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CNN and Hentai Games

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CNN recently "discovered" hentai games. They were shocked by this perverted Japanese subculture that creates games that deal with a lot of social and sexual taboos. And they have launched a nice little campaign to right this horrible misogynistic wrong.

It really would be wrong now to tell CNN what they already know, that the geeks on the internet have known about hentai games for over a decade now. The target audience for CNN are the non-geeks whose source of information is, well CNN. And thus in one move, CNN has just given hentai games a lot more exposure than any advertising could ever have. But that is the role of the media. To educate the masses about issues that matter.

The game that caught their attention was RapeLay, a molestation simulation. Now this game does have a theme that is deeply shocking to most cultures. But in the world of pornography, it is always the taboo that sells. Hardcore pornography in western cultures has literally gone to places unimaginable in a quest to get more eyeballs.

But my objective is not to review the subculture of hentai and Japanese pornography, which the internet and academic scholars have been unanimous about, in that it is different from the Western ideas of pornography.

This piece of journalism by CNN, while aiming to bring to attention the perverted ways of Japanese game developers and aiming to introduce regulation so the West doesn't have to deal with any of the eastern pervs, has failed to grasp the ways of the internet. The game in question was released in April, 2006.

Now I bring to your attention the following Google Trends for the game.


See anything of concern in these graphs? The media has only served to increase the exposure to a game that was until then very lukewarm on the internet. The game no longer sells on the internet, having been banned a while ago. And the interest was very much cooling off by 2010, but the CNN report which came out on March 31, 2010 will ensure that the topic is put back on the burner. The graph above is only until the month of March 2010 but you can expect some large spikes in the graph for the month of April.

There are already reports (ironically also reported by CNN) about RapeLay going viral as curiosity seems to trounce any moralistic notions. Sensationalism is never the same as good journalism, and the media has often ended up unwittingly exacerbating the problem, but hey, at least they got the viewers interested.

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About P Chandra

  • Steve

    I remember seeing this on CNN last night, wishing I had taped it. As someone who knows that Japan’s hentai culture goes back over a decade, this was really quite funny. I could understand why only one government official responded.

    Also, that lady’s voice made it that much more hilarious.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Ah, CNN. They’re desperate and this was a good way for them to scoop some temporary ratings. I hear they’ve also recently discovered the internet.

  • The Absolutly Free

    …. Wow…. This is like racism…hobby-ism. Who cares anyway. Humans are made to imagine things to the extent other are disgusted by. Parents would let them rip peoples heads off, cut them in half with a lancer, blow them up with a tactical nuke and not go around porn? You might as well call sex a disease and tell their children to NEVER have sex. Without our free will to think and imagine we might as well strip our title as “Humans”

  • gostspkr

    Hentai has been,been going on long before any country discovered it. “Even long before “Christopher Cloumbus” discoverd “the U.S.”Even though he “DID’NT”And to those “HYPOCRITICAL-ASSHOLES”want’s to hide away “American Porn” that’s sits waaaay back in early 1900’s, A centry long,well-long before “Hue Heffner” ever existed.