Sat, Apr 04, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Activists call for disgusting computer game to be banned

UNBELIEVABLEGarden of Hope specialist Wang Shu-fen said she was able to buy a copy of the game online using her eight-year-old son's account

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Garden of Hope Foundation yesterday called for immediate intervention to ban a computer game featuring real-life simulations of rape, sexual abuse and forced abortion now available on the Internet.

“It’s unbelievable that such a rapist training ‘game’ exists and it’s even more unbelievable that the government is not acting more quickly to prosecute the dealer and the online platform that sells it,” Garden of Hope Foundation executive director Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容) told a press conference in Taipei.

The computer game, developed in Japan, allows players to pick their own “targets” — female characters — from a list at the beginning of the game. The players can thenact as rapists in real-life scenes — they may follow the targets of their choice, humiliate them, rape them or even train them as sex slaves.

A player may invite other players over the Internet to join a gang rape, or force the victim in the game to have an abortion.

“This is not just a controversial game, it’s a crime,” Chi said.

AUCTION SITES

While the game is not legally imported into the country, it can be bought at online auction sites such as Ruten or Yahoo Auctions.

“The game was banned on US online store Amazon.com in February because of the overwhelming number of complaints made about it and some members of the UK parliament have also urged the Amazon site in the UK to remove the product,” Chi said. “Only in Taiwan can the game easily be purchased on Yahoo or Ruten.”

Garden of Hope specialist Wang Shu-fen (王淑芬) said it was also shocking that she was able to buy a copy of the game online using her eight-year-old son’s account.

After the foundation’s call for a ban, Yahoo had removed copies of the game from its auction site. However, some sellers resubmitted the game for sale after changing its title.

Wang quoted a Ruten official surnamed Lee (李) as saying that the firm would put the game in its adult section, but would not completely remove it unless instructed to do so by the relevant authorities.

POLICE PROBE

Lee Hsi-ho (李西河), a captain in the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s Ninth Investigation Brigade, which specializes in Internet crime, said yesterday the police had already begun their investigation process, but declined to reveal details.

“We can’t say whether the seller or the online auction sites are guilty of any crime, because that’s a job for prosecutors — we can only gather as much information as possible and send it to the prosecutors’ office,” Lee said.

Ruten’s spokeswoman did not return a Taipei Times’ request for comment.

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