Wired.com asks: "Virtual Rape is traumatic, but is it a a crime?" Well, it is written behind the background of such a thing happening in Second Life and the Belgian police investigating it right now. The author of the article disagress that it is a crime, to quote her:
Rape is the ultimate perversion of sexual intimacy. Like sex, rape has
mental and emotional elements that go beyond the body and the damage to
the mind and spirit generally takes much longer to heal than the body.
But that doesn’t make the psychological upheaval of virtual
rape anywhere near the trauma of real rape. And I can’t see us making
virtual rape a matter for the real-life police.
It’s a shitty thing to do to someone. But it’s not a crime.
What myself always strikes is, of course: why the heck don’t the people just logout or turn their computer off? But ok, just a thought, either way, it’s not happening in real, it is still affecting the psyche of the raped person strongly.
Well, the first documented virtual rape ever happened back then in 1993 in a MUD (multi user dungeon), a text based form of online games, very popular back then and still available today. They were considered hightech back then and hip, today they are lowtech but still have their fanbase.
Here is a paper from about the implications of such things by Richard MacKinnon.