A Grope In Meta's Space

from the the-value-of-user-tools-in-moderation dept

Horizon Worlds is a VR (virtual reality) social space and world building game created by Facebook. In early December, a beta tester wrote about being virtually groped by another Horizon Worlds user. A few weeks later, The Verge and other outlets published stories about the incident. However, their coverage omits key details from the victim’s account. As a result, it presents the assault as a failure of user operated moderation tools rather than the limits of top-down moderation. Nevertheless, this VR groping illustrates the difficulty of moderating VR, and the enduring value of tools that let users solve problems for themselves.

The user explains that they reported and blocked the groper, and a Facebook “guide”, an experienced user trained and certified by Facebook, failed to intervene. They write, “I think what made it worse, was even after I reported, and eventually blocked the assaulter, the guide in the plaza did and said nothing.” In the interest of transparency, I have republished the beta user’s post in full, sans identifying information, here;

**Trigger Warning** Sexual Harassment. My apologies for the long post: Feel free to move on.

Good morning,

I rarely wake up with a heavy heart and a feeling of anger to start a fresh new day, but that is how I feel this morning. I want to be seen and heard. I reach out to my fellow community members in hopes of understanding and reassurance that they will be proactive in supporting victims and eliminating certain types of behavior in horizon worlds. My expectations as a creator in horizon worlds aren't unreasonable and I'm sure many will agree.

You see this isn't the first time, I'm sure it won't be the last time that someone has sexually harassed me in virtual reality. Sexual harassment is no joke on the regular Internet but being in VR adds another layer that makes the event more intense. Not only was I groped last night, but there were other people there who supported this behavior which made me feel isolated in the Plaza. I think what made it worse, was even after I reported, and eventually blocked the assaulter, the guide in the plaza did and said nothing. He moved himself far across the map as if to say, you're on your now.

Even though my physical body was far removed from the event, my brain is tricked into thinking it's real, because.....you know......Virtual REALITY. We can't tout VR's realness and then lay claim that it is not a real assault. Mind you, this all happened within one minute of arriving in the plaza, I hadn't spoken a word yet and could have possibly been a 12-year-old girl.

MY ASK:

I would like a personal bubble that will force people away from my avatar and I would like to be able to upload my own recording with my harassment ticket. I would also like that all guides are given sensitivity training on this specific subject, so they will understand what is expected. If META won't give guides tools that will allow them to remove a player immediately from a situation, at least train them to deal with it and not run away.

Rant over, I'm still mad, but I will sort through and process. I love this community and the thought of leaving it makes me deeply sad. So I am hopeful we can evolve as a community and foster behaviors that support collaboration, understand, and a willingness to speak out against gross behaviors.

Initial coverage in The Verge did not mention the victim’s use of the block feature, even as the user describes using it in the post above. Instead, reporter Alex Heath relayed Facebook’s account of the incident, saying “the company determined that the beta tester didn’t utilize the safety features built into Horizon Worlds, including the ability to block someone from interacting with you.”

These details are important because subsequent writing about the incident builds on the false, but purported non-use of the blocking feature to make the case that offering users tools to control their virtual experience is “unfair and doesn’t work.” In Technology Review, Tanya Basu makes hay of the user’s failure to use the “safe zone” feature, which temporarily removes users from their surroundings. Yet this is a red herring. The user might not have immediately disappeared into her safe zone, but she used the block feature to do away with her assailant.

In reality, contra Basu or Facebook’s description of events, it seems that user-directed blocking put a stop to the harm while the platform provided community guide failed to intervene. VR groping is a serious issue, but it is not one that will be solved from the top-down. Inaccurate reporting that casts user-operated moderation tools as ineffective may spur platforms to pursue less effective solutions to sexual harassment in VR.

Implications of the incident’s misreporting aside, it provides a useful case study in the difficulties of moderating VR. One suggestion put forward by the user and backed by University of Washington Professor Katherine Cross warrants discussion. Closer inspection of their proposals illustrates the careful tradeoffs that inform the current safe zone and blocking tools offered to Horizon users.

They request a “personal bubble that will force people away from my avatar” or “automatic personal distance unless two people mutually agreed to be closer.” This might make some groping harder, but it creates other opportunities for abuse.

If players’ avatars can take up physical space and block movement, keeping others at bay, then they can block doorways and trap other players in corners or against other parts of world. Player collision could render abuse inescapable or allow players to hold others’ avatars prisoner.

MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online games) have long struggled with this problem – “holding the door” is only a contextually heroic action. Player collision makes gameplay more realistic, but allows some players to limit everyone else’s access to important buildings by loitering in the doorway.

Currently, players’ avatars in Horizon may pass through one another. They can retreat into a safe zone, disappearing from the world. They can also “block” other users – preventing both the blocked and blocking users from seeing one another. Even through a block, they can still see one each other’s nametags – total invisibility created problems I covered here. As such, the current suite of user moderation tools strikes a good balance between empowering users and minimizing new opportunities for misuse.

Finally, given the similarity of the transgression, it is worth recalling Julian Dibbell’s “A Rape in Cyberspace”, one of the first serious accounts of community governance online. In this Village Voice article, Dibbell relates how users of role-playing chatroom LambdaMOO (the best virtual reality to be had in 1993) responded to a string of virtual sexual assaults. After fruitless deliberation, a LambdaMOO coder banned the offending user. After the incident, LambdaMOO established democratic procedures for banning abusive users, and created a “boot” command allowing users to temporarily remove troublemakers.

As the internet has developed content moderation has centralized. Today, users are usually expected to let platforms moderate for them. However, just as in the web’s early days, empowering users remains the best solution to interpersonal abuse. The tools they need to keep themselves safe may be different, but in virtual reality as in role-playing chat, those closest to abuse are best positioned to address it. Users being harassed should not be expected to wait for the mods.

Will Duffield is a Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute

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Filed Under: blocking, content moderation, horizon worlds, sexual harassment, user tools, vr
Companies: facebook, meta


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Rekrul, 28 Dec 2021 @ 6:05pm

    "Even though my physical body was far removed from the event, my brain is tricked into thinking it's real, because.....you know......Virtual REALITY."

    If she ever tries playing a VR FPS or horror game, she's going to end up in therapy for life.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Dec 2021 @ 10:16pm

      Re:

      And yet you'll still be a sewer dwelling asshole.

      There is a HUGE difference between playing a horror or FPS game, than appearing into a world and immediately being assaulted you dimwitted slackjawed asswipe.
      The fact the controls didn't seem to be that intuitive for someone in the middle of a virtual assault to get them turned on fast enough & the local cop ignored it and moved as far away as they could, then Meta gaslighting the entire experience (Note the victim was unable to upload their own 'body cam' of the events which raises questions). Media parroting Meta's claims and ignoring the 'victim'... I guess maybe she was asking for it, she shouldn't have had her avatar in that short of a skirt, she shouldn't have gone out alone... forgive me I'm getting sick trying to recall every single lame ass excuse trotted out when someone victimizes someone else and the world wants to pretend Brock Turner was a good guy and it was her fault for crossing his path & forcing that poor innocent boy to rape her.

      While virtual assaults don't leave the same physical scars its not the same as Steve running into the lava.

      As a survivor... Go die in a fire in real life.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 29 Dec 2021 @ 5:54pm

        Re: Re:

        I guess maybe she was asking for it, she shouldn't have had her avatar in that short of a skirt, she shouldn't have gone out alone...

        Assholes and trolls have existed online since the internet was first opened to the public. People post crap in forums, in comment sections, in chatrooms, scream at each other over game chat, break into Zoom calls, but a VR program is supposed to be a safe space where such behavior is completely unexpected and shocking?

        And before you twist my words, I'm not saying that such behavior should be considered acceptable, or normal, but it's not exactly going to be surprising. Give people a simulated reality combined with casual anonymity and lack of real world consequences, and some won't hesitate to act out all the things that they can't do in real life.

        While virtual assaults don't leave the same physical scars its not the same as Steve running into the lava.

        According to the article, it says that player avatars just pass through each other, so one player can't directly affect another. The most they can do is annoy the other person by repeatedly moving back and forth through them.

        I've watched a lot of videos of people playing horror games where they get really freaked out and say they're too scared to continue. Scared of what? That a computer controlled 3D model will cause their game to end? Because that's all that's going to happen.

        Similarly, someone "assaulting" you in VR is just a human-controlled 3D model moving around you. It can't harm you. The only power it has is whatever you give it. Call the person an asshole, block them and be done with it.

        Real sexual assault is a tragedy and a serious problem, but people have elevated pretty much anything they don't like to the level of sexual assault. An unwanted hug is now considered sexual assault. Do you have any idea how many relatives I was forced to hug back when I was a child? I often didn't like it (mainly because I was shy), but I didn't end up in therapy because of it either.

        People used to have thicker skin and stuff like this was just an annoyance. Now one player controlled avatar passing through another player controlled avatar traumatizes people. I'm not sure that's progress.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Dec 2021 @ 1:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "but a VR program is supposed to be a safe space where such behavior is completely unexpected and shocking?"

          The problem lies in Meta refusing to admit it anyone would ever do that sort of thing to others, then recasting it as just 1 troll while pretending their safe guards are obviously enough & it was the user who failed and not them or their guide who moved away to avoid having to do anything.

          "Similarly, someone "assaulting" you in VR is just a human-controlled 3D model moving around you. It can't harm you."

          Like a hug?

          "Do you have any idea how many relatives I was forced to hug back when I was a child?"

          No but I know how many sexually abused me, pretty sure if an awkward hug was the other option I'd have been a hugging machine to avoid the alternative again.

          "Now one player controlled avatar passing through another player controlled avatar traumatizes people."

          Yep and why are those darkies so mad when someone calls them the n word, or those damn sand n words who just keep yammering away not in english. Wop, Kike, Dago, Chink...
          Yeah why don't people have thicker skins they should just accept being spit on by their betters and stepping into the gutter to not be in white folks way.

          Someone taking away your agency for sport is something perhaps you've never experienced like others.
          Imagine if you were still expected accept hugs from anyone who wanted to give you one & you get to express no feelings or be completely ignored as they send more to hug you in the matter... you just need to accept it because its just a little annoyance.

          Imagine pointing out in beta that assholes can be assholes & trying to have a discussion (she's not suing demanding a life time in therapy costs) to address what happened to stop it form happening others and Meta blames you for what happened & manages to leave out parts of the story to make themselves look better.

          Real sexual assault is a problem, and lets be fair it is a fscking shitshow. Oh you waited to long to accuse, oh it was boys being boys, oh we didn't properly store your rape kit, oh we don't have enough money to test your kit, are you sure you aren't just having second thoughts, were you drunk, how were you dressed?

          And it takes very little time to find my contempt to expanding labels to stupid useless levels (eye rape, fscking seriously?!). But hey they've managed to recreate the experience in VR how it will be your fault of someone gropes you in the real world.

          "Now one player controlled avatar passing through another player controlled avatar traumatizes people."

          They only called the 12 yr old gay a few times, that can't be the reason he hung himself.

          "I'm not sure that's progress."

          I'm pretty sure it isn't progress, when those who've never been in the shoes of those they dismiss pretend because it never happens to them & it shouldn't bother others.

          Because the world is a monolithic white techbro their perch in life is how everyone else lives & is treated.
          I call myself an immortal sociopath & I have way more contact with reality than the average techbro.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2022 @ 2:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I've watched a lot of videos of people playing horror games where they get really freaked out and say they're too scared to continue. Scared of what?"

          Presumably the same thing they're scared of when they watch a horror movie or red a horror novel.

          "Similarly, someone "assaulting" you in VR is just a human-controlled 3D model moving around you."

          The "human controlled" part is important there. Whether the reaction is warranted is another question, but it's important to consider other people even if you're not physically near them.

          "Call the person an asshole, block them and be done with it."

          However, it would be nice if people didn't have to regularly do such a thing.

          "An unwanted hug is now considered sexual assault"

          I would consider any unwanted physical contact to be assault.

          "Do you have any idea how many relatives I was forced to hug back when I was a child?"

          No, but I'll take a wild guess and say that there's a slight difference between relatives and strangers. Also, if your response to people feeling abused is "hey, I felt abused as a kid so it doesn't matter!" it might not be the strong response you think it is...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2022 @ 2:27pm

      Re:

      Or, because scripted fictional events are different to direct interaction with other people (albeit in a virtual space), she would be able to distinguish between them and react differently?

      There's something different when you know there's another person you're interacting with.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 28 Dec 2021 @ 6:38pm

    I guess there will be a "Me Too" movement in virtual space as well?
    Just as in the real world, people can be shitty. It would be nice to be able to hit them with a taser that feeds back through...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 9:24pm

      Re:

      I guess there will be a "Me Too" movement in virtual space as well?

      In 1998, I was the victim of repeated humpings by zombies in The Ocarina of Time. This obvious sexual assault occurred in a game rated "E" for "everyone".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2022 @ 2:33pm

      Re:

      "I guess there will be a "Me Too" movement in virtual space as well?"

      If people are feeling abused in the same way that caused trauma in generations who weren't being taken seriously until they managed to find a voice and speak up to prevent it? Sure.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Dec 2021 @ 10:27pm

    "“the company determined that the beta tester didn’t utilize the safety features built into Horizon Worlds, including the ability to block someone from interacting with you.”"

    As they never saw the video from the victim how can they determine a god damned thing?
    Their first responder on the scene moved rapidly away to ignore it & remained silent when asked for help.
    The entire narrative wasn't shared with the media.

    But yes Meta can do no wrong & we can just pretend that the internet just reflects the real world, but the anonymity of it 'just being pixels' encourages some assholes to think its funny so there is no reason to pay any attention to history & attempt to head off things that are going to fscking happen when there are people involved. We can't have any more negative reporting about us and our new VR project so whats the harm in downplaying virtual assaults & other ways the tech can be misused, its only going to be a few girls who aren't real gamers anyways.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 3:45am

    @that anonymous coward

    So basically someone said something about VR. wrong or right, and you said they should physically and actually DIE in a horrific and painful way.

    Who's the monster here?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      solidus, 29 Dec 2021 @ 4:30am

      Re:

      Mark Zuckerberg is the monster. The minotaur at the center of this labyrinth, whose feel eyes hunger to witness all iniquities, and seek a way to spread evil unto the world.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 29 Dec 2021 @ 5:33am

      Re:

      Hi, I'm the resident immortal sociopath.
      I am not nice people, and there are a few topics that get my full ire.

      Someone tried to claim that an assault in VR is just like playing a horror survival game & they would end up damaged by that.

      This is the same sort of person who has no problem assuming I'm gay because I am a survivor of sexual abuse.
      I get enough crap from people who don't think men can be raped
      I checked, it happened, I wasn't asking for it...
      I'm an amazingly 'mythical' victim that no one ever wants to discuss or admit exist.
      I wasn't asking for it, I wasn't dressed sexily, I wasn't drunk, or any of the thousands of excuses people like to give to make someone whos been assaulted at fault for what happened to them. I get to see what people really think about survivors because no one ever thinks that guy's been assaulted before.

      So yes, comparing a VR assault to not being able to handle a horror game does make me I think they should die in a fire in real life. Pretty sure I'm not going to hunt them down and set them on fire myself, but I do think I managed to convey my point/ire in the very strong terms it deserved.

      Boo hoo... someone on the internet called me a monster, how will I ever recover.
      Perhaps as well at the person I told to die in a fire in real life will.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rich, 29 Dec 2021 @ 5:47am

    I think I am missing something here. What exactly constitutes a "groping" in VR? I understand that a great deal of effort is put in to making the VR experience as real as can be, but I had no idea that there was any meaningful ability to "feel" what other avatars might do to your avatar.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 6:14am

      Re:

      Do you understand that it is an invasive display of power interfering with another person's agency, whatever form it takes? Clearly it was intended to be sexual in metaphor, therefore we might call it by the meatspace counterpart name.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re:

        Do you understand that it is an invasive display of power interfering with another person's agency, whatever form it takes?

        Does that matter? Many people, especially new players, were upset by player-killing in early MMORPGS, but they didn't go around calling people murderers. They bitched, and the game makers responded in various ways—sometimes banning player-killing entirely or in certain areas, adding anti-camping countermeasures, banning or penalizing griefers, etc. But everyone seemed to implicitly realize it would be absurd hyperbole to treat it as a real-world crime.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rich, 29 Dec 2021 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Re:

        "Do you understand that it is an invasive display of power interfering with another person's agency, whatever form it takes?"

        No. No I don't. As I said, I think I'm missing something here. I have been online in various forms since the 80s, and I have tried a variety of different Virtual worlds (wassup, Active Worlds!), games, and other modes of communication, and the closest thing I have ever experienced to an "invasive display of power interfering with another person's agency" has been the responses of people who violently jump down someone's virtual throat for seeking some clarity about a news item.

        "Clearly it was intended to be sexual in metaphor, therefore we might call it by the meatspace counterpart name."

        Clearly? How is it clear? An elaboration on that assertion would be helpful, or, come to think of it, the very thing I was asking for.

        And if we are going to assign "meatspace" criminal terminology to things that are, to use your phrasing, intended metaphorically, in a ficticious rendering of a nonexistent world, then I think we all need to take a big step back and think real hard about how we have arranged our priorities in life.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          TFG, 30 Dec 2021 @ 7:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The victim described it as a grope. In the context, "grope" is used with the following definition:
          "feel or fondle (someone) for sexual pleasure, especially against their will."

          The clear sexual nature of the act is made obvious by the victim's report of it - if it was not sexual in nature, or not perceivably sexual in nature, then the victim would not use the word "grope" to describe.

          The error comes in assuming that there must be some form of actually physical sensation for this to still occur. It is true that VR does not have tactile feedback of that nature - if I attempt to put my hand on your shoulder in a VR chatroom, you will not feel the hand.

          What it does have is visual feedback. Purely from the description of it as a "groped" I can imagine that the groper's avatar's hand "touched" - whether clipped through, open palm, etc. is not clear and is ultimately irrelevant - the victim's avatar's body in a place that is not comfortable. Breast, crotch, buttocks, etc.

          So, put yourself in that situation. You have the VR headset on, you log in, and within seconds of joining a space, someone else is right in your face, with their avatar's hand reaching right into your avatar's groin. You can't feel it, no, but you can see it - and the nature of VR is that this is all you see. It's not just on a screen - you're as "there" as you can be.

          It's uncomfortable, at minimum. Potentially traumatizing, depending the victim's past experiences.

          So, what would you call this, if not a "grope?" What would you call this, if not sexual harassment? In my view, these are entirely appropriate. There's no need to quibble over VR's differences - the lack of the sense of touch only serves to lessen, not eliminate, the feeling of violation.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2021 @ 8:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The clear sexual nature of the act is made obvious by the victim's report of it - if it was not sexual in nature, or not perceivably sexual in nature, then the victim would not use the word "grope" to describe.

            "perceivably sexual" is not the same as "clear[ly] sexual". People have, in fact, occasionally misinterpreted things thoughout history, like when some thought the word "niggardly" was clearly racist. I'd go so far as to say it's "obvious" that we should not accept the opinions of an individual as fact.

            I see no description whatsoever of what actually happened. For all we know, the "groper" meant to pickpocket the victim, pat them on the back, or whatever, and just fat-fingered it or had the target move unexpectedly. We have no basis on which to evaluate the relative merits of these views. Apparently there's a recording of the incident ("I would like to be able to upload my own recording"), yet none of the stories include it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That Anonymous Coward (profile), 31 Dec 2021 @ 8:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "We have no basis on which to evaluate the relative merits of these views."

              It was just boys being boys, just because he shoved her down and pushed his hand into her underwear is no reason to think it was anything more than a hug.

              I default to what we teach children, no one can touch you in your no no places. If the perp was touching the no no places, its really hard to sell then it was inadvertent.

              This wasn't a he brushed my virtual breasts while doing something else. This was someone who set out to harass a woman by invading her space & the continuing actions remove the possible doubt of it was just a bump & she screamed rape.

              One does wonder how many more ways you can twist yourself into seeking some way to invalidate what she saw, how it made her feel, Metas helper running away, & refusing to see her video then issue a report based on blaming the user because their safeguards are perfect & she was just to slow & stupid to activate them in time.

              We live and die by perception, and how someone using a word that sounds insulting to someone invading another person space for more than a brief moment is comparing apples to durian.

              "We have no basis on which to evaluate the relative merits of these views."
              I don't know why Judy got upset, Joe was just standing in the door way of the supply room asking her if she wanted to go on a date, why did she get so upset it wasn't THAT bad.
              Obviously you've never been cornered & felt someone exercising power in a way that makes you feel small & alone... and then discover if you say anything about it you get branded as an over sensitive bitch who just wanted to make trouble for Joe.

              Just because the KKK burned a cross in the yard, doesn't mean they were REALLY trying to scare the black family.

              Still wonder why some women refuse to report being assaulted yet?
              There is always someone helpful ready to explain what happened to them was just a misunderstanding & she just has regrets & is trying to get even.

              But please do go on with your expert review of a situation you never saw but you know you need to distrust what the reporter of the event said because... well shes just to sensitive.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 6:11am

    Hmm, who should I believe? Facebook and some fucking hack from the libertarian shill org that is the Cato Institute, or the harassment victim? I’m gonna go with believing the harassment victim, as everyone should.

    What’s next? Is Techdirt gonna have a guest piece from the American Enterprise Institute where they’re defending Activision and Bobby Kotick?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 6:15am

      Re:

      You didn't read it, did you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 29 Dec 2021 @ 9:00am

      Re:

      hands you a map

      This leads to the tree that is making oxygen to keep you alive.
      Now go there and apologize to it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 29 Dec 2021 @ 3:45pm

      Re:

      Hmm, who should I believe? Facebook and some fucking hack from the libertarian shill org that is the Cato Institute, or the harassment victim?

      Hmm. Didn't read, did you? In the article, Will is citing the victim and highlighting what they said, noting that it contradicts FB (and the various reporters). So "believing" the victim means, believing Will.

      Also, what's with the nonsense "shill" talk? Can you respond to the points? Clearly not since you didn't even read it and seem to think that Will is disagreeing with the victim.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 8:14pm

      Re:

      "Hmm, who should I believe?'

      Not you son....not you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 6:17am

    "She didn't use safety feature X."

    How fast is one supposed to be, exactly? Particularly when it seems like the offender was spawn-camping, just waiting for someone to mess with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 6:20am

      Re:

      Kind of makes me wonder how they chose beta testers as well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 8:16am

      Re:

      for ex. in VRchat, those things are on by default (called personal space), and you need to proactively go and disable the safety features. Its like you got into a car and the car seat-belted you automatically, and you actively chose to remove the seat-belts and are now crying after you got into a wreck.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 6:33am

    so...

    humans populate the metaverse, right?
    so...humans gonna human.
    what's new here?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 29 Dec 2021 @ 8:59am

      Re: so...

      just the techbros completely oblivious that these things happen in meatspace and magically assumed that their genius would keep it from happening again.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2021 @ 8:40am

    I could see the problem with players blocking things off when they have collision, but even non-vr games have had solutions to this problem for years.

    1. fast travel systems... while these won't help with needing to go to a certain NPC/Dungeon, they do help players needing to get out of areas or into more generic places like banks and shops.

    2. being able to use collision to push other players... while vr dose complicate this one, combining it with the 'personal bubble' idea may benefit here, as you could then have a player nudge the other person's bubble to push them out of the way, without needing to collide with the player's actual avatar.

    3. just make the doors larger... while this idea could clash with buildings such as small houses, it helps prevent the more important buildings from being completely blocked off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 5 Jan 2022 @ 12:11pm

    And this comes from over regulation maybe?

    There’s something to be said about the west not accepting games for release that sun this stuff.

    Take doom and violence. Where most complaints are about a murder sim I stand today as proof that it helped as therapy. Doom, back in the 90s, was my outlet for so many years. It kept me from being just another one of those…

    Games like Rape Lay. Groper. Virgin Hunter.
    The first reaction is disgust. But I wonder if they would help reduce real world crime. And VR “crime” like here.
    Because why force yourself on a human avatar when you have an alternative that was designed for that.

    Being violated is being violated. And I won’t belittle that. But wouldn’t it T be better to simply shelf supply alternatives to these, er, kind of types?

    And I do wish to point out that someone who turns to virtual groping, or walking through people uninvited, themselves have issue. One may be more of a victim, but don’t forget to look, in the aftermath, at the cause of the assault.

    There is something seriously wrong with a person who falls to this type of action.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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