This Mind Hacks post about the anti-social “griefers” finding kindred spirits in virtual worlds led me to this Wikipedia piece about the famous cyberspace rape a few years back that thrust the virtual community into real-life considerations of crime and punishment. Again, I emphasize how great an opportunity virtual reality gives us to explore and simulate criminological theories or at least see how new social networks develop and evolve rules, sanctions, and enforcement in a virgin environment. Somebody? Anybody? Bueller?
(Although, after hearing some of the players’ trauma about the actions during the rapes, I’m not sure we can get away without an IRB. Maybe a virtual one. That would be cool.)