A frightening trend is surfacing in the world of online gaming – hackers rewriting code to simulate sexual assault.
It’s being called virtual rape.
Hackers are high-jacking online video games like Zombie Apocalypse and Grand Theft Auto V. They are then able to take the gamer’s character, lock it in place and simulate sexual assault. The scenes are then posted to YouTube.
“That’s deplorable and should not be allowed anywhere,” avid gamer and blogger Michelle (not her real name) told CityNews. “They should be banned from the servers immediately.”
She says that in some cases the hackers harass the gamers on their headsets during the attacks.
“When you can hear these people on the other end and they are saying things to you…(it’s) a whole new level of harassment really,” she explained.
The virtual sexual brutality has caught the attention of Toronto police.
“It is something we would be interested in hearing about if someone has experienced it,” said Det. Shawn Marshal, who investigates cyber crimes.
Marshal adds that this new trend is hard to label when it comes to deeming it a crime.
“We do investigate cases where people are being bullied or extorted online,” he explained. “When it comes to this we could investigate it but it is difficult.”
Police say in these virtual rapes harassment would be hard to prove and tracking down the person responsible could be next to impossible.
“It depends where the person is doing it,” said Marshal. “It could be anywhere in the world.”
Police say it would be up to the game creators to track the hackers and shut them down.
Rockstar Games, the creators of the Grand Theft Auto series, could not be reached for comment.
This story has been edited from its original version due to a privacy concern.