Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ A girl was allegedly raped in the metaverse. Is this the beginning of a dark new future?

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I want to draw attention to this just so readers are aware (even if the author is not) that there is a history here. The article reports on a girl who "was reportedly wearing a virtual reality headset and playing an immersive game in the metaverse when her avatar was attacked." Is this the beginning of a dark new future? Well, no. People my age will remember the Village Voice article from 1993 called A Rape in Cyberspace where basically the same thing happened in a multi-user domain (MUD) called LambdaMOO. Attacks against women in cyberspace haven't slowed since, as people like Kathy Sierra can attest. I urge readers not to forget the past and to not label each new attack as a "beginning".

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: May 30, 2024 12:28 a.m.

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