Japan is gaining a reputation for its use of virtual reality gaming in pornographic ways, but there’s a VR version of a video game scheduled to be released in that country that’s really shocking the US gaming tech press.
Gaming company Koei Tecmo Games is set to release a game for Sony’s PlayStation VR system called “Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3.”
It’s a member of a series that’s basically all about leering at scantily clad women characters on beaches.
But the VR version apparently goes so far beyond that that Engadget calls it “basically sexual assault, the game.”
Engadget’s Sean Buckley explains:
“The game’s virtual reality update is slated to launch on the same day as PlayStation VR, and features a handful of experiences designed to let players ogle the female body. A video from Gamer.ne.jp shows that one of these game modes features active harassment — allowing a player to continually touch a woman who is verbally protesting…. Yes, that’s exactly as gross as it sounds.”
UploadVR’s Jamie Feltham writes that game features controls that lets a player “prod at the women who will apparently jump and squeal in reaction.”
“I know it’s easy to look at something like this and say ‘Well, Japan’ but it’s still surprising to see this all on PlayStation VR … it will be interesting to see if the mere existence of this type of content creates controversy for Sony.”
The developers had some clue as to what kind of controversy the game would give them if they brought it to the US and European markets, so last fall, the company said it wasn’t going to release it in either place.
Which is saying something, as the US also has games where women can be treated in despicable ways and even mere critiques of such contact has, more than once, blown up into major threats and attacks on the person pointing out a game’s sexism.
Bits of this VR game can be seen via promotional videos and even watching those are pretty awful, Buckley says.
“Watching a grown man grope a bikini model in virtual reality is awkward enough in its own right, but listening to the video’s dialogue makes it worse.”
Koei Tecmo Games could not be immediately reached for comment.