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Hello everyone ! 

I am a psychology student and I am conducting a study on violence (and more precisely rape) in Second Life. 

Have you ever been the victim of violence or inappropriate sexual content on this platform ? If so, would you accept to testimony about it anonymously in order to help me collect more data about this issue and raise awareness about the emotional consequences ? Of course, your testimony will only be used for academic purpose and your names (even your avatar names) will never appear somewhere. 

This study does not criticize Second Life, it only suggests that it is a context in which violence may occur, just as "real life". 

Thank you for reading this anyway ! For those who don't feel like talking about it, I just want you to know that it is not your fault and that things will be okay ! :) 

Feel free to message me on this forum !

EDIT : If you decide to give this a shot and have a real clinical conversation with me, you will first have to sign some documents that attest that you agree on the terms and conditions. I repeat it, everything is anonymous. In private messages, you will be given the name of the University, such as my name and contact that are all certified. 

 

Edited by BatGirlMeow
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I am not sure exactly what you are asking.  It is not possible to physically rape someone in SL.  There are people who role play it willingly and there are people who consider general griefing like bumping or shooting flames at someone rape, or possibly newbies who are tricked into sitting on poseballs.

Hopefully you will find someone who immerses themselves so fully in their avatar that they might not consider clicking the little red X in the corner to close the viewer or wouldn't think to turn off RLV when logging back in.  Mostly the "violence" and "rape" I see in SL is consensual.

 

Edited by Cinnamon Mistwood
spelling - ugh!
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1 minute ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

There is no REAL rape or violence in SL - just lots of pretend stuff here.

There's no real human incineration here either. I can't describe just how much that vexes me.

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1 minute ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

There's no real human incineration here either. I can't describe just how much that vexes me.

But we can pretend to feel the heat!

*points to a broom and dust pan to sweep away the ashes of my unclean soul*

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30 minutes ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

Hopefully you will find someone who immerses themselves so fully in their avatar that they might not consider clicking the little red X in the corner to close the viewer or wouldn't think to turn off RLV when logging back in.

I'd rather hope (as I suspect you would too) that BatGirlMeow finds nobody here is susceptible to the kind of emotional harm at issue. It's hard to imagine not considering clicking that little red X, but we know it happens. And when it does, I have to wonder if SL isn't a harmful thing in and of itself to those people.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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3 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I'd rather hope (as I suspect you would too) that BatGirl Meow finds nobody here is susceptible to the kind of emotional harm at issue. It's hard to imagine not considering clicking that little red X, but we know it happens. And when it does, I have to wonder if SL isn't a harmful thing in and of itself to those people.

I hope no one is susceptible t that kind of emotional harm, but just to help the OP out:

When I was 1 month into SL I met a very lonely avatar named Quinn (not saying his last name)  I was tricked onto a pose ball thinking it was dancing.  As I sat there not quite figuring out how to "stand" and watching my prim skirt fly all around and watching another avatar rutting like an elk while we were both fully clothed, I teleported away to some random place and was still animating at the infohub I landed in.  Well!  I was naive enough not to realize what kind of people are found in the dark corners of SL. 

Education happens quickly here. 

A month or 2 later I made a friend who gave me a necklace.  Pretty little diamond one.  When I put it on all my clothes and hair detached and I stood there naked.  I did not realize that it was the necklace and quickly attached everything again with an "outfit".  A bit embarrassing. I figured out it was the necklace when I was alone under the sea changing and tried the necklace again (2 more times it took for the realization to hit! So maybe MY education was a bit slow)  HAHAHA!  

I feel for people like me that log in with no real idea of what they can find here.  Never did I consider it rape or violence.  It was just my own ignorance in thinking SL was filled with "normal people" like I meet everyday.  Now I am grateful for the people that are different from me.  I can even enjoy the company of Quinn.

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I would consider rape to be any sex act done to another when the other does not consent to it, so consensual rape is not possible.I have however had SL experiences I would consider to be rape, I was on a dance pole when someone somehow took over the menu and started having sex without my consent. Of course i just TPed out and it was over. I blocked the guy and went to another pole bu the followed me and did it again, only thing was this time i couldn't see him because he was blocked, This is the reason I think there should be an option that would make it so you could make it impossible for others to see you. I then TPed out of the sim and stayed out. Other than pissing me off for a few minutes however there were no emotional consequences.

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5 minutes ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

I can even enjoy the company of Quinn.

yeah lonely people named Quinn can be oddly enjoyable.

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I have assaulted my pet with a smurf launcher a few times before.  Does that count as violence or sex?

Oh, when the whole region is filled with flying peckers, does that count as rape?

 

Anyway, I don't think what you are looking for translates well into a virtual world. Take being shot, for example.  That is violence, right?  But in Second Life the effect is much different.  Well, duh, right?  But hang on.  The objective of gun violence in SL is not to hurt someone.  It is to blast them across the world several sims away or knock them 10 kilometers into the sky.  To do that, I don't need a gun.  I can use a gun, of course, but a magic faerie princess wand would work just as well. I could even get the same effect by just pointing my finger.

In real life there are people that make you so angry you want to hit them.  You can't hit people here. However you can drop a self replicating, giggling prim baby on them and TP away.  However, just like hitting someone in meat space, that can get you in loads of trouble.  What I am trying to say is, there is no violence.  There is griefing.  There is no rape.  There is people into sexual images.  Sort of lie being Rick-rolled but it's a facial video instead of a white guy in the video. Sure, it can be disturbing and a horrible experience, but don't put it next to real world rape unless you have experienced both.

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I really didn't want to go into this, but enough of the rape isn't possible ...

Almost 9 years ago some friends & I were working on rebuilding a region. Many of the people were new to SL. Someone TPed in with wearing a gadget with an "attachment". The gadget was scripted to go to whatever avatar he targeted and start humping. He picked a woman (newbie) to attack. She froze ... I got her to take a teleport to the other side of the region. The griefer showed up almost immediately. I teleported her off the region & that ended the attack. She said logging out didn't occur to her; for that matter I didn't think of it. I found out later that she'd been raped IRL; the attack in SL was like a flashback & she froze up.

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Cool story.  Imagine that it happened to you.  Now imagine someone hit you with a a beer mug then held you down over a bar while another guy shoved is dick in your ass.

Yeah, those are exactly the same, right?

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1 hour ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

There is no REAL rape or violence in SL - just lots of pretend stuff here.

Yeah, lots of people who're pretending they've real feelings too.

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On a lighter vein, I have an object called "$600 L mens ring". Sometimes I go to noob hangouts and lament that  I bought a mens ring by mistake and its useless to me. Usually I can interest a noob into taking it from me. When they wear it, a giant pokemon pushes them to the ground and starts humping them while talking dirty. 

I figure since most noobs are here looking for sex, there's no harm.

*grins* 

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I can see how some things in SL can trigger memories of a RL event, but it is still not the same as the RL event.  Lots of things, online and not, can trigger the memories and feelings of traumatic events.  For some women that have been raped IRL, just having a guy approach them can trigger it all over again, but that still does not mean they are actually being raped again.

Anytime anything online is traumatizing someone that much, they need to just step away. Nobody should be identifying so deeply with an online figure. 

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There are plenty of people (a majority it seems some days) in SL that have emotional or mental health problems.  Still  NOTHING compares to a real life physical assault or rape.  Something may trigger a memory, but unless you have lived through it, you have no personal comparison.

Maybe there are people who are too fragile to be in this kind of platform or who can not separate reality from the cartoon world.  There will also always be troublemakers in SL (see BillyJo Aldrin above ;))  We have all read posts of people who will argue forever that they have really been assaulted in SL and "someone should be banned!!!"  and "I want justice!" and "WTH is The Lab doing to protect me?"  It may be in the best interest of some people to not log in.

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SL violence is like anything else here. In RL if i put on a pair of shoes with six inch platforms and a twelve inch heel and tried to walk into my kitchen, i would most likely fall to the floor screaming in pain because i have broken my ankle. In SL I can wear those shoes not only to walk, but i can jump off balconies and play beach volleyball in them with no issues at all. Any pain that can be inflicted here is emotional, and that can happen only if you let it. Of course this is true about a lot of the pain people suffer from in RL as well, just don't let the A-holes ruin your day.

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Thank you everyone for replying ! 

Once the methodology of the study is ready, I will come back with all the material needed in case some of you who talked about experiencing violence accept answering some of my questions ! 

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You can't be raped in Second Life. There is no physical interaction, everything that happens is virtual in a non-realistic graphic environment in which you have all control. Not even your avatar can be raped, because nobody can force you unwillingly on a poseball and you can block anyone that starts to harasse you. Comparing anything of what happens inside Second Life with the real world is repulsive.

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19 hours ago, BatGirlMeow said:

Have you ever been the victim of violence or rape on this platform ?

Not possible, by the real world definition.

In roleplay... constantly !   and I am 100% to blame.

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Perhaps a virtual assault can occur if a new resident is tricked into using a poseball and doesnt know how to get off it? Or maybe if action on a poseball goes from consensual to non-consensual.

Violence is not physical in SL but there is griefing which seems to be the best alternative a violent person can do in world. SL is unique in that violence is not a major part of the world. In video games, you have to commit violence as gameplay. In games, if you attack someone, they are ready for it and are also in the game to attack you right back. In SL, you can attack people who are not in SL to fight and are not in the frame of mind to fight. SL gives a person the unique opportunity to attack truly innocent bystanders. 

I think another aspect of SL you could focus on is sexual harassment. For example, when people run around with naked avatars or send d*** pics. 

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15 hours ago, Morgan Rosenstar said:

Well, gosh, if I can make up my own definitions for things, then likely lots of things can exist.  This from the article:
    "The definition of 'rape' is to steal a person's innocence without their consent"
I only find such statements in opinion writing pieces, not in any source that is consider valid for word and phrase definitions.

 

15 hours ago, Morgan Rosenstar said:

I never disputed that online emotional / verbal abuse happens. As to the 'mental rape' mentioned in that one article, that is still an emotional / verbal abuse thing.  

I'm disputing that 'physical rape' is possible in an online environment. 

 

Edited by LittleMe Jewell
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32 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

Perhaps a virtual assault can occur if a new resident is tricked into using a poseball and doesnt know how to get off it? Or maybe if action on a poseball goes from consensual to non-consensual.

Violence is not physical in SL but there is griefing which seems to be the best alternative a violent person can do in world. SL is unique in that violence is not a major part of the world. In video games, you have to commit violence as gameplay. In games, if you attack someone, they are ready for it and are also in the game to attack you right back. In SL, you can attack people who are not in SL to fight and are not in the frame of mind to fight. SL gives a person the unique opportunity to attack truly innocent bystanders. 

I think another aspect of SL you could focus on is sexual harassment. For example, when people run around with naked avatars or send d*** pics. 

Thank you for additional information! 

I am indeed interested in any form of violence and sexual harassment is one of them. 

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