Virtual reality is something that people, and gamers, have long looked forward to having. It is the idea of having a fully immersive digital, but ultimately not real experience to live out your fantasies a long awaited desire and portrayed in many forms of media, most notably the television series "Star Trek". That being said, not everyone would play a virtual reality simulator because they want to commit these acts in real life or even have any desire to do any of these things, some people simply want to experience these things and be entertained. However, with virtual reality comes a plethora of old complaints with a new coat of paint.
People who already view certain media and video games as problems, and believe they teach other human beings to be monsters while ignoring the repeated studies that find no link definitively connecting media and crimes committed. Have come up with a new way to word their paranoid fears.
Look At This Language. They Aren't Trying To Stir Up A Public Panic No Sir!
Now someone should be so kind as to tell some of these people that "virtual sex" has existed for about as long as webcams and adult websites have existed, and allowing people to become pretend sex predators has been something that people have role played in the comfort of their own homes long before the internet even existed. These are called adult fantasies, part of the reason why games like "Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3" are labeled M for mature.
Part of the reason why we should be as hard on people like this as we can is that many of these various games journalists argue that video games should "grow up", but then proceed to have a collective mental meltdown the moment a video game dares become even remotely similar to something like "Fifty Shades Of Grey" or dares to tackle anything remotely mature, or immature in theme. Things that have long been depicted in nearly every other form of media while video games continually get a bad rap for seemingly no other reason than journalists and outraged culture critics can not seem to differentiate fantasy from reality when it comes to an interactive media. Believing instead that this will create a horrible precedent even while violent crimes, domestic abuse, and sexual assault crimes plummet in occurrence all around the US which is where most of these complaints take place.
You Also Can Harass Fictional Video Game Characters!
Now you might be quick to say "But aren't these just opinion pieces?" yes, and many of these sites also review video games. They also call themselves games journalists and should be able to report factually and accurately on video games. Come time for an actual review can you really trust such publications with your time knowing that such publications are willing to suggest that you the gamer are "harassing" a video game? "Sexually assaulting" a video game? On top of this, what kind of image is this painting to the public about you, as a gamer? Here is the thing, we can understand that they don't like the game, we can understand that it isn't something they think is very fun. What we should be scratching our heads over is why they feel the need to be calling it harassment, why they would call gamers sex predators in something that could very easily just be described as interactive porn?
A Sexual Assault Simulator. No Moral Panic Here!
Really though one has to question the mentality of games critics and journalists alike who compare video games to real women. Even going as far as to act like these pixelated girls are real and should be treated with as much respect as a real woman would be entitled to. Now to be clear here these types of game aren't much my thing. That said, why should we be painting a picture of gamers being sexual harassers because of a piece of media they engage with? When is the last time you read an article that a guy sexually assaulted a woman because of a video game? You know the media would be all over that if they had even the slightest hint that something like that could be a possible story. This is fantasy, not the real world.
Correct, Video Games Aren't Real People
As long as games journalists and games critics refuse to act and behave like adults and treat video games like the entertainment and fantasy that they are, instead of acting like they are real life and that people must be concerned over implications that do not exist, then many in society are going to continue viewing the video game industry in an equally ignorant point of view while getting concerned over something that is not an issue. This is a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry and one of, if not the largest entertainment medium in the world. The movie industry has room for porn without movie critics freaking out over every new release of a film, making a controversy out of literally nothing. It's time games critics and journalists became as mature as the movie industry is and stop freaking out over the next "moral" panic in video games.
Edited: Updated with an image to more accurately reflect article title.