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Cyber Rape Porn Murder Death Kill

Sometimes I wake up in the morning, unsure about why I’m here. What is our purpose in life? Why do we wake up every morning? How did I get here? Yes, where is that large automobile?

Then I’m handed stuff like this, and I realize: wait a minute, there is a mission for me in life, and it is to show my disturbing lack of empathy to the world. Thanks!

(Note: link is supposed to be NWS. I’m not sure why, but there you have it. I think she talks about porn somewhere.)

This article’s Time To Dibbell: 2.47K. Pretty good, Kelly!

Rape is a crime of power, humiliation, and emotional violence. Any non-consensual kind of event like what happened to Anshe could very well cause the same sort of effect on the victim and I’m apalled that journalists would report on the incident with such obvious lack of compassion or comprehension.

Yes. Someone outside the Graef household is actually, seriously arguing that Anshe Chung was raped by flying virtual phalluses.

Let’s be perfectly clear. Ms. Chung was griefed. Something we are all familiar with in the MMO world (Psychochild covered this angle very adeptly already, so I’ll just direct you there) and despite Prokofy Neva’s profuse, multimegabyte rantings against “tekkies” to the contrary, Second Life is in fact an MMO game. Albeit one where the Time To Cock is measured in picoseconds. In fact, I fully expect an open source SL client to have a phallus ON THE LOGIN SCREEN.

So, at its core, this is a Customer Service issue, not a DMCA violation or a violation of free speech or abuse of political rights or whatever the hell else heavy breathing happens. This is the exact same problem that every MMO deals with, every day. The difference is that MMOs are designed to be griefer resistant, thanks in large part to hard-won experience that they need to be, whereas Second Life, by dint of not being a “game”, has given people tools to be more effective griefers.

But it’s certainly not rape by any definition. If it is, then flaming someone on a forum is assault and battery. Labelling it such not only laughably trivializes sexual assault, it makes discourse on how to stop griefplay in social virtual worlds – which is a problem – that much more caustic and unproductive.

The point Ms. Rued is making, when you toss aside the attacks on journalists who look askance at the Second Life community’s orgiastic debauchery, can be condensed into her closing:

Virtual worlds invite players to invest emotionally in their characters, and it only seems fair that journalists acknowledge that investment. The avatar is virtual, the player and her feelings are not.

Hurting someone’s feelings is not rape, it’s rudeness. Both are undesirable. But to confuse the issue by conflating the two makes it impossible to work towards solving either by closing off any discussion with a Godwin (or, in this case, a Dibbell).