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This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
Gropers are now finding a way to target women through the fully immersive heets of virtual reality. Writer Jordan Belamire recently wrote of her experience of virtual sexual assault. If we analyze the content of these comments, we gain insight into why these assaults — and online harassment more broadly — are occurring, and what might be done to stop them. The VR community has just become a victim of the outrage vr groping. But by far the overriding theme of the angry comments is that they accused Belamire of making a mountain out of a molehill because it was an online experience.
In this abuser-apologist world, people who complain about harassment are at fault themselves, and at times demonized as the actual problem. One commenter actually tells Belamire to turn off the game, right before likening the idea of tracking repeat offenders to the Third Reich. Video games are not just unreal playthings.
The mediating interface of a game does not make abusive behavior between two or more real people any less abusive. Slurs are still slurs; unwanted sexual advances are still both unwanted and sexual. The addition of computer graphicsa game controller, or an unfashionable heet does not render human interaction unreal. In VR specifically we confront another contradiction. The entire selling point of VR is its unparalleled simulation of vr groping.
It presents a physical, embodied experience that surrounds you, fills your senses, and is tactile in ways unlike any other video game. We should not be surprised if a simulated sexual assault, then, feels real enough in all the ways that matter.
This point was addressed head-on in a discussion about deing safer VR games at the Game Connect Asia Pacific conference in Melbourne in late October. Virtual reality is virtually real. They wrote a pointed article that explains why they not only believe Belamire but take personal responsibility for what happened to her. No matter how you activate it, the effect is instantaneous and obvious — a ripple of force expands from you, dissolving any nearby player from view, at least from your perspective, and giving you a safety zone of personal space.
This is a bold step in the right direction. It not vr groping provides an instant reprieve for harassment victims but allows them to actually embody their strength through a gesture that feels empowering. We need something more: a change of mindset. Testers should include in this ongoing process efforts to identify ways players could harm each other.
Katherine CrossPh. Sticky Header Night Mode. The rise of virtual sexual assault and cyber-groping in virtual reality gaming Being sexually harassed on the internet has reached another level By Katherine Cross Published November 11, AM EST. Related Articles.
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