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Tuesday, October 25, 2016


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Mary Moore

This article sickness me to no end!this whole article you have written is to stereotypically make the male the aggressor and the female the helpless victim!
In this country you have record numbers of women being exposed for being rapists and child molesters while a friend of mine was not only raped by his mother but later molested by several aunts.myself having had a niece thru marriage who committed suicide last November after years of being molested by her mother who ironically is still allowed to not only care for her other children but runs a daycare for disabled children out of her home.

As if many women in SL using Male avatars tricking females into unwanted relationships has never happened.

As if no such thing has female grievers in SL who will grope any female they can to get a reaction(biggest griever groups King Goon & Goon Squad are almost entirely operated by real women)

Do not think for a minute the thousands of women out there who would love to live out fanties of sexually assaulting others will stop even in VR when they get a chance.
only 10% of rapist and child molesters are female out of the tens of millions, that still is a high amount! who often go unnoticed with gender being a clock and shield, that at some point in VR will feel out the vulnerable to feed those selfish hungers.

Jonah's whale

She's in the game to KILL people...

She "gets groped" and can't find her LOG-off button... and this is news? why?

Patchouli Woollahra

@Mary: Don't use "anybody can be a sexual predator, not just men" to excuse or divert attention away from the current issue of toxic masculinity potentially affecting future VR experiences for women. For many societies, the main issue is that this seems to be happening more with men as the aggressor, taking advantage of their generally 'superior' position in patriarchies. Gazing as a form of power is already discomfiting - a woman having their body and gender roamed over by more than just eyeballs takes it to a new depth.

@Jonah: Congratulations, you have steely nerves and a calm disposition that it turns out you can't expect most people to have. Most VR systems tend not to have easy and obvious "Get Me Out Of Here" buttons or gestures anywhere. VR developers should take note of this and work into their designs some method of seeking shelter that can be used even in dire panic and loss of mental sense, but right now, it's early days for the new tide of this medium - I mean, for god's sake, they're still not rendering our nose as a depth and measurement marker!


It should go without saying that there should be fast and easy options for anyone who believes they are being harassed in any way in a game environment.
But having been at the sharp end of complaints for many years in SL as an RP sim owner, with complaints ranging from the pathetic, to rape, I would also add that nothing is as simple as it first seems. For every genuine complaint there are far more that are loaded with personal issues, personal vendettas, serious psychological problems and just crazy people with nothing better to do than spend their days living out dramatic fantasies. You would have to experience it to believe just how far some sad people will go to get revenge or simply destroy another persons reputation. This makes it extremely difficult to help those with real issues, no matter how genuine your wish to do so may be. As unpopular as I know it is to say, I could never quite understand why when being attacked the victim did not just switch off the machine, at least initially. Taking a “no one is going to spoil my experience” attitude and sticking it out always without fail pours gas on the fire. Griefers hate to be ignored. Of course after you have left the scene you must do all you can to get the offending person ejected. Personally I do not see any clear cut way to solve this issue in an open world environment. In normal games it is easy, you just make it impossible for avatars to do anything you do not want them to. But put a bunch of random people in an adult, free form RP environment, and all you can do is watch the fireworks and pick up the pieces as they fall.
I am not even sure if you can apply a real life code on to a Virtual world. Right now it is the wild west and only fit for hard core adventures, sure report what you find, but don't expect it to be polite society.

Stuart Goddard

"This sounds ludicrous to anyone who hasn't stood on that virtual reality ledge and looked down, but if you have, you might start to understand."

Couldn't she have just shortened that to "This sounds ludicrous"? Because it is actually ludicrous.

Of course she hung around like the big attention whore she is thinking, wow I'm going to blog about this for sure!!!

If someone is being annoying - and let's face it, they were being annoying....they weren't 'sexually assaulting' anyone and she was not 'sexually assaulted' - then just log off, take the headset off, whatever you have to do. God, the fact that people even use the term 'sexual assault' in this context should be offensive to people that have experienced real, physical sexual assault.

Patchouli Woollahra

@stuart: it's not ridiculous. years of text-based MUSHing have had similar issues crop up followed by work on preventing recurrences of a similar nature (in terms of forced interaction without prior consent). It would very much help if developers of VR worlds stepped into these environments despite their lack of shine or even basic visuals beyond ASCII text and look for inspiration instead of merely writing them off for their simple feel.

When the only thing you have to describe a world and its interactions is text, it seems only natural that you would put more care into descriptions and interactions using this text. It may not necessarily always be the case, but with so many text-based MOOs and MUSHes still around and active as a niche, it might be good to examine what they have done right since that witchdoctor's rape attempt two decades ago.


I don't understand "forced interaction without prior consent" the only way something like this could happen is if the creators of the game made such a process possible.
Lets take a classic text based RP game.
I log in, begin RP and some idiot begins to unload sexual RP on my avatar.
At what point am I not in control
At what point can I not simply take off the headset, turn off the computer.
Sure I cannot stop the idiot at that specific moment.
But how can it ever be made possible to stop an unpredictable event before it even happens in an environment that allows free access and posting in an open world.
The only way is to sterilize the world which you create. You make it impossible to say certain words of perform certain actions.
What people ask of developers is to create a society which does not even exist in reality. If you walk down a street you can never guarantee 100% that some crazy individual will not sexually harass you in some way.
If what you want is that the new VR world is to be totally devoid of the inherent problems that exist in reality, then you best prepare for a major disappointment.
Or maybe create your own perfect VR world where the things you dislike are removed.

Amanda Dallin

A lot of the discussion here is based on false assumptions. She didn't claim she was "sexually assaulted". She said she was groped. She also did log off. The description as a sexual assault was in the title in NWN not in the original article. Maybe that was in reference to the 20 year old incident also discussed.

The only place she mentions assault was the next to last paragraph:
"As VR becomes increasingly real, how do we decide what crosses the line from an annoyance to an actual assault? Eventually we're going to need rules to tame the wild, wild west of VR multiplayer. Or is this going to be yet another space that women do not venture into?"

If VR is to ever be as big as many of it's proponents are saying it will, they can't make half the population uncomfortable with it. I don't see where all VR experiences should have the same rules but those that want to be more than just a small niche of the gaming community will have to have standards of behavior just like any public space. The discussion will need to be how to do that in an environment with a large degree of anonymity.

Hot for Teacher!!

@Patchouli The only thing seen was "Blah Blah Blah", It's very obvouse your unmarried while having a complex against men.'back to the article.the rules will be set on whatever world you visit!, VR will be segragated, just life the real world.-_-


As in any debate about men and women we always assume that there is a clear definition of what men and women are, and what they like and dislike. Obviously any man who openly admits to being a tyrant who uses his position in society to sexually assaults women, when and where he pleases, would be automatically shunned by all women. Or, maybe not. Maybe he instead might stand for president of the USA, and find himself surrounded by placard waving women defending his right as a man to talk and act as he pleases. Over my 10 years in SL I met many women who were in there specifically to break all the taboos of what I believed women allowed or wanted, far to many in fact to put it down to them all just being a crazy fringe section of society. We should as you say have standards. But that will not in any way stop male looking avatars harassing female looking avatars. You can only ever act after the event unless you just assume all male avatars to be sexual predators. Which may well be right.

Dork & Mindy

"You can only ever act after the event unless you just assume all male avatars to be sexual predators. Which may well be right."

Then if what you have said is to be true, it would fashion itself out to show "Hamlet" in that same catagory being a "sexual predator"!!!

is that the true reason for this blog/forum,Mr Hamlet is taken defensless avatars who comment here, into secret chat rooms,performing unspeakable acts through his VR headset!! on those helpless doe-eyed piles of pixels.

Amanda Dallin

The difference is someone who wants to break taboos is consenting to whatever. The issue is someone forcing themselves on another. Why should I have to log out of a VR experience because someone wants to chase me with a virtual penis? This isn't a male/female thing. It's a bullying thing.


If someone is chasing you with a virtual penis it is because creators of the game you are in have allowed it. Of course it should not be allowed, and we as human beings should have grown beyond such pathetic behavior by now. But some of us haven't. And these people doing the chasing, do you imagine them to have signs on them saying pervert or something. No they look and act just like me and you in RL. All I am saying is that if you intend to open a Virtual world that allows people to build giant virtual penises then you will get the inevitable closet chaser turn up to demonstrate them. You cannot run with the deer and hunt with the hounds. you either create a very restrictive world that dictates exactly what can and cannot be seen and do. Or you create an open world with very few boundaries (like SL) and suffer the inevitable occasional giant penis attack. About the only thing I ever did admire about SL was that it allowed me the freedom to create almost anything at all I could dream up. we once just for the hell of it created a great looking disgustingly OTO BDSM sim and opened it to the public with suitable warnings. Where else in the old or new Virtual world order could I have done that without getting ripped to bits by the righteous. It kind of reminds me of that free speech saying "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Just choose the kind of VR world you want to live in, but make sure you are not trying to impose your idea of freedom on the other side.


question: is it possible to design avatars with user controlled permissions, so only "allowed" players can "physically" interact with you?

Amanda Dallin

The questions brought up by this article aren't about allowing freedom. It's about force. No one should be free to force themselves on someone else. Society has to have some kind of controls. Virtual Reality is no different. You can create your own VR experience with your own rules or lack thereof but the audience for such will be limited.

Most of SL does have some kind of societal norms that are "policed" by the groups inhabiting the particular sim or estate of sims. That's how societies (any group of people) work. It's not a coding problem. It's a social problem and will have social solutions. In order to be the "big thing" some expect VR to become, it will have to be integrated into society with societal norms.


The kind of "attack" mentioned in this article cannot be solved by setting out social norms. that's like saying that once we got the ten commandments everything was fine. Of course VR will have it's social structure and rules of conduct. But all societies since time began also had/have their anti social elements which you deal with when they occur. You cannot create a world perfectly free of them because you will not be aware of them until they manifest. there are no ultimate solutions to anti social behavior, you just make it as difficult as you can. Every online game out there at the moment has whole teams of people who every day deal with these anti social problems, and almost all these games are a thousand times better coded and constructed against the problem than is SL. VR will be just like RL thats all it can be. do people stop using any of the other forms of social media just because there are anti social elements, not as far as I know.

Amanda Dallin

Exactly. You can't stop it without severely restricting everyone's freedom but you also can't ignore it when it happens saying "she should have just logged off" unless you don't want any women logging on in the first place.


"How could it be, when my brother-in-law has played multiplayer mode a hundred times without incident..."

'Cause guys treat each other sooooo well in online games, lol.


Here's the thing boys...if you want to make money, stop chasing away the ladies.

We have lots of things to do. Getting hassled by some loser is not at the top of the list. If you want "customers" who don't happen to have a sense of bro entitlement, then run a decent place. Treat me, the paying customer, with respect. If you can't bring yourself to tell the bullies to step back, then you don't need my business.

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