Virtual Rape or Rape in Virtual Reality?

BoldonLad

Old man on a bike. Not a member of a clique.
Location
South Tyneside
Interesting story on BBC website

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-61573661.amp


I'm not sure I understand what has happened here

Can someone explain this in some terms?

Interesting. Under which jurisdiction will the alleged perpetrator be tried, and, if found guilty, sentenced?
 

AuroraSaab

Well-Known Member
Basically, it's like if you were playing an online game and another player came up to you and physically or sexually assaulted your 'player'. The difference with virtual reality is that this 'player' feels very much more like you than when you are using a controller and watching on a screen - because you are very much more 'in' the experience than when you watch it on a screen and use a controller. It feels far more real.

However, it's not real and even though an 'assault' in vr might feel real and feel scary, I don't see how you could prosecute it as a crime. Of course, games/software developers should take every step possible to prevent stuff like this happening as it must be very unpleasant.

By 'Metaverse' they mean things like meeting friends in a virtual coffee shop, going to a virtual gig, going virtual shopping etc.

You can imagine the issues that might arise when kids start using this stuff.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
spen666

spen666

Regular
Basically, it's like if you were playing an online game and another player came up to you and physically or sexually assaulted your 'player'. The difference with virtual reality is that this 'player' feels very much more like you than when you are using a controller and watching on a screen - because you are very much more 'in' the experience than when you watch it on a screen and use a controller. It feels far more real.

However, it's not real and even though an 'assault' in vr might feel real and feel scary, I don't see how you could prosecute it as a crime. Of course, games/software developers should take every step possible to prevent stuff like this happening as it must be very unpleasant.

By 'Metaverse' they mean things like meeting friends in a virtual coffee shop, going to a virtual gig, going virtual shopping etc.

You can imagine the issues that might arise when kids start using this stuff.

Thanks for that helpful explanation.

How does someone "feel" something in a virtual world? For example if I make my avatar punch yours, how do you feel something & what do you feel?
If I get a knife and stab your virtual character, you are not going to bleed and there has been no contact with you in reality?
 

mudsticks

Legendary Member
Thanks for that helpful explanation.

How does someone "feel" something in a virtual world? For example if I make my avatar punch yours, how do you feel something & what do you feel?
If I get a knife and stab your virtual character, you are not going to bleed and there has been no contact with you in reality?

Of course it's not the same as in real life, but if you threaten to rape me, or "enact' raping me in an online game it will still very likely bring up 'feelings' of fear, or feelings of having been violated .

A line has been overstepped
I don't know the details of this incident, and I know it's just virtual etc etc .

But why would another game player wish to 'enact' raping me if it wasn't for some kind of vicarious 'thrill' (feeling) of having violated, dominated disrespected and so on

Women are subjected to threats of sexual violence as a routine method of control or silencing, online and offline


If you've not experienced that you'll likely not understand it's demeaning, diminishing and even fear making effect

But those feelings of violation are at least a shadow form of violation.
 

AuroraSaab

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that helpful explanation.

How does someone "feel" something in a virtual world? For example if I make my avatar punch yours, how do you feel something & what do you feel?
If I get a knife and stab your virtual character, you are not going to bleed and there has been no contact with you in reality?

You don't feel anything but you'll see the boxing glove come right in your face. If you were stabbed you might see blood on the floor. It doesn't hurt but it's anxiety inducing as it's all right in your face, up close.

There are videos on You Tube if you google VR boxing.

One of my kids has the Occulus kit. It's a very immersive experience but I find it overwhelming. I can do the stuff where you sit still and throw paper planes around, but as soon as I start walking about I get motion sickness lol. The games where you are moving around in the dark and things jump out at you and you have to fight them off are genuinely very scary, to me anyway.

I think the sexual assault thing is more in the virtual bars and shops that Mr Zuckerberg has planned for us. You can imagine that some people would get a vicarious thrill from standing close to a girls avatar just to upset them, or just generally being a nuisance to others. As Mudsticks says, they don't need to assault you in real life - the violation of your personal space, the scaring you, the intimidation, will be enough to get them off.

It's a opportunity for antisocial behaviour without the consequences of a smack in the face or visit from the police. Hence the 'exclusion ring' being introduced.

VR porn can't be far off.
 
Last edited:

shep

Guru
You don't feel anything but you'll see the boxing glove come right in your face. If you were stabbed you might see blood on the floor. It doesn't hurt but it's anxiety inducing as it's all right in your face, up close.

There are videos on You Tube if you google VR boxing.

One of my kids has the Occulus kit. It's a very immersive experience but I find it overwhelming. I can do the stuff where you sit still and throw paper planes around, but as soon as I start walking about I get motion sickness lol. The games where you are moving around in the dark and things jump out at you and you have to fight them off are genuinely very scary, to me anyway.

I think the sexual assault thing is more in the virtual bars and shops that Mr Zuckerberg has planned for us. You can imagine that some people would get a vicarious thrill from standing close to a girls avatar just to upset them, or just generally being a nuisance to others. As Mudsticks says, they don't need to assault you in real life - the violation of your personal space, the scaring you, the intimidation, will be enough to get them off.

It's a opportunity for antisocial behaviour without the consequences of a smack in the face or visit from the police. Hence the 'exclusion ring' being introduced.

VR porn can't be far off.

This conversation surely can't be serious?

FFS what's the world coming to!

'Violation of personal space' they're sitting in the house with a pair of goggles on, sad, sad people.
 
OP
OP
spen666

spen666

Regular
You don't feel anything but you'll see the boxing glove come right in your face. If you were stabbed you might see blood on the floor. It doesn't hurt but it's anxiety inducing as it's all right in your face, up close.

There are videos on You Tube if you google VR boxing.

One of my kids has the Occulus kit. It's a very immersive experience but I find it overwhelming. I can do the stuff where you sit still and throw paper planes around, but as soon as I start walking about I get motion sickness lol. The games where you are moving around in the dark and things jump out at you and you have to fight them off are genuinely very scary, to me anyway.

I think the sexual assault thing is more in the virtual bars and shops that Mr Zuckerberg has planned for us. You can imagine that some people would get a vicarious thrill from standing close to a girls avatar just to upset them, or just generally being a nuisance to others. As Mudsticks says, they don't need to assault you in real life - the violation of your personal space, the scaring you, the intimidation, will be enough to get them off.

It's a opportunity for antisocial behaviour without the consequences of a smack in the face or visit from the police. Hence the 'exclusion ring' being introduced.

VR porn can't be far off.

The offences [if any] that cover your scenario would seem to be under English Law at most therefore to be harassment type offences.
Obviously, jurisdictional issues would need to be resolved first as to where incident occurred.
 

newfhouse

first class cockwomble
This conversation surely can't be serious?

FFS what's the world coming to!

'Violation of personal space' they're sitting in the house with a pair of goggles on, sad, sad people.

Do you  ever stop to ponder?
 

AuroraSaab

Well-Known Member
The offences [if any] that cover your scenario would seem to be under English Law at most therefore to be harassment type offences.
Obviously, jurisdictional issues would need to be resolved first as to where incident occurred.

I don't think it could ever be a criminal offence to bother someone (or worse) in cyberspace, for obvious reasons. That doesn't mean it wouldn't be uncomfortable to have someone following you around a virtual reality park or continually coming up to you, or saying aggressive or sexualised comments to you. This happens in online games anyway though and people either self-exclude to avoid it or the aggressors eventually get banned. It would be more unpleasant in vr because it's an immersive, more real, experience but the outcome will be the same. Software makers will take steps to make the environment safe or people won't take part, because ultimately profits come from high numbers of participants.
 

BoldonLad

Old man on a bike. Not a member of a clique.
Location
South Tyneside
I don't think it could ever be a criminal offence to bother someone (or worse) in cyberspace, for obvious reasons. That doesn't mean it wouldn't be uncomfortable to have someone following you around a virtual reality park or continually coming up to you, or saying aggressive or sexualised comments to you. This happens in online games anyway though and people either self-exclude to avoid it or the aggressors eventually get banned. It would be more unpleasant in vr because it's an immersive, more real, experience but the outcome will be the same. Software makers will take steps to make the environment safe or people won't take part, because ultimately profits come from high numbers of participants.

A bizarre thought, perhaps, but, there may be a market for such "games", perhaps, we will end up having VR Games vetted or censored, and, age ratings applied, rather like films?

Maybe there is already such a scheme?, I am not a Computer games fan.
 

All uphill

Regular
I'm a bit rusty on this but fairly sure no contact has to be made for an assault to have been committed; so I think that it could be successfully argued that an act of violence by me, via my avatar, against you, via your avatar could constitute an assault.

It's a bit like me throwing something at you. I can't expect to successfully argue that it was the object that hit you, not me. Also if that object hits your cycle helmet I wouldn't get far arguing that it didn't hit you, just your helmet.
 

AuroraSaab

Well-Known Member
No actual injury occurs though. The object you throw doesn't actually exist; neither does the cycle helmet which it hits. Nor does the head inside the cycle helmet.
 
Top Bottom