Jordan Belamire has been sexually assaulted thrice. Twice in actuality, and once in virtual reality.
Belamire who goes by an alias to protect her privacy, was playing a game called QuiVr on her brother-in-law’s HTC Vive VR gaming console. She was shooting zombies with strangers in QuiVr’s multiplayer mode when another player began to virtually rub her breasts.
Another user, BigBro442 had apparently caught on that she was a woman because her microphone was activated and her voice was streaming through to the virtual world.
Belamire yelled “Stop!” as BigBro442 groped her, which made things worse.
Belarmire says BigBro442 pursued her and made grabbing and pinching movements near my chest. Encouraged, he even forced his hand toward my virtual crotch and began rubbing,” she stated on her Medium post about the happening last week.
No, sexual assault in the virtual world is different with real life — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an effect. Video games are largely developed by men, which makes it less likely that they’re designed for women.
Belamire told CNNMoney that the virtual hand that groped her felt “very real”. Your fingers can move realistically in the game.”
AltspaceVR, a VR chatroom, patched a personal bubble feature as a means to prevent combat harassment in the virtual world. If users activate it, other users in the virtual world have to stay a distance away. Blueteak, the developer of QuiVr, said it was also rolling out this feature.