CNN Dusts Off Ancient Moral Panic Over Out Of Print Game That Was Banned A While Back
from the oh-come-on dept
Recently, we started receiving a whole bunch of submissions about a CNN story on the Japanese videogame Rapelay (in which part of the gameplay involves raping women). We ignored it because it’s an old, old, old story, and we couldn’t figure out why CNN suddenly took an interest in it. The game itself was released back in 2006 and has long been out of print. It got some headlines back in February of 2009 (over a year ago), when a UK publication noticed that some people were selling the game via Amazon. It was never Amazon itself selling the game, but some of the people who set up their own stores on the site. Either way, once the press reports came out, Amazon quickly pulled the game.
Still, as usually happens, there was a big moral panic, politicians made comments and threats and eventually Japanese officials banned the game, even though it was already out of print.
Story over, right? For no clear reason, CNN suddenly decided to bring it up as if it were a big deal again — leading to all those submissions. However, as reader Chris Mikaitis, points out, the story keeps escalating to new levels of cluelessness. Days after the “original” late story, even after lots of people wondered why the hell CNN was bringing up such a dead story, CNN decided to do a second story on the game by the same reporter. At least, in that case, one of the people quoted scolds CNN for making a big story out of nothing:
“One of my concerns,” begins Dr. Olson, “is that kids generally never hear about this stuff unless it gets this kind of publicity.”
In other words, this was a dead game and a dead story, until CNN started fearmongering about it, making ridiculous statements like:
“Parents, we’ve got to warn you about this video game because your kids could get their hands on it.”
CNN, we know that your ratings are in freefall, but manufacturing a totally ridiculous moral panic over an old game that is not in print any more, has been banned in the only country where it was released, and which was discussed way too much well over a year ago, isn’t exactly the way to build either credibility or interest in your reporting.