Is it possible to be sentenced to prison if you crash in a simulator?

The answer to the above question may seem obvious. However imagine this scenario, you are are playing in one of the many car racing games and your lack of driving skill or another driver causes a fatal crash between the two cars. Wheels go flying, one car goes flying thru the air and lands on its roof, the drivers head is crushed, pulse is gone and the driver died almost instantly. His race career is over and now there is a vacancy in the race team. On replay it is obvious to see the guilty party. At stake the winner would have gone onto win a month race series. A scene examination later reveals that driver A had been drinking before racing in his home before logging on to race Driver B.

The came car around the corner at about 170 kph, the faulty brakes suddenly kicked in, the vehicle clicked the wall and suddenly became airborne

The car came around the corner at about 170 kph, the faulty brakes suddenly kicked in, the vehicle clicked the wall and suddenly became airborne

Now step out of the virtual world for a minute. Both drivers involved in the smash are actually known to each, once they had been friends but now there is real life bad blood between the two. Driver B had stolen Driver A’s girl friend months earlier. In the days before the race driver A hacked into driver B’s online car and messed around with the cars steering and brakes in the software. He knew this would cause a life threatening accident in the virtual world. He had spotted the access code on his old girl freinds cell phone.

Sound crazy, far fetched, who would do this, so what! Well the next real ife story currently before the courts (a real one where Policman hand cuff you and you have porridge only) will show you the scenarios played out in virtual worlds Like Second life or like the Matrix film can have very real life consequences.

The moral of the story. The virtual Policeman might walk out of the screen and through your front door with a set of handcuffs at the ready.

Woman jailed after killing virtual husband
8:16AM Friday Oct 24, 2008
Mari Yamaguchi

A woman who killed her virtual husband in an online game similar to Second Life has been jailed in Japan.

TOKYO – A 43-year-old player in a virtual game world became so angry about her sudden divorce from her online husband that she logged on with his password and killed his digital persona, police said.

The woman, who has been jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his ID and password to log onto the popular interactive game “Maple Story” to carry out the virtual murder in May, a police official in the northern city of Sapporo said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy.

“I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry,” the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

The woman, a piano teacher, had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.

She has not yet been formally charged. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison or a fine up to US$5,000.

Players in “Maple Story” create and manipulate digital images called “avatars” that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting monsters and other obstacles.

In virtual worlds, players often abandon their inhibitions, engaging in activity online that they would never do in the real world. For instance, sex with strangers is a common activity.

The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married to kill the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his online avatar was dead.

The woman was arrested and taken 1000km from her home in southern Miyazaki to be detained in Sapporo, where the man lives, the official said.

The police official said he did not know if she was married in the real world.

Bad online behaviour is usually handled within the rules set up by online worlds, which can ban miscreants or take away their virtual possessions.

In recent years, virtual lives have had consequences in the real world.

When bad deeds lead to criminal charges, prosecutors have found a real-world activity to cite – as in this case, in which the woman was charged with inappropriate computer access.

In August, a woman was charged in the US state of Delaware with plotting the real-life abduction of a boyfriend she met through the virtual reality website “Second Life.”

In Tokyo, a 16-year-old boy was charged with stealing the ID and password from a fellow player of an online game in order to swindle virtual currency worth US$360,000.

Virtual games are popular in Japan, and “Second Life” has drawn a fair number of Japanese participants. They rank third by nationality among users, after Americans and Brazilians.

– AP

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