Friday, May 04, 2007

When The Virtual Affects The Real

Funny. I was just listening to an Escape Pod Podcast (science fiction stories and reviews) and one reviewer mentioned that he hated the fact that a story had a character where a virtual world affliction affected them in the real world (sorry, don't remember which podcast).

Now we have two reports of how virtual world actions do affect the real.

1. LadyMainFrame at Gnews (btw, interviewed at igniq) reports that a student at Clements High School in Fort Bend, Texas was arrested for using the game Counterstrike (or more precisely the Valve tools) to create his high school building as a map. Overreaction in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy or an example of ignorance and overzealous behavior on the part of those reporting the news to authorities?

2. Wired is reporting on Belgian police investigating a potential 'rape' in Second Life (how that happens, I don't want to know). Reminds me of the NGJ piece from Julian Tribble (A Rape In Cyberspace).

How far will this go? If you commit a 'terrorist' act in a virtual world, can you be legally labeled a terrorist (or illegally labeled as the case may be?). I just mentioned in my last post about how many 'role-players' there are in SL. How far can that role-playing go? Are their legal/moral/ethical boundaries ? Will laws be passed and rules made (in either world) to prevent these boundaries from being crossed?

No comments: