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Virtual Assault.

Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby shootist » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:43 am

Mixed feelings about this one. Having lived a very significant portion of my life as a police officer there is a tendency to consider it s criminal matter. OTOH, there is a point to not wanting to criminalise every aspect of life, not that this is 'every' aspect. But it occurs to me that we seem to have moved towards a society where 'somebody should do something' which is usually to make a law, and most often a bad law. In the environment proposed if such an incident happens it may be an ideal learning opportunity to deal with such advances without the slightest risk of danger.
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Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:13 am

diy wrote:Who says its unacceptable? Why can't people explore their fantasy online.

It is a fairly basic rule that one should not deliberately cause harm to another.

In a world with games like GTA, you either accept that its harmless fantasy or you draw a line through quite a lot of games that are out there.

I have not played GTA, should I take it that part of the game is that you get to rape other players?
If so, then yes of course it is perfectly fine to do that in that game, consent is implied by playing, but that does not mean you can transfer that consent to any other game. In the report, the lady had volunteered to be shot, stabbed and brutally torn apart by zombies, but she had not volunteered for sexual assault.
If people learn that it is ok to ignore boundaries in a game, then what is to stop them from taking those lessons through to real life?

shootist wrote:In the environment proposed if such an incident happens it may be an ideal learning opportunity to deal with such advances without the slightest risk of danger.

How actually do you deal with such advances? Tell them to stop? Didn't work. Walk away? Didn't work. Pull the plug on the game? Doesn't work in RL...

It may fall short of criminal, but there needs to be better mechanisms to help the civil enforcement of acceptable online behaviour.
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Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby dls » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:57 am

If people learn that it is ok to ignore boundaries in a game, then what is to stop them from taking those lessons through to real life?


They perhaps know that a game is a game.
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Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:08 am

dls wrote:
If people learn that it is ok to ignore boundaries in a game, then what is to stop them from taking those lessons through to real life?


They perhaps know that a game is a game.

No means no even in a game.

Have you tried any modern virtual reality? I'm told it is getting pretty real. And while it is probably true that most people will always know what is real and what is not, there are some people who struggle with that even without VR.
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Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby shootist » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:17 am

I might ask who wants to play a game with such objectionable people? Perhaps the complainant should try naming this player to others, shaming him / her, and perhaps getting them excluded. If others don't want to exclude him/her then they are equally objectionable IMO. Or just stop playing it. If you know that going into certain parts of town on a Saturday night at certain times means you stand a high chance of being assaulted, robbed, and/or raped, then one possible answer is not to go into that certain part of town on a Saturday night. That works in real life.
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Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby diy » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:02 am

It can happen in Minecraft. The current trend in online gaming is flexible development platforms that allow users to create games within games or worlds within worlds. There will always be people who take it too far. But virtual rape isn't rape, just like virtual murder isn't murder. To remove the distinction and anyone playing a game will be guilty of many crimes from public order to terrorism.

I do agree that there will be a time when the UI is sufficiently advanced that the user may feel that they have been violated in some way, but the person always has the option of removing the headset or unplugging the game. What you find is that gamers left to their own devices set boundaries for acceptable play.

This is not a new thing.. People have been exploring the deviation & fantasy through computer games since the days of leisure suit lary in the late 80s. I wonder how many people have told Siri they want to have sex with her?

I'm not saying that virtual abuses like this are not morally wrong, but I very much doubt you could set a line safely from a criminal point of view.

For me abusing an avatar is not the same as abusing the person. If a person cannot separate themselves from the avatar, then I question if they should be playing games where they get to kill, dismember and eat others.
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Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:14 am

shootist wrote:I might ask who wants to play a game with such objectionable people? Perhaps the complainant should try naming this player to others, shaming him / her, and perhaps getting them excluded.

The reporter was obviously a first time player, and it is perhaps not obvious how or who to complain to, but yes, that is clearly the correct and proper response, but it is, on the whole too easy to avoid an exclusion through an alias.
That said, it ought not be that hard to keep them excluded, if the game makers step up and take appropriate action. Perhaps they already do, I do not know.

Smouldering Stoat wrote:It is neither necessary nor appropriate to criminalise every aspect of everyday life.

I trust you are not suggesting that sexual assault should not be considered as a crime?
But this was not a sexual assault, only a virtual sexual assault, so is the answer that it is a virtual crime and should be countered through a virtual court with a virtual punishment?
If so, it should be one that is not easily side stepped just by stepping into another virtual world.
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Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby dls » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:40 am

But this was not a sexual assault, only a virtual sexual assault, so is the answer that it is a virtual crime and should be countered through a virtual court with a virtual punishment?


THe people who run the game can simply disable the character
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Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby atticus » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:10 pm

I am pretty sure that if this were to happen to my daughter she would:

1. Make a polite request to desist

2. Then make an impolite request to desist

3. If those requests fail, blast the offender's avatar in the goolies.
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Re: Virtual Assault.

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:14 pm

dls wrote:
But this was not a sexual assault, only a virtual sexual assault, so is the answer that it is a virtual crime and should be countered through a virtual court with a virtual punishment?


THe people who run the game can simply disable the character

Yes, in the same way as we can disable a spammer: it does not necessarily stop them for long... also raises questions about whether there should be a right of appeal, but that is between the players and the host, so drifting away from discussion of law.

atticus wrote:I am pretty sure that if this were to happen to my daughter she would:

1. Make a polite request to desist

2. Then make an impolite request to desist

3. If those requests fail, blast the offender's avatar in the goolies.

Likewise, but such games can often be not subject to friendly fire, in which case that would not work.
Also, folk tend to not stay dead in these games for long: you'd be starting a fight that you're very likely to lose.
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