Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Is Ryona a real thing?

OFFENSIVE CONTENT WARNING (VIOLENCE, SEXISM)

Again, I'll have to give a short answer to the headline. Yes. Unfortunately, it is a real thing.

Ryona has come to be known in the Fighting games genre (specifically) in the last few years due to YouTube videos featuring gameplay video captures, and internet communities based around it. While apparently it has been around longer than that, this is how it relates to gaming culture: because video games provide an easy medium to create these kinds of videos, since only a single person's participation is needed.


So, what is it? Well, I'll let Wikipedia answer that (article has since been deleted, so this was copied from a different site which sources the definition as originating on Wikipedia):

"Ryona (リョナ), which comes from ryonanī (リョナニー), portmanteau of ryōki (猟奇, bizarre) and onanī (オナニー, masturbation), is a Japanese term for a sexual complex where a female character is, usually sexually, attacked or tortured by either a man or another female character(s). In the Western world, it refers specifically to artwork or manga depicting a physically hurt or wounded girl in sexual situations. While the term is recent, the theme has been in western culture since the 70's such as in horror films that features women being murdered or tortured. Ryona art is often explicit in nature; some common themes include Sadism."
Thankfully, it's an obscure and not-widely-subscribed-to fandom (Bronies sound downright delightful in comparison, don't they?). When I initially heard about it, I didn't actually believe it was real, because it sounded both too bizarre and--to be completely honest--too much like one of those urban legends that local TV news stations like to sensationalize, regardless of their basis in fact (anyone else remember Rainbow Parties, Jenkem, or "Strawberry Quik"?). But when I was thinking of video game blog topics to write about, I remembered that I had never actually checked to see if Ryona was a real thing, so I decided to put that rumor to rest for good so I could think of something else. Boy, did I regret that decision.

Normally, I'd post a link to my sources, and so forth, but in this case, I don't want to give these guys the page views. So instead, I'll tell you that if you really, really want to read about it, Google the title of this article and the sites will pop up. Or, if you prefer to not be mentally scarred for life...don't.

Instead, I'll just describe what you can expect to see if you do. 1) You'll see videos (obviously). 2) You'll see online communities based around it, and justifications that it's "not that bad", and so forth. 3) You'll see a big therapy bill, because you're going to need it after experiencing what 1) and 2) have to offer.

I would like to again state that this subculture represents a tiny sliver of gaming culture, and that the admittedly-still-has-problems-with-sexism gaming community at large primarily consists of people who will look at you with a mixture of disgust and confusion should you mention that you like Ryona (that is, if they know what it is. It really is that obscure).

In closing, I would just like to say:

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Isn't this kinda human nature? Dunno how I stumbled across this I was just looking for a drawing tablet LOL

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  3. Love how there's a sexism warning despite there being a category for males known as gyakuryona. It's like saying the term "male" is sexist despite the word female being a thing.

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  4. It's not that bad, I enjoy this genre and i'm not much of a sadist against women in reality. I feel as if you're overreacting.

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  5. male x male ryona is better, ladies almost never fight back, so boring xD

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