The Grand Theft Auto franchise has never been exactly politically correct. In the game, you can hire a prostitute and then kill her, and you're encouraged to grope strippers out of sight of security guards. See what I mean? Rockstar, the game's creator, has fallen under fire for the tired design in the past — but this time, it's the players taking the game's capabilities to sadistic heights by creating a Grand Theft Auto V Online "rape" modification that allows gamers to rape each other's characters.
With game modifications, you can force other online players' characters to do things out of their control — like perform pole-less pole dances. Even worse: Some people are using a "mod" that forces other players' characters to bend over, and thrusting into them from behind — the mod involves the characters being pants-less — creating a scene that looks undeniably like rape.
Worse? The modification seems to be gaining traction, with YouTube videos of in-game rape scenes popping up with shocking frequency, often called "rape trolling."
Rockstar has remained silent on the mod, and it's important to note that the online game was not designed with that intent. Still, it is unnerving that such a problematic aspect of game play has remained untouched by the creators.
Even while the disturbing, trophy YouTube videos of game rape are popping up, many players seem disturbed by the trend. Kotaku's Patricia Hernandez spoke with Reddit user "mrerikmattila", who described an attack from a stranger.
How it initially began is my friend was being taken advantage of in a more remote part of the map, which I was unaware of. I went to his area to find out he was not alone. There was this other user, the user in question, in the area. I have never played with this modder, nor am I friends with him, nor were we in a party. This guy was a total random stranger who just dropped in the free mode session.
Quite literally, I and a couple friends of mine encountered a stranger and we were raped and forced to strip dance in GTA online. It was like a "traumatic life" simulator.
This "rape trolling" is a symptom of a larger problem that GTA set up for itself long ago: pervasive and flippant attitudes toward sexual ownership. Players previously relished in the idea of being able to treat prostitutes and strippers like property, and game designers made it part of the fun.
Despite having no direct involvement in it, Rockstar has a responsibility to take control of a further warped view of the well-being of other human beings that its game inadvertently created. Rape is not a joke, and we're not laughing.
Images: Rockstar (2)