Minister agrees to take action on ‘Rape Day’ video game

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright has agreed to work to find out how the controversial Rape Day video game was allowed to be developed and set for release.
Hannah Bardell. (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)Hannah Bardell. (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
Hannah Bardell. (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)

He was asked about it after gaming platform Steam pulled it from its site on Wednesday following a backlash as it was revealed to contain graphic sexual violence against women.

At Culture Questions in the Commons on Thusday morning the SNP’s Hannah Bardell (Livingston) welcomed the scheduled release next month being scrapped, but called on the Cabinet minister to go further.

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She said: “A game of this nature has no place in our society. I’m glad its been pulled by gaming site Steam, but their statement was woeful, it did not even accept or acknowledge the risk it could pose.

“At a time when one in five women will experience sexual violence in their lives, and a week when it’s International Women’s Day, will he work with me and others to launch a review into how this game even got to development and approval stage and make sure that it appears on no other platforms?”

Mr Wright replied “yes”, adding: “We should ask questions about this.

“It is profoundly unacceptable that material such as this should be available to young people and older people, and we must worry about the sense it creates if proper relationships and the way these types of behaviour should be regarded by any functioning society.

“But of course we should understand how exactly it’s got to this point, in relation to this game. As I say, I welcome the fact this game has been withdrawn - we would all have been having a very different conversation this morning if it hadn’t.”

Earlier the Secretary of State agreed that forthcoming legislation to make social media platforms more responsible for the content they host would also apply to game platforms like Steam.

He was asked to extend the new regulations by Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West).

The minister said: “I believe that it is not what a company calls itself that matters, but what it does.

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“And what we will do in the White Paper and anything that follows is make sure that with the scope of the harms we set out in that White Paper, that we can tackle these harms wherever they lie on the internet.”