Is Virtual Rape Crying Virtual Wolf?
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I read an article this week about “virtual rape”. Yes, really. That would be virtual sexual assault on your virtual online character or persona. By, uh, another virtual online character or persona.

This is all coming out now because, I kid you not, someone from Second Life reported a virtual rape to the police in Brussels.


And they are investigating it.

Regina Lynn of Wired, who acknowledges that virtual rape doesn’t rise to the level of a crime, nonetheless says that “There is no question that forced online sexual activity — whether through text, animation, malicious scripts or other means — is real; and is a traumatic experience that can have a profound and unpleasant aftermath, shaking your faith in yourself, in the community, in the platform, even in sex itself.”

Oh for pete’s sake, give me a break! How tenous a grasp on reality do these people have?

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And how the heck can there be “forced online sexual activity”? Isn’t that nearly an oxymoron?

Don’t these people have an off button? Or a plug they can pull??

Actually Lynn has a response to that. She says “Some suggest that the best way to deal with a virtual rape is to ignore it, or simply log off and come back as another user.
But in a game, you don’t want to lose the long-term investment you’ve made in your character. And these days, your real world income or professional reputation can depend on your online self.”

 

I think, and apologies to all the gamers out there, that if you have so heavily invested yourself in an online game or community that when it threatens your emotional and mental wellbeing you don’t want to back up ten paces, then you have far bigger problems than someone sending you bits and bytes describing what they want to do to you.

I was running Internet singles forums on Qlink and PeopleLink before there was a web, and yeah, I know that it can start seeming pretty real, but you have to know that it isn’t real, and you have to be responsible for your own actions and reactions.

It’s a computer for crying out loud.

You have control over it!

Stop making victims where none exist! Our country already has plenty, what with our culture of victimhood and failure to take responsibility for one’s own actions and the consequences thereof.

Let’s not export our culture of victimhood around the world via the World Wide Web, ok?

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13 thoughts on “Is Virtual Rape Crying Virtual Wolf?
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  1. Second Life allows a mute function. It also allows you to teleport TO places, and if they are not to your liking you are free to teleport right the heck out. This chick has issues.

    Signed,
    A gamer with a brain.

  2. Don’t these people have an off button? Or a plug they can pull??

    before this there were harassing phone calls that could be done at people over and over yes you could unplug the phone. seems there are laws against that.

    If this is a type of harassment and online cyber bullying. you consider this ok then which group you belong to? attackers or victims?

  3. You don’t even address the intent of the attacker. Virtual rape or the attempt to commit it could surely have implications for behaviour in RL and as such it is and should be of interest to law enforcement agencies.

    A person inclined to engage in virtual rape could well be tempted to do the same in RL and perhaps has.

    In any case there is a person behind very avatar and they have rights that must be respected.

    There is no right to rape, virtually or otherwise.

  4. Have someone you don’t know or like go to any porn site that uses animated gifs of obscene activity, and choose one you’d never enjoy doing or having done to you. Have him (small p) photoshop your face onto the body of the victim. Make sure he posts this where we can see it (no, don’t, but I hope you’re starting to get the idea). Or, when you get an obscene phone call (oh, wait, perps don’t do those in this country anymore– but whatever), don’t report it to the TelCo or the cops, just hang up. If he calls back, change your phone number. It’s not really you; it’s just a number. Now you’re subject to the same kind of harrassment that gets called ‘virtual rape’: a silly term, but the vandalism of a public ‘space’ (and that’s really what it is) with obscenities aimed at *you* is a very real kind of nastiness. If you’re still laughing it off, think of it happening *the first time* (you know, before anyone can ignore anything) in front of your thirteen year old (no one younger is allowed by Blizzard to play) nephew (or niece) while he (better yet, she) is playing WoW. If you’re still snarking at the idea, pretend it’s addressed to your teenage daughter. If you’re still yocking it up, I give up on you.

  5. Just goes to prove that stupidity knows no boundaries..including virtual ones!

    However what about the other side of the coin? How pathetic are the people who have to resort to this type of thing let alone develop the programing for it?!

  6. In all honesty, I virtually can not believe what I just read…
    Virtual rape??? someone is virtually pulling a virtual leg…

  7. I have to agree with Greg. The emotions and feelings are real. But none of it is real until you actually physically do it!!!!! Game, business or whatever, you are in control on the computer. Mostly I choose to ignore it. In some cases, for instance someone says ‘finger finger’ in a sexual context, I’ll say remove the finger or I will. But ignoring it works best. Mostly it’s done to get a reaction. Don’t react, frustrates them no end, lol. I have made a lot of very good friends online, some I have met and become very close to, some I will meet this summer. The internet is a fantastic tool, that can be turned off at will. But virtual rape? Come on people. As one who suffered from rape as a child I know what it is and is not.

  8. This was hilarious. You really made that article up, didn’t you? I’m going to link to it from my blogsite.

  9. 10.5 years ago, when I was writing my humor column (now it would be called a blog), I wrote an entry called Cyber Dumping about the virtual break-up element of online romance. I think this excerpt is appropriate…

    “We have to realize that though our feelings might have been real, none of what we did was. ‘I typed things with you that I’ve never typed with anyone before’ is a very weak recrimination. It’s not like you wore her underwear and let her beat you with a tranquilized possum. You just said you did. In fact, you weren’t tied to a four-poster bed somewhere in the Italian Alps. You were sitting at a computer desk you bought at Ikea, wearing a pair of boxer shorts, and nibbling on Orville Reddenbacher’s low-fat microwave popcorn. And remember, if you never met her, you can only assume that she was actually a woman in the first place.”

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