'First' Rape In Metaverse: Teenage Girl's Avatar 'Sexually Attacked' By Men In Virtual Reality Game In UK, Probe Launched

'First' Rape In Metaverse: Teenage Girl's Avatar 'Sexually Attacked' By Men In Virtual Reality Game In UK, Probe Launched

The girl was plying a virtual reality video game when a gang of men allegedly raped her virtual avatar in the game.

Rahul MUpdated: Tuesday, January 02, 2024, 08:15 PM IST
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Metaverse | Representational Image | Pexels

In what is seen as the first case of rape in metaverse, a teenage girl was "sexually attacked" in a virtual reality video game in the United Kingdom. While the girl did not suffer any physical harm, she is said to have endured the same psychological and emotional trauma as someone who has been sexually assaulted in the "real world". The police department has launched an investigation into the first case of rape in metaverse.

The girl was plying a virtual reality video game when a gang of men allegedly raped her virtual avatar in the game, reported The Mirror. Her digital character was in an online "room" with a large number of other users when the alleged virtual assault took place. It remains unclear which virtual reality game the girl was playing when she was "sexually" targeted.

'Metaverse creates a gateway for predators'

Speaking to the Daily Mail, National Police Chiefs’ Council’s Child Protection and Abuse Investigation Lead, Ian Critchley, said the metaverse gives an opportunity to sex offenders to commit heinous crimes. "This is why our collective fight against predators like in this case, is essential to ensuring young people are protected online and can use technology safely without threat or fear," Critchley said.

Criminals have breached into the virtual world and financial scams perpetrated through intricate virtual economies, harassment, hate speech and threats are taking on new forms in digital avatars. "Our policing approach must continually evolve to enable us to relentlessly pursue predators and safeguard victims across all online spaces," Critchley added.

Protecting digital identities and ensuring user safety is gradually becoming challenging for the law-enforcement agencies. Policing the virtual reality spaces shall require real-world law enforcement with cutting-edge technology.

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