Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Evidently, I'm In An Activist Mood Today

There have been many reasons cited in the past for why voice is good or bad. This is one weighing in on the side of bad:

I witnessed a talk between some people in Waterhead - one of them as black in real life as his avatar in virtual reality. Some others were ganging up on him, trying to make him lose his cool, teasing him with questions like ‘Why is the hair of black people so dirty?’ or ‘Do you have a Jheri curl?’

I am not sure what they were trying to do, but part of it is probably because it is pointless to send abuse reports about things said in voice. There is no proof, there is no record, and so all of a sudden it is safe again to play such silly games. To say stuff to a black guy that you don’t dare say to him in public, face to face. Or typed out in text chat with your avatar’s name attached to it. And so I can only conclude that it is the cheapest form of cowardice - a comparison to gangs of men in white hoods is a gross exaggeration, but the basics are there. You pick a nigger and you go after him, hiding behind a mask or an avatar.

That is just so wrong. I don't think voice is bad because some people will abuse it like this, but the inability to force accountability for actions is definitely a problem. In the Abuse Report, you can provide text and pictures. Perhaps, if there was a running 10 minute audio buffer that you could click a button and it would be attached to the AR along with the names of those nearby would be useful for stopping this sort of nonsense.

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