Sample Letter: Illusion Software: Japan: Rape simulator games and the normalization of sexual violence

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Dear Mr Yoshimura,

I am writing to express my serious concern about the production and sale by Illusion Software of computer games whose purpose is to perpetrate simulated rape and sexual violence against women. These include RapeLay and other similar games. Rape is a crime of violence that causes deep distress and harm to those who experience it. By trivializing rape in this way Illusion Software could appear to be promoting and even condoning such acts of violence against women.

It is widely acknowledged, including by the Japanese government, that media representations of women as objects of sex and/or violence have “a great impact” on negative gender stereotypes. The United Nations committee which oversees government compliance with the UN Women’s Convention when examining Japan recently highlighted that “the oversexualized depiction of women [in the media] strengthens the existing stereotypes of women as sex objects and continues to generate girls’ low self-esteem.” It is urging the Japanese government to ban all games such as those described produced by Illusion Software which contribute to normalizing the objectification of women and strengthen harmful cultural and societal attitudes towards women and girls.

Corporations have a responsibility to consider as good business practice any negative impact their activities may have on society and the public interest. I ask that Illusion Software immediately withdraw from production and sale all games that normalize and promote violence against women and girls.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,