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What Will VR Porn And Gaming Mean For Rape Culture?

Opinion

What Will VR Porn And Gaming Mean For Rape Culture?

Some would argue that there’s already a rape culture prevalent in the gaming world. Women aren’t exactly empowered within the gamer world, and VR (virtual reality) porn opens up a whole other conversation. VR porn can fuel dangerous fantasies like rape, bestiality, or pedophilia. There should be a safe space for people to exercise their fantasies, and there are, of course, positive uses. What if someone is not sure they’re attracted to the same sex, and want to try it out in a virtual capacity that might be less overwhelming than a real life rendezvous, and help clarify identity issues? But when it’s fetishes that become dangerous to society, like promoting rape or abuse of animal or children, we enter an uncomfortable gray area.

Video games offer a similar dilemma – the game Dead or Alive Extreme 3 features a crass “sexual assault” mode where you can hear female character saying “I don’t like it,” and similar phrases that show a lack of consent. You can also prod at bikini-clad, big breasted women like cattle, if you desire. This VR porn-video game hybrid allows you to be in total control of the experience, and that means the ability for consent to be ignored.  Since a ton of video game players are young and impressionable boys, teaching them about consent (or lack of) in this case, can send a very dangerous, reckless message.

On an international scope, for regions that are more open-minded and laissez faire towards sexuality, VR porn might not be aggressively detrimental. But for communities that repress/and or demonize sexuality, it could be dangerous. Some communities already have extremely high sex crime rates, such as India. What if areas like that get their hands on this, and it just heightens the rate of sex crimes, because its accessible in this format? Some might say that VR is a gateway drug to these crimes. Female users have already shared a story of getting gropes during multi-player VR games, and expressed that i feels equally real, and violating. The futuristic magic of VR is how immersive and real it feels, and usually that’s a good thing. But sometimes, such as in cases like this, it can be really harmful.

People argue that on the positive side of things, VR vault exists, which measures sex offenders like a polygraph (with other measurements of course), while simulating images of small children, and measuring other psychological and physical factors. Not to arouse, but to monitor and measure natural behaviour without putting actual children in danger. The results can be shocking to both the subject and the researcher – but apparently it can also help control these impulses, in the end. In my eyes, it just seems like another provocation in a space where there should be constructive methods of abstinence, instead.

To boil it down, VR porn and video games with a detrimental sexual tone could promote a non empathetic world, which just isolates us even more than we already are. When VR porn starts meeting all your needs, what happens when you translate it into real life experiences? Something like this allow for more excuses to be made for predators, i.e, “virtual rape isn’t rape.”  A thought crime can still be a crime. Assault is assault in any forum, and with video games affecting young people as immensely as they do, the message is even more urgent.  We should be able to separate morals regarding taboos and homosexuality from actual dangerous fetishes.  Ultimately, we need to find a way to lower our tolerance of harassment, and at the same time be able to encourage healthy sexual exploration within the VR world, while being preventative in violence against women.

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