Virtual reality, amirite? The next frontier! A place where we can create the utopias we struggle to find in real life! A place where, oh, men still grope women. Fantastic.
Jordan Belamire claims she was sexually assaulted while playing the VR game QuiVr. In a Medium post, she claims user “BigBro442” tried to “virtually” rub her chest. While the characters in QuiVr are only heads and hands and don’t have full bodies, she says, “He chased me around, making grabbing and pinching motions near my chest. Emboldened, he even shoved his hand toward my virtual crotch and began rubbing” after she yelled at him to stop. And because she wasn’t as experienced in the game, she had a hard time running away.
Belamire’s experience drew criticism from other QuiVr players and men in general who claimed she was “whining” and that it can’t be sexual assault if no one actually touched her. But Belamire said it certainly wasn’t nothing. “The virtual groping feels just as real,” she wrote. “Of course, you’re not physically being touched, just like you’re not actually one hundred feet off the ground, but it’s still scary as hell.”
Just another reminder that women still feel unwelcome in lots of spaces, including virtual ones.