Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rape in Cyberspace + MUDs

Rape In Cyberspace: Ironically, the thing that I found most disturbing in the article isn't what Mr. Bungle did, rather that people didn't think it was an invasion of these women's privacy. The quote by Quastro about "In MOO, the body IS the mind" seems about right. In online worlds, since you have no real body, your mind is what is being violated, similar to women who are taken advantage of in "real life." Yes, their body is violated but their mind/thoughts are also changed, most likely not for the best. "I found myself reasoning then it must be classed as a crime against the mind, more intimately and deeply hurtful...but undeniably located on the same conceptual continuum." I found it interesting that most of these people that are in MUDs consider it to be this real world for them, this reality online for them, but when someone happens that is bad (i.e. rape, molestation), people argued that it is not real, and the women should just ignore it. It seems like some people want the best of both worlds..for their MUD to be real but also for the bad parts to not be real. This article underlies the fine line between "good and bad" but in the virtual world. Do real world rules apply to the virtual world? I would think not, because I would assume that most people go to the virtual world to get away from the real world, so putting our laws in their would be pointless. I think having NO rules is bad (as shown by the complications that it took to get rid of Mr. Bungle) but i think that no rules is also the allure of these worlds. It is a world where you can do whatever you want under the control of no one. 

MUDs and Alternate Identities: I found this article to revolve around a topic of power. "by creating your identity, you help create a world." MUDs seem to have a common theme of having power, over thought (what people think of you based on what you look like), over yourself (what you look like, what you say) and over a world you helped create. People that are on MUDs like this power, i think, and like having control over every aspect of their online life. It also said that a big majority of those that are in MUDs are undergrads. "For people whose lives are controlled by parents or professors or bosses there is a certain attraction to a world in which mastery and admiration of peers is available to anyone with imagination and intellectual curiosity." This idea of power underlies the attraction of MUDs, I think. You have control over what you are doing and control over what people think of you, because you set yourself up to be great. you make yourself look great, and make yourself sound great, something that you cant change in real life. It is like an addiction to being fantastic, or at least, you want to think you are fantastic. 

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