More

    Metaverse predator caught in first-ever virtual sexual assault case. Here’s how rape culture is spilling into VR.

    Published on:

    Trigger Warning: This story mentions physical and virtual sexual assault.

    British police are currently investigating the rape of a minor in the Metaverse, the first sexual assault case of its kind.

    of The Daily Mail reported on January 1st. A girl, believed to be under the age of 16, was wearing a virtual reality headset and in an online room with other users when her avatar was gang-raped online by multiple adult men. Although she was not physically harmed, the official said She is experiencing the same psychological trauma that occurs when someone is raped in the real world.

    According to Wiredthe metaverse does not refer to one specific platform, but rather a way of interacting with technology, including virtual reality and augmented reality, similar to the concept of “cyberspace.” Tech Target describes the Metaverse as the next iteration of the Internetwhere we experience a shared, immersive virtual space.

    Although this concept is new to some consumers, experts predict that these virtual worlds will grow in large numbers.research by Pew Research Center and elon university We'll find out in 2022 54% of 624 technology experts, innovators, researchers, and developers By 2040, the company says it expects the Metaverse to become a more sophisticated, fully immersive, and well-functioning aspect of daily life for 500 million people around the world.

    Actual assault and victim blaming

    Psychotherapist, Vice President of Metaverse Research TurnipNina Jane Patel documented her own virtual assault experience. medium, which is very similar to that of the British minor. Ms Patel described being verbally and sexually assaulted by three or four male avatars and effectively gang-raped by her meta avatar. horizon worldformerly Horizon Venues.

    According to Patel, immersive experiences and embodiment are tied to the user's avatar, which is essentially the user's virtual body. Users feel similar sensations towards their virtual body and environment..

    “When you put on a headset and enter a virtual world, you're interacting from head to toe with other avatars within the virtual environment. This technology has evolved to feel very authentic and natural. It feels and is perceived as something very real,” says Patel. wrote in the Telegraph After my latest case broke.

    Patel also says: She questioned the validity of her experience and experienced victim-blaming reactions.told her that she should have taken off her headset or that it was natural to do so – What many rape victims face in the real world.

    It's the same old victim-blaming narrative that plays out in the real world, the same thing as “don't wear miniskirts and high heels.” she wrote. “I knew what I was feeling, but I started doubting myself. I must have done something wrong. I was in the wrong space. I clicked the wrong button. I started blaming myself. Maybe this brave girl who reported the incident to the police did as well.”

    This is not new; rare phenomenonaccording to VR research project led by behavioral scientists jessica outlaw49% of women who identify as regular users report being sexually harassed at least once.

    Users who reported virtual assaults date back to 2016. VR is now more readily available to consumers. In October 2016, female gamers used this name Jordan Bellamia also tries medium Describe in detail your experience of being virtually molested QuiVran archery game.

    “I was actually molested once, in broad daylight at Starbucks. I know what it feels like when it actually happens…the shock and disgust I felt. [in QuiVr] It wasn’t that far away.” she told CNN.

    internet and children

    There is constant debate about how the internet and social media affect children. For example, the current '10 year old kids at sephoraIn a conversation with , she wonders if social media is causing young girls to grow up too quickly by consuming makeup and skin care videos posted by their favorite influencers.

    In May, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issues advisory warning Regarding the impact of social media on children's mental health, he said there was less evidence to suggest that social media is safe than the danger it poses to children's mental health.

    “Children are exposed to harmful content on social media, from violent and sexual content to bullying and harassment. Valuable face-to-face time with family and friends is being undermined. We are in the midst of a national youth mental health crisis, and social media is not a key factor in that crisis. We are concerned that this is the case, and we must address this issue immediately.” He said.

    Internal investigation Implemented by Facebook in 2021 – and exposed by the Wall Street Journal – The company has indicated it recognizes that it exacerbates body image issues for one in three teenage girls.

    But immersion takes these experiences to the next level. The lines between physical and virtual worlds become blurred And companies are banking on children's interest in technology.

    Meta is currently marketing to a younger audience. In April 2023, Meta's leading VR social app will launch Horizon Worlds age requirement lowered from 18 to 13which was lowered two months later. Recommended age for VR headsets According to 13:00 to 10:00 U.S. Public Interest Research Group Educational Fund.

    These are still under consideration The early days of virtual reality,only 29% of US teens now own a VR headsetbut the Institute of Engineering Technology predicts that: The next generation of kids will spend more than 2 hours and 45 minutes per day in VRtotaling up to 10 years over a lifetime.

    A bipartisan group of 42 U.S. Attorneys General came together to sue Mehta in Octoberclaimed that Facebook and Instagram are addictive and aimed at children.

    “America is at a difficult time right now. We are experiencing polarization the likes of which we haven't seen since the Civil War,” said Tennessee Attorney General. Jonathan Scumetti said at a press conference. “And I think it says something that all of the attorneys general from both parties, people who often vocally and openly oppose it, are coming together to move in the same direction.”

    Related

    Leave a Reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here