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This is becoming quite an interest of mine over the past few months and has also taken centre stage as the focal theme of my online drama work.  There are emerging more and more stories about griefing across the entire web - in games, virtual communities, online worlds… etc….

Mark Wallace over at 3pointD and from Second Life Herald has reported on some new cases and provides the start of a commentary on this phenomenon.  He warns that when we encounter such behaviours we are really seeing a reflection of our offline society.  The world is changing and Second Life is the petri dish that shows us the trends… or so he speculates.  There might be some truth to that… either way the speculation and discussion is engaging.

Mark mentions a story reported in the Detroit News that states:

Someone is using the Internet to tease and humiliate her 16-year-old daughter, and whoever is behind the cruel open attacks is also hiding anonymously somewhere in cyberspace.
“They put up a phony Web site for her on MySpace,” said Leon. “I think it’s people who know her, because some of it is true and some of it is making fun of her.”

This phenomenon is also a type of ““>”cyberbullying” and is being reported more and more within school communities.  It seems the new tools also provide new means of attack.
I’m looking forward to exploring these ideas as my second phase of creative development ventures into a MOO environment to playout some scenaros around similar issues.  The consequences of online/offline transgressions is really fascinating- and I think a drama classroom is great place to explore some of the humanity of the situations.  My process drama in a MOO will provide a platform for students to examine some of these developing social behaviours.