Is It A Hate Crime If It Happens In An Online Game

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This article in Boing Boing about how World of Warcraft (WoW) moderators are warning groups not to adverties their guilds as “GBLT-friendly” (Gay, Bi-sexual, Lesbian, Transgender friendly) got me thinking.

Suppose they allow characters in WoW to publicly declare their sexuality within the game. Now suppose other groups within the game form with the goal of attacking such players completely within the online game (assuming the game allows players to attack other players).

Would that constitute a hate crime?

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2 responses

  1. Avatar for Reef Haddad
    Reef Haddad July 2nd, 2008

    The attacking players have every right to attack any other players they please (provided the game allows them to do so).
    It is therefore unreasonable for any online groups to try to represent some sort of demographic (racial, sexual orientation, religion, etc).
    This is because ANY aggression towards them could be interpreted as a 'hate crime', when there are simply other players who wish to have a fight.
    Given the huge amount of predudice in online games, it would seem overkill to declare circumstances such as this to be as extreme as a 'hate crime'.
    On the other hand, players should keep their person lives far from the reaches of any online players. The whole point in MMORPGs it to 'Role Play' as the name implies.
    If you start introducing aspects of your personal life into an environment where people can attack you in virtual combat or through communication, exactly that will happen.
    Perhaps the issue isn't even perceived hatred against certain sexual orientations, but the fact that games are meant to be played, not lived.
    Love/sex and games really should not be mixed, especially if you feel emotionally hurt by the viirtual world as you do in the real world.

  2. Avatar for articlecycle
    articlecycle March 12th, 2009

    Societies define Crime as the breach of one or more rules or laws for which some governing authority or force may ultimately prescribe a punishment.