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Virtual Prostitute Wrecks Marriage

Considering all the recent news about people getting in trouble for virtual crimes committed while playing online games involving virtual people, virtual places and virtual things, it seems to me that there is probably a valid and tangible market for a virtual legal profession.

In a recent divorce case involving a British couple and the internet game Second Life, his avatar was found cheating on her avatar with a virtual prostitute. Suspicious, her avatar hired a virtual investigator who slithered and sleuthed his way through the game and found the rat bastard (er, avatar) dead to rights. (not to be confused with dead dead, as in the murdered Japanese avatar in Maple Story, where the avatar’s killer and virtual wife was hauled off to jail in real life.)

In the Second Life case, not only did she dump his sorry boo-tay in the game but also in real life, as they were in fact, married to each other. Oh to be a fly on the wall in that divorce courtroom. "Well your honor, you see, his avatar cheated on me with an avatar whore (would that be a whorevatar?) and who knows WHAT kind of VIRUS he could have given me!!"

The money and time spent in the virtual gaming world is astounding. Because of the state of the world economy, more people are choosing to stay home rather than go out. Twenty dollars a month for a life in a virtual world is a helluva lot cheaper than dinner for two on a Saturday night, not to mention that you can make your avatar look like yourself only with larger breasts or perhaps, hung like a racehorse. Who needs a plastic surgeon? I have an avatar and I’m not afraid to use it!

The potential for a virtual legal system where you would elect virtual judges, hire virtual lawyers and conduct legal proceedings in a virtual courtroom is enormous. I’m pretty sure that if nobody has thought of it yet they will soon because hey, if there’s a whore to be screwed, there’s money to be made.

As for the British couple, sad yes, but as luck would have it, we hear she has moved on to a new lover from World of Warcraft. I hope she’s careful. That game involves sharp objects.

Art Commentary Digital Lifestyles Media The Not-So-Daily Edition

Murder on the Avatar Express

I bought my first computer in April of 93 after my typewriter broke. A trip to the local electronics store and two thousand dollars later, I walked out with a Compaq 386 windows 3.1 jam packed with 2 megs of ram. I could have gotten 4 megs but as the salesman noted, "Nobody will ever need that much memory."

Fast forward fifteen years. Today, we can do virtually anything online. Our computer is an office. A school. A university. A shopping mall. A tennis court. A baseball stadium. It allows us to see and speak to people around the country and around the world. You can be at work and watch your nanny and your child at home. Computers can speak for the mute, type for the handicapped and remind you to take the roast out of the oven. You can create your own universe, your own countries, cities and neighbors. You can live a whole nother life in a whole nother virtual world and interact with all sorts of people and their avatars and like reality, you can get virtually screwed.

Por ejemplo: A 43 year old woman in Japan was arrested at her home in Miyazaki and jailed some 620 miles away in Sappporo, for virtually killing a virtual online husband from whom she was virtually divorced, in an online game called Maple Story. The virtual murder took place last May. When the 33 year old man discovered that his online avatar was dead, he called the police.

The woman has not been formally charged but if ultimately convicted, could spend five years in prison and pay a fine of $5,000.00. "I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning." she is quoted as saying. "That made me so angry," Using login information she got from her virtual husband when their characters were happily married, she logged into his account and killed his character. There is no evidence that the woman plotted any revenge in the real world.

That he gave her the log-in info suggests that she didnt hack at all but merely logged in. Actual hacking is a different story. And while computer hacking is a crime, Im going to assume that the Japanese police have more important things to worry about than a dead avatar, hacked or not.

And I gotta believe that somewhere in the virtual land of Maple Story, there is a virtual lawyer with a bad virtual tie, a virtual divorce court, and a virtual judge sporting a vitual set of mismatched socks under his virtual robe. If the woman was really smart, shed have sued her virtual husband for virtual alimony and virtually half of everything he owned, and called it a day.


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