Simulated sexual assault is a growing problem among online gamers, it appears.
Hackers are using modifications to lock other players in place and make their characters naked to simulate rape and sexual harassment on online platforms such as Grand Theft Auto and posting the videos on YouTube to parade their actions for all to see.
Detective Shawn Marshal of Toronto Police told City News they are interested to hear from victims, who can be forced to listen to vile harassment from their attackers through headsets.
One redditor said: “He has his pants down at all times and can butt rape you. You cannot kill him and there is nothing you can do about it. Worse, when he’s done, you are stuck doing strip dances.”
The disturbing trend is nothing new. Last year, video-game writer Kim Correa described her own virtual sexual assault in DayZ, a zombie apocalypse game.
Two armed men cornered her character, made her strip, killed her and simulated having sex with her body while speaking to her through the video game throughout the ordeal.
“I definitely don’t want to say what happened to me verbally is as important as if it had happened in real life,” Correa told WNYC 93.9 FM. “But it means something. And I’m not sure what it means.”