UK Investigates the First-Ever Metaverse Rape

thinkhubstudio /
thinkhubstudio /

A Daily Mail report indicates that the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police is investigating the world’s first-ever Metaverse rape. According to the allegations, the girl is under the age of 16, and while she felt no physical pain, the mental and emotional distress from seeing herself being virtually raped can be incredibly traumatic. Situated in a room with numerous other avatars, she was attacked by multiple adult male avatars.

While the UK’s Sexual Offences Act only concerns itself with physical assaults and not virtual attacks, many are perplexed as to how this should be charged once the investigation is completed. According to a Meta spokesperson, “The kind of behavior described has no place on our platform, which is why for all users, we have an automatic protection called personal boundary, which keeps people you don’t know a few feet away from you.”

First rolled out in 2022 by Meta, the “Personal Boundary” feature was designed to keep strangers from violating the personal space of strangers, as well as ensuring avatars were kept safe from external threats. Knowing full well that the Virtual Reality (VR) Oculus headsets players wear to be in the Metaverse is a full emersion device, they wanted to prevent such incidents from occurring again. Originally, researcher Nina Jane Patel reported this happening to her shortly before the feature was announced.

For Patel, she claimed she found herself cornered and attacked by multiple avatars with masculine appearances and voices. “Within 60 seconds of joining — I was verbally and sexually harassed — 3–4 male avatars, with male voices, essentially, but virtually gang raped my avatar and took photos — as I tried to get away, they yelled — ‘don’t pretend you didn’t love it’ and ‘go rub yourself off to the photo.’ A horrible experience that happened so fast and before I could even think about putting the safety barrier in place. I froze. It was surreal. It was a nightmare.”

In her piece, Paul explained that much of the advancement in VR technology comes from people exploring their deepest thoughts. Adventure, violence, sexuality, and crime are all just a flick of the wrist away. That drive to exploit that corner of the mind we don’t talk about at parties pushes the advancement of technology. With many of the thinly veiled sociopaths and perverts willing to pay big money to live out their fantasies, there is no shortage of developers and coders ready and willing to make that possible.

Nevertheless, officials at Meta stand by, ready to take their money in the form of subscriptions, paid ads, and selling data they mine from users of their app. Selling the targeted data to VR programmers allows them to customize a VR ‘world’ to their end users. By making something the user will not only find familiar and comforting but enjoyable, they are more likely to spend more time there. Once at ease with the program, many find the imaginary swords cutting fruit and baking games to be useless; they want to do something crazier.

Much like the old Vegas ads of the 80s through the early 2000s, these VR spaces promise to give you a place where everything ends there. If you push someone into traffic in VR, it simply doesn’t matter. Robbing those earrings from a jeweler for your Meta wife happens with just a flick of the wrist. Same with taking that car or ripping the top off that waitress.

Simply put, the Metaverse isn’t an NFT trading, fun-loving place. It is the worst of humanity brought to life. Many of your darkest nightmares are only but a few blocks away at any given time. For many, it has served as the next logical step for those who had grown tired of the violence and gore in GTA.

Let this be a lesson to the US, we need to keep the kids safe and away from this poisonous device.