Monday, April 12, 2010

Topic #3: Virtual Crime

The lines of reality between virtual worlds, such as Second Life and other massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPG), and reality are starting to blur as victims of crimes within these environments are reporting these crimes to local law enforcement organizations all over the world. In fact, the distinction between "online" and "real world" crime is being investigated by several countries--including the United States. Victims of virtual sex crimes are displaying symptoms of post-traumatic stress and some crime syndicates have established "virtual sweatshops" where people are forced to play for online currency that is sold for real world currency.

What do you think? Should virtual crimes be prosecuted? Why or why not? If so, who should police these crimes? What rights (if any) should be afforded to victims of these crimes? Why? Please read the articles below and respond by 5pm CST July 21.

Article #1
Article #2
Article #3
Article #4

-Safari Bob


ashley.morales said...

I believe that virtual crimes, such as “rape” or “child pornography,” should not be prosecuted in real life. The characters in these virtual worlds are fictional. They do not exist, so they do not have feelings. If what happens to these avatars is affecting the feelings of the people controlling them, then maybe these people do not have the right state of mind to be associated with the virtual realities in the first place. They should have known that if it is a virtual reality that things in the real world could possibly happen in this virtual world, as well.
Prosecuting these crimes would not be very effective, anyway. How do we know who controlled the avatar at the time of the crime? Someone could have hacked into a person’s account and used their avatar from a different computer or maybe someone else – other than the owner- was using that computer and that avatar to commit these crimes. There would be way too many possibilities and doubt to be able to say that this person did this crime and to be able to prosecute them. If they chose to do a thorough investigation and do find the person who “committed the crime,” what would they be charged with? They were not physically there to commit any crime. The only component affected by the crime in real life is the emotions of the “victim.” The most a person should do about these crimes is to delete the account from which the crime was committed and not allow that person’s information to be entered into the system again. The victim, if they feel traumatized by what their avatar has been through, can easily delete their avatar and start over with a new one. If they are still feeling traumatized or are having trouble coping, then they should seek professional help.

dmays254 said...

In my opinion I think this is ridiculous, the fact it’s just a fictional game being blown out of proportion. I do not see why should virtual crimes be prosecuted the fact it’s just a game, which people are taking to the extreme. The reason is what you can possibly charge them with, when you happen to find the prosecutor; you have no evidence what so ever anything can happen it’s a fictional game. I believe there shouldn’t be any crime enforce in this situation the most you can do is delete the website or start deleting peoples accounts, the fact it’s a fictional game which people have no control over them self’s, I believe should not be playing the game. The Virtual crime is overrated to me and people are starting forget it’s just a Virtual game.

Hamad said...

Virtual crimes refer to all these types of electronic or unreal games, which are provided by the media especially by the internet. In fact, these games are managed by real people who spread different games with negative aims toward the real life. Electronic games publish fictional and criminal stories that some people will try to exist them in their world. The creators make different levels of skills to these games, which can lead them to raise their economy from those people who are more interesting to play. So, some people will invest their money to develop their abilities and works.
The type of these games seems to be a picture that these players like to reflect and exist it in their life. It looks like an umbrella term which covers more violence that can be committed not just in the games, but also in our daily time. They might become proud of practicing these crimes.
In fact, this type of criminal games will destroy the players' emotions. It should be prosecuted by electronic government with specialist members who can watch and eliminate the danger of trading these games through the media. Because it can expand the rate of valances that happen in the world, such as virtual muggings and sex crimes. There should be investigations to those people who create some criminal activates against the law.