Chris Redfield Tied Up

This Flash game (which I’ve embedded farther down the page–NSF work or those who are offended by penis) recently came to my attention. It concerns Resident Evil‘s Chris Redfield, and as the creator puts it ‘taking advantage of him.’

I did not speak on RapeLay for two reasons: I did not play it and Leigh Alexander covered it extensively. I did, however, ‘play’ this Flash game (the gameplay is incredibly simple, and can be over in seconds).

It has a pretty simple premise, as the site states: “Unfortunately for Chris he’s been captured by the bad men. Fortunately, now’s your chance to take advantage of him!”

The question that immediately came to my mind was, “Is this rape?”

Try for yourself (again, NSFW):

Having tried other Flash animations the site boasted (including Wakka and ‘Hard’ Snake), all of them have the same basic premise. The initial response to ‘our’ hand touching their soft penis is negative and in varied ways they tell us to stop. The game tells us in rather clear terms that we are raping our victim.

There are a few issues many would raise here:

Can a man be raped? Despite many states in the United States (and varied other countries) refusing to have laws concerning it, yes, they can.

If there isn’t any penetration happening, is it still rape? While many legal definitions vary, rape does not have to include penetration.

It’s just a handjob, surely that isn’t damaging to the supposed victim? Rape’s damage is not purely physical, but also has psychological components to its assault. Rape is also not merely about damage, but a transgression against a person who says no.

Of course, we could also get into semantics arguments over whether this constitutes sexual assault or rape, but how would you classify the different between the two? There also exists the question of whether we, as an invisible hand, can really be raping the person portrayed.

Due to the site it is on, the implied audience playing will be male, but there is nothing to state this other than its location. Theoretically, because the game hands us the control, if you are female and playing the game, and want to be a female doing this, you are a female in the situation.

Can this situation constitute rape?

Even the trailer made for this game has a jarring moment where a sexual build-up occurs and then Chris quickly segues into screaming, “Stop it!” while the music skips and the frame jumps on us:

So what? Well, being the type of person I am, I am not an alarmist who would call for the banning of such material. It is pointless and it leads into a slippery slope for other premises in which rape or sexual assault might be handled in a story (the recently adapted comic Watchmen comes to mind). Not to mention the fact that I remain unconvinced that this by itself will cause a player to go out and perform the same act.

However, it does raise a question of who plays and enjoys these games and how we define this. I define it as rape, though I know many would disagree with me. Sexual assault against males is something we as a culture do not talk about. Seriously, we do not. While we handle rape and sexual assault against females poorly, we somewhat dubiously accept that it exists. Personally, I have been in the situation, and the level of ineptitude people had with dealing with the situation and even acknowledging it was disturbing.

I won’t bother going into statistical analysis (which is worthy of wariness), but it does occur, and much like with female victims, these males quite frequently are not willing to talk about it, or are unable to identify and classify this act as rape.

It is deplorable, but it does occur. If anything, I cannot look at this game and only think about the perversity of it (and perversity is, by all means, not necessarily a bad thing). I look at it and the comments that praise it in terms of being sexy as an indicator where the gay community can condone such acts. Where a society that does not talk or discuss sexual assault or rape on males can give the impression that this could be sexy, since it is wholly ignored and allowed to be claimed in some hidden fashion.

It does not often surface to the light of day (though this has been linked by both Kotaku and GayGamer, at least), but I find it unfortunate that the conversation centered around it only discusses whether or not it is sexy. On the other hand, the context does not allow for much more discussion beyond that, or does it? Yet I cannot shake the curiosity of why there is a need to put these males into situations where they are not reciprocating on the level of enjoyment, but I personally don’t understand the prediliction and demands to be ‘straight-acting’ (whatever-the-fuck that really means).

Or, am I taking this too seriously? After all, it is just a Flash game, on a gay pornography blog. Not to mention a whole genre of pornography exists around this. Again, I have no interest in any censorship, but am asking other peoples’ thoughts. The whole situation has no clear-cut answers for myself, but I felt it one worth exploring.

About Denis Farr

Writer interested in intersectionality, games, comics, nerdy stuff in general, theater, and how it all mixes. Graduate of Wabash College, with studies in Theater, English, German, and Gender Studies.
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4 Responses to Chris Redfield Tied Up

  1. Scott Juster says:

    “Rape is also not merely about damage, but a transgression against a person who says no.”Well said, and difficult to argue against.Concerning the game, I have a couple of guesses as to the lack of outcry:1. Sexual assault against men makes us uncomfortable as a society. It challenges our idea of dominance, masculinity, and sexual roles. In fact, much of the time, sexual violence against men is a joke (think of all the prison jokes people make). It feels like most of the “WTF?!” reactions are carrying a connotation of amusement rather than outrage.2. On a similar note, the fact that it is happening to a man might change the way people view the situation. Chris isn’t a frail teen girl, therefore he could probably defend himself, therefore on some level he might actually want it (or so the reasoning might go). I’m not condoning it, just putting a theory out there.3. I think the fact that it is both animated and based on a fictitious character makes a difference. To me, this falls in the same category as tentacle-porn: it’s a way for people to take part in domination fantasies without having to face some of the more questionable aspects of such fantasies. No real people are actually being immediately hurt by this.However, that is not to say that it isn’t damaging on a more societal level. It will be interesting to see whether this generates a prolonged discussion (as the race issue did). Perhaps, like the race issue, it is best explained as tapping into some traditionally questionable imagery and ideas, even though it might not involve real people and was not created with malicious intent?

  2. Jorge Albor says:

    Considering the tacky music, the “cum meter,” and the ridiculous scenario, it seems like this “game” could easily be a segment of a sexual fantasy both subjects entered in willingly. It’s feasible the Chris, and the player, are participating in a role-playing setting, both armed with safe words. But since we don’t get that information, of course is constitutes rape. But since it is animated, it is essentially fulfilling the same function as the role-playing, albeit for an individual without an equally adventurous partner. Whether that desire itself is fundamentally wrong, or the sign of some serious psychological issues, is beyond my scope to determine.

  3. I remember reading some time ago that the way gay men tend to process sexual assault is as “sex they didn’t really want to have.” Gay culture is so overwhelmingly focused on who gets laid the most that there really isn’t a language for talking about rape, since as a gay man you’re supposed to want to have sex all the time everywhere with everyone. Of course, gay men do get raped by other gay men, but the reporting statistics are as bad as or worse than reporting for heterosexual rape. Hence the tendency for the victims to classify the event in their minds as “sex I didn’t really want.”I think the idea of assault or rape of an ostensibly heterosexual character does play into domination fantasies, again because gay men are supposedly okay with sex all the time, so the only way to get a sub you’re truly dominating is to get a guy who isn’t into men. The fact that you get him off anyway presumably means you’re so incredibly hot even he can’t resist you. (I think in more general terms the obsession with straight-acting has more to do with broader societal acceptance of masculine stereotypes, but in this specific scenario it’s about sub/dom roles.)Another commenter mentioned prison rape, and I think that’s an important aspect of how our culture classifies sexual assault against males. The idea being that prison is one of the only environments where most men believe they could actually be raped and not be able to do anything to stop it (and you will notice that more often than not the perp is this fantasy is identified as a large black man). Most prison sex is, of course, actually consensual, and is a prime example of situational homosexuality, but I sincerely doubt most straight men are aware of that.

  4. Denis Farr says:

    @Scott: I like your point concerning malicious intent. The author likely had no malicious intent, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come from a society that already condones this in some sense (or at least a community that does). The game itself? It doesn’t bother me so much as thinking about what has allowed it to come forth. You are correct about the fact that many people’s initial reaction is more along the WTF! spectrum than contemplating it as rape.@ Jorge: It is something I considered, but did not voice. Ultimately I dismissed it due to the authorial intent in both the video trailer and words used to describe it–sure it could still be trying to sell a roleplay, but it seems to not be quite even considering that, but going with the initial impression.@Dylan: I had to lessen the frustration in my tone in this piece when contemplating gay culture and its inability to discuss this in a serious manner. Of course, this is in male culture overall, where a man who can ‘get it up’ is considered by many to already have acquiesced. There exists desire, so there must exist intent to enjoy!*facepalm*The obsessions with both straight-acting and the masculine are quite valid points, and all the examples the creator has used indicate this obsession. Solid Snake, Wakka, and Chris are all very gruff personalities.

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