$30.00
Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: Virtual Sexual Assault (and Safe Spaces) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Crypt Keeper
United States
California
flag msg tools
None shall pass!
badge
'Tis but a scratch.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
QuiVr screenshot...



Here's an interesting story concerning future shock. A woman blogger has generated some buzz by describing how she was virtually sexually assaulted. It seems her brother-in-law was showing her and her husband the VR game QuiVr. When it was her turn to play in practice mode she was hooked...

Quote:
Turning around 360 degrees, I reveled in the snowy medieval fortress of a game called QuiVr, where you play an archer shooting down the walking dead.

After some instruction, I found my groove with the gameplay. My bow and arrow strung taut, I let an arrow fly and it punctured a demon right through the skull. Nailed it.

Never had I experienced virtual reality that felt so real. I was smitten. I never wanted to leave this world.

Once she got the hang of it, she switched to multi-player mode and then, well...

Quote:
In between a wave of zombies and demons to shoot down, I was hanging out next to BigBro442, waiting for our next attack. Suddenly, BigBro442’s disembodied helmet faced me dead-on. His floating hand approached my body, and he started to virtually rub my chest.

“Stop!” I cried. I must have laughed from the embarrassment and the ridiculousness of the situation. Women, after all, are supposed to be cool, and take any form of sexual harassment with a laugh. But I still told him to stop.

This goaded him on, and even when I turned away from him, he chased me around, making grabbing and pinching motions near my chest. Emboldened, he even shoved his hand toward my virtual crotch and began rubbing.

There I was, being virtually groped in a snowy fortress with my brother-in-law and husband watching.

She tried to run away from him but BigBro was an experienced player and wherever she ran, there he was groping. In frustration she tore off her headset. Total time in multi-player mode? Three minutes.

Of course, this isn't anything new. Cyber stalking has been around a few decades now, and even BGG has had some issues over the years. In video games the problem seems to have increased with the addition of voice communication so that, like the victim above, there's no doubt when a player is female. There was study awhile back (I think it was on a thread here) showing how a female player (with voice comm) was treated by male gamers. They either wanted nothing to do with her or went out of their ways to impress her. These two responses of "Get Lost" and "Your 'Purdy'" seem to be the first and second gears of the male gamer's psyche. Most males, however, simply shift out of the lower id gears and up into the civilized super-ego high end. But what happens when a male gamer gets stuck in reverse, his inner demons unleashed by the anonymity of online play? It's bad enough for a female to be chased around by a figure on a monitor but, experiencing such a situation while immersed in virtual reality raises the stakes to a whole new level. As you can see from the picture at the top, QuiVr player avatars are minimalistic at best. But remember, VR is just getting started. As it becomes more and more immersive and realistic, such encounters will become more and more intense, even traumatic.

So what to do? Can laws be passed? Is virtual sexual assault even sexual assault? The arguing has already begun and it's an interesting dilemma when viewed from a hectic combat game perspective. After all, everyone is jostling around with each other. What if a healer needs to lay hands on a female character during a heated battle. From her point of view it could be awkward. What happens if you have an account and a friend or family member likes to go groping female players on it when you're not around and then YOU get a message from the moderators? How about revenge? Suppose an angry ex has a friend get as close to you as possible and scream in her headset for you to quit touching her?

Obviously the first line of defense is moderators. The QuiVr designers admitted the prospect of virtual sexual assault hadn’t really crossed their minds when programming the game. They have, however quickly come up with a solution...
Quote:
Now they have rolled out a “forcefield” which allows women to create their own “safe space” whilst playing the game.

This will stop the player from viewing players who come too close to them and silence anyone who’s being particularly pervy.

The games designers wrote: "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.

Note that the person dissolves only from the female's point of view. So a girl with a forcefield up could still hear a lot of snickering on her comm and notice that everyone is staring at her and not realize what was happening from everyone else's view. Another solution would be to have all characters be the same sex and/or use voice modulation to disguise everyone's sex--sort of bringing things back to the days of neutral text comm only. But are any of these solutions good or fair? Can't a female gamer play a female character using her own female voice and not be harassed? Just have fun?

The things you don't think about when a new tech goes into wide release eh?

[Here is the full blog entry if you're interested.]

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mac Mcleod
United States
houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Everquest had moderators and half the "women" were males. And a good quarter of the "men" were females.

One of our female paladins was horribly embarrassed when someone outed them as a male in real life.

You'd also get some wildly inappropriate messages when someone typed in the wrong chat window. I swear, sometimes I think 1 in 10 people were cybersexing with 1 or more other people on raids. I played a little 2' gnome but it became clear playing a rugged tall strong male avatar translated to real life hookups.

There were also a *lot* of real life hookups (and at least one marriage that produced 2 kids!) from that game.

---

Quiver needs to use intelligent invisible moderators and they need to suspend and then ban people who behave badly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walking on eggshells is not my style
United States
North Pole
Alaska
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Virtual sexual assault?

In a a game about killing, slaughter and mayhem? Should there be laws against virtual killing? I don't know the game, but you can probably steal shit, rob people, vandalize and trespass. Should congress get involved?
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Crypt Keeper
United States
California
flag msg tools
None shall pass!
badge
'Tis but a scratch.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
maxo-texas wrote:
I played a little 2' gnome but it became clear playing a rugged tall strong male avatar translated to real life hookups.

Hey, I played a gnome in EverCrack as well. Now that you metion it, there wasn't much action in the main gnome zone although I did enjoy tinkering (which sounds a lot kinkier than it was.)

ImaSokpupet wrote:
How can you sexually assault an inanimate object? Are the makers of American Pie past the statute of limitations?

Koldfoot wrote:
Virtual sexual assault?

In a a game about killing, slaughter and mayhem? Should there be laws against virtual killing? I don't know the game, but you can probably steal shit, rob people, vandalize and trespass. Should congress get involved?

You guys hit on the crux of the issue. What is real? Is it live or the matrix? Consider that engineers (especially for the porn industry) are frantically trying to add the sense of touch to the VR landscape.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mac Mcleod
United States
houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
At the very least it is harassing players in a way that will drive a large group of potential players from the game.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walking on eggshells is not my style
United States
North Pole
Alaska
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
maxo-texas wrote:
At the very least it is harassing players in a way that will drive a large group of potential players from the game.


We have a Bingo.

Something for designers to consider and not the courts.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stuart
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gialmere wrote:
They have, however quickly come up with a solution...[/url]
Quote:
Now they have rolled out a “forcefield” which allows women to create their own “safe space” whilst playing the game.

This will stop the player from viewing players who come too close to them and silence anyone who’s being particularly pervy.

The games designers wrote: "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.

Note that the person dissolves only from the female's point of view. So a girl with a forcefield up could still hear a lot of snickering on her comm and notice that everyone is staring at her and not realize what was happening from everyone else's view. Another solution would be to have all characters be the same sex and/or use voice modulation to disguise everyone's sex--sort of bringing things back to the days of neutral text comm only. But are any of these solutions good or fair? Can't a female gamer play a female character using her own female voice and not be harassed? Just have fun?

The things you don't think about when a new tech goes into wide release eh?

[Here is the full blog entry if you're interested.]



This presents an even more advanced solution: give the female player the power to 'kill' any other player who comes inside her forcefield, once it's up. This killing would knock the perp out of the game for a fixed period of time -- say, two hours.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's weird they would only give the forcefield and silencing powers to women players. I guess they're just being short-sighted again.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
maxo-texas wrote:
At the very least it is harassing players in a way that will drive a large group of potential players from the game.
Koldfoot wrote:

We have a Bingo.

Something for designers to consider and not the courts.
I played in some FREE kind at one time, while you had to AMASS a fortune in order to BUY some decent outfit and have it shown as being worn. Otherwise, you would appear on screen in some 'raggedy tatters' of clothing within the lower level outfits. Then one day, all over the place there were characters of both Male and Female sort ONLY in theirs 'undies', bereft of anything else. They figured to continue as this UNTIL they could afford something that would appear for apparel worn, instead of the 'raggedy' stuff.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Bartosh

Sunnyvale
California
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
quozl wrote:
It's weird they would only give the forcefield and silencing powers to women players. I guess they're just being short-sighted again.


Er... I mean, while the intent is stated to be for helping girls, it is more that they care and deal with this shit.

I really don't see how the tech is going to stop men from using it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.