[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Mon May 14 22:22:24 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Wed 09 May, Koster, Raph wrote:
>> From: Brad Triem

Plunging into this ages-old debate even if it borders on turning into
a flamewar if we are not careful.

>> * the below is my opinion and not an accusation of another's point
>> of * thought *

>> We aren't in "Strange World" yet.  You are at the helm.  To think
>> that you are online and someone is "typing" to you, and considering
>> it as rape is absurd, in my opinion.  You could easily turn off
>> your monitor if what you are seeing someone else type doesn't agree
>> with you.  It isn't like someone is standing in front of you with a
>> death grip on you with rape in their eyes.  It is the same as those
>> who drive by an adult book store and bitch about the fact that it
>> is there, as opposed to those who "choose" to enter it.  Allowing
>> yourself into a situation is much different than being forced into
>> a situation.

I quote this in full because it is so wrong. The fact that you can
terminate the connection to the game has nothing to do with how a
particular situation is perceived by the victim.  The comparison with
the bookstore is even more off.  At least in the way that the writer
meant it.  The issue is not the physical action, but the e- motional
response.  The fact that such a bookstore exists is what offends some
people, irrespective of whether they choose to enter it or not.  The
same is true with the "cyber rape".  The damage is in the emotional

>> This will hold true until we are so deep in the virtual world that
>> a virtual hacker could actually tap into your brain neurons and
>> prevent your muscles from reacting to the "thought" of removing
>> yourself from a virtual situation.

> But this exact thing DOES happen with just text. Have you never had
> the experience of something sudden and surprising on a mud resulting
> in an adrenalin rush, a mental freeze-up, joy, sadness, or anger? 
> Those are physiological reactions triggered by our
> perceptions. Perhaps they would go away with immersion goes away,
> but they are nonetheless real. I've certainly many times had the
> experience of just forgetting I could log off (during an argument,
> for example).

This is exactly the point -why such assaults are equaled to rape by
their victims-.  In both 'real' and 'cyber' rape the scarring issue is
the loss of control over something that should be inviolatably yours:
your body.  In a physical rape there is the added issue of fear and
shame, but women have to live with the (real) likelyhood of rape, and
a virtual one is likely to evoke much the same respon- ses.

> There's that old adage, "perception is reality." In the case of
> muds, it does seem to me to be true--and not just from a community
> management standpoint. Heck, even non-interactive media succeed at
> arousing physical sensations (and not just pr0n either).

> I don't mean to minimize the impact of physical rape, but I've heard
> enough people (yes, even those who have suffered real life abuse of
> one sort or another) make the direct comparison that I'd very much
> hesitate to dismiss it with "you can always just turn it off."

You can not turn it off, or rather, it is not so simple as that. The
true damage has already been done before that, and switching off the
computer will not undo the emotional pain. It is a very serious, all
the more so because it is so likely to be dismissed as unimportant,
just as the writer of the original remark has done. That attitude is
much the same as what women invariably fear (and sadly frequently
justifiably so!), that -they- will be blamed for the fact that they
were raped (e.g.  because of the dress they wore, or the fact that
they were out on the street after ten..).  It is not just a game, as
there are very realy emotions and fears involved.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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