A Rape in Cyberspace
After reading quite a bit of literature about MUDs I am beginning to see how people can be so devastated by someone’s actions online. The so called rape that takes place in these online forums presents a very unique problem for me to try and grasp. At first I had a very difficult time understanding how someone could let their emotions cross the virtual/real world barrier. But when you consider that there are people who have actually been raped or molested in real life taking part in these activities you can understand the correlation and the problems that it can lead to. Some people spend so much time involved in the MUDs that they become engrossed in the beast and the identity they create becomes an extension of themselves, leading to the emotional drama that may result in a similar real life experience. The portion of the article that talks about how violators are dealt with seemed ridiculous to me, simply killing a person in the MUD world obviously does very little to address any problems that may be experienced online as they can simply return as a different user. This is just an inherent part of the MUD experience, one that is unavoidable.