Virtually indistinguishable

With the support of a forward-thinking country, a man recently took an unprecedented stand for justice, freedom, and honor. History has been made, good friends.

The man I am referring to is, of course, the Japanese citizen who brought charges against his online ex-wife for viciously murdering his avatar, or digital persona, in an online role-playing game. She could face up to 5 years in prison or $5,000 in fines.

Bravo, I say. Holding perpetrators of heinous acts accountable for crimes in the so-called “virtual world” — an arbitrary distinction from the oft-referenced “real world” — is long overdue. I, too, have been a victim of criminal acts against video depictions of my person, and I feel compelled to reveal some of these painful, often embarrassing, memories with the hope that from this point onward, crimes like these do not go unanswered in our just nation.

Crime(s): Assault, battery
Offender(s): Anonymous partygoer

At a recent social gathering, I was instructed to design a caricature of myself on a Nintendo Wii. Another partygoer then proceeded to load a software program that displayed both of our avatars in a sports venue. The partygoer then directed his character to strike my effigy’s face and torso repeatedly, and despite swinging my arms wildly and calling for help, he continued these aggressions until my avatar lost consciousness.

Crime(s): Involuntary Manslaughter (multiple counts)
Offender(s): Jimmy Donahue’s mom

On numerous occasions during my teenage years, Mrs. Donahue walked directly in front of the television set while her son and I were conducting crucial video-game sessions. Upon Mrs. Donahue’s return to typical household duties, I would invariably discover that my character had been killed during the incident due to her lengthy interference with my line of sight.

Crime(s): Murder, sexual assault, hate speech
Offender(s): UncleNasty218, xSirRocksALotx, SeXboxThree69, JustaNiceGuy2001, et al.

I approached each of these individuals in an online arena in the video game Halo 3. When I drew near, each of them murdered my avatar using various assault weaponry. Each reprobate then proceeded to rapidly squat and rise near my corpse’s head. Before, during, and after the act, these offenders proffered previously unheard of combinations of racial and sexual slurs against groups I am not affiliated with, but I still took offense on their behalf.

Crime(s): Kidnapping, attempted rape
Offender(s): Bowser, aka King Koopa

This turtle-like avatar kidnapped my avatar’s love interest and subjected her to sexual advances. My attempts to rescue her were fruitless, as she was seemingly always held captive in “another castle.”

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