UN Discusses Banning The Sale Of Japanese Games Containing Sexual Violence

It appears as if the Japanese eroge gaming community will be coming under fire next. Most of those within #GamerGate foresaw this from as far back as 2014, especially after GTA V got pulled from Australian stores based on lies fabricated about the game — and we saw Hatred getting pulled off Greenlight briefly based on a media panic. Well, the ban of Japanese hentai games, eroge novels and animated films will be under discussion by the United Nations’ CEDAW division, also known as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Niche Gamer spotted the post over on the United Nations website, where they in no uncertain terms explicitly state the following…

“Among the possible issues for discussion between CEDAW and a delegation from the Japanese Government are: Banning the sale of video games or cartoons involving sexual violence against women; employment equality, illegal dismissal of women due to pregnancy and childbirth; sexual harassment in the workplace; reintegration into school textbooks of issue of “comfort women”; compensation for women with disabilities sterilised against their will; effect on women, particularly pregnant women, of health programmes introduced after the Fukushima nuclear disaster; difference in pension benefits for men and women, poverty among older women.”

The discussions will take place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on February 16th. The findings of the discussions will be broadcast on March 7th, next month.

Niche Gamer and others assumed that the first line may refer to games such as the 2006 release of Rapelay, which was widely derided many years ago for its depiction of putting gamers in the role of a rapist whose goal was to rape a mother and her two underage daughters. One of the fail states of the game is to impregnate the girls, so the objective is to maintain raping them without getting them pregnant.

Interestingly, despite the controversy behind the game, at the time Jim Sterling from Destructoid defended the game’s right to exist and defending the creative freedoms of Illusion to make a game like Rapelay. Back in 2009, Sterling wrote…

“[…] banning videogames or films just because some people find them offensive is wrong, and a dangerous slippery slope. Why, if we ban RapeLay, sure we should ban A Clockwork Orange once again, due to the callous nature of Alex de Large’s rape scene. Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho novel is chock-full of casual rape references and some absolutely disturbing examples of violence towards women. Should we ban that? When does the banning end? When we ban one form of art or entertainment, we then make an easy case against all forms of art and entertainment.“

The banning of video games for offensive content actually continues to this day, Survival Island 3 was actually banned from the Google Play and Apple app store, but not because it’s actually intended to offend with offensive content but because the media took hold of a petition on Change.org that misrepresented the game as a racist murder simulator.

Unlike Rapelay, Survival Island 3 wasn’t trying to push any kind of content boundaries, it was just a survival game set in Australia that happened to have Aborigines in the game. Even offering the option  to kill Aborigines set the media off on a campaign to have Survival Island 3 banned, not unlike what happened to GTA V being removed from store shelves in Target and Kmart in Austrlia based on a Change.org petition.

It appears the United Nations may be specifically targeting the eroge community in Japan following a strong push to reevaluate women’s rights and violence against women following aggressive media campaigns in 2014 and 2015 by self-proclaimed progressive bloggers working at major media outlets. What’s interesting is that games like Rapelay have already been banned in various regions as far back as 2009, as reported by Game Politics. So it makes you wonder what sort of games they want banned?

Also, leaving it open about banning games containing “sexual violence” doesn’t even denote that the game has to be in the eroge category. Does this mean they’ll also target visual novels that may contain the subject matter of sexual violence as well, such as Saya no Uta? Or how about games that dabble in BDSM like Criminal Girls?

According to Techraptor, their intentions are vaguely defined in the CEDAW report, noting that the United Nations…

“strongly urges the State party to ban the sale of video games or cartoons involving rape and sexual violence against women which normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls”

Recently eroge manga artist Toshio Maeda had commented that the media spends more time worried about the fictional rights of anime women than the real rights of human beings.

Based on the August 19th, 2015 article on CNN covering the United Nations peacekeepers accused of  pedophilia and rape during a Central African campaign, some would question why the United Nations aren’t focused more on policing their own peacekeepers than worrying about the fictional works in Japan.

[Update 2/14/2016: Added more info and sources]


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

48 thoughts on “UN Discusses Banning The Sale Of Japanese Games Containing Sexual Violence

  1. Seriously? Based on this, they would also be banning any game that tries to be historically accurate at all. I can’t stand censorship of any form….but this is some the most insane I’ve seen lately.

    1. It feels like it comes right out of fiction. I wonder if someone makes a game based on the rape rampage in Cologne would the U.N., finally step in to do something since real life human rights seem to be on the back burner so they can go after games?

      1. You know what they say – “truth is stranger than fiction”.
        And none of this is beyond my (very low) expectations for modern human society.

    2. south korea has been banning everything & put everyone in jail for watching/owning porn lately. I guess Bankeemon & friends take inspiration from that.

    1. I’d like to hope they couldn’t enforce it… but the reality is that we’ve seen some games getting banned under some unbelievably stupid circumstances. A few cries of “muh soggy knees” and another panel starring Jonathan McIntosh’s whipping master and who knows what could get banned next.

      1. The thing is there *isn’t* any way to enforce it – at all. The UN does not and never had any ability to enforce laws on other countries against their will (and Japan is one of several countries that takes a dim view of “outsiders” trying to force changes within their country). At best they can *try* to get countries to agree, but the vast majority of the time it fails. It is important to be aware that the UN is attempting to do this, but (luckily) it will ultimately amount to nothing.

      2. The UN does not and never had any ability to enforce laws on other countries against their will

        It may not be about enforcing it through legislation or the judicial system, but we have seen enforcement through commercial pressure. Just look at various Japanese studios either withholding the release of some games in various regions or allowing them to go through rigorous censorship steps to adhere to the cultural differences of another region.

        I don’t expect any sort of executive measures based down through the legal process, but I can easily see a firestorm in the media kicked up enough to pressure certain Japanese distributors and publishers to reevaluate what they allow on the open market.

    2. Precisely. Not being able to outright force someone to do something directly=/= being powerless to influence events to eventually lead that someone from stopping from doing it.

      People need to become aware of this fact.
      They won’t issue a law banning something. But that isn’t the only way they can get in its way hard enough to eventually make it stop or at least cripple it enough.

      This is a threat.
      Retweet it, share it, discuss it, talk about it, bring it up as much as possible.

    3. Instead they use indirect pressure to get it done. One of which is public shaming of the said “offensive” material and the developer/creator himself. The whole mob of white knights, maginas and feminists will follow suit. And of course the mainstream games media will pick this up and tow the party line.

      When this happens, things can get very difficult for the developer/creator/artist.

      Indirect censorship via stigma almost works just as well as direct enforcement through the authorities.

      1. You’ve been spending too much time around pussy Western game developers. The people who make doujins and eroge are used to a certain stigma, they don’t care what the public thinks.

        Take Rapelay for example. CNN or whoever got a hold of the game, all the news media start saying how disgusting it is. What does Illusion do? Blocks all IP’s that aren’t Japanese from their site and gets back to making games. Still is in fact.

        How about Comiket? The biggest self publishing market, around 600,000 people visit this twice a year. Do you really think this will disappear if doujins are made illegal? It will go underground and things will continue as always.

      2. Censorship has no place in video games, regardless of whether they are Western or Japanese game developers/creators, large-scale or small-scale. In fact, the same goes for developers/creators from any country.

        Whilst it’s all good that the people who make doujins and eroge don’t give a fuck, that does not mean that we should forget the more significant Western and Japanese developers that are getting hammered by these SJW/feminist pricks. They need to be exposed, called out at and pushed back at every opportunity, because if you don’t, it’ll only get worse. Even if they successfully get things banned, their complaints and calls for censorship will NOT stop, I’m sure you know that as well.

        It’ll give them even more power to infest other sectors.

        I mean, Koei Tecmo refused to release DOAX3 into the West because of these whining retards and Capcom has censored R.Mika’s butt-slap and some camera angles to not “offend” anyone (no prizes for guessing who these might be), and Idea Factory thinking twice of bringing games to the Western shores due to SJW/feminist fear-mongering.

        The more you ignore SJWs/feminists, the worst it gets.

        I suppose if you only care for eroge, doujins and Comiket this wouldn’t matter much to you, but for me, I care about the video games industry/genre as a whole.

        And in my opinion, I don’t think even eroge, doujins and Comiket are safe from SJWs/feminism either.

      3. Yeah, i wasn’t denying this. I do think we should be talking about it. I also think the Japanese markets are far more resilient against this kind of thing.

      4. I also think the Japanese markets are far more resilient against this kind of thing.

        They are indeed more resilient, but they are still not immune.

        The Americans have always been one set of the biggest prudes on earth (which is ironic because the vast majority of porn comes from there), in the past it was the Religious-Christian-Conservatives complaining about this kind of thing not being favourable to God; now it’s the feminists complaining about this kind of thing being “sexist” and “misogynistic” to women.

        It was easy to write Jack Thompson off as a crazy moron, but it’s not easy to argue against “misogyny” and “sexism”. And that’s down to the gynocentric society we live in today.


    This is their big charge, the one they’ve been getting ready for.

    Are we ready to stop it?

  3. I’ve posted this elsewhere, but as usual, I’ll give my side here too.

    It’s not likely that they’ll listen to the UN because otaku culture is a lot of money for Japan. Of course, in general, but that influence includes “moe”, “PC gaming” and others. And since this will discriminate against various games, I won’t see Japan kneeling to this.

    They’d be stupid to suddenly start cutting on freedom of expression when they previously didn’t listen to such complaints (lolicon/shota should look worse than “sexual violence against women” anyway).

    Of course, I’m HOPEFUL, it’s not that suddenly there’s nothing to worry about, that’s the thing, THEY ACTUALLY BRING BANNING FICTION IN THE DISCUSSION WHEN WE’VE ALREADY WENT THROUGH ALL THE BOOK BURNINGS POSSIBLE.

    Fucking HELL this is stupid as shit because IT CAN HAPPEN. There is a CHANCE even if it’s small.

    Now I really want people to tell me that they’re not here to take our games or medium away. Fuck the UN, inviting Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian, making up shit about “cyberviolence”, making their Human Rights Council head Saudi Arabia when Saudi Arabia was crucifying a Humans Rights Activist, the same UN that quoted their C: drive as a SOURCE in their “cyberviolence” paper.

    Now they want to target Japan on imaginary issues, their criminality rate in general is really low, rape statistics too. They HAVE NO ARGUMENT to present to Japan. They’re making up SHIT and including objectives like BANNING FICTION.



    1. There would have been a time I would have laughed at the idea of games/VNs getting widely banned. I would have thought it ludicrous… but not anymore.

      When you see companies like Idea Factory and Koei Tecmo bending to the will of Western media by not releasing games outside of Japan, it makes me wonder if they would kowtow to the U.N., if the right amount of “muh soggy knees” media pressure was applied?

  4. You know that the current Secretary-General of the United Nations is Korean?
    And the South Korea has the most strict pornography law in the world. You can be go to jail for over 5 years for piece of drawn picture or novel.
    And if you draw a stick and if someone claims that it’s a dick of 5 years old, you will be arrested with “Child Pornoraphy Prodction” charges. Exactly same legal standard with the real child pornoraphy involved various kidnapping and illegal acts.

    By the Korea’s anti-porn law, 15 years old girl registered onto the Child Sex Offender list for next 20 years becuase she watched Japanese BL novel online.
    70 years old women who owned small PC-Cafe in Korea, charged with possession of Child Pornography and had to sold her own PC-Cafe and her very house to pay 20000000WON (about 20,000 USD) penalty. The reason was one of her customer watched Japanese hentai in her PC-Cafe. She’s now literally homeless and wondering streets for find something to eat.

    This is what Ban and Korean clique in UN wants to happen in Japan.
    As a Korean, I’d say they wants this 1984 Dystopia to expand more, especially in Japan. They staring Japan with their prey eyes to make this happen in Japan too.
    This is what happens when you let Feminists merge with official authority like government and UN, and let them rules you.
    Oh, and did I mentioned that South Korea has the official “The Ministry of Women” since 2001?
    Don’t be fooled by the superficial name “Ministry of Gender Equality & Family”. There’s nothing “Gender Equality” words in the name in first place if you properly translate.

      1. That would explain why S. Koreans who emigrate to Latin America don’t want to go back.

        They got a taste of that Latin booty and decided to abandon censorship duty.

        Makes sense.

  5. That Jim Sterling quote: What. The. Fuck. That is literally the exact opposite of what he preaches from his religious pulpit now. Why the chang…ohhhh right, he ‘open married’ an ogre.

    Now Jim sends hate mobs after developers and gets them to change the name of their games, remove content, and advocates censorship or changing games to fit his narrow regressive view.

  6. The “ignore them and they’ll go away” average Joe/Jane response over the years is exactly how we have got into this mess in the first place. This is what happens when feminists are allowed to seep into the big institutions.

    Isn’t it funny that all forms of violence against men in video games are completely ignored and deemed as okay by these biased pieces of shit?

    I think this is yet another attempt at SJWs/feminists trying to remove and ban anything that is geared towards men, justifying it as ‘material that involves violence against women’, and of course hiding behind those false masks of “equality” and “anti-discrimination”.

    The UN is nothing more than feminist circle-jerk which aims to completely screw over men and take away their rights. Advocating for special privileges and benefits for women-only makes the UN the fucking biggest discriminators on earth.

    I hope this absolute and utter farce of a proposal/discussion will be shot down and left to burn.

    1. Aye! Rational people, worldwide, need to simply get pissed and ready to kick ass! That is the only real answer. They laugh at rallies and protests because it hurts them NONE WHATSOEVER! Now, 100 people bumrush their limos and kick their teeth in… they might hear that plea.

  7. Great. Now when are they going to do the same for movies, books, and for all those things that apply equally or worse to men?

    What? Never? Because men are wild beasts and don’t deserve basic human rights? Oh. Right. Welcome to equality and progression. Because favoring only females and destroying all males is “equality” by definition.

  8. IT now march 7th have they present the findings?

    Findings like we not taking action & got burn the other day by a Japanese woman rep.

  9. Makes me want to work on developing something so dark and morbidly twisted that sociopaths will shudder after the first play-through and never mention they played it. Something so sadistic, gory, violent, and demonically hilarious that anyone making it past the opening scenes will be utterly ashamed of themselves… Then put it out there for free with PayPal donations and send it all over the torrent, tor, and usenet world where no one has any control. The opening logo will be… this…

  10. following the same logic: should the UN strongly urge the State party to ban the sale of video games or cartoons or any other forms of expression, including sacred books, involving war which normalize and promote war?
    like rape, war harms individuals without their consent, to the point of death, leaving life long traumas and physical disabilities in a mass scale, following the logic that people that harm each other promotes and normalize that action, every movie, book, or form of expression that shows someone harming another person should be banned.

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