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UK girl sees the dark side of the metaverse for the first time as she is gang-raped during online game

New Delhi: In the first case of its kind, British police have launched an investigation into the virtual “gang rape” of a 16-year-old girl in a metaverse game. According to police, a virtual reality avatar (VR) or animated representation of the minor girl was “gang raped” online by multiple strangers, reports Daily Mail.

According to the report, the victim was wearing a virtual reality headset when she was “gang raped” during an “immersive” game. Citing police sources, the report further said that the girl was not physically injured, but she suffered emotional and psychological trauma similar to someone who is raped in the real world.

“The emotional and psychological impact on the victim lasts longer than any physical injury,” a senior police officer told the Daily Mail.

However, UK authorities fear the case may be impossible to prosecute under current law, which defines sexual assault as physical touching in a sexual manner against the victim’s consent.

According to the report, the investigation has also raised questions about whether police should use their time and limited resources to investigate metaverse crimes when the number of individual rape cases is significantly higher.

However, UK Home Secretary James Cleverley defended the virtual reality rape investigation, claiming the child had undergone “sexual trauma”.

“I know it’s easy to dismiss it as not being real, but the whole point of these virtual environments is that they are incredibly immersive. It’s also worth understanding that someone who would want to put a child through this kind of trauma digitally might be someone who could do terrible things in the physical realm,” Cleverley told news outlet LBC.

“It would have a very significant psychological impact and we should be very careful about dismissing it,” he said.

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