Dealing With Harassment in VR

by Upload • October 25th, 2016

Editor’s Note: The below post is written by Henry Jackson and Jonathan Schenker, one of the developers of QuiVr. His multiplayer VR game was recently mentioned in a post titled “My First Virtual Reality Groping” that has reverberated beyond the gaming community.

I didn’t realize the article was about us when I first started reading. But of course it was about us; it was about the entire VR development community, after all. The link I followed read, “I was sexually assaulted in virtual reality. This is a big F*cking problem,” and was about a woman’s experience being harassed in a virtual environment. As someone deeply involved in the growth of VR, this was extremely unsettling for me. And then I saw about a paragraph in that the author had been playing QuiVr when it happened. QuiVr is the game that my friend, Jonathan (“blueteak” in the VR community) and I have been investing ourselves into making for months. My heart sank.

This had happened in our game; this had been on our watch.

The author was surprisingly complimentary towards the game itself, given the circumstances, and yet it’s difficult to explain my reaction. The article was extremely well written and left me deeply saddened, but also grateful that the author had the courage to tell the story. We need this sort of examination. At the same time, Jonathan and I both felt responsible for what had happened. This was not the intended purpose of our game, of course. The models deliberately have no gender identifiers, and we’ve thought long and hard about a concept we call, “cooperative independence” – the idea that players are side-by-side, but gameplay is not dependent on anyone else. Everyone can play together, yet no one can interfere with each other.

The first thing I felt was that we had let someone down. We should have prevented this in the first place. While QuiVr is still in pre-release alpha, we’d already programmed a setting into the game called your, “Personal Bubble,” so other player’s hands disappear if they come close to your face. This way, the rare bad-apple player can’t block someone else’s view and be annoying. The arrows that get shot at you stick in your helmet, which is good for a laugh, but they do no damage and quickly disappear so they don’t get in the way. We hadn’t, though, thought of extending that fading function to the rest of the body – we’d only thought of the possibility of some silly person trying to block your view with their hands and ruining the game.

How could we have overlooked something so obvious?

I called Jonathan, who is not only the original creator of QuiVr, but one of the people I respect the most in the industry to date. He’d already seen the article – his girlfriend had sent him the link – and he had spent the morning changing the game to extend the Personal Bubble; now, when the setting was turned on, other players faded out when they reached for you, no matter their target, chest included. It was a possible solution; no one should be able to treat another player like the author had been treated again.

But in talking, we quickly realized that it didn’t feel like the entire solution. It was functional, but only addressed the act that caused the damage, not the damage itself. To us – though we’re not at all experts on personal space – the strengths and weaknesses of VR are often the same. The reality of the experience, of being “present,” makes everything more powerful than on a flat, 2-dimensional screen. The medical community has been exploring the use of VR to help treat PTSD, phobias, and phantom limb syndrome. If VR has the power to have lasting positive impact because of that realism, the opposite has to be taken seriously as well.

So, we would like to float a possible way of thinking for the VR development community to consider as we grow. It consists of two parts. One, that we should strive to prevent harassment from happening in the first place, of course. But second, when harassment does happen – and I see no way to prevent it entirely so long as multiplayer experiences exist – we need to also offer the tools to re-empower the player as it happens.

I don’t know if we are right in this belief, but it seems a reasonable one to us – if VR has the ability to deprive someone of power, and that feeling can have real psychological harm, then it is also in our ability to help mitigate that by dramatically and demonstrably giving that power back to the player before the experience comes to an end.

For example, what if a player had tools on hand to change the outcome of the encounter before it ended in a negative way?  How different would our childhood memories of the schoolyard bully be if our bodies had been immovable when shoved, or we could mute their words at the push of a button?  Would the author’s experience have been any different if she could have reached out with a finger, and with a little flick, sent that player flying off the screen like an ant?

I believe it might be. I believe that this obnoxious player would have been annoying and adolescent, and then when gone, the game would have continued. And when it was done, there would not have been the feeling of a battle that was still being fought days after the fact.

It would instead have the feeling of a battle that was won.

In her article, the author commented that the feeling of the original encounter remained with her for days afterwards – I can absolutely understand this. Even for me as a passive participant reading the article, I felt that anger and vulnerability carry with me. This highlights for me the potential and dangers of VR itself. The medium should force us to really think about how the sense of “presence” changes interactions that would feel less threatening in a different digital environment.

Thankfully, with the amazing power of VR, where one person’s perspective of reality does not have to match the other person’s in the same game, it’s actually possible to do this without ruining the game for everyone.

With all the above in mind, Jonathan and I revisited our Personal Bubble setting. The changes we made were slight, and potentially more symbolic than consequential. We’re not really sure, but we’ll see. Before, when a player turned on their personal setting, you had to do it by pushing pause, browsing a menu, and selecting it. When it turned on, there was no announcement; the hands of other players simply faded away when they reached for you.

Now, though, activating your Personal Bubble is more like engaging your own superpower. You can still turn it on via the settings, but you can also activate it by what we’re calling a “power gesture” – putting your hands together, pulling both triggers, and pulling them apart as if you are creating a force field. No matter how you activate it, the effect is instantaneous and obvious – a ripple of force expands from you, dissolving any nearby player from view, at least from your perspective, and giving you a safety zone of personal space. It’s an instant creation of control. Any player that teleports next to you will fade away as they approach – and in reverse, you’ll fade from their perspective as they approach, as well. Other player’s voice audio is automatically muted, and you’re given the option to select who you want to hear again. You have the power to turn this on and off – essentially giving you dramatic and instant control of your own space again.

To prevent people from using this as a way to grief other players – another issue VR has to deal with – the visual effects are generally localized to each player’s perspective. If you are standing next to someone that activates their Personal Bubble, the ripple of power passes through you, and they vanish from your perception. It’s as if they are no longer in the same dimension as you, so long as you’re close enough to be in each other’s way. Doing so also mutes the other players from your own system so you can’t hear them, and walks you through selectively turning back on only those you want to hear.

We don’t know if this solution will work perfectly, and it’s certainly not the only solution; like everyone in VR, we’re just learning how to approach these very real problems. But, we think it’s a reasonable place to join the conversation, and it’s worth thinking through what new obligations and responsibilities VR developers have when given the ability to literally create a player’s self image.

The Power Gesture as 911 for VR Experiences

force-field-protection

Could a gesture that creates a kind of protective bubble become standard in multiplayer experiences?

As I was soliciting feedback on this perspective from other members of the community, a theme emerged. Non-VR players really liked the idea of the Power Gesture – a pro-active motion the you knew going into the game could call up defenses if you needed out. Yes, you can always simply take off your HMD, but that is just fleeing the environment, and leaves all the possible threat for when you put it back on. It doesn’t solve anything. The same can be argued for disguising a player’s voice so they can play in peace – while a possible solution, we also need to offer tools that give players better controls, not simply better ways to hide. VR has the unique power to do that.

I’d think it would be interesting if the concept of the Power Gesture were to become a part of the VR design thinking. Whatever the details of that gesture might be, the concept is simple – a single, cross-platform and cross-game action that players can rely on as their call to a safe space. Like 911, which is the number we all know to call for help in the United States regardless of which state you happen to live in, it would be a gesture that we teach to our kids and all VR players in the event something goes wrong.

With that possibility in mind, we’re going to contribute our code for the Personal Bubble to the excellent open source framework, VR Toolkit. It will have to be tweaked for each game, of course, but perhaps it can be built on if useful.  Or, maybe there are better solutions to the same issue. Part of the VR journey is that we’re all building these roads from scratch as we go.

Perhaps “power gesture enabled” can be a concept that’s part of the VR development language – the 911 gesture of protection and safe space, be it against sexual harassment, bullying, or any other form of unwanted confrontation. So when things don’t go well, when something happens that we as developers can’t predict and shield our players from, there’s always a safe place to be found – hopefully not just in QuiVr – but in VR in general.

 

Tagged with: , , ,

  • Cameron Pickerill

    Fantastic response. I imagine we’ll be seeing the power gesture get a lot of adoption thanks to you adding it to the VRTK.

    • mpisc192

      That’s the best possible way to create a new standard. Good for you Quivr! This should be a part of the article itself.

  • Wow Mr. Aaron! Best response one can imagine.

  • Bel

    I just experienced so sexist and abusive comments under previous article in gaming forum.
    I’m really glad how you reacted, well done. Great idea with standardised gesture!

  • Mark Zifchock

    Great Job QuiVR team. A creative, compassionate, and thoughtful solution. As developers, there is a lot we can do to empower our players and prevent abusers from having their way. Really outstanding work.

  • DougP

    Good article.

    Re: “My First Virtual Reality Groping”
    Or they could’ve just blocked Trump from playing their game. It appears he goes by BigBro442. 😉

    j/k aside…
    This is a big issue that needs to be address.
    Before this woman spoke out, I’d read articles on others jumping into multi-player & shared-screen experiences where they were either approached & interacted with inappropriately (without invitation/consent) or shown something offensive.

    I’d raised this concern w/others in VR community ~6mos ago, not long after I got my Vive, and wondered how long until an offensive event would be publicized & get people talking more about this.

    Kids –
    To be honest, it’s made me nervous about when I have friends over & their kids in VR. I’m worried about multi-player games & what might be heard…but much more so…what might be seen. Just having a “virtual person” come into your “personal space”, compounded by verbal assault/undesired interaction, can be off-putting.
    I won’t let my friends’ kids run RecRoom or even Raw Data in multi-player mode.

    I really like the idea of turning on a “safety bubble” to block-out/filter-out people in MP experiences, as well as a standardized method (via Steam? for SteamVR games) for permanently blocking offensive users.
    Perhaps even a way to only allow people who have overwhelmingly positive *ratings* of some such into your games.
    Crowd-sourced a bit – the same way the likes of AirBnB hosts can filter out bad or non-rated users?

  • mikowilson

    It also seems that reminding people that they can take off their HMD at any time is important. The power move is a great idea; but if the experience that you are in does not employ that, just get outta there! Asshats seem to enjoy getting a rise out of people, and the ultimate way to stop that behavior may be to simply vanish. Once the Player is completely out of harm’s way they can deal with the turd who was harassing them.
    At the very least, create a menu system that provides instant, solitary, relief, a “holy-shit” button, so to speak.

  • The other night in AltSpace, I had an encounter that took me by surprise and is still with me. It wasn’t “negative” unlike what’s being discussed here, but it was also unintended surprisingly intimate. A female with an attractive voice walked up to me and came face-2-face as if she were teasing a kiss. I can’t say there was anything explicitly inappropriate about it, but I doubt it would have happened in person given the social circumstances otherwise. I think that what we’re finding is how not “virtual” the emotional effects of VR can be which shouldn’t be a surprise considering what we are all trying to accomplish.

    After reading this article though I realize how insanely complicated this will be though because something like the “personal bubble” here would also deny us experiences we might want to have otherwise so perhaps this concept needs to be extended to a friends-list and rules just as we now do with privacy. This would allow some flexibility rather than forcing the same experience for everyone or all people at a given time.

    • mikowilson

      It seems like an opt-in “Random weirdos can enter my bubble” option might work. What I see in my experienced doesn’t have to be what you see. That’s the beauty of a virtual reality, we all don’t need to experience it in the exact same way.
      It’s a shame though, we would be denying some people the ability to have those great connections by neutering their experience.

      • Mike

        I dunno, I think it should ask before you start the game or something. I don’t know if I like having the default option be the less realistic option.

        • mikowilson

          No, I agree with you. If someone feels like they need a personal space bubble; they can go ahead and turn it on.
          The SAD thing is that men and women don’t share the same experience; and someone virtually groping me does not come with the same severely negative effect as a woman being groped.
          I think we are all mature enough to realize why that is. The sad, sad,sad reason why…
          So yeah! We should be aware that we aren’t all the same, and ensure that everyone can enjoy an experience; because we all deserve to experience the same content without threat.

          • Mike

            I agree – that seems like the best option. Though I have to point out that not all women have the same experience and not all men have the same experience, and some males do have strong negative effects from being groped (especially if they’re a child). But on average yes, there is a difference in how much of a negative effect it would have on a person. And yes, there should be an option to deal with VR experience-ruiners.

          • mikowilson

            I agree with you completely Mike.
            I’m pretty stoked that at least you and I can have a conversation about this topic without attacking each other. You give me hope buddy, lol.

          • Mike

            Thanks. Yeah that’s not so common lately.

    • Mike

      That same thing happened to me once in AltSpace. I actually enjoyed it, but I can understand that some people wouldn’t.

  • J Belamire

    Aaron, Jonathan, I can’t tell you how moved I am by your response to my article. Thank you so much for taking the issue of space violation in VR so seriously and treating my experience so respectfully. Your idea of creating a power gesture and reversing the victim dynamic is brilliant.
    Apologies if I drew an unwanted spotlight to QuiVr — I never thought so many people would read my piece! At the same time though, I did love your game, and so does my whole family. Glad that came across in the article too 🙂 Cheers to you both.

    • MrTemple

      Thank you, Jordan, for speaking out about your experience. Through the bravery of that act, you may have made yourself more vulnerable to attack, but you’ve also done a great deal to help every person’s VR experience in the future.

    • jlenoconel

      Congratulations on the clickbait article. You did yourself and video games journalists everywhere proud. Hope you weren’t too traumastized because someone “touched” you online.

    • Scrubs 2009

      Your article is still shit. There’s nothing to “grope”, You play as floating hands. On top of that you can’t even get close to another player to touch them. This is pathetic tabloid journalism at it’s worst.

      • Devon Wilk

        Is it shit? It was the #1 headline story on Medium on Monday. Robert fucking Scoble quoted it and said VR developers should design out harassment in their games. Sorry, the smartest and most powerful people in the industry disagree with you.

        But maybe you, who can’t even post one comment without following the basic rules of grammar, know something they don’t! Perhaps it’s time to stop playing for the losing team.

        • Sharkz

          Robert Who?

          How exactly do they intend to force developers to do what they want, given that the Vive/SteamVR is open to everyone and everything? If there are developers stupid enough to turn their Online/Multiplayer experiences into Virtual Safe Space Bubble Boy Simulators, that’s up to them. They’re going to leave the good money to other developers like the Onward guy or anyone that develops engaging MMOs with interesting inter-player experiences.

          • Onionne

            Yeah they absolutely talked about “forcing” people do to things here. Excellent reading comprehension.

          • ADevilNeverCry .

            Is this supposed to be some sort of intelligent rebuttal to what was said, or is this best best your intellectual abilities enable you to come up with. Questions questions.. I’ll write this in another language, to see if you get it. Tás a falar do que caralho? Não fazes sentido absolutamente algum. Dissonância cognitiva no seu melhor.

          • Onionne

            Your wit is the best best, ADevilNeverCry. Never let anyone belittle you just because you have an unnaturally skinny head.

        • Oscar Hernandez

          “Smartest”

          If you’re part of the smarter future I hope the future laughs at all you unbearable entitled over privileged retards

        • Noir

          I don’t even understand what was there to grope ? how is grabbing nothing harassment, I’m really trying my best to understand this but every time I imagine it looks silly.

        • edtastic

          The industry will be phony social justice hipster purged soon as studios discover people like GTA style games better than a feminists safe space. It won’t take long and you people can cry in the corner together about VR murders of innocent kittens.

        • Timo

          You know, Devon. There are people in this world who speak three languages fluently. What about your foreign language grammar? Just to clarify before calling someone out for making grammar mistakes in a statement that is still true.

        • Emesis

          #1 on Medium? Never heard of it until I looked it up. Medium is a feminist blogger site. Blogging is not journalism. Any idiot can post a blog. Being #1 on a blog site is like giving a participation trophy. it means nothing.

        • Sebastian Curley

          VR devs don’t need to design shit, all you need to do in a Multiplayer game is have these basic functions: Mute, Block, Kick and if possible, Hide.

          PROBLEM FUCKING SOLVED

    • Sharkz

      You weren’t a victim of anything. The VR community has just become a victim of the outrage brigade.

      • mikowilson

        YOU, are not the VR community. Please, don’t sign on the rest of us for your nonsense. Some of us want VR to be welcoming and inviting for everyone.
        Everyone.
        Every. Single. Person.

    • Devon Wilk

      Jordan, thank you so much for speaking out. If anyone doesn’t think this wasn’t a courageous act, just look at the ignoramuses below, and imagine getting a slew of hate comments from strangers for days– I feel for you Jordan. But you’ve done good. And the QuiVr devs are outstanding dudes.

      • Guy Gamer

        “courageous” Are you joking?

    • Emesis

      Well good way to bring attention to yourself and your upcoming lesbian romance novel. I question your intentions and if the story you portray actually happened. There is no way you can prove that it happened without some sort of video evidence. If you were so offended, you could have just left the MP game and started another one, but instead you post your experience on a feminist online magazine with a preamble of your upcoming book. Then you dupe the developers into cuddling your poor innocent feelings. Sorry, but I’m not buying it.

      • Timo

        Isn’t that interesting, Emesis? She writes an adult lesbian romance novel and feels harassed by digital gloves. This is pathetic and slightly pretending.

    • Aaron Stanton

      Hi, Jordan – thank you for your original article. I think that the only way VR can grow as a community is with positive critical examination, and your willingness to share your experience in what I thought was a very respectful and straight forward account is honestly appreciated. You could easily have attacked QuiVr, and you certainly didn’t. I don’t want to engage much in a public discussion in the comments section of any one particular article, but in some of the comments below – I’m surprised that so much attention is focused on the physical (or lack of it) interaction. In terms of my personal emotions I experienced imagining what you described, it had relatively little to do with physical assault, and everything to do with inability to determine what happens to me, repeatedly, even when trying to move someplace else to get away. In some ways, VR has the ability to make someone more vulnerable than real life; for example, there was no way to physically push back against someone in your space with your hands, removing even the most basic form of influencing the environment that someone might have in the real world. Unless a developer has chosen to include player to player interaction like that, a user can’t even rely on things we take for granted in our day-to-day lives. Covering yourself to prevent the appearance of contact does nothing if the other player’s hand can pass through yours. If harassment like this is an act of power and control, in so many cases that power rest by accidental default with the harasser. Without the developer thinking about it in advance, there is literally no mechanism of agency for the player in a game against another player – and because multiplayer components are not predictable, we potentially plan for them less.

      Part of the reason that harassment in VR is so potentially more problematic than other environments is because it’s enough like real life to convince ourselves that we are really “there”, and yet it doesn’t necessarily offer any of the tools built into the physical world to protect us – be they social protections, physical protections, or otherwise.

      After reading a lot of the content and responses so far, I think for me it can really be boiled down to something along the lines of this: In VR, more than any other medium, the developer is asking the user to give them control to define their literal self-image. If that’s the case, it is important to think of how that responsibility demands from our design in creating a game that’s enjoyable for everyone.

      For fear of coming off too cliche… with great power comes great responsibility. 🙂

      The fact that a user has chosen to give us that power for a time by putting on a VR headset does not lesson that, nor does it change just because they have the power back from the developer by taking off the HMD. For the duration that the user chooses to trust us (the developers) with their self-image, that responsibility to be careful and thoughtful in our designs rests with us.

      • Emesis

        Aaron are you friggin serious?

        You say, “In some ways, VR has the ability to make someone more vulnerable than real life; for example, there was no way to physically push back against someone in your space with your hands.”

        WTF you are not trapped in the HMD, you can actually take it off. You can go to another MP session if you choose. You can also grow a pair and stand up for yourself and not go to a safe place and cry. Society has created a generation of sensitive little whiners that don’t know how to handle life. If you can’t manage yourself in a virtual world, then I’d hate to see how you do in the real one.

        • Allaun

          That isn’t the point. What you are advocating is to let the bad behavior persist rather than address it. If someone is harassing you, you don’t shrug and go “oh well”. You take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen in the first place. The option to turn on personal bubble isn’t mandatory. It’s a tool that gives you a choice on what you are comfortable with. Your solution is to avoid the option of blocking all together.

          • Guy Gamer

            Its a fucking game. How is this harassment?

      • Thomas Andrews

        Wow Aaron… please tell me you aren’t serious…

    • Oscar Hernandez

      In other words what I can translate from this is: “WAAAAH WAAAH! I WAS RAPED VIRTUALLY! I NEED SOMEONE TO LOOK OUT FOR ME! WAAAAH WAAAAH!”
      here’s some advice for you. TURN OFF THE FUCKING GAME YOU STUPID BITCH!

      • squiggleslash

        Thanks for being a living, walking, demonstration of why the actions described in this article are completely necessary.

        • Guy Gamer

          You are a fucking idiot.

          • Cpt_Justice

            Your confession is noted.

          • mikowilson

            You have to imagine what personal hell hole this guy lives in, if he actually took the time to create a Disqus JUST to insult people.
            Dude, go take a walk outside. Find something that inspires you.
            Be happy. Please. Just be happy.

          • Cpt_Justice

            I didn’t even think about that But it figures. Unfortunately this is undoubtedly what inspires him, & makes him happy. TRAGIC.

    • Kaoru Kira

      You are part of the cancer that is spreading through gaming this decade, I cant believe you actually accusing of sexual assault on a game where you dont even have a body, I thought Fine Bros were the 2016 disappointment but congratulations, you are officially now the most ridiculous 2016 case and I will spread this because people need to know about your stupidity.

    • Kaoru Kira

      You are part of the cancer that is spreading through gaming this decade, I cant believe you actually accusing of sexual assault on a game where you dont even have a body, I thought Fine Bros were the 2016 disappointment but congratulations, you are officially now the most ridiculous 2016 case and I will spread this because people need to know about your stupidity.

    • Timo

      Why not just take the HTC Vive off if you feel assaulted by gloves? Your overly exaggerating reaction and the medial traction is BS, honestly.

    • Thomas Andrews

      I gotta say, you don’t have a frigging clue what sexual assault is if THIS is what you consider sexual assault.

    • elyse

      Thank you for writing that article, Jordan. I’ve experienced first-hand harassment in video games, and if it feels so real then, I can’t imagine how worse it is in VR. You’re awesome!

    • Sebastian Curley

      ..Really? You’re really saying a VR game caused you sexual assault?
      that is hilariously sad. You didn’t have a body, you didn’t physically get touched, you didn’t have SHIT happen to you, all you had was a player in a session who was just an asshat who was being sexist in that moment.

      Last I checked, in a video game (Which IMO steam can fucking do Jordan) when dealing with an asshat, you can do the following:

      1) Mute them
      2) Leave the game and go to another, or make your own to be in control
      3) Report them for disturbing the game experience
      4) BLOCK THEM
      5) Take off the headset, did this not occur to you?
      6) Let it happen and let the person die or you die and move the fuck on.

      games and platforms have the tools to be rid of creeps, you have to use them, not say its some horrendous crime like real sexual assault is.

      You should be fucking ashamed to say such shit about a VR game to bring down the real damage of the crime to something so petty, so small and easily avoidable on YOUR PART.

      Telling someone to “Stop” online doesn’t mean shit because its the internet, the internet could be under law controls and still you couldn’t do shit to stop it. (and honestly, you’d just make the net a worse place than it is with “Big Brother” being in full control when they know jack shit about it.)

      until VR games act like Sword Art Online where things you eat and touch and people you touch are physically felt on the body, period, it will never be sexual assault, and even then, you can always “/block xxxxx”

      Fucking disgusting how you’d drag gaming down with a honestly silly claim and then advertise your lesbian romance novel.

    • mikowilson

      I won’t even try to push back on the wall of stupidity in here. It won’t be worth it, and no ground will be made up.
      I simply just want to say that I’m sorry that this is the garbage that you need to deal with. It’s not fair, and I hope that it gets better.
      Have a great day!

  • davidbrake

    What you haven’t mentioned though is any kind of policing. If someone is persistently nearby when others make the gesture, could they not be flagged up for assessment by the developers? More controversially, could VR game developers start some kind of joint troll database?

    • Mark Zifchock

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of challenges with that approach. One is scalability – many games are put out by small teams. Until we get other frameworks and systems to assist, it is difficult for indie developers to personally manage a social system with a lot of players. The second is account management. It is still easy for people to create accounts under assumed names. This is a problem for any online community – be it a chat forum or a multiplayer game. One could propose networks where there is no anonymity, but that brings its own issues. Another solution could be using unique system fingerprints ( including mac addresses ) to uniquely identify players. Unfortunately, these can be circumvented too. I think the QuiVR devs solution manages to solve the problem in a scalable, and essentially appropriate way – giving the end user powers to manage the problem.

  • fireaza .

    Aaaaaand queue the douchebags claiming that these anti-harassment features are infringing on their right to free speech. Throw a few references to “SJWs” and “femnazis” in there for a more authentic experience.

    • Mike

      No, this is a reasonable and moderate solution to an obvious problem. Of course there are immature people online (mostly little boys) who wanna mess with people just for laughs. The article steered clear from the divisive stereotyping and unrealistic ideology of SJWs and third wave feminists (other than a passing reference to “safe space”, but I don’t think they meant it in that sense).

      • edtastic

        The only problem I see is click bait media driving conversations.

        • Mike

          Sure. And for all I know, the original article they cited might be full of ideological nonsense – I didn’t read it, and I don’t want to (Medium is usually pretty terrible). But the article here on this site is fine, and it’s a valid point that there are obnoxious people online and there should be an option in some situations to not have to deal with them.

      • jlenoconel

        What is it gonna be next though? “I don’t want guns in this game because they’re toxic masculine and therefore alienating to female players?” Come on now, you know this shit isn’t gonna end just like that.

    • Sharkz

      “these anti-harassment features are infringing on their right to free speech”

      They’re not, they’re infringing on the developers rights to get any money out of me, I already added QuiVR to “Not Interested” on Steam, cause I have no time to deal with bullshit from developers that throw Tumblr-like tantrums and talk about “Safe Spaces”.

      • Onionne

        How is making suggestions and adding options that they feel will help make people feel safer infringing on any rights? The devs read an article and made a decision. And this decision impacts the gameplay in no way whatsoever. It’s just that you now have the option to remove anyone who bothers or harasses you from your presence. That’s it.

        You’re the only one throwing a tantrum here.

        • Adept

          They really are, and it’s tragically funny. Poor little GamerGaters.

          • ADevilNeverCry .

            What the blue fuck does this have to do with “gamergate”!? No one has mentioned it, nor it’s supporters. Do you sleep at night thinking about gamergate, or is it only when you can’t get hard and you imagine your sock is a gamergate puppet? I am seriously starting to think you freaks are absolutely delusional. To say or even imply what happened is anywhere NEAR sexual assault, or is ANYWHERE N E A R the stratosphere of what victims of sexual assault go through is disgusting, and anyone who says so, should be locked up in an asylum. This is as retarded as to say “I’ve experienced being tortured in VR, now I know what prisoners of war go trough”. “I know what it is to die”,. See how fucking retarded this sit is? But when you ad “womyn” and “sexual assault” suddenly this shit gets a pass. And it’s fucking crazy to think there’s mongoloids that think this way. Visual stimuli is NOTHING like being sexually assaulted in real life. Where there’s a lot of other factors at play, like permanent physical damage, smell, taste, actual physical contact, having to deal with the fact that this happened to you, the consequences of that event, etc. Being virtually “groped” by a limbless mask is absolutely laughable, and that’s all it is. It in no way impacts your life if you’re not already mentally broken and emotionally unstable to begin with. You have absolute control of that situation. Whereas in real life you can’t dictate when it ends, or its consequences. She could have changed the server, or gone offline. You simply can0t do that in real life. Again, this is not “sexual assault”. it’s harassment, and that’s all it is, virtual harassment. I have a fear of height and heights in games does absolutely nothing, because I can differentiate between reality and fiction, which this utter moron doesn’t seem to be able to. Since she tried to pull a “since I’m afraid of heights in real life and it crosses over to this game, sexual “assault2 in games affects you as bad as real life”. No, you’re just a moron. And get the fuck outta here with that GG trash comeback. That adds nothing to the conversation you sad loser.

          • Onionne

            You seem upset. Are you ok.

          • Mike

            Regardless of any difference, I think it’s a good idea to have the option to stop intentionally obnoxious people from ruining your VR experience. Wouldn’t you agree? No, this has nothing to do with GamerGate. People in this forum are gravitating to extremes, one way or the other, and it’s stupid.

          • jlenoconel

            Its not a big enough deal for it to even a be a thing. All this woman would have to really do is block any users she doesn’t want harassing her, but no, she wants the ENTIRE GAME changed to fit her requirements. I honestly think this woman is making this up anyway, because this game isn’t even popular enough for this kind of thing to occur. Its just clickbait and we’re all falling for it.

          • edtastic

            Yes they warned you. Next the market will tell you.

          • Mike

            This has nothing to do with GamerGate. As a frequent browser of the GamerGate subreddit, I fully support this option, and I’m sure 90% of the people there also would.

          • jlenoconel

            Are you gonna buy this game lol?

        • edtastic

          Lots of people are angry about click bait journalism driving the industry. How about they find some children who know what play and fun is to act as consultants before relying on underdeveloped hyper sensitive adults looking for claims to victimhood in their priveleged lives.

          • Onionne

            You want kids to get harassed? Creepy!

          • Cpt_Justice

            Or at least women. That much is obvious.

      • fireaza .

        Bro, are you seriously boycotting the game because they added an anti-harassment feature? And to think! People say gamers are immature!

        • edtastic

          People are fed up with the click bait antics and devs who fall for them. You don’t see Hollywood caving to this nonsense. Offending, scaring, and even angering people is all apart of a entertaining fantasy world. What we don’t want is boring and people like you insist things be made that way. Save your social justice for the real world instead of trying to control people’s virtual fantasy spaces. I swear you people were burning books in past life..

          • fireaza .

            Bro, are we even talking about the same news article here? We’re talking about a developer extending their “personal bubble” feature to include the whole body instead of just the head. That’s it. You’re acting like the developer is being forced to remove controversial content due to public outrage. Do you work in a movie theater? Because you’re projecting like all get-out, bro. Seriously dude, you’re getting upset about the ability to virtually grope strangers being removed. That’s a not a noble position to be defending to your dying breath.

            And no, when it comes to online games, you can’t just let everyone have free run of the place. Online games are for everyone to enjoy, when some ass-hat is intentionally trying to ruin the game for everyone, that’s called griefing. And it’s something that developers work to prevent, and have done so since the dawn of online gaming.

          • muchrockness

            If you can’t have fun in VR without groping people, you need help.

          • jlenoconel

            I reckon its possible that the dev made this happen because they want publicity for a game no one would give a shit about otherwise.

      • Solarcide

        Well said, Sharkz. I have no interest in playing games by developers who enable the mentally ill by capitulating to their attention-whoring emotional manipulations.

        • Cpt_Justice

          Hopefully, the game developers will put this message on the box as a feature. Your absence can only enhance the game for normal people. Oh, & project much? WOW.

    • aNYagenda

      I’m just glad that you threw in “douchebag’s” for the full authentic experience of a liberal intellectuals foul mouthed disdain for anybody who disagrees with you.

  • xebat

    Grow fucking balls/grow a thick skin god damn it, how i hate these fucking weak minded who cry only because of people who are being douchebags in a virtual envoirment. People who cry for the smallest reason ruin the immersion.

    • Being sexually assaulted is not a “small reason,” and is an awful experience for any person, regardless of the number of balls they have. The immersion is being broken by the idiots breaking the gameplay and harassing people, not by people responding appropriately to that harassment.

      • mikowilson

        Well no, the immersion is not broken, and that is the problem. The problem is that asshats transcend the digital divide and don’t realize that their actions actually have an effect on people.

        • jessicalprice

          Oh, they realize it. That’s part of the enjoyment for them.

          • mikowilson

            Gross. Well, luckily for normal people, asshats don’t make good developers because it is a team sport. Guess who is going to win the battle here.

          • jessicalprice

            Having spent a decade in software/video game development, I assure you that there are plenty of asshats who get off on other people’s suffering–and/or want to see women “put in our place”– in developer roles.

            Development should be a team sport, but there are plenty of people in power who put protecting their egos above actual teamwork.

          • Sharkz

            You’d be surprised. Continue whining though.

        • edtastic

          Your actions have an effect, a chilling effect that imposes a unhealthy degree of infantilization on others.

      • Dllemm

        Is teabagging in counterstrike, a game that’s been out for 17 years considered “sexual assault”? If teabagging is out that’s not the world I want to live in.

        • Onionne

          Counterstrike isn’t a VR experience. Plus, teabagging and groping really aren’t the same thing.

          • middlemonster

            Are you saying that rubbing your genitals on someone after murdering them is not as bad as groping them? Or did you mean the other way around? What if you could crouch in VR over the dead body of your latest murder is that worse or better than groping?

          • Onionne

            I’m talking about the nature of the thing here. You’re the only one going on about “worse”.

      • jlenoconel

        Sexually assaulted in a video game lol. Are you even listening to yourself? VR isn’t real life.

      • Sharkz

        “Being sexually assaulted is not a “small reason,” and is an awful experience for any person, regardless of the number of balls they have.”

        Good thing nobody was “sexually assaulted” then, because that is an utter impossibility in a virtual world. Maybe you can tackle the much more pertinent problems of “virtual death”, “virtual theft”, “virtual assault” (those virtual stabbing and shooting statistics need to be way down for anyone to want to live in this neighborhood) “virtual zombie/alien invasions” and before you take in the absolutely serious issue of another player waving their disembodied hands in front of your avatar in a space that doesn’t even exist.

      • edtastic

        It’s not sexual assault and your a real scum bag for calling it that. Read the definition, it’s not a virtual crime but this bull crap story is about a virtual victim as in not real in anyway.

    • MauiJerry

      there are some people (xebat?) for whom there might need to be a more active response than the relatively passive personal bubble. if someone is being offensive, they need to learn manners to live in society. Give people a kick-in-groin reaction to offense. That would kick the offender either out of game or freeze them or tumble them away (6d random spin/translation might be very effective).

      • mikowilson

        Well no, you can’t give anyone that sort of power. Congrats, you’ve destroyed the game, lol.
        Beyond shaping the personal comfort level Player-side, you would have to create some sort of block-list feature, or neuter the intimacy of the experience for everyone.

        • MauiJerry

          That would depend on the game you are creating. If it is Battlefield, then hmm, well maybe this sort of weapon might actually be a plus… for a social world, you need some way to enforce social norms of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Some negative reinforcement.

    • mikowilson

      Every multiplayer experience creates a server just for you. Just you. Alone.

  • spamjoes

    I think this entire thing is quite terrible. Games are supposed to be a place to mentally get entirely away from this world, these rules, with a character in another one. A character in a game is a **character** it is not “you”. Internalizing what happens to your character is a conscious choice, and there are likely some underlying psychological issues at play here. Mark my words: Giving any credence whatsoever to this woman’s complaint is going to lead to the death of VR. You are opening the door to real-world legislation of behavior inside virtual worlds, and characters won’t be able to interact with one another without someone wanting to call the police. The response from the developer and the community should’ve been: Sorry you chose to feel that way, but this was simply a rendered character inside a video game, it was not in any way “you”. The implementation of this bubble won’t be enough, the type of person to complain about this will not be satisfied by your efforts until they suck every last bit of fun out of the entire thing. Typically, if articles on the subject are to be believed, women who were sexually assaulted don’t like to make that information public… the choice to run straight to the presses on this one, it just leaves me with more questions than answers.

    • mikowilson

      There is just so much NOPE here.
      VR, at it’s highest version of itself is a system that allows the Player to feel like they are really in a new world. If that new world includes creeps that try to virtually molest them, then that is an issue that needs to be dealt with.
      You can’t simply wave off someone else’s negative experience simply because you haven’t experienced it, that’s not how life works.

      • spamjoes

        Dude, you can NOT cater to what everyone’s “feelings” are. At some point, you need to be able to put out a product and stand by it, and VIGOROUSLY fight for your right to allow true freedom inside your game… not wussy-bag around about it and try to make sure not to offend anyone’s sensibilities. Let me tell you this, you will NEVER be able to stop EVERYONE from being offended. I disagree with your assertion that “that’s an issue that needs to be dealt with”… everything does NOT “need to be dealt with”. People have a choice to be there or not, no one is putting a gun to their heads and saying PLAY THIS GAME. A better solution is to have a no-rules world and then a separate cuddly pooh-bear world, then people can choose to play in a style that they prefer without infringing on those who want no rules (almost always, the no-rules worlds will have the majority of players flocking to them).

        • mikowilson

          “Feelings” are exactly what this experience is all about. The “Feeling” of being in a shared space. Those “feelings” get pretty real for some people, and if they don’t “feel” like getting molested, then they shouldn’t have to deal with that.
          What you are describing is a Max Max-esque hellscape. If you want that experience, then make it yourself.
          Which “no rules” servers are you talking about exactly? 4Chan?

          • Guy Gamer

            You are a fucking idiot.

          • mikowilson

            This fucking idiot actually makes games that sell, and like, win awards and shit.
            What do you do fam? 😉

        • MauiJerry

          there needs to be a way for asshats to be dealt with…. those people who are being rude and offensive and NOT playing the game, but subverting it for their own sadistic enjoyment. A way to block them, kick them away, or whatever.

      • jlenoconel

        Feminists basically want it to be a crime for men to even approach a woman in the street, and now they want to do the same in virtual reality? Its a joke. This world is becoming a JOKE. Men literally can’t have anything nice because of these people.

        I don’t support harassment, but there’s a block button on most games like this. People should learn to use it.

        • mikowilson

          Dude, I’m a guy, and I don’t want random idiots virtually groping women and making them feel uncomfortable in VR. I want everyone to feel like this medium is for them. Men have literally EVERYTHING nice.
          Don’t be a dink. No one is taking anything away from you, merely asking that they have what you have — the ability to feel unmolested. Tell me bro, when’s the last time you’ve had a chick grab your ass?

          • edtastic

            “Men have literally EVERYTHING nice.”
            You are such a douchebag hipster I had to log in and tell you about yourself. You don’t know about men or their struggles. You don’t bother doing a damn thing but play along to get along with whoever you think the in crowd is at the moment. What you are not and will never be is a true voice for social justice because those people would see right through that shallow crap right there. You can find overwhelming majorities of men in prison, murdeded, among war dead, victims of suicide, and a crap load of other things women can be greatful far less often befall their gender. Please stfu, we don’t need fraud a ruining activism to deal with serious issues. VR assaults and other hipster click bait topics aren’t among them.

          • mikowilson

            Hahah, that’s cool bud.
            I’ll just keep making cool shit.
            Who are you again? 😉

            And you think the huge prison population is somehow women’s fault?

            Look what kind of vitriol you took the time to write. You are exactly the problem here.

          • Johnny Joestar

            you play as gloves what is there to grope?

          • mikowilson

            If that is really your question, then you are either being purposefully obtuse or just don’t understand how presence works I’m VR.
            You feel like you are there. That is the entire point of the medium.

          • Johnny Joestar

            Well from the many times I’ve played with VR (Other people agree with me) the graphics are pretty potato so it takes out quite a lot of the immersion and doesn’t make you feel like you are there unless it’s your first time using it.

          • mikowilson

            Cool. I’ve been working in VR for a few years now. It has little to do with potatoe graphics and more to do with the preciseness of the tracking.
            There are also so many VR solutions that your statement is hard to quantify.
            Regardless, some people feel presence, and if they do, their personal space feels like their own. That’s the end goal regardless, so if it’s not an issue now, it will be in the future.

          • Cpt_Justice

            There’s a lot f him in this thread.It’s pathetic.

        • Cpt_Justice

          Stop lying,. You obviously do support harassment when you make up lies about what you call “feminists”. “Men literally can’t have anything nice – ” like openly harassing them in VR – “because of these people.” Thank you for exposing yourself so thoroughly.

          • jlenoconel

            The video game industry was built and supported by men. Its only within the last 10 years or so that women have started playing video games on a larger scale. You and I both know that people do stupid things in video games. They simulate sex and other things because its funny. Feminists are now trying to force their way into the industry and are dictating how things should be.

            Nowhere did I say I supported harassment, but its pretty clear the person who wrote this article did it for clickbait, and I very much doubt enough people are even playing this game for issues like this to be a thing. Sorry.

          • Cpt_Justice

            Substitute “whites” for “men” & “blacks” for “feminists” & see just how you sound. That is, even if everything you were saying was actually that true.

    • MauiJerry

      obviously you are not familiar with the goal of PRESENCE in VR… that it pushes the ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ further than ever before possible.

      • spamjoes

        The goal of PRESENCE has been there since 1. The earliest plays on stage, 2. The earliest radio shows, 3. The earliest silent films, 4. The advent of movies with color and sound, 5. The earliest video games, 6. The earliest VR technologies 30 years ago. With each step, people feel like they are finally “there”, until the next big thing comes along– which for us will likely be neural implants. At none of these junctures were you ever THERE. 1. Those characters on the stage were not “you”, although you could look into the audience and see people mouthing the words, 2. Martians did NOT land on Earth, you were not in danger, 3. Charlie Chaplin getting a pie in the face felt so visceral to those watching, but BREATHE you’re ok!, 4. Oh my, how Hollywood has tried to suck us in and scare us or endear us, but those characters are not us, 5. Roberta Williams really brought stories to life with her characters in video games, they made us laugh and cry, and we could control them… but it’s not us, and 6. VR is just VR, it’s just a rendering like all the technologies before it; guess what… it is still a character, it isn’t us. 30 years from now, current attempts at VR will seem as silly as radio shows seem to you now… but people were all in a rage in the early 1900’s over what was coming across their radios.

        • andrewtraviss

          Have you actually *used* VR before? The feeling of presence isn’t an improvement or extension of any feeling from any other medium. It’s entirely new. Yes, the current experiences will seem primitive in the future, but what we have now already creates a literally unprecedented experience.

          • spamjoes

            It’s an unprecedented experience to YOU. As @mikowilson:disqus somewhat alluded in a different context, this is about feelings. People have committed suicide because of what they experienced in a stage play. It doesn’t get any more real than that. You’re just part of a different generation who doesn’t have the same vantage point as someone from another generation; it doesn’t make VR any “better”. Some would even say imagination can be much more powerful than having everything rendered for you. I should’ve mentioned books as another medium, because that can create full-on “presence” as well.

          • andrewtraviss

            I’m not using “feeling” in the sense of emotion, but in the sense of physical sensation. Other media and your imagination are quite good at tricking your mind, but VR tricks your *body*.

        • MauiJerry

          having used VR 25 years ago, the current attempts are not that much different.

          • mikowilson

            And there it is, you have no idea what you are talking about.

        • Doctor Bambi

          You seem to be ignoring the fact that, with the advent of video games, we entered a new paradigm in entertainment. No longer were we passively sitting by and watching characters enact a story before us. We became active participants of that story. The character, yes is their own, but they are nothing without the person controlling them.

          Because of this, video game characters become more like an appendage; an outlet for us to convey emotions and ideas in reaction to events unfolding. When something bad happens to them, we have to do something about it and it becomes personal. That’s what makes games so engaging and fun.

          Now because of this, games can be essentially about abusing the player and giving them the tools to overcome that abuse. But when putting live players together in a space, the nature and the severity of that abuse can get out of hand. Only the player being abused can know when that point has been reached and it’s important to give them tools to stabilize the situation so that the fun isn’t ruined.

          I remember trying out Little Big Planet’s online mode once. I got paired with someone who refused to progress through the game and instead chased my character around pointing a gun at my head. It was funny for about 10 seconds, then it got creepy, in fact, the incident still gives me goosebumps to this day. If I had a tool at that point to restrict their actions, I would have been able to continue enjoying the game.

          So to me, a 911 feature like discussed in the article is a novel concept to this problem. We have 911 to stop abuse in the real world. Perhaps it’s time we had a 911 for abuse that happens in our digital world.

          • spamjoes

            I wasn’t ignoring it, I was addressing the point at hand. Let me ask you a question. Let’s say we go into an arcade and there is game consisting of a large transparent plastic dome. Players stand around the outside of this dome with two joysticks each to control a “lifelike” doll inside the dome. One doll approaches another and begins to fondle that doll’s private areas. Does the person controlling the “offended” doll have any claim to being either harassed or sexually assaulted? Edit: Also think about exactly what type of person it takes to actually become offended about this and then proceed to make a national case about it.

          • Doctor Bambi

            Absolutely. To abuse the player’s character in that way will directly impact the player, perhaps not physically, but most definitely psychologically and emotionally.

          • spamjoes

            You, sir, are entirely off the charts wrong and frankly I believe you’re only saying it trying to get some “up” votes here. I was excited to have some good discourse with you on the subject, we could examine where the character ends and the player begins, and vice-versa, but I can see you’re only into being 1000% PC and digging in no matter the cost.

          • Doctor Bambi

            Well, I’m certainly raking in them upvotes aren’t I?

            I would say you are trying to over simplify a very complex situation. I agree that only the person who is offended knows when that point has been reached and it’s different for everyone.

            I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who would have no issues with their opponents doll grabbing their own doll’s privates. I probably would be fine with it in the right context, like say playing against my best friend of 5 years, and we’re always giving each other shit. But that’s because I understand the context, it’s not as big of a deal.

            If you looked over and saw you were playing against a 13 year old girl. Do you think you would interact with their doll the same way?

          • edtastic

            Then grow a backbone. Coddling people like this breeds personality disorders. The damage is taking pettiness too seriously and breeding childlike adults who can’t handle life’s challenges.

          • Doctor Bambi

            Sounds to me like you and Spamjo over here would have a good ol time fondling each others dolls. 😉
            Coddling people can cause personality disorders because it is a form a psychological abuse, just like sexual harassment. So there has to be a middle ground.
            A game should never limit itself simply on the principle that it could offend someone, but having tools on standby to stop abusive behavior isn’t wrong either. So that the sick perverts and the overly sensitive babies can enjoy the same game.

          • gamesandthing

            “what type of person it takes to actually become offended about this” – (besides, pretty much anyone) how about children or parents?

            Imagine your ‘dome’ game was in an arcade, but not in the ‘age restricted’ bit with 18+ games and gambling. My daughter plays your dome game, and another kid I don’t know uses his ‘doll’ avatar to make ‘lifelike’ (as you described it) contact that was clearly representative of sexual-contact with my daughters ‘doll’ avatar throughout the duration of the game. I think that would be a very, very significant problem. I can’t think of an arcade game that could facilitate something like this in the same way your ‘lifelike-dolls-in-a-dome’ game does.

            Besides, it would be awful business practice to knowingly facilitate such unexpected, harmful and significantly negative experiences via the product/software being sold.

            I think that legally it will likely end up being packaging, marketing, and age-rating regulations (probably along with specific regulations regarding environments that have increased likelihood of causing disorientation/motion-sickness, seizures or other visual effects that could cause physical harm) that are applied. Really though, I hope that VR will also encourage many inclusive, varied, empowering and positive gaming experiences for all different types of people.

            Your argument however, is horrible.

    • PixelGeek

      Woman who have been sexually assaulted don’t like to make it public because of assholes like you devaluing and minimizing the violation and chalking it up to nothing but “boys will be boys”.

      • Mike

        He’s arguing that VR is different from real life, though I disagree with his argument. And in real life, alleged sexual assault should be reported to the proper authorities – not “made public”. And nobody says that molesting someone is okay “because boys will be boys” – let’s be real.

        • Onionne

          No, unfortunately, through going to the police, you are making it public. If charges have to be made against the assailant, it becomes public. If the assailant is involved in any way it could become public (do you think they’re always gonna be quiet about it?). It can ruin lives– and, despite popular opinion, the life ruined is usually that of the victim.

          And what if, for whatever reason, the assailant cannot be charged? Should they be silent and let the person who did that to them get away scot-free?

          Also, quite recently a very prolific rape was excused with “boys will be boys”. Brock Turner’s parents excused his rape of an unconscious girl with that rhetoric.

          I’m sorry, but you’re showing just how little you know about all this.

          • Mike

            “going to the police, you are making it public” There’s a huge
            difference between having an accusation on the public court record vs
            publicly shaming someone on social media before a verdict has been
            reached. False accusations **do happen on a regular basis**, and people
            have actually **KILLED THEMSELVES** over being publicly shamed over a
            false accusation:
            http : // www . mirror . co . uk/news/uk-news/heartbroken-mum-killed-herself-after-9073011
            http
            : // www . dailymail . co .
            uk/news/article-2585993/He-said-dead-inside-Inquest-hears-anguish-schoolboy-days-killing-falsely-branded-rapist-drug-dealing-gang.html
            http
            : // www . dailymail . co .
            uk/news/article-2691973/Woman-accused-Bright-Eyes-singer-raping-concert-16-admits-story-LIE.html
            http : // www . bbc . com/news/uk-england-bristol-28045679
            http : // www . huffingtonpost . com/2014/12/17/chastity-angel-plummer-false-rape_n_6340824.html
            https : // www . reddit . com/r/MensRights/comments/14pwn2/a_story_of_how_a_false_rape_accusation_caused_a/
            https : // www . reddit . com/r/MensRights/comments/2r98m4/women_do_not_lie_about_rape/
            http : // tn . com . ar/policiales/lo-acusaron-de-violador-era-inocente-y-se-mato_654589

            The
            western judicial system is based on the principle of “innocent until
            proven guilty”. What you are advocating for is “guilty until proven
            innocent”, which is literally the exact same idea behind the **Salem
            Witch Trials**. You are advocating that we bring back witch hunts.
            Until the court system determines someone’s guilt, they SHOULD NOT face
            life-ruining consequences, because they could very well be completely
            innocent.

            “what if, for whatever reason, the [alleged] assailant
            cannot be charged” Then that’s what the court has found. If there’s
            insufficent evidence, then that sucks if it actually happened but this
            is THE BASIS of the justice system. The same thing applies for murder
            cases, which I don’t think you want to argue are less serious.

            “Brock
            Turner’s parents excused his rape of an unconscious girl with that
            rhetoric” Please give me a source with that quote. I read about that
            story and would have remembered something like that. You’re probably
            misinterpreting it (or repeating someone else’s misinterpretation).

          • Onionne

            Rly hate to break this to you… this might come as a shock…. but this ain’t a court.

    • phreakhead

      Did you just call sexual harassment “fun”? Wow our society is worse off than I thought.

    • jlenoconel

      Agreed 100%. Game devs listening to these whining banshees is setting VR up for failure. Part of the fun of gaming is being able to do silly stuff you can’t do in real life. Now I’m not saying that I think people should have to accept unwanted attention, but that’s what the block button is for. Its that simple.

      • mikowilson

        Yeah, totally, we all want to molest women in real life; but we can’t, because of those pesky laws and ethics! DRATS!
        Or, how about we all just treat each other with respect. What a zany concept.

        • edtastic

          Look idiot the whole world isn’t a safe space for developmentally challenged adults who can’t play video games without feeling violated by the sight of pixels. Perhaps you are among them and if so sorry for calling it an idiot since your feeble mind and fragile self esteem can’t handle it. I’m sure we can find some 6 year olds to council you through the most challenging aspects of play tolerance if you want to get back in the game..

  • MauiJerry

    Social VR experiences (games, etc) are creating a community, a society. that society will need rules and ways to enforce them. The Personal Bubble is a good passive, non-violent approach. It would be additionally helpful to creating a polite society, if the offending person was tagged somehow. A counter that registers then number of bubbles they elicit from others, and people that top that leader board would get suspended from play – or restricted to the prison sector for some period. A more active response might be the self-defense move that would cause the offender some form of discomfort – a 6d spin/translate for 15sec might be an effective negative reward.
    This would need to be balanced against abuse – as all rules will be abused – and for the context of the environment. A close quarters combat game would NOT benefit from the personal bubble as much. In such an world, the participants are expected to get up close and grapple, stab, etc. perhaps those who enjoy the offensive attacks would gravitate those worlds and leave the polite society ones over time.

    • Gary Schaefer

      I like the idea of tracking a players offenses.

      Should be a accurate measure of the players real intentions, in that they are there to enjoy the game and not just screw around with people like a 12 year old.

      • spamjoes

        So now we’re immersing ourselves into new worlds to be overtly “tracked”? Do you people ever even THINK beyond just the immediate, beyond just what’s right in front of you?

        • Gary Schaefer

          If you’re seriously concerned about your behavior being tracked in a video game you have bigger issues to worry about.

          • spamjoes

            I’m not concerned about MY behavior being tracked, I’m concerned that people want to be tracked. And that people want to take all the rules by which we’re currently bound and slap them all into our imaginary worlds as well, just so that some people won’t whine about it.

          • Gary Schaefer

            Unfortunately your comparison doesn’t work. You forget the game in discussion is based on humanoid characters not faceless slugs. However if the game being discussed were based on faceless slugs I would agree with you.

          • FearlessSon

            Games track this kind of stuff already. Most multiplayer games have metric systems in place which aggregate all this data anyway. Heck, tracking something like this is no different than tracking a player’s XP bar across different sessions.

          • fireaza .

            If you think a human’s guts are located at boob level, you’re either an alien or your country’s education system has failed you badly.

      • Mike

        The problem with this idea: how would the game be able to accurately determine intent? It’s not hard to accidentally have your virtual hand hit someone’s virtual breast in the heat of battle.

      • Alex

        Unfortunately this is a bad idea. While I like the idea of tracking offenders, all this would really lead to is gamergate types spamming every woman/person of color/nonstraight person they encounter who won’t put up with their bullshit until the “sjw” is banned. What we need are server bans and a reporting system people actually pay attention to. Also, a way to clip quick videos so mods can see evidence.

        • Mike

          Holy crap, you’ve bought the smear narrative hook line and sinker. GamerGate has NOTHING to do with trying to keep women/minorities/gay people out of gaming. In fact, a larger percentage of people who participate in GamerGate ARE female/minorities/gay people. And no, this conversation has NOTHING to do with GamerGate – I fully support the option to stop annoying people in VR chat rooms from ruining the experience. GamerGate is about 1.) Exposing unethical and corrupt journalism, and 2.) Keeping divisive unrealistic political ideologies out of gaming.

          Female GamerGate supporters: https : // www . youtube . com /watch?v=z6VFIN1WJEY
          https :// www . youtube . com /watch?v=QimugVfXtbU
          https :// www . youtube . com /watch?v=mYG2-ykZtJo
          https :// www . youtube . com / watch?v=lpsqlnttNAM
          https :// www . youtube . com /watch?v=2ef9lChp6wU
          https :// www . youtube . com / watch?v=aPChuckvrmw
          https : // www . youtube . com /watch?v=NjPlEv_e01g
          Black GamerGate supporters: https :// www . youtube . com /watch?v=t4DQLU2ZtV8
          https :// www . youtube . com /watch?v=EX39i_JDDSU
          Gay GamerGate supporter: https :// www . youtube . com /watch?v=7sQ5OWIgFUE
          Bisexual GamerGate supporter:
          https:// www . youtube . com / watch?v=YCExXie1XB4

          • Alex

            Hahaha holy shit. Way to make GG types look reasonable, dude. I mean your whole argument is “hey there are girls/minorities/a gay guy saying horrible shit about anyone who disagrees with us too!!1!”

            Then again, if you want to send folks to fricking KotakuInAction to show how awesome you folks are, you’ve already lost track of what reasonable even is. I’m a woman with a girlfriend. Why the hell should I support a group obsessed with whatever the hell “cultural Marxism” is, that complains about any attempt to make things better for women, ethnic minorities and lgbt folks, and who overwhelmingly supports Trump? No thanks.

            Milo says I don’t exist, asshole. Great example of how awesome Gamergate is!

          • Mike

            “there are girls/minorities/a gay guy saying horrible shit about anyone who disagrees with us”
            Since when does “logically deconstructing bad arguments” equal “saying horrible shit about”?

            “Milo says I don’t exist”
            I don’t agree with everything Milo says. I disagree with some things he says. My point in listing him was to show that there’s a famous gay person who’s vocally pro-GamerGate.

            “complains about any attempt to make things better for women, ethnic minorities and lgbt folks”
            Wrong. A lot of people complain about the unrealistic and divisive ideologies and policies that are sometimes involved in attempts to “make things better for” certain groups. I fully support realistic solutions to real problems facing any group. I do not support doing or saying things that disadvantage or vilify one group in order to solve an imaginary or exaggerated “problem” of another group.

            “He didn’t just look up those links. They have them prepackaged to copy and paste into arguments”
            False. I actually took like 15 minutes to remember all the GamerGate supporters that made videos and fit the description, then to go through their videos and find the best examples to link to. Though of course after doing that I saved my list of links in case this argument ever happens again, in order to save time.

            Also, way to assume I’m a guy, you terrible cisheteronormative transmisogynist.

            “These guys BRIGADE” There was no coordinated effort here. I found this article posted on the Vive subreddit. I saw no post about this article on any Gamergate-related forum. And don’t pretend that people pushing the ideologies that GamerGate opposes don’t brigade just as much – in fact, I’m pretty sure they started doing it first, and do it much more often.

        • mikowilson

          Yeah, I just don’t know how this would work. Having blanket rules like “No swearing” and “No cheating” are basic rules that are easily defined.
          Something like “This person is acting like toxic poison and is making everyone uncomfortable” means that a human being has to watch this behavior magically determine, consistently, what is toxic behavior.
          There are two solutions to this:
          1) Crowd-source the judgement. If three people say that you are an asshole in a day, you are gone. This would have to be tied to your Steam ID I guess.
          2) Anyone can perma-block someone so that they can no longer interact with them in any way.
          Yeah, I know; this solution isn’t ideal either. It essentially means that an asshole gets to fuck with every person once before they are neutered. Perhaps if someone has a certain number of blocks, they are gone as well; although this can lead to someone being unfairly banned.
          ie. Someone says “Go Trump!” and four liberals ban him/her. Just an example.
          You MIGHT be able to solve this by having a human being review the THIRD block. If the THIRD block (which bans the Player) is fraudulent, then the person who initiated the third block is banned for abusing the system.

          • Alex

            Crowdsourcing won’t work. See the gamergate guy who responded to me before you? He didn’t just look up those links. They have them prepackaged to copy and paste into arguments. These guys BRIGADE. All you need is one of them to post you on a board and you’ll be reported by whatever the minimum number is every day. Personal blocks are better.

            A human being is ideal, but I also doubt these companies want to pay someone to do that.

          • mikowilson

            Yeah, it’s most likely impossible.
            The best solution is to empower Players to defend themselves. Eventually when enough people ban them; they will essentially be a ghost unto themselves.

          • Mike

            “If three people say that you are an asshole in a day, you are gone” That could easily be abused by a group of friends who decide they dislike someone. But I agree with your suggestion of having a moderator review the third (or so) complaint to see if the facts merit a ban.

      • Oscar Hernandez

        “I like the idea of tracking a players offenses”

        I think you’re living in the wrong year pal. The third reich existed in 1933 so if you wanna track someone go to Germany and start a new reich. WE don’t want your Orwellian shit here

        • Gary Schaefer

          Eric Snowden says different….

          • Bruce Curtis

            Confused much? Being tracked by the feds who can screw up your entire life is a whole different issue than being tracked in some stupid game.

          • Gary Schaefer

            No duh. If you read the whole conversation you would have noticed it was Oscar that brought up government tracking and tied it to the game.
            I was simply pointing out that while its not Germany 1933 we are under surveillance by our own government. ie the Snowden comment. Please do try to keep up.

        • mikowilson

          Huh? Every community is allowed to define it’s acceptable behavior. Sorry bud, spaces created by developers are controlled by the devs. Virtual spaces without control pretty much suck.

  • Davis

    Can this gesture be implemented in Battlefield 1 or any other type of FPS? I’m sick of getting killed and could use a “non-interacting” bubble around me

  • VX2214

    This is an incredibly bad response. VR is a “tool”, nothing more, nothing less. The developers have no reasonable responsibility to do more than provide basic protection against -actual- health and safety issues. That you’re ‘legitimising’ this is utterly unconscionable. This is tantamount to saying that Stanley Tools or Black & Decker have a responsibililty to make sure that pneumatic nailguns can’t be shot into someone’s head, or someone can never dismember someone with a table saw.

    You are creating undue burden for developers, and unreasonable expectation by players, all in the name of legitimising a complaint about something that -wasn’t even real-. You do realise that, by ‘legitimising’ the complaint, you just opened the door for developers to be sued by players for the actions of other players, which are beyond the control of any developer.

    There’s a -reason- games come with a warning that online interactions are not rated; the developers are -not- responsible for what transpires.

    Congratulations for placing an unnecessary undue burden upon an entire industry, in perpetuity. Bang-up job.

    • RocketRoach

      This (and others in this thread) is an overly dramatic reaction to what is basically the virtual reality equivalent of a mute button in an online game/space.

      Even if we agreed, for the sake of argument, that you had the sacrosanct right to be a ****heel in VR with zero repercussions, that still wouldn’t entitle you to a captive audience.

      All features like this do is people a basic ability to defend themselves from abusive behavior (something that we, inconsistently, also have in real life) and, as the above article suggests, could be standardized across VR engines and software for easy implementation and reuse, rendering your complaint about “undue burden” largely moot.

  • Liz H

    Brilliant idea. Well done, well said, and thank you. After reading the article from Belamire, all I could think of was my daughter, a 4th grader, who builds the most beautiful worlds in Minecraft and will one day venture into VR, to be…virtually assaulted? The anonymity of VR, and the pretense to the predator that what they’re doing isn’t “real” and the people they’re interacting with aren’t “really” there, can give otherwise non-predatory types a feeling of permission to act out attacks towards co-players as if they were in a “Westworld” episode rather than interacting with actual, living humans. I love how the criticism you’re seeing here is telling you not to pay attention to the players’ feelings, but isn’t that *exactly* what good VR is all about? Making us able to feel something, including powerful emotions of pride, awe, courage, triumph, and wonder, while standing in our living rooms? And the predators are absolutely paying attention to feelings–their own feelings of power and control over others (which they are now complaining to you for curbing their ability to enjoy), and their hoped-for feelings of shame, helplessness, and worthlessness that they wish to instill in the objects of their attacks.

    • Mike

      Actually I’m pretty sure they do it for the laughs. Remember, these are mostly little boys who do these kinds of things. Power/control freaks aren’t as common as you seem to think, but immature 12-year-olds who think it’s hilarious to give virtual hand jobs to unsuspecting strangers are definitely common.

      • Liz H

        You have no idea what it’s like to be a woman. You are not the target of these behaviors, so how in the H would you know?

        • Johnny Joestar

          aaawww are you scared of your virtual gloves with no body being abused by floating gloves? How sad 😉

          • Liz H

            F off.

          • Johnny Joestar

            heh lol

          • mikowilson

            Sorry. Idiots be idiots.
            I’m a dev, and I take this shit seriously.

        • Mike

          You have no idea what it’s like to be a man. How can you say that you understand the thoughts and motivations of men better than men themselves? Have these 12-year-old boys openly stated to you “I am trying to exert power and control over you”? No? Then why are you so cocksure that that’s what’s going through their mind? I was once a 12-year-old boy. Have you ever been a 12-year-old boy?

          And actually, yes I have been the target of people online being intentionally annoying / intentionally violating personal space. Even in VR – like I stated in an earlier comment, in the few hours that I’ve spent in VR chat rooms, I had a female avatar once get up in my face like she was trying to make out with me, and keep following me around like that for a minute. I posted that comment in response to another guy who said that happened to him.

          • Liz H

            So, Mike. First time I was groped I was 12, sitting in Texas History class. Lights go out for a film, kid behind me kicks off his shoe and digs his foot into my ass. I’m squirming, shocked, realizing if I jump or scream I’ll be the one in trouble. At the end of class I go to tell the teacher, whose attitude is just ignore it. Kid leers at me as he walks past out the door. Interpret it however you like. Next time I was groped I was a junior in high school, standing in a fast food line with friends. Guy grabs my breast as he walks by with his buddies. I don’t react fast enough. Who is expecting something like that while standing in line for a burger? Next time I’m groped, I’m in college on the subway in NYC. The subway is too crowded to know who did it by I’m able to push through people to a different part of the car. This ridiculousness happens all the time in real life, and it’s done in a way that no one is laughing, has no group entertainment value, I’m certainly not invited to think it’s fun or funny, and it’s deliberately done in a setting/timing/location that I can’t fight back fast enough. So I think my conclusions are well-founded, from years of experience of this, although you got me that I have never been a 12 y.o. boy. I’ve just been groped by one.

          • Mike

            First of all, none of your examples prove that their intent was to “exert power and control” – you’re still projecting intent onto them with no evidence and without asking them what their intent was.

            “kid behind me kicks off his shoe and digs his foot into my ass” People also did things like that to me a few times in middle school. The teachers also would say things like “ignore it”. In your case, he was probably flirting with you. Unless you had a past history of antagonism between the two of you, in which case it has nothing to do with your sex.

            “Guy grabs my breast as he walks by … groped … on the subway” Not saying there’s nobody that does that, but in a crowded environment, how were you sure it wasn’t an unintentional brushing? Did the person actually make a grip? Or was it just a brief contact? I certainly accidentally brush into ladies’ breasts in crowds occasionally, completely unintentionally. Am I “subconsciously trying to exert power and control”? What about when I accidentally brush into a man? You’re still missing the point – regardless of whether or not anyone ever gets groped, you have ZERO EVIDENCE that it’s about “exerting power and control” – only a divisive ideology that telling you this – one which does not listen to the opinions of guys, even though guys is all they talk about. The rare guy that does intentionally grope does it for sexual gratification – not “power and control”.

          • Liz H

            Who the H do you think you are? I’m so glad to have a dude tell me how I’m supposed to think and feel about the THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO ME. I am able to tell the difference between a brushing by and a grope. Holy H, you are being wildly insulting. And my experience on the receiving end is feelings of powerlessness, which, again, under the circumstances seemed to have been the point from the groper. You are welcome to infer otherwise, as I have said, from your armchair-quarterbacking-wasn’t-there-refusal-to-understand, because after all, you are also not in the head of the groper, and you can’t say that’s not what’s going on either. As the person who was actually there and on the receiving end, my take on it is 1000x more valid than yours.

          • Mike

            “feelings of powerlessness” It’s important to remember that an individual’s personal feelings do not necessarily reflect external reality. Just because a groper makes someone feel powerless, that does not mean their motivation was “to feel powerful”. And to believe that’s their motivation is a non-sequitur – there is literally no connection between touching a stranger’s breast and feeling power. That’s like saying that someone eats food in order to fly. It’s like saying that someone listens to music in order to launch a rocket into space. It’s like saying someone gets into their car in order to become Elvis Presley. There is no connection.

            There is, however, a connection between touching someone’s private parts and sexual gratification. This is common sense to anyone whose grasp of logic hasn’t been corrupted by an emotion-based ideology that has no grounding in science. I am a male, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that there is no bridge in our brains between touching breasts and feeling power. You are not a male, and so you do not understand how we think – especially since you have this wildly inaccurate ideology planting false negative gender stereotypes in your head.

  • Gary Schaefer

    Nice solution, at least so far. It’s a good start for sure.
    Nice to see such a quick response.
    You’d never get this kind of action from any big game company.
    Hat tip to you.

  • a corn

    whiny people will always find something to complain about

    • Cpt_Justice

      You certainly just did.

  • Diley

    This is great. A big step in the right direction and hopefully a path other will choose to follow. But what steps are being taken to flag repeat offenders or negative players?

  • jlenoconel

    Is this a joke? VR is not even out yet and you’re getting people complaining about being “raped” online. This is why we can’t have nice things folks, because there’s always someone out there somewhere who has to bring negative attention. Just to be clear, I’m talking about the woman who can’t handle someone pretending to molest her in a video game. I personally wouldn’t give a crap if someone did it to me. I’d just block them.

  • middlemonster

    This is a great article. In fact, they should extend this idea and have your ‘911’ idea actually call the police and have anyone arrested for commiting any real crime virtually. Including stealing, breaking and entering, trespassing, vandalism, cruelty to animals and most important murder. Killing is the worst possible crime in the real world, so it should definately be illegal in VR.

  • Scrubs 2009

    YOU PLAY AS FLOATING HANDS!!! WHAT IS THERE TO “GROPE”?!

    For fucks sake this is pathetic.

  • Sharkz

    “The medical community has been exploring the use of VR to help treat PTSD, phobias, and phantom limb syndrome. If VR has the power to have lasting positive impact because of that realism, the opposite has to be taken seriously as well.”

    You’re not helping anyone “overcome phobias” by insulating them into safe-space bubbles like in the movie “Bubble Boy”, you’re creating them and create anxieties to deal with conflict in a productive way, even within a game world.

    “I don’t know if we are right in this belief, but it seems a reasonable one to us – if VR has the ability to deprive someone of power, and that feeling can have real psychological harm”
    “This highlights for me the potential and dangers of VR itself. The medium should force us to really think about how the sense of “presence” changes interactions that would feel less threatening in a different digital environment.”

    This will get VR games legislated out of existence, if being touched by another player creates trauma, why wouldn’t facing a dragon or chasing a ghost or being bitten by a zombie? Be careful what you wish for and what outrage-mongers you give into, you may just get your wish and screw it up for all the rest of us.

    I have a better idea for an API that developers can implement in their closs-platform games, before you start the game the player is presented with two options:

    a) Are you a Social Justice Warrior that can’t handle normal human interactions, even in an entirely imaginary Virtual space without being triggered?

    b) Do you consent to being adult enough to handle interactions with other players on your own?

    If they choose the first they are teleported into a black box room with bully proof windows and troll safe doors. They can look out of the window at other players having fun, but not without a filter that attires all the other virtual characters with burqas, just in case to prevent any triggering by potentially triggering character models.

    Maybe it’ll prevent them from killing off the industry before it even has a chance of developing in the first place and all the “normal” people can have fun.

    • Onionne

      Actually, it’s important for those with phobias to confront them in a safe, controlled environment. It gives them the confidence and security they need to move forward. VR gives you that environment. Of course, it’s all about steps; eventually, the goal is for them to be able to face those phobias in real life. But you can’t just skip all those steps. It’s very possible to introduce things more slowly in real life, as well, but depending on the phobia and the severity of that, even that could be too much at once.

      As well, zombies and dragons are not physical interactions, and they have no equivalent in the real world. Being chased isn’t the same as being groped, either. There’s no comparison. Of course, if being chased did terrify you, and that was part of gameplay, you would stop playing. In this case, groping was very much not part of intended gameplay. The goal is for gameplay to happen without groping. And with this solution, they seem to have reached that goal in this case.

  • Mark S

    Very inspiring response, thank you! This is going to be a huge issue to address in VR, and it’s great to see developers such as yourselves responding so quickly and decisively.

    I suspect many of those who think there is not a problem have not actually experienced harassment in VR. The extra immersion makes it far more visceral and unpleasant.

  • Gaming News UK

    Wow wise the feck up…

  • Oscar Hernandez

    All this was I’d just another batch of whiny little princessy bit he’s being overly entitled and ruining the fun of something else. If you didn’t like what was going on in the VR here’s a word of advice. DON’T PLAY FUCKING VR THEN YOU OVER SENSITIVE BITCH! IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT WAS GOING TURN OFF THE DAN GAME YOU STUPID BITCH! OH was that’s right you stupid babies won’t because you don’t have not one bit of ducking common sense or intelligence to turn off the fucking game

  • kingrat2314

    So brave. And stupid.

  • Billoriley9191

    People like you are the real enemy of sexual assault victims. This is only crying wolf and you are making it harder for real victims to come forward.

    Good job. You just made real life sexual assault in the same league with with a video game. Next time I get killed in CoD I will demand someone be charged for murder in the first degree.

  • Chief Smakaho

    Women just can’t seem to handle anything these days. I say they should have their own servers so they can just f*ck off already. They can have their own little virtual city of snowflakes.

  • Internet Hobo

    How is this even a thing. Its VR… ITS VIRTUAL reality. a.k.a NOT REAL… Anyone who is taking this seriously probably have below average IQ or attention span (Probably both)

  • Greyson Xiu

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. I got T-bagged on halo yesterday. can I sue? oh please oh please can I fucking sue that 10 year old for presenting his NOT REAL balls at my NOT REAL face that has nothing to do with my REAL life?
    (you shouldn’t try to grab and or pinch without permission in real life. on the internet assholes are just gonna be assholes.)

  • Solarcide

    By apologizing for nothing, you are only enabling mental illnesses such as displayed by this girl, who obviously has Victim Mentality Disorder. Possibly comorbid with Borderline Personality Disorder, or maybe Histrionic Personality Disorder. You are only encouraging others with mental illness to act out for attention.

    • Cpt_Justice

      Your confession is noted.

    • are you like…seriously accusing a random person — who you only know from ONE ARTICLE of having several pretty severe mental illnesses? Are you a psychiatrist? Are you HER psychiatrist? Have you spent a large amount of time with her, helping her figure out her symptoms and done research into the disorders noted? You can’t diagnose someone with a personality disorder based on one article you ignorant fuck.

  • Philip Hollett

    People like her are the reason genuine victims of assault are not being taken as serious as they should. The silly little girl who cried wolf.

  • Timo

    You should not bow down in front of stupid people like that lady. My opinion. Why is this “oh we are so harassed” thing by females so popular and almost exclusively happening in the US? I don’t get it.

  • Serendipity

    You’ve GOT to be kidding me here. I’m female and this accusation pisses me off. She was groped virtually. Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? Here’s a couple of solutions to the problem:

    a) turn the game off, no one forces you to stay where you’re uncomfortable. Yeah, we “should” be able to walk down any old dark alley at night, but that’s not reality, so we don’t.

    b) realize that you are not the character. You’re NOT the character. It’s a game, it’s not real, you are not actually there. If you think that you are, or if you think any of it has anything to do with reality, seek psychiatric help.

    c) In this particular game, you don’t even have a body! What did the other character grope? The air in front of you? How do you grope air?

    d) This is the kind of crap that turns me off from games and developers – when they kowtow to some gamergate SJW with nothing better to do than stir up a huge attention seeking fuss over something that ISN’T. EVEN. REAL. “Omg! I don’t like the clothes they make the female characters wear!” Then play as a male, or better yet, take your sensitive ass out of gaming altogether and go play dollies or something more “safe” for you.

    e) Stop trying to ruin every thing out there by whining that it’s “dominated by males” or that “males try to take control of everything” or even just insulting males for being males! KNOCK IT OFF! I’m sick to death of SJW shrill harpies crying over things that don’t even fricken exist, and I’m even more sick and tired of the man bun wearing pansies catering to their every whim and shriek.

    How DARE she even try to compare some fake “grope” (of WHAT?) to sexual assault! How DARE SHE! And you all give her coddling for insulting the crap out of every sexual assault survivor out there? F this game. I will not be buying it if you all are going to bend over backwards for every overly sensitive twit out there who over reacts and exaggerates claims – especially ones where YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A BODY IN THE GAME!

    • Timo

      Thank goodness, a sane human lady. You are absolutely correct. And I thought intelligent women died out when the SJW crap started. Thank you once again for this text.

  • Michael26

    What is next?
    If someone shots and kills you in VR can he/she be charged with first degree murder?
    “Oh STOP killing me i’m gonna report you”

  • technomage1

    Integral to any game, and the enjoyment of that game, is the players abiding by a common set of rules. Those rules can be written, in the structure of the game, or implied. In multiplayer, for example, players agree by their presence to (virtually) kill or be killed. This is implied by the nature of the game. A structure rule would be, for example, no friendly kills, and written rules would be the EULA. Any player violating these rules can ruin or degrade the experience for others. In other words, while some games have more rules than others, by their nature they are structured. In other words, anarchy does not rule.

    Read what happened to the female player before you leap to judgement. She was abiding by the rules, when in minutes another player essentially stalked her, interfering with her enjoyment of the game, until she quit in frustration. No, she wasn’t physically assaulted, but that doesn’t make what happened right. Like this article notes, they took great pains to ensure harassment such as blocking other players vision couldn’t happen. They didn’t think to extend that to other parts of the body. The other player singled her out having heard a female voice. He chased her repeatedly, and despite her best efforts she couldn’t get away from him and play the game.

    This harassment was meant to do what it did, chase her out of the VR space. Think about that. Not her behavior, or poor play, or any other factor but her gender equated to this bozo that she didn’t belong there. That ought to disturb anyone. The VR and gaming world is for everyone. It’s for me, it’s for you, it’s for women, it’s for men, it’s for all nationalities and races. Anyone singling out and harassing a player in any way based on race, gender, or any other physical factor is wrong. This isn’t about men’s rights or women’s rights or real world sexual assault, but it is about human rights and who is welcome in the virtual space.

    I like the proposed solution, which is essentially a blocking mechanism. Both players disappear to each other. Simple but effective.

  • Aodaic

    This false sexual harassment bullshit needs to end. She wasn’t being raped or even harassed. How can a helmet, a bow/arrow and gloves, assault or harass someone? I think she’s full of it, Her ‘character’ that “she” was playing doesn’t have any body parts so it disqualifies any harassment. She possibly trying to play the innocent victim role like every other woman that has claimed to be sexually harassed. Not saying that doesn’t happen, but lying about it can put someone who is not guilty into prison with criminal records. And also, I don’t think the devs or any tech/game related company should not apologize to immature people who take things too seriously. I think what Jordan should done is taken off the VR and go do something else.

  • Patrick Wood

    First you can’t be assaulted in VR it’s not real. Secondly the games industry needs to stop pandering to the professional victims. Finally I disagree with the writer I hope this power gesture goes away as it can be used to be able to ignore teammates. A team game requires coordination and proper coordination requires knowing what your teammates are doing. Giving the power gesture to players is like if my friend could have turned off team chat when he was playing LoL for the first time and didn’t like that we were telling him he couldn’t specialize ash (oldschool) as an AP just because her arrow had an AP scaling on it.

  • Gibovich

    After reading this I want to kill myself. Heres a story for upload, I was assaulted because of my skin colour. In Skyrim I was playing as a black female and a white male skeleton attacked me. This is proof Skyrim is racist and preaches violence towards blacks. Give me a break.

  • Krillarbran

    She was biased to begin with and this was an intentional attention grab from this ‘victim’ of nothing. She has two agendas there, to cause anarchy and to pull attention to her novel. You should of ignored the article or just told her to go play Rust. Jeez. Leave our games and games devs alone.

  • azuramoonstar

    As a female gamer myself, i don’t approve of “safe space” bubbles. This chick isn’t a gamer, and she like Anita will start ruining games. Games already give you tools to deal with trolls… we don’t need more. There are block options, report options and kick options. There is also the option of logging off.

    I’ve been gaming since 1989, and outside mild go back to the kitchen, and make me a sammich I’m not typically harassed. I play fps. tps, mmorpg.

    I’m tired of female not-gamers ruining things for actual gamers. And reading the comment I’m wondering if people replying to this actually play games.

    Making “safe spaces” actually ruins human development, as they won’t know how to deal with anything.

    According to cnn this chick was already assulted twice, chances are she had a flash back from it and freaked, she needs therapy.

    again this doesn’t really happen often… and devs need to step back and stop basing opinion from 1 person who doesn’t game.

  • azuramoonstar

    ps why are you using a picture from ff14 1.0? really??? -_- don’t bring down ff14….

  • Gfh Fhgfhfgh

    This is ridiculous.

  • Nirn

    You should not have apologized. You did nothing wrong, and now this will stick to you, because you’ve “owned up to it.” It’s unfortunate that this woman has difficulty distinguishing VR from actual reality, but as gamers, we all know this is ridiculous.

    That said, there’s nothing wrong with a personal bubble command, with the exception of games that allow player vs. player mechanics.

    • aNYagenda

      “… because you’ve “owned up to it.””

      Aint that the truth.

      These people are just as bad as she is now for justifying her.

      I’ve got no respect for them.

  • Cpt_Justice

    You overlooked it because you are normal, decent human beings to whim such behavior is unthinkable to the point of just not occurring to you. And you are fixing it now, so you guys can stop beating yourselves up about it. FABULOUS post, fabulous response, hope you make TONS of cash!

  • buddyboy61002

    why does this have to be a thing

    cant people stop whining and realize that it’s a fake game with little helmet people

  • aNYagenda

    Your next game should be called grand theft SJW.

    Where you can wander around a virtual city fishing around for things to play victim about.

  • Here’s a rather serious question, did they do anything about the person who allegedly performed the action? Bigbro whatever, or does he even exist? Because the whole thing could have been one big misunderstanding especially because CNN’s coverage of the incident cited a lot of feminists who are in league with Anti-Gamergate and stuff which leads me to believe that this entire situation was created for naught…

  • Clark

    This is fucking stupid. It’s VR. It’s a video game. Chill the fuck out. Also, please stop apologizing to the minority of people who aren’t fit for modern society.