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Is Virtual Rape a Crime?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the because-/quit-is-so-hard-to-type dept.

The Internet 690

cyberianpan writes "Wired is carrying commentary on the story that Brussels police have begun an investigation into a citizen's allegations of rape in Second Life. For reasons of civil liberty & clarity we'd like to confine criminal law to physical offenses rather than thought crimes but already threats, menace & conspiracy count as crimes. Could we see a situation where our laws extend?"

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No (5, Insightful)

ellem (147712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990099)

virtual rape is not a crime.

if you are being virtually raped you should log off.

there. that's fixed.

Agreed (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990171)

It is just script-abuse. You can report the user for it, but that's it.

If you don't like script-abuse, stay in areas that don't allow script execution.

Your physical body was not violated, so rape was not committed.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990225)

if you are being virtually raped you should log off.
there. that's fixed.
You've just equated it to a denial of service attack and you think that fixes anything?

Think about that. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990413)

You've just equated it to a denial of service attack and you think that fixes anything?

Here, let's try an experiment.

Compare being raped by someone from an hour with not being able to go to the pizza place on the corner for an hour. Damn. And you really wanted pizza.

Maybe you should get a grip on reality.

Re:Think about that. (2, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990489)

With feminists like these, it's not a crime... it's a responsibility.

Re:Think about that. (5, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990549)

not being able to go to the pizza place
... without someone harassing you with obscenities.

It ain't rape, but it ain't right.

Re:Think about that. (4, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990689)

These people aren't in public. This is HBO not PBS. If they have a problem with obscenities they shouldn't be there. That said, cyber 'rape' is no better or worse than having any asshole annoying your online.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990295)

No, you should complain to the virtual police. There is no reason to complain to the physical police for a virtual crime. Get the virtual court system to handle it.

Re:No (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990685)

We should have a virtual congress and a virtual Constitution for the internet.
I vote 4chan to write our Constitution.

Re:No (5, Funny)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990317)

"if you are being virtually raped you should [jack] off."

Re:No (5, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990405)

Heck, this appears to be talking about SecondLife, you don't even have to log off. All you have to do (assuming it's your own land) is simply ban the guy from your land. It's like 2 clicks, it certainly would be faster than spewing out 2000 words of blog post about it. People online are dicks, don't let them get to you. That is the rule of the internet.

Re:No (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990517)

But where should the line be drawn?
What about the kids reading Slashdot who were tricked into clicked on Goatse and Tubgirl links? I know someone it happened to and he was in tears.

Re:No (2, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990749)

Second Life is an adult community, Slashdot is an uncensored adult community. If you don't want your child violated by evil letter combinations or pictures of human bodies you shouldn't let them read this forum. Some of us think those things are part of normal development of a child, that words are just words and sex is a natural act.

Goatse is an exception of course. That scared me as an adult.

Re:No (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990571)

if you are being virtually raped you should log off.

and then have a smoke.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990625)

It shouldn't be the victim's responsibility to prevent rape. If you are forced to log off then the rape already happened. idiot.

Real Rape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990659)

I'm a 22 yr guy. My advisors (there are two:( ) fucks me everyday. I'm being raped badly. They expect me to do a lot of work and publish tons of papers. Is real rape a crime ?

Stupid (5, Insightful)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990111)

I don't even understand how you could ask yourself the question. Of course it isn't.

As someone who spends a lot of time online, I'm usually the one pointing out that despite the fact a conversation takes place over the internet, human emotion is still involed. One shouldn't assume that their actions have no social consequences.

However, in the realms of RPG, one should come to expect that there are people who seek to disrupt the experience for everyone else and move on.

I also disagree with the suggestion that threats are unjustly illegal.

Re:Stupid (1)

bigjocker (113512) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990591)

Just as killing horde in WoW is a crime ... killing is worse than rape, no?

Re:Stupid (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990641)

I think the best part of the story is the Brussels police has time to investigate said crime. Either the crime rate is way too low, the staffing levels are way too high or the complaint forgot to mention the video game part.

Lame (4, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990133)

Rape is literally penetration. If there is none, it's battery, harassment or assault. So no, there is no online rape.

Re:Lame (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990505)

This is defined on a regional or national level, as all laws are. There are definitely certain jurisdictions that do not require penetration to qualify as legal rape. The world isn't binary, the world doesn't work like a textbook.

What annoys me about this is that the controversy comes back over and over. The BBS communities, USENET, the MUSH/MOO communities, the MMORPGs, and the blogospheres, have all rehashed all this. If it was as simple and easily defined as you make it out to be, it would not generate so much heat, would it?

Regardless of the terminology from harrassment to assault to rape, and regardless of how things transpired physically, someone felt powerless and irrevocably hurt, and someone else meant it that way. At what point is it morally justifiable to hold the perpetrator culpable to allow justice for the victim?

Re:Lame (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990597)

Let's see. virtual rape is all 1's and 0's. Has anybody examined the bits to see if any of the 1's were stuck through the middle of any of the 0's? I can forsee a day when a judge has redefined the bit '1' as male because it looks like a big cock, and a '0' could be a cunt hole.

My fellow Americans... (1)

querist (97166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990615)

But is that the legal definition of rape in Belgium?

I know that is the definition in Massachusetts (or, at least it was 25+ years ago when my uncle graduated law school), but what is the definition that applies in this case?

And, assuming for the moment that a crime occurred, which court would have jurisdiction? The court that would have jurisdiction over the place where the plaintiff was a the time of the incident? The court that would have jurisdiction over the location of the servers? If this crossed state and/or national boundaries, how is this handled?

Re:Lame (4, Interesting)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990643)

rape
n.

      1. The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.
      2. The act of seizing and carrying off by force; abduction.
      3. Abusive or improper treatment; violation: a rape of justice.

It depends... (5, Funny)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990149)

Was she virtually asking for it?

Don't flame me, I know it's awful.

Re:It depends... (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990179)

> Was she virtually asking for it?

Hey, if she didn't want to get pwn3d, she shouldn't have walked into an open PVP zone wearing n00b armor and asking "ne1 want help with molten core?"

Re:It depends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990217)

Let me guess:

"Her keys said no but her emoticons said yes"

Re:It depends... (5, Funny)

HeavensBlade23 (946140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990427)

She shouldn't have been wearing such a short skirt texture in that virtual dark alley.

Re:It depends... (3, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990611)

Logging on to SecondLife probably counts. Double if she had a furry outfit on.

Re:It depends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990593)

Sadly, it doesn't matter if she was asking for it or how short her skirt is or how much of a flirt she is. In the current feminist government, the woman is always right no matter what. Think about it, how many single dads with full custody do you know? And if you're one of them and you're reading this, congratulations.

Laughable (5, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990157)

Does winning a match of CounterStrike make you a mass murderer?

Everything about TFA is ridiculous.

Re:Laughable (4, Funny)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990237)

Ridiculus maybe. But I wouldn't mind making teamkilling a felony :P

Re:Laughable (0, Troll)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990525)

does anyone still play that game? Seriously, counterstrike? What are you 35?

Re:Laughable (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990647)

No, but making maps for the game does.

Sure (5, Funny)

peipas (809350) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990169)

You could get sent to virtual prison.

Re:Sure (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990323)

Like the Corn Field [boingboing.net] ?

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990337)

Agreed.

For a Virtual Crime...

Sounds like the character should be sent to do virtual time in a virtual Prison.

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990361)

Where you will get virtually sodomized.

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990687)

That's an endless loop. You just crashed Second Life.

Re:Sure (2, Insightful)

no_pets (881013) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990363)

Funny, but true. If some people don't like the "violence" that's happening in SL then they could just become virtual police and investigate or she could just hire another SL player to teach the guy a lesson. Don't waste my tax money on investigating "crimes" in games.

Oh? (1)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990481)

You mean Windows?

Nope (4, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990173)

If there's any trauma, it's because someone has over-personified their online avatar. Imagine someone totally into those "choose your own adventure" books and really identifies with the character. Someone takes their book and where it says "A large woman shoves a sandwich in your pocket and sends you on your way" and they cross out and replace a few words so it now says "A large woman shoves a large stick in your ass and sends you on your way". Is that sodomy?

At any rate, online "crimes" in a game should not be dealt with in real life. There should be an in-game mechanism just like there's an in-life mechanism. Have an in-game jail or just simply ban the offender -- this should be decided by the community.
 

Yes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990223)

and offenders should be sent to virtual pound-you-in-the-ass prison.

That's overlooked by most of the designers. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990589)

There should be an in-game mechanism just like there's an in-life mechanism. Have an in-game jail or just simply ban the offender -- this should be decided by the community.

In the Real World, there are all kinds of mechanisms that the community can employ when an individual breaks the laws, rules, customs or taboos of that community. The individual has a presence 100% of the time.

Online, those mechanisms do not exist.

The offender can log off or create a new account. The offender only has a presence when the offender chooses to. Which means that the offender has more power to affect the community than the community has to affect the offender.

Virtual life sucks. Deal with it. Choose not to play in those systems that don't conform to your standards. It's as simple as that.

Re:That's overlooked by most of the designers. (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990693)

In most major MMOs you can report unwanted sexual chat to the GMs (all chat is logged) and they'll warn/ban the offending player depending on how severe the infraction is. Also, you can always /ignore.

In SecondLife (which is apparently what the article was about), you have the ban tools available on your own character. You can literally ban people from entering your land and there is not a lot they can do about it. If they try real hard to harass you anyway, then you can involve the Lindens and have them sent to the cornfield, but that measure is almost never necessary since the regular ban tools are generally enough to get the point across.

The whole article reads like this to me:

This is like a guy walking up to a girl and going "I just totally undressed you with my mind", and the girl going "OMG! I'm ruined for life now! Nobody will marry me! I'll be a virgin FOREVER!"
The proper response was a slap to the face, not a 2000 word post on your blog about the atrocities of "mental rape".

F*ck you! (5, Funny)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990183)

"Hey! What the hell are you doing to my character>!?!?!"

"You said you'd f*ck me! It's in the chat logs! It's consensual! You have nothing on me!! HAHAHAHAHAHA"

Looks like... (5, Funny)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990203)

Teabagging after a good round of pwnage will be illegal now.

depends (1)

fbhua (782392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990219)

If you get tricked into clicking a goatse link, can you sue for ambush and rape? Some guys are in deep shit then!

Re:depends (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990293)


If you get tricked into clicking a goatse link, can you sue for ambush and rape?

If so then I'd be bankrupt and serving a life sentence as a serial offender.

Re:depends (5, Funny)

alexhard (778254) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990561)

Actually, there has been a case like the one you describe..you can read about it right here [goatse.cz]



(i am so getting modded down for this)

Much ado about nothing (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990221)

This is not a court case. It's not a first-hand account. It's not an outraged person.

It's a blog.

Not even a blog by someone it happened to. Just a blog trying to gain attention.

Rape in online games is almost impossible to pull off. You have to Get the person to stand still for it, not report you, and not log off. Even assuming that you are camping the Sword of Killing and you've been sitting there for 5 hours, it's hard to believe you'd let something happen that scars your very soul to get it.

That's what rape is. A scar that's so deep it marks your soul.

No, what they're really talking about is simply harassment. Calling it rape is an insult to anyone who has ever been raped. Someone saying naughty words to you in a video game, or even having their character make nasty gestures, is NOT on the same level as rape.

Re:Much ado about nothing (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990303)

what they're really talking about is simply harassment. Calling it rape is an insult to anyone who has ever been raped. Someone saying naughty words to you in a video game, or even having their character make nasty gestures, is NOT on the same level as rape.
That sums it up nicely: It's online sexual harassement, not rape.
Kudos.

Re:Much ado about nothing (5, Informative)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990471)

Rape in online games is almost impossible to pull off. You have to Get the person to stand still for it, not report you, and not log off.

Eh...in Second Life it's a little different. Users can create customized animations that can be very detailed and last a long time, and their environment is a working physics simulation. You can use that physics to harass others -- knocking people into orbit is a common form of griefing on SL. Or you can trick someone into accepting and running your animation -- all it takes is for them to click on an object you control once. If they do that, you gain the ability to make their avatar do anything you want, as if you installed a rootkit on their avatar. So 'standing still' isn't a problem. You can be tricked into cooperating.

As the article mentions, 'logging off' isn't always an answer, especially if you're doing business on SL. Logging off then means closing up shop, and that's a bad solution.

The good solutions are reporting it to Linden and getting a (hopefully) swift response, or using common sense and anti-griefer tools to protect yourself. I think this is all going to boil down to 'should we protect people with bad judgement online?' And I think the correct answer is, 'If they're adults, then No.'

Re:Much ado about nothing (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990667)

Thanks for that post. I agree with you that in Second Life, someone can "grief" you and it's not very hard for them to cause "bad things" to happen to your avatar, which might include something akin to rape. It's very possible.

Rape is a serious charge. And this blogger isn't even the defendant. But I am glad that, at least, the police are investigating. What is it with slashdotters that makes them all angry when someone in the U.S. is treated "guilty until found innocent," but then when someone in Europe complains and the police try to investigate (without assuming any guilt), all the slashdotters start to complain, "you can't investigate an internet crime!"

You can't have it both ways. The police are either going to just throw people in jail without a trial, or they are going to have to investigate complaints. Pick one.

virtual rape is a virtual crime (1)

mythar (1085839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990227)

nt

Is it against the TOS? (4, Insightful)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990239)

This kind of "crime" should be covered under the TOS of the service. The only time this should get escalated is if it meets the criteria of real world criminal code covering harassment via electronic means, such as phone calls, email, etc.

This should not ever be considered an analogue to real world rape. That would be a mockery of the real world crime.

Of course it's not a crime. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990247)


If your Second Life wife didn't have dinner ready and you beat her, could you call that spousal abuse? Sure, it's a lot of fun but...

Rape must include penetration (4, Informative)

garbletext (669861) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990249)

One thing that I learned from the Duke Lacrosse case is that in most US jurisdictions, and possibly elsewhere, Rape is legally defined as including penile penetration. Thus when the accuser changed her story and said that she thought she might only have been penetrated by an object, the DA was forced to drop the rape charges to sexual assault. Online, penetration with anything is impossible, although abuse and assault have much broader definitions which certainly could include online speech and actions.

Is 'causing nightmares' a crime? (4, Funny)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990253)

If being raped in Second Life is a crime, then we need to invent new punishments for what happened to me on Furrymuck.

Well-Spent Tax Dollars (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990257)

I love hearing about stories like this. It's always nice to know that our hard-earned tax dollars are being well-spent in truly making society better.

sigh...

Ummmm... HOW? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990273)

I mean, did he physically threaten her to stay and not log off? If so, then how? If not, then why's she so dumb NOT to log off?

The law should protect the innocent. NOT the stupid.

"12 Million WOW Players Arrested for Murder" (4, Funny)

Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990275)

"Today the FBI announced the largest ever nationwide mass arrest, as over 12 million World of Warcraft players were arrested for "Virtual Murder." Said FBI Virtual Crimes Section Chief Leonard Scarp: "These people have slain untold numbers of Night Elves, Dwarfs, Griffins, and Dragons, via such horrible means as decapitation, death by fire, and vile necromancy. Each and every one of them is a hard-core virtual murderer." A giant internment camp is being built in the Nevada desert to house the criminals while they await trial."

"In other news, ScuttleMonkey Industries reported that their profits were at an all-time high thanks to continued graft payments from the creators of Second Life to continue greenlighting stories about their company on Slashdot..."

Crow T. Trollbot

Probably (1, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990281)

I don't see how the laws can help but extend to the virtual world. While the crime isn't directly equivalent to the crime in the real world, at the very least harassment has been committed. Depending on the laws of the countries in question, it's probably a real world crime. And regardless of the persons ability to log out at any time, a "crime" was committed against them.

They need proof for starters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990283)

Did they check the DNA of the pixels?

Getting REAL police involved? (0, Redundant)

iceOlate (1094287) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990287)

What kind of a retard would get the REAL police involved in a VIRTUAL rape? What a waste of resources that could go towards investigating REAL crimes. If this sort of thing is a serious problem, then perhaps Second Life needs to have virtual police to do virtual investigations and virtual arrests, to send whatever virtual offender to a virtual prison. And then he can experience virtual prison rape! This is getting virtually rediculous!

If it's virtual rape then... (4, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990297)

...there should be virtual punishment.

And that is all.

TLF

Depends on your view (1)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990301)

In the US "Rape is probably the most underreported crime in the United States" with that being said... If the person who was "e-raped" was a victim of a physical rape, the psychological effects of the rape can likely cause all sorts of mental issues. Its one thing to role play, and another to impose a view. My stance on it (as everyone's stance could ONLY be an opinion) is, if the victim was willing and playing along with a conversation, then no crime (if one could call it that) occurred. On the flip side, if I was sending unwanted images, audio, video, or anything else describing sexual actions against someone else's will, then I could side with maybe sexual harassment, or even aggravated sexual harassment. The definition of rape legally is defined as intercourse, which could never occur unless of course you've already discovered SoIP [infiltrated.net]

Seriously, wtf (2, Interesting)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990319)

I don't even understand the author's statement that "virtual rape" (whatever that means) could be traumatic. There's none of the implied threat of, say, harassing phone calls, or somebody on the street making cat calls (assuming that your virtual persona is sufficiently separated from your real world persona that a person harassing you online isn't stalking you for real). You certainly can't be physically hurt. And if somebody is saying or doing something you don't like, you sign off, or go to another area. So how could this be traumatic AT ALL, much less traumatic to such a degree that warrants comparison to rape?

Re:Seriously, wtf (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990433)

i agree. if someone is honestly traumatized by this, then the real problem here is that they are too emotionally attached to the virtual world.

Define rape? (2, Insightful)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990321)

One of the definitions coming back from the Google search 'define: rape' is this:

The crime of sexual intercourse without consent and accomplished through force, threat of violence or intimidation (such as a threat to harm a child, husband or boyfriend) (emphasis mine).

I argue that at least force, and probably threats of violence, cannot be considered immediate and real when transmitted across the internet. If in some dark future you were blocked from logging out, walking away from the PC, or whatever then I'd say you could be raped online. Today, I say you cannot.

My Answer (1)

HeavensBlade23 (946140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990333)

Is virtual rape analogous to real rape? Of course not. But it may be possibly be considered harassment or cyber-stalking depending on the circumstances.

it's happened before... (3, Interesting)

lopati (74873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990343)

Re:it's happened before... (2, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990541)

I'm glad someone online has a memory. "A Rape in Cyberspace" is nearly 15 years old and pretty much on the syllabus for every class that mentions the internet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Rape_in_Cyberspace [wikipedia.org]

Whether or not this event was legally a rape, the person may feel victimized just the same.

I rather than ask whether or not this is a crime perhaps we should ask what kind of person would think it would be fun to harass someone online.

Vitual killing and maiming (1)

Fengpost (907072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990349)

is happening all the time on the net as well, you don't see me running to the police.

By the way, how does it work? Does the rapist do a strength check to see if he can overpower the victim and the victim does a agility check to see if he/she can run away? I would like to see a rapist encounter Vorpal Sword +5!

Stop with this nonsense... (3, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990351)

So... when I play Counterstrike it's virtual murder? What about when I over-power a base in Red Alert 3? Can I be taken to the Haugue and tried for war crimes on the charge of "unprovoked attack on a virtual state?"

To equate virtual rape to rape that takes place in the real-world only serves to cheapen the ordeal of real women are who subjected to this awful crime.

It's a fucking game, ladies and gentlemen. If you had to behave responsibly and legally, it wouldn't be much fun now would it?

Simon

Moronic (5, Insightful)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990353)

A rape can be simulated in SL just fine, but it's stupid to compare it to the real thing. It's most definitely a reason to ban somebody, but for a lawsuit?

In SL, people can make your avatar execute an animation if you give consent. Things that involve animating both avatars, such as a hug for instance, are initiated by one of them, and the other must click "ok" to accept the offer.

Of course they could make it be misleading by presenting it as something harmless and then make the actual thing be nasty, but you can always teleport away, and reset all animations in progress (it's an option in the tools menu). It's not really possible to do something to somebody that they'd be unable to stop.

Re:Moronic (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990683)

In SL, people can make your avatar execute an animation if you give consent.

There are ways around that if the perpetrator has access to certain resources that they shouldn't. But there is a simple way around it that everyone can use. Any attachment can animate the avatar, and it's easy enough to hide code inside the attachments that will respond to external commands. A perpetrator could use one account to create such attachments and wait for a pool of unlucky victims to start using them. Afterwards, another account could be used to "activate" the hidden code in the attachments, leaving the victim in helpless obedience. Now, the easy way to solve the problem is to drop all attachments on your avatar, but I don't think your average user in a panic will figure that out. Remember that these are probably the same victims in an area that allows physical action that can't remember to sit down to avoid getting shoved into the next region.


Now for my opinion... should this be considered rape and prosecuted as such? No way! I want real world law enforcement to stay out of virtual worlds. At most, the service provider (Linden) should be responsible for handling complaints about this kind of behavior, and could be sued if they do not properly handle the complaint by any victim who is paying for the service. For those with freebie accounts -- too bad.

Virus (3, Funny)

15Bit (940730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990359)

Maybe she's pissed off cos she caught a nasty virus from the encounter.

Misnomer (1)

ColeonyxOnline (966334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990377)

It isn't rape, the worst it can be is sexual harassment, even than, the person is always free to freaking log off.

In one hand, we have people screaming "think of the children" with those kind of retarded ideas such as calling sex talk "rape" in an online RPG game. On the other, we have school officials sending kids to jail for writing an unedited essay.

It disgusts me...

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990379)

Not unless it involves the FuFme...

wtfbbq? (2, Insightful)

wtfbbq (1097721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990463)

Virtual rape is a ridiculous notion and the author of that wired article really has me shaking my head. "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." If you are that 'emotional displaced' by a goddamn video game you need some help since you have forgotten that real life and virtual life are two entirely different things. Raped in a video game, WGAF, raped in real life...now THATS traumatic. To insinuate that 'virtual victims' have endured any of the same stress of victims in real life is a disservice to the latter.

Re:wtfbbq? (1)

Madman (84403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990639)

I agree with you, but it may make sense for the police to investigate online violent crimes as it may lead them to a real violent offender. Someone who rapes online may rape for real (or want to), someone who steals from you in a virtual world is more likely to steal in the real one. I don't think that the law should extend to a virtual world, but it could be considered a gold mine of information on people who use it.

Wow (1)

PrussianComputer (1094971) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990473)

Regina Lynn is a horrible writer.

/ignore anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990487)

The closest thing this could be called to any RL situation is unwanted sexual advances.

Now I've never touched Second Life, but I would imagine like most other places where one can chat with other live individuals, there is a way to filter out one user's comments. /ignore the chatter and continue on with your game.

As an SLer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990491)

posting anonymously cause I'm too lazy to remember my password...

I'm a big SL vendor. I'm in it every day, and legal issues are very much in the minds of at least the producer community of SL these days so I've been following and researching this case for a couple weeks...

Let me state this; there can be no rape in SL. I've thought long and hard about it. In order to perpetrate VIRTUAL rape in SL, you have to get the person to do something. You can virtually hump someone but in terms of the congress of two bitpeople... both bit people have to run some software for the illusion to work...

Not only that, you can easily move away, teleport to a different location, or if on privately managed land (most of the land in SL), ask the manager to eject / ban the offender. The mere idea that in this environment someone could commit a nonconsensual sex act is ludicrous.

Someone could certainly commit nonconsensual sexual harrasment however - but when that happens IRL we don't call it rape, and we shouldn't call it that in SL either. In addition, there are in world avenues to report such transgressions (and corresponding in world punishments) The only time I would think you have legal grounds for a RL case is if threats against your person, safety, or welfare were made - for instance, sexual harassment isn't a crime unless it carries a threat to the person unless its tolerated - something like losing your job for example. I see no reason the same standards shouldn't apply here.

-merlinjim (aka Merlin Alphabeta)

Second life to practice for the first life (1)

Madman (84403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990515)

If people use second life to do the things they feel too inhibited to do in their first life, might that not lead to them gaining the confidence to try those things if they are successful? Someone who successfully commits rape on second life might then decide to try it for real. Should the virtual rape be investigated to head off a real one?

Re:Second life to practice for the first life (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990697)

In the sense that fantasy always proceeds the act for sex offenders, it's possible that a virtual 'rapist' might be working himself up to a real act of sexual violence. However, it's a LOOOOOONG way from acting sexually aggressive in a game to actually attacking a woman--many sexual predators start as peeping toms before moving on to fetish burglary (panty raids, e.g.) and eventually rape, and not everybody who fantasizes about icky things does them. So it would almost certainly be a waste of limited investigative resources to pursue a virtual case as a precursor to real world crime.

Re:Second life to practice for the first life (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990715)

I understand that chain of thoughts, but as it turns out no study confirms that. In fact, video game playes seem to be less likely to be violent. However those indication fall within a standard margin of error.

Food for Thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990523)

This paper was written many years ago about an analogous event on a text based 'Second Life'. It's a worthwhile read, not for the legal ramifications, but for the social ramifications which may be why we need legal ramifications.

http://www.ludd.luth.se/mud/aber/articles/village_ voice.html [ludd.luth.se]

DLS

OH WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990531)

People are friggin pussies

I was virtually murdered (3, Funny)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990565)

while playing Quake.. over and over and over again.

If only stopping this in RL... (2, Funny)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990567)

...could be as simple as, oh, I dunno, logging off, perhaps?

Hollywood, beware (3, Funny)

eddy (18759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990601)

If there is such a thing (and there is not), then I'm going to warn you Hollywood; each and every time I pay to watch a movie, I feel virtually raped.

im confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990617)

how do you rape someone in second life? that implies not only are avatars endowed with genitalia, the second life developers put in some kind of functionality to not only have sex, but also forcibly have sex.

ive never played second life though, can anyone clarify how this virtual rape was even possible?

Maybe they just express it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18990701)

By saying "I am raping you!" Sort of like the Kids in the Hall "I'm Crushing You" gag.

Absolute insanity (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990637)

To think that people will let a game get mixed up in real life. This is worse than the GTA thing. Totally bizarre.

Cue the christian stampede... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990645)

... saying that this somehow "proves" how evil all role playing games and their ilk are, showing how the brain supposedly doesn't distinguish between what is imagined and what is real.

Yes, it's a crime... (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990669)

...a virtual crime. As such, it should only have virtual punishments.

to people who have never been raped: (1)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990711)

why do people who have never been raped think they are in a position to talk about it?

saying "she could have just logged off" is no more logical then saying that a IRL rape victum could have "just ran away / called for help / fought back". Rape is NOT just a physical crime (though it may be legaly defined as such), it tears at a persons mind (be they male or female) to the point where they are often unable to act. If a person has previously been raped they are FAR FAR more likely to simply shut down to prevent the same psychological damage from happening again.

so please, people who have never had the horror of being raped, plese stop and think for a second about what you are really saying.

a consent switch (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 7 years ago | (#18990725)

Until some game/VR codes routines for the avatars to have virtual sex with each other, even the appearance of virtual rape is not possible. Until then, it's just talk.

Sooner or later, some game/VR will code sex routines, if they haven't already. At that point, if they don't include a mechanism for each avatar to refuse consent, they are asking for trouble.

But, it still won't be rape.
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