When first getting into this reading I thought, “Great…yet another reading about cyber rape.” This is due to my stance being that it’s absurd to get that upset over the act via computer. When I think of rape and how traumatizing it may be, I think it’s closely tied to being powerless and made to do actions against your will. I realize how the “voodoo” application Mr. Bungle used does allow him to dictate the actions/words of another character, but I do not view this as making them powerless. They still have the ability to clear up the matter afterwards, saying that they were being controlled, or even better yet, simply exit the server. This may be considered a lame and cowardly tactic in many fighting games, but if a person is genuinely upset with something in a online, they ALWAYS have the power to press ESC.
I think legba’s response to the incident was a bit much. Yes words can be powerful, but someone making you say you stuck a knife in an unpleasant place and enjoyed it, should not be looked at that seriously. It may be considered offensive or ill conduct, but I would think it takes a weak person to be truly hurt by it. Perhaps she feels a deeper connection with her avatar as many gamers do, due to hours upon hours spent investing in it. To actually view the avatar as a true part of your entity that can be emotionally abused makes me think that the player thinks of their RL and VL on two very close planes.
Should Mr. Bungle have been punished? Is punishment really that possible a thing to do? What makes him so worthy of attention compared to other sadistic creeps online? We all subject ourselves to risk of verbal abuse when doing anything online. I think people should keep this in mind so they don’t over react. Grow a thicker skin legba.
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