My First Virtual Reality Groping
Jordan Belamire
1.8K339

Wow, that’s appalling. Thank you for writing honestly and in a personal voice about it.

What’s really appalling about this is that it’s not new; sexual violence in VR has been happening from the very beginnings of VR (http://www.juliandibbell.com/articles/a-rape-in-cyberspace/). The game designers knew it would happen if they paused to think about it at all. And in a private virtual world where they actually do have the complete authority, information, and technical capacity to identify assailants before they reach a victim, based on signals that should be bloody obvious, … they not only failed to do so as a routine step in game development, but released it to the public with no safeguards whatsoever.

I could not invent a more picture-perfect indictment of the enterprises, culture, and regulatory environment surrounding VR and video gaming generally (though not of course of every individual, business, or subculture therein). And, of course, of the twisted individual who treated you as a phantasmal toy rather than as a living, breathing, thinking, feeling human being with whom to collaborate in harmless play. You have my unreserved personal sympathy. And to the extent that public policy can address this category of problems—which I believe it can and should—you can count on as much effort in support of that goal as I can manage to fit into my frequently disorganized life.

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