an acceptable form of interaction in most MUDs, including:
  • theft (e.g. rogue skills, PK looting, deathtraps)
  • harassment (poor-sportsman victory gossips/tells, threats of PK)
  • racism (elf versus dwarf, clan versus clan, 'good' versus 'evil')
  • torture (spells of flamethrowing, acid splash, pain, draining)
  • murder (practically all combat code)
Furthermore, violence is built into virtually all of gaming, from Monopoly (winner take all) and Parcheesi (send your opponent back to the nest) to rugby (tackling and the scrum) and tennis (a volley of balls rather than of arrows) to Mario Bros. (poor turtles) and Assassin's Creed ('nuff said.)

Why?

Because human beings are violent. Simply that. Gaming as a form of play likely developed as a way to redirect those violent (and destructive) impulses which undermine society and culture towards more constructive pursuits that keep society afloat (even if this only means wearing out both audience and participants with relentless drama - less energy to toss over those in charge.)

I'll point out that the kernels of civilization as we know it were planted no more than ten thousand years ago, a mere fraction of humanity's existence (if we count only homo sapiens, who've been around for 250,000 years, we're talking 4% - homo as a species has been around at least ten times as long,) and while culture seems to have softened our violent tendencies, our species still regularly wars, pillages, rapes, tortures and murders. It's doubtful civilization will ever fully check these tendencies (and likely doubtful, as a species, we'll want it to.)

I'll point out that these 'barbarians' who blame and punish the victims of rape are the norm of humanity. Even in 'advanced' cultures such as Western Europe and America, people blame the victim (what clothes were you wearing? why were you out in that neighborhood at that time of night?) and, while not resorting to stones or the gallows, they shun them, or whisper of them, or point at them, or infantilize them, essentially compounding the harm the victim incurred. Why don't rape victims (in the West) come forward more often than they do? By the way, name-calling won't remove the plank out of the Western eye.

The last thing I'll point out is that gaming is a form of entertainment, and like all entertainments it addresses human concerns, including rape. Why do we still have rapes in popular television shows (e.g. Jessica Jones, X-Files - check out the season opener,) in movies (The Revenant, Spotlight, Room - also a book,) in books (too many to count)? Sometimes it's for prurient reasons (adult films, comic hentai, Gorean roleplay in Second Life,) sometimes it's to dramatize the aftereffects of such violence. It really depends on the audience the creators of said entertainments are going for.

So it is with MUDs. The creators who allow rape likely do so for roleplaying reasons - I'm guessing most who allow it aren't in it for arousal, since rape is brutal and degrading, and those who find it appealing likely haven't imagined it out (or haven't watched The Shawshank Redemption/Irreversible to see how truly horrific rape can be.) My guess is, then, rape in these kinds of MUDs is as acceptable a form of play as the use of the N-word is acceptable in certain forms of fiction.

My solution to those certain forms of fiction? Don't read them.

P.S. What I find more interesting is your cavalier attitude towards more 'acceptable' forms of RP punishment, that is, beating, stealing from or maiming a character is a much better way to abuse them. To turn your question back on you - it's 2016, what good does it do in any RP situation to beat, steal from or maim a PC?
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:53 PM   #4
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

By that logic, any heinous act should be allowable in MUDs, even if the victims are children.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

Decided to invoke the corollary to Godwin's law early, eh?

Yes, some MUDs might indeed involve children, I can't dispute it. I've seen, afterall, MUD areas that involve the eggs and younglings of non-human creatures (ogre toddlers, dragon hatchlings and the like.) There's even an old stock area called Dwarven Daycare; here's the first mobile entry -

Code:
#6600
youth dwarven dwarf~
the dwarven youth~
A young dwarf plays with a toy axe.
~
This is a young but not totally harmless creature.
~
So what's your point?
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:49 AM   #6
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

You're killing mindless NPCs.

This is about raping PCs.
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:49 PM   #7
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

How easily you draw that line.

Having been an immortal on a MUD or two, I'd been given the ability to clothe myself in the skin and bones of any NPC I chose, temporarily giving the NPC some very PC abilities, e.g. the ability to act autonomously. I often smiled when the normally non-aggressive mobile I wore surprised a PC with a fireball (or sword, or fist) first to the face...

In my mind, whether you're fragging a goblin infant or you're fragging your best friend's avatar named Kodan the Unbearable, you, the person typing into the screen, are pulling the necessary triggers and doing the necessary fragging. You can say beheading an elven princess ain't a thing 'cause she's an electronic figment of some coder's imagination, but you're still getting a thrill, small as it may be, out of seeing how far her head rolls.

You're physically reacting to the violent death of a fictional construct.

And... you're okay with that.

You're not the least bit squeamish about stealing from or maiming or killing a character, PC or not, but you're white with rage at the thought of a fictional, consensual rape scene (which I presume you're not involved in.)

Help me understand that.
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:43 PM   #8
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

> By that logic, any heinous act should be allowable in MUDs,
> even if the victims are children.

Most muds are age-restricted.

However had, even aside from that point, I can't give any instance of
where I would have played where rape was something that happened.

It strikes me as no IC roleplay and instead any OOC motives being
carried onto a target character.

> consensual rape scene (which I presume you're not involved in.)

This would then depend on the roleplay. You refer to consent in
regards to OOC, not IC, since otherwise it may not constitute
"rape" (since we'd have to refer to IC here).

Some MUDs automatically forbid it in an implicit way from the
set of rules. E. g. certain forms of IC harassment will become
OOC harassment. Since OOC harassment is forbidden, said
player broke the rules and can be purged from the game.

Now to any weirdos who really would OOCly "consent" to
ICly playing when their characters would rather not want to,
well, in this case it would be roleplay right?

It is very similar to torture roleplay where the target victim also
does not want to be tortured, understandably, but all the players
involved may be "excited" about it. Which in some ways is
similar to rape in the sense that it also does not require
IC consent. Neither does PK either.

I actually can't give a single case of where I ever had a character
who would be interested in rape or torture either. If it does not
ICly fit, it won't happen to any of my characters.

In theory you could always assume that xyz roleplay possibilities
would exist to warrant any of that - like to torture someone to
find out where someone else is held captive - but in actual
practice that never happened. Perhaps I played the "wrong"
kind of MUDs? :>

> You're physically reacting to the violent death of a fictional construct.

Uhm. It is just some processed text? There is no "violent death of a
fictional construct". It's just some numbers that flow around yielding
different messages.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:23 PM   #9
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

shevegen wrote:

Quote:
Uhm. It is just some processed text? There is no "violent death of a fictional construct". It's just some numbers that flow around yielding different messages.
Absolutely. And...

Bambi calling out to his mother after the gunshot echoes through the woods wasn't really a frightened child lost and longing for the one who cares for him. It was merely a splash of colors and sounds bundled together on celluloid to resemble images that some creatures (human, perhaps?) may have seen in their early years.

Snape dying at the hands of Voldemort and surrendering his memories to Potter wasn't a scene of remorse and unrequited love but merely black marks scattered over thin, pressed wood pulp that led logically, if unfamiliarly, from the black marks that came before.

Jim Halpert driving back and asking Pam Beesly out on their first date wasn't the start of a sweet and beautiful relationship, it was a digital set of processed bits arranged algorithmically to resemble human beings in their natural setting demonstrating one of the myriad ways they express their mating rituals.

Technically, it all comes down to mathematics and energy. That your emotions don't flicker at the infinite ways math and energy enter your senses is odd, but whatever.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:42 PM   #10
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark acacia View Post

But it's 2016. What good does it do in any RP situation to rape a PC? Who really wants to fantasize about raping someone? Who really wants to fantasize about their character being raped (whether they act it out in accordance with game rules or just "fade to black"), and then have to RP the emotional trauma which accompanies rape? Who really wants to act out a rape scenario? Why should rape be considered a "privilege" in some settings? Too many people in the real world have suffered from rape, and in some places of the world, barbaric idiots have the nerve to blame, chastise, and even punish the victim for being raped.
Lots of women actually fantasize about being raped, it's not my or most peoples cup of tea but some do find it appealing in a way. I could explain the why and how the human mind works but let's just leave it at some people feel the need to be in control and some wish to have that control taken away. Plenty of sites about this kind of stuff out there.

Why would it be privileged? I dont know the lore for the particular game you're referencing but I do know that one I use to play the gods of the realm in the lore would sometimes come down from the heavens and take over a body or choose an Avatar. As gods they do as they pleased and it was a honor to be chosen male or female to service them.

This is one of those things where people have different views, just accept it and move on or if you're really that curious go digging through google and find some sites to explain what would make a person want such a situation.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:37 PM   #11
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azarias View Post
Lots of women actually fantasize about being raped, it's not my or most peoples cup of tea but some do find it appealing in a way. I could explain the why and how the human mind works but let's just leave it at some people feel the need to be in control and some wish to have that control taken away. Plenty of sites about this kind of stuff out there.

Why would it be privileged? I dont know the lore for the particular game you're referencing but I do know that one I use to play the gods of the realm in the lore would sometimes come down from the heavens and take over a body or choose an Avatar. As gods they do as they pleased and it was a honor to be chosen male or female to service them.

This is one of those things where people have different views, just accept it and move on or if you're really that curious go digging through google and find some sites to explain what would make a person want such a situation.
There's MUDs out there which cater specifically to sexual fantasies.

My issue is with games where the victim PC is raped, whether the victim's player wants it to happen or not, and whether the victim consents to acting out the rape or opts for the alternative to "fade to black." You're essentially enabling the player of the attacker to indulge in their fantasy and apply that fantasy to the victim PC, and the victim has to deal with it. Congratulations, the victim's player now has to RP a PC who is almost certainly emotionally crippled. In one game I played, there is also a possibility for pregnancy to result from the rape if one party is female and the other male, but in that game it seemed like the victims were exclusively female anyway. Keep in mind that this wasn't a "log in to shag" game, it was an RPI.
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Old 02-12-2016, 05:50 PM   #12
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

In my opinion, allowing rape roleplay is potentially a risky legal move. I've discussed that opinion elsewhere at length, but there is precedent for my concern, which was imparted onto me by a lawyer that I asked for counsel in regards to the issue on Atonement RPI.

I generally support gritty, believable, emotionally challenging storytelling ... but, unless you have really full-proofed yourself against the possibility of an underage player having their character get "raped" on your game, the kid's parents finding out, and you getting dragged into an ugly social/criminal/civil situation ... or unless the risk is worth the benefit of having a pro rape-roleplay policy on your game ... it's just not worth it.

I've heard the arguments that some victims of rape in real life enjoy roleplaying the victim in rape scenarios. I'm not a psychologist, so I'm not qualified to say if that's a good type of catharsis or not. I've also heard arguments from rape victims who are deeply disturbed by rape roleplay being thrust upon them. And, in my experience running RPIs and similar sorts of games, I've found that the players of the raping characters tend to be the same people again and again -- which strongly lends to my belief that (in most cases) it's not about meaningful storytelling, but rather a rather destructive wish fulfillment.

I'm not a prude. To each their own. I wouldn't personally allow it on a game that I run. Part of that's policy (not worth the potential risk), and a much smaller part of that's principle (people are far more sensitive to rape than to other forms of violence).
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:41 PM   #13
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

Thanks for your response; it hadn't occurred to me that the rapist characters were sometimes the same people over and over, but I post from the perspective of a player and not an IMM.

That would be the sort of thing I'm concerned with. The people who rape for the sake of committing the act and not for the sake of the story aren't being helped and are not helping by being enabled to engage in that sort of roleplay.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:52 AM   #14
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anasadi View Post
P.S. What I find more interesting is your cavalier attitude towards more 'acceptable' forms of RP punishment, that is, beating, stealing from or maiming a character is a much better way to abuse them. To turn your question back on you - it's 2016, what good does it do in any RP situation to beat, steal from or maim a PC?
This. And looks like this wasn't addressed, just derailed to "think of the children".
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:24 AM   #15
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

Quote:
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This. And looks like this wasn't addressed, just derailed to "think of the children".
The majority of people are far more sensitive to rape than they are to other forms of violence. We are desensitized to violence, largely. You cannot infer that the two are one and the same, because culturally and sociologically, that's simply not true.

It's a strawman argument that, in and of itself, is a derail. What good does it do to roleplay physical violence against another player? That's an entire other topic, and an entire other thread.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:57 AM   #16
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

Threshold is age restricted: you must be 18 years or older to play.

Threshold is roleplay required: you must stay in-character within the game at all times.

Threshold is a violent world.

Threshold has evil gods. (it has good and neutral ones too)

With all of the above, you might think "rape RP" would be acceptable. On the contrary, we have had this rule help file since the mid 90s:

Quote:
Aside from the rules of the game outlined in help rules and the help files listed in help roleplaying, there are a few specific RP rules that are very important to address directly.

The topics of rape, incest, sexual mutilation, and sexual harassment are NOT permissible avenues of role play. This is even the case if the people involved consent in advance. Experience has shown that these topics ALWAYS get way out of hand and result in all sorts of negative feelings. Far too often someone who becomes involved has personal experiences that make such RP scenarios very psychologically painful. It is much better to just avoid these very emotionally charged areas.

While it is true that sometimes horrific events from one's past can be healed when they are faced in a "safer" environment like a fantasy world, Threshold is not a substitute for psychological therapy. Threshold is a roleplaying community where the best interests of everyone must be the highest priority. After a number of very nasty incidents, this rule was put on Threshold and the MANY years that have passed since then have shown that it was indeed a very wise move.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:29 PM   #17
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by one View Post
This. And looks like this wasn't addressed, just derailed to "think of the children".
The children are already thought of in games where minors aren't allowed.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:34 PM   #18
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

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The children are already thought of in games where minors aren't allowed.
Riiiight. They aren't allowed, therefore Frye's scenario can't possibly happen.
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Old 02-20-2016, 06:36 PM   #19
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

DonathinFrye wrote -

Quote:
The majority of people are far more sensitive to rape than they are to other forms of violence. We are desensitized to violence, largely. You cannot infer that the two are one and the same, because culturally and sociologically, that's simply not true.
I'm unsure whether a majority of people are more sensitive to rape than to other forms of violence, but I can agree Americans are largely desensitized to violence. I've neither inferred nor said rape and violence are the same; I would say rape is a form of violence, which in itself can take many forms, including rape.

Quote:
It's a strawman argument that, in and of itself, is a derail. What good does it do to roleplay physical violence against another player? That's an entire other topic, and an entire other thread.
My intent in discussing other forms of violence was to put the act of rape in the greater context of violence. The original poster, dark acacia, wrote -

Quote:
The games I played with allowable rape RP were RPI games for "mature" players where character death was permanent and irreversible. One game had an in-game attitude where rape was culturally acceptable and the PC victims were sometimes considered privileged to have been raped; while in another game, aggressors could (and usually did) choose to rape a PC victim in lieu of PK.
She/he took issue with this attitude on the part of consenting adults on a permissive game by then asking

Quote:
[It's] 2016. What good does it do in any RP situation to rape a PC? Who really wants to fantasize about raping someone? Who really wants to fantasize about their character being raped (whether they act it out in accordance with game rules or just "fade to black"), and then have to RP the emotional trauma which accompanies rape? Who really wants to act out a rape scenario?
I can't really answer 'who' anymore than the original poster (else, why would the poster ask the question?*) In fact, there are many violent scenarios (many many violent scenarios) for which I cannot give a satisfactory 'who.' But it seems to me there are many 'who's in many kinds of violent situations, rape included, all of which seem to point to one thing - people are a rather f*cked up lot.

And that, of course, we all seem to have our violence fetishes (dark acacia's might not be rape, but she/he isn't at all squeamish about murder or PC looting. I infer that from their lack of response.)

* Of course, the poster could have been asking this question rhetorically in order to clutch her/his bible and scold people who might want to act out a rape scene. I opted to believe they wanted to actually discuss the question. I stopped responding when it became increasingly clear browbeating was the poster's intent.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:19 PM   #20
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Re: Why is rape acceptable in some MUDs?

In a game where death is permanent, the victim may reluctantly accept the rape of their PC as an alternative to the permanent loss of a character into which they've put a lot of time and development. This is where your "consenting adults" comes in. Does the attacker offer the victim a third option in these games, where the victim can have their PC be neither raped nor permanently killed? If the victim's player does not consent to their PC being raped, does that mean that the attacker gets to kill the PC? Clearly, if the victim's PC is in a situation where rape is inevitable, then the PC is in a situation where the attacker could just as easily go with permanent death.

I resent your shoehorning of real world religion into this topic. I do not discuss real world religion in games or forums or anywhere in mixed company. No religion has a monopoly on being anti-rape, and plenty of non-religious people are also anti-rape. You'll note that from the beginning I separated the MUDs that exist specifically for acting out sexual fantasies from games where people may not necessarily play for sexual encounters. I'm not here to be a scold (and there's plenty of people in real life who WILL scold rapists and any victim-blamers), so if you think I'm trying to brow-beat you into agreeing with me, then it's probably because you didn't anticipate that others think you're wrong on this subject.

I also resent the use of the "her/his" construct. No one's being oppressed by "his/her."
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