Amazon sells another video game where you “play” sexual abuser

*Possible trigger warning*

While we haven’t been the biggest fans of Amazon as of late and their history of selling a rape simulation game (which they did end up banning), it looks like another game involving violence against women seems to have”slipped” past their radar. “Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love” is a game that allows the user to experience,

“…a terrifyingly vivid exploration of Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition in which a captive falls in love with her kidnapper. And you play the part of the kidnapper. With a limited number of options, you must figure out how to make her fall in love with you.”

This includes using poison gas on the victim, sexually assaulting her and using psychological abuse against her in efforts to make her “love” you. Unbelievable.
Contact Amazon and let them know that profiting off of sexual and psychological abuse is completely unacceptable.
h/t to Jennifer for the heads up.

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112 Comments

  1. Toughchick
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    And what about the many movies that have sections where you you see through the eyes of the perpetrator.

  2. Vallychka
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Amazon.com has pulled the game, but Max Shearson (outreach@rmdglobal.net) created an online petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/savestok/petition.html to request that the game be brought back. Here is his reasoning:
    “Great art challenges us to examine the very assumptions we hold dearest. It upsets us, and forces us to critically question what we have been lead to believe.
    We believe that “Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love” is an example of such a work. While we do not necessarily agree with every part of the message, we believe that it is important for people to be able to see it. As one of the most important retailers in the world, we believe that Amazon has a responsibility to protect works of art like “Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love”, and that removing it was the wrong decision.
    It’s easy to make a quick decision to ban something. It’s a lot harder to admit that that decision was wrong. We are asking Amazon.com to reconsider this decision, and to put “Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love” back on its virtual shelves. ”
    I think we should email Max and let him know the fact that he is petitioning to bring back a rape game is disgusting.

  3. Posted June 1, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi All – this is Max Shearson, outreach coordinator at RMD Global. I’ll keep this short: the response and outrage to “Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love” is understandable. After all, it does challenge core ideas of modern American society. But I think that some of the reactions have been quick and emotional, rather than careful and considered.
    At our site, authors, filmmakers, and even the CEO of RMD Global have shared their views on the recent Banning of “Stockholm.” The site is http://rmdglobal.net/stockholm/
    I know that anyone as dedicated to a cause as many of you are will want to consider all rational perspectives. All I’m asking is that you consider a few other points of view, and, if you agree, to sign the online petition, or even leave any helpful comments.

  4. Mina
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    “After all, it does challenge core ideas of modern American society.”
    Now how many minutes before the “the less mainstream the better!!!” more-alternative-than-thou crowd shows up…?

  5. Mina
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    “You might as well accuse your grocery store of censorship for not selling dildos.”
    Right on!

  6. ERA
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    It never fails to shock me when I read comments about these articles, that there are so many anti-feminist statements being made. Since when is rape simulation preferable to pornography? And the same thing as romance novels?
    Rape does not belong in the media UNLESS it is used to either show a victim’s perspective or to make a statement against it (i.e. showing a rehabilitated rapist/ or a rapist that gets caught). There should be actions against the rape. And at the end of every movie/show that has a sexual assault in it, there should be an eductional piece about how rape is a serious crime. The glamorization of rape should not be allowed. We will never be able to regulate the black market – but there should be a public outcry to regulate the mainstream media.
    There is proof that one of those violent games, I think it was Grand Theft Auto, was making kids go out and commit crimes, so why wouldn’t it also be the case with these kinds of games? If there were less rape, and less rape media, there would be less fetishes for this type of thing. If people want to play out their own rape fantasies in their bedrooms, no one is going to stop them, but this does not belong in the mainstream media, where it can influence other people.
    Adult sections and pornography have nothing to do with this. This isn’t about sex. Nice gentle loving sex isn’t going to hurt anyone (as long as it’s consenting and protected) It’s about assault. Sexual assault. No one should have to be subjected to the glamorization of sexual assault. How would people even know about certain fetishes if there weren’t all these movies/magazines about them? I’m not saying to outlaw kinky porn, I’m just saying that even porn should not be promoting assault. Especially in case some impressionable kid or naive adult watches it (and many do at friend’s houses when parents are away. There are so many ways that kids can get access to things with adult ratings). I strongly disagree with rape fantasy porn, but if there is no way to ban it, then porn makers should be required to show the characters in the beginning of the film introducing themselves as actors who say “I consent to playing in a rape scene in this film. This is not real. Rape is a horrible crime that hurts people and it should never happen in real life.” or something like that or they should have the rapist get taken away by the cops (who look like real cops not sexy porn cops) and thrown in jail.
    To the person who compared this to romance novels. Romance novels are words, not graphic pictures. People reading romance novels are spectators reading a story, while playing a game is like a virtual reality where the game player IS the rapist, not reading about a rape. Romance novels are usually read by women, these games will be played by many impressionable young men.
    However, I do agree that movies and romance novels should not glamorize rape as some type of normal seduction. Although I love old movies, I can’t stand the types of scenes like in Gone With the Wind where she is taken against her will, and then wakes up with a smile on her face.
    Someone brought up violent movies. My opinion is that there is too much violence in the mainstream media. I don’t think violence should be censored, but that it should all be classified as an R rating. And that it should have the same kind of educational piece at the end of the film that talks about how this violence was fake because it’s a movie, and that violence in real life is a horrific crime. Lots of people let their small children watch these kinds of things, and since we can’t regulate parenting, then we can at least educate the audience.
    To the sex positive/ porn positive person who wrote. It is possible to be pro-porn and be anti-rape-porn. Just because porn is about graphic sexual activities doesn’t mean that it should go completely unregulated. There’s nothing wrong with showing sex. It’s the non-consensual part that needs to be curtailed. Also, it doesn’t mean all violent/fetish porn needs to be banned either. If someone is begging a person to hurt them (BDSM), it is different than someone begging to NOT be hurt and then hurt anyway (rape fantasy). We can debate the ethics of consensual violence, but everyone should agree that NO CONSENT = BAD. If the logic is weeding out non-consensual porn, then it would not endanger porn as an industry.
    To the people who say that this doesn’t hurt anyone and so shouldn’t be outlawed. Well, it doesn’t cause physical harm to anyone if we don’t pay taxes, but we’ll still go to jail if we don’t pay them.

  7. rmdglobal
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Hmmm… so all serious examinations of love and erotic tendencies should only look at “nice gentle loving sex” and pretend the rest does not exist?
    I think that sentiment is one of the things that “Stockholm” is targeting – the sugar coated illusions that sexuality is supposed to be only nice and pretty and flowery.
    And those who have actually seen the DVD know that there is an explicit and humorous warning to players that what is being shown is a game, not a recipe for actual behavior. (It involves Stanton Audemars with a sock puppet)

  8. ERA
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t say that all sex has to be nice gentle loving sex. I was using that as an example to say that many times people are up in arms about explicit material and they lump all pornography in one “nasty” category that should all be banned as a whole. My opinion as a sex-positive person is that seeing gentle consensual protected sex is not damaging or unethical. That doesn’t mean that all other sex is damaging or unethical. Only when the consensual part is removed does it become extremely damaging and unethical because it is promoting violent crime. It promotes violent crime because the attacker is getting away with it – i.e. not going to jail. It also promotes it because the victim’s role is written for her to enjoy being raped. Therefore there are many guys who after repeatedly watching films where women are taken against their will and fall in love with their captors who believe that all women truly want to be taken advantage of my men. I personally know guys who have admitted to thinking that women enjoy being taken advantage of. Guys in the media say this sometimes and tell jokes about it also further normalizing the misinformation.
    If someone does not wish to have “sugar coated illusions” as you put it, there is a huge amount of ground between sex with one loving partner and non-consensual sex. There’s sex with multiple partners, there’s casual sex, polyamorous sex, sex-clubs, role-playing, exhibitionist sex, sex with toys, masturbation, and all different kinds of kink. As long as it is consensual.
    As I stated above, I am not criticizing kinky sex or BDSM – I draw a clear distinction between consensual BDSM and rape. Please re-read the second to last paragraph of that comment.
    It is possible to be pro-porn, pro-kink, pro-rights of people to play out rape fantasies in their bedrooms (that they consented to in advance and have a safe word) AND still be anti-rape, anti-rape promotion, and anti-rape fantasy *promotion*.
    I still maintain the need for more non-violent consensual protected sex in porn. Right now much of it is violent, and I’ve never seen a condom in porn with men or a dental dam in porn with women. Just because it’s non-violent, consensual and safe-sex doesn’t mean it can’t be wild or kinky.

  9. hoolissa
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    AMAZON LISTENED, THANK GODDESS
    Hello,
    Thanks for contacting Amazon.com with your concern.
    I apologize for any frustration caused. The item you referenced is no longer for
    sale on our site.
    Customer feedback like yours really helps us continue to improve our store and
    provide better service to our customers.
    Thank you again for your feedback.

  10. BeastlyKitty
    Posted June 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    As a kinky person who has consentually “kidnapped” her S/O’s for fun, this is not a game that I find even remotely sexually intrigueing. and I can count quite a few in my commuinty who would find this game just as deploarable. The main reason being? Three is no consent implyed or otherwise, the “consent” or the createing of stockholms syndrom in the victim….that’s just abuse.
    But the thing that bother’s me the most out of this game?
    Aside from the fact that it teaches the player to abuse someone into loving them.. is that it plays on a mental disability and the whole point of the game is to force someone to a mental brakedown.
    That is even more disturbeing to me then useing sexual assult to get there, the whole point is to make somene less then an object.
    That’s sick it teaches emotional abuse is a proper avenue to love, and I know manay of us understand how truely damageing emotional abuse is, and that the scars from it last longer then any physical abuse.

  11. TheStandardofMasculinity
    Posted June 13, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    It is not misogynist as many women play these games as well.

  12. TheStandardofMasculinity
    Posted June 13, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    But what happens if the woman was the rapist in the first place and the victim was a man, that makes it all right to you, or it is patriarchy fault for making women do these things. For you the woman is never the abuser, she is not capable of such acts, yet for example, in child abuse cases where the abuse was sexual, the stats found said that almost 20% was caused by a woman with 5% doing it completely without the aid of a man. Officials believe this statistic to be higher but feel that many children do no come forward as a woman is the abuser and they feel that they may not be believed. Hows that for your belief that every one who does this sort of thing is a man and a woman-hater?.

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