From ‘Silly’ to ‘Scumbag’: Reddit Discussion of a Case of Groping in a Virtual Reality Game
AuthorSparrow, L; Antonellos, M; Gibbs, M; Arnold, M
Source TitleProceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere
PublisherThe Digital Games Research Association
University of Melbourne Author/sSparrow, Lucy
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsSparrow, L., Antonellos, M., Gibbs, M. & Arnold, M. (2020). From ‘Silly’ to ‘Scumbag’: Reddit Discussion of a Case of Groping in a Virtual Reality Game. Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere, The Digital Games Research Association.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access URLhttp://www.digra.org/digital-library/publications/from-silly-to-scumbag-reddit-discussion-of-a-case-of-groping-in-a-virtual-reality-game/
This paper examines key discussion points among VR-interested Reddit users regarding a controversial case of VR groping reported in 2016. Through a mixed-methods approach that includes qualitative thematic analysis and quantitative coding, this paper identifies four key discussion themes: 1) Conceptualization—what is the act of groping? 2) Ethics—what is (un)acceptable about the act? 3) Action—what should be done about it? and 4) Vision— what does this act mean for the future of VR? Within these themes, most comments were dedicated to the questions of whether the act of groping in VR constitutes sexual assault or sexual harassment, whether it is the individual’s responsibility to respond to this act, and whether this act causes harm. These results assist in the formation of a framework for understanding and addressing concerns related to unwanted sexual behaviours in VR and other digital play spaces.
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