Absurdity may have reached its peak as British police are looking into an alleged “gang rape” that occurred in a virtual reality game.
Said to be the first “probe of its kind” as far as the Metaverse is concerned, the so-called “rape” happened to the avatar of a girl under the age of 16. The girl was wearing a VR headset when her avatar was “raped by several men”, something that is not physically possible in most games.
Many will immediately suspect that the accuser (the “under 16 girl”) might be playing the victim due to her age, as there is no “rape functionality” in games (unless perhaps this was an adult game, which it wasn’t), and especially not in a Metaverse VR game.
The victim was predictably not physically harmed, but police claim she could have “suffered trauma similar to that of a rape victim”.
A senior officer associated with the case stated “there is an emotional and psychological impact on the victim” while also saying her trauma is “is longer-term than any physical injuries”.
The New York post article delivered a rather shocking paragraph that perhaps sums up the entire incident perfectly:
Still, UK authorities fear it might be impossible to prosecute under existing laws, which define sexual assault as physical touching in a sexual manner without consent. The investigation has raised questions about whether police should be using time and limited resources to investigate metaverse crimes while struggling with a substantial backlog of in-person rape cases.
As noted above, the police are considering investigating a fake crime that happened to “data” as opposed to actual rape cases. Home Secretary James Cleverly further defended the pursuit of this virtual case:
“I know it is easy to dismiss this as being not real, but the whole point of these virtual environments is they are incredibly immersive. And we’re talking about a child here, and a child has gone through sexual trauma. It will have had a very significant psychological effect and we should be very, very careful about being dismissive of this.”
Once again, it is claimed that the “victim” went through “sexual trauma”, when rape is not possible in a fictional video game that doesn’t allow it, which is almost all of them.
Cleverly also noted that a person willing to “rape a child’s avatar in a game (even though they probably had no way of knowing they were a child) may well be someone that could go on to do terrible things in the physical realm”, this is despite the fact that most video games have players committing murder and worse, in the case of sandbox games.
Lead for child protection and abuse investigation at the National Police Chiefs’ Council Ian Critchley mirrored Cleverly’s sentiment and claimed the Metaverse “creates a ‘gateway’ for predators to victimize children”.
On top of this, there have apparently been reports of “virtual sex crimes” in VR game Horizon Worlds, and a senior police investigator said the Metaverse is “rife” with “online sex crimes and other types of offenses, including virtual thefts, but so far there have been no prosecutions in the UK”.
Here’s a selection of Twitter users mocking the absurd news online: