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Outrage of the Day: VR Sexual Assault.

 
 
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 08:12 am
The last time I played a online multiplayer video game, I was stabbed repeatedly, blown up with an IED, and shot in the head. One time, after I was killed convincingly (I am not very good) the player who killed me then humiliated my online character. He came and had simulated sex on my lifeless corpse as I watched helplessly as I was waiting to spawn again. My 15 year old son explained to me that this is called "teabagging" and is pretty routine. Did this traumatize me? No. It was a little annoying, but it's not real.

This woman is complaining because some random guy made his fake character grope her fake character's breasts. She was traumatized by this. This story has now made CNN. Tell me how this isn't ridiculous.

https://mic.com/articles/157415/my-first-virtual-reality-groping-sexual-assault-in-vr-harassment-in-tech-jordan-belamire

Quote:
Remember that little digression I told you about how the hundred-foot drop looked so convincing? Yeah. Guess what. The virtual groping feels just as real. Of course, you're not physically being touched, just like you're not actually one hundred feet off the ground, but it's still scary as hell.


Sure, this was boorish behavior, maybe from a 15 year old. But in a virtual world where you get your brains ripped from you skull and eaten someone touching your breast traumatizes you? Shooting someone in the head is allowed in these games because it isn't real. Dropping off of hundred-foot drops is permitted in these games because it isn't real. That is the point. It isn't real.

This woman was probably playing this game with 15 year old boys. She is the adult here. Yes, boorish insulting behavior. But being offensive is not a crime.

This is not sexual assault any more than shooting someone in the head in a video game is murder.

This is an example of where political correctness overreacts to artistic expression.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 4,189 • Replies: 79

 
Baldimo
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 11:34 am
@maxdancona,
Back when I played Halo 3 online, I used to get teabagged at least 15 times a night. I'm pretty sure I had more "balls" in my face during that time then a porn star.

Did I consider it sexual assault? Nope, I got even in the next game and had my whole crew teabag the person after I stuck a grenade to their face! BTW, my ex-wife and another guys wife used to play with us, when it was found out they were ladies, they were attacked even more, good thing for the ladies they were really really good gamers and were able to execute their own "taco dips" against their dead foes.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 11:58 am
@Baldimo,
There is an interesting social question here. Where do people have the right to "safe spaces" where they are guaranteed to not be offended? We (as a society) have decided that workplaces are safe... you don't have the right to offend someone at work based on race, gender or religion.

But we also have the First Amendment that protects your right to be offensive in public spaces.

Some spaces are appealing because they not safe. The world of rap depends on freedom of expression that includes violence, political upheaval and misogyny. This is the reason why that this is an important cultural art form. The response to the offense is more expression (there are powerful female voices in rap). You can't censor this "space" without destroying it.

There is a battle on colleges about whether classrooms should be safe spaces. I am on the side that safety is in direct conflict with education. Education is about questioning and challenging ideas. Education can not take place in a safe space. Many educators and students agree with me.

Video games are another space that thrives on danger and offense. You can't shoot people in real life. You can shoot people in video games. There are all sorts of things that you can imagine, express and act out in a video game that you can't in real life. Of course the same can be said for literature.

I think for this woman to enter the video game world (which has never been a safe space) and demand that she not be offended is not a reasonable thing to do. Of course a woman can enter this world (and many enjoy doing just that) but they, like anyone else, understand that they are entering a space that is designed to appeal to aggression, freedom and expression where many of the participants act like 14 year olds because they are 14 year olds.

That is why I think this outrage is ridiculous.


contrex
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 01:52 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
But we also have the First Amendment that protects your right to be offensive in public spaces.

"We"? Is this a US-only web forum? Where I live you certainly don't have that right. Recently the Lord Mayor of Manchester (who is openly gay) was abused at a Justin Beiber gig in the city by 2 women, who called him a "dirty faggot" etc. The incident is being treated as a hate crime by the local police. And quite right too. In another incident a famous sportsman who makes a living from after-dinner speeches and so-called "comedy routines" humiliated his black security guard, by asking him: "Can you smile please, because I can't see you". He was charged with using racially aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, pleaded guilty and was fined £1,000 (about $1200). Again, quite right.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:03 pm
@Baldimo,
Have you been teabagged in real life?
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:07 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
This is an example of where political correctness overreacts to artistic expression.

Er.... artistic?
Baldimo
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:10 pm
@ehBeth,
Nope, but I almost got caught with the "Ranger sit-up" once. Have you?
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:11 pm
@maxdancona,
The problem is, in my opinion, is that what constitutes offensive verbal behavior has changed over the decades, and seems to be getting to the point where a dictionary of offensive terms may have to be published, and even taught country-wide, if all people are not to be offended.

An example, in the South it can still be considered acceptable to ask someone, "Are you Jew?" (Just like asking someone if they are Protestant or Catholic). However, many people wanting to not be offensive would ask, "Are you a Jew?" And, the evolving sensitivity of many Jews (at least in nyc) would appreciate the question be phrased as, "Are you Jewish?" (since "Jew" has be an epithet in itself historically).

I once heard/read that only WASPs do not get offended when a joke uses them as the butt of the joke. That could be because their self-esteem is on the top of the self-esteem food chain, so to speak. The rest of us are hypersensitive. But, if one knows of offensive verbal language being directed to one's own group, then hearing a hypersensitive reaction could afford someone a moment of gratuitous schadenfreude. Naturally, there is a tipping point where "black humor" goes beyond the pale for some, especially when the perpetrator is outside the "in" group of recipients of the offensive behavior. For example, I have heard Jews (aka, Jewish people) tell the joke of two Jews waiting in line to go into the gas chamber in Nazi Germany. Being a lovely spring day in Poland, one Jew started to whistle a song from his childhoood. The other Jew said, "Shhhhh! The guards don't like whistling."

My point is what is offensive can be based on who is saying the offensive verbiage. If it is one who "should" not broach the verbiage, it is offensive, but someone from the same background can be considered, perhaps, to just be making a poor attempt at humor. We have differing kindling points for being offended. And, as an aside, once upon a time, when we valued stoicism, many person was proud of the inability to be offended. That also is, in my opinion, a requirement to remain in a job, beyond the honeymoon period afforded a new employee (could be a test by management to see if one is worth keeping as a long term employee?).

I'm sure you understand the depth of insight in this posting.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  5  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:18 pm
@maxdancona,
While it may not be direct contact assault, it is still a form of sexual assault and by allowing and encouraging people to engage in this sort of behavior, you are approving such conduct and to plenty of folks, the younger and more impressionable in particular, this can and often does send a message that similar activity is okay with actual breathing individuals, not just their imaginary and often asinine computerized pals.

If you believe this to he the proper way to raise a child, then the future is truly doomed.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:23 pm
@Baldimo,
If you had been tea-bagged in real life, do you think you'd be more conscious of it as a concern in a game?

___

I'm curious as exposure to things can make people more sensitive to them in other settings (lots of studies going back to at least the 1950's on this phenomenon).
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:36 pm
@ehBeth,
wheres a taser when you need one??
Taze his balls. Guaranteed that he wont have a "cuppa tea" for the rest of his life.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:36 pm
@Sturgis,
Do you feel the same way about the fact that people are shooting each other in these games?

There is a lot of literature where people do pretty nasty things to each other, including rape, murder and slavery. Is protecting readers from the imaginary worlds in literature and different than protecting gamers from the imaginary worlds in games?
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:43 pm
@contrex,
In the US the second case involving a Black security guard would probably be prosecutable because a security guard is covered by employment law.

The first instance is not a legal case, nor should it be.

What would stop Donald Trump from suing someone for calling him a bigot? Of course you could go to court to argue that Trump is actually a "bigot", but it would be a legal process equal to proving that the Lord Mayor isn't actually a "dirty faggot". What would happen is that these cases would be decided by the majority sensibility of the time... something that I don't think is a good thing.

I think the Free Speech protections in the US are a good thing.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:46 pm
@DrewDad,
Do you really want to define art DrewDad? There is a lot of good art that is offensive. Some might argue that the best art should be offensive.

I am not saying that this type of artistic expression in video games is good art... but there is no question that the creative expression in video games is art.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:47 pm
@maxdancona,
The weird thing to me is that they built this behavior into the game.

The tea-bagging move, especially, has to be a keyboard shortcut or something. Or is it just crouch while standing over a corpse?
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:48 pm
@maxdancona,
Any game is a work of art, sure.

Groping someone, even a virtual character, is not a form of artistic expression I'm familiar with, though.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:53 pm
@DrewDad,
"Tea-bagging" in a video game is not a keyboard shortcut. It is "crouch-stand-crouch-stand" repeatedly while moving the joystick over the corpse. It is taking advantage of the flexibility of the game to do something that I am pretty sure the game designers didn't envision. My pre-teens thought it was funny. I bet yours did too.

The best games are open worlds. You provide a lot of flexibility to players in worlds that are as open to them. What they do in these fictional worlds is up to them. If you play games frequented by 14 year olds, you should expect behavior common to 14 year olds.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 02:54 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
Groping someone, even a virtual character, is not a form of artistic expression I'm familiar with, though.


Did you read the George R. R. Martin books? There are lots of virtual characters groped (and worse) in the virtual world he created. Most people consider this work a form of artistic expression.
0 Replies
 
revelette2
 
  2  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 03:10 pm
I think both shooting and groping of virtual players shouldn't be encouraged, terrible art, both. However, it is free country and people are free to engage in virtual world games at their own risk. Are the risk spelled out before a person plays? Personally a person couldn't pay me to engage in any of it.
0 Replies
 
Baldimo
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2016 03:17 pm
@ehBeth,
Quote:
If you had been tea-bagged in real life, do you think you'd be more conscious of it as a concern in a game?


No I wouldn't, it's a game, it isn't real.
 

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