Article: Does Virtual Reality Need a Sheriff?

Nemo - June 2, 2007 09:18AM in Gaming

Earlier this year, one animated character in Second Life, a popular online fantasy world, allegedly raped another character. Some Internet bloggers dismissed the simulated attack as nothing more than digital fiction. But police in Belgium, according to newspapers there, opened an investigation into whether a crime had been committed. No one has yet been charged. As recent advances in Internet technology have spurred millions of users to build and explore new digital worlds, the creations have imported not only their users' dreams but also their vices. These alternative realms are testing the long-held notions of what is criminal and whether law enforcement should patrol the digital frontier.