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Guild Wars – Chapter 504: Boundless vs The World 2 Bahasa Indonesia

Diao gave a complimentary pause for the audience to digest the issues stated before she continued. “We shall begin with the first issue, whether or not the game ‘Boundless World’ promotes the abuse of human rights.”

Diao then gazed at one of the clerks and nodded. “Bring in the first witness please.”

The male clerk rose up and called the name of the witness, who turned out to be a young girl of about 17 years. She was quite pretty and had a good figure, her backside enough to steal the attention of all onlookers as she walked in.

Yet her face was not one that showed p.l.e.a.s.u.r.e from attention, but gaunt from haunting trauma. She sat down in the witness box and glared at Amber with hate in her eyes.

“Hello Miss Julia Bifero. You were one of the people who have lodged a complaint against the studio, for suffering the horrible crime of being r.a.p.ed by a group of men, is that correct?” Diao asked softly.

Julia nodded, her eyes showing genuine pain. “That’s right, Your Ladyship.”

Diao then continued. “When did this happen?”

Julia answered slowly. “Four weeks ago in real-time, so three months ago in the time of the game.”

Diao nodded. “Could you please describe the events to us? You can opt not to go too deeply into detail in lieu of your immense suffering.”

Julia shuddered but firmed her expression and shook her head. “I won’t cut out parts. My story could be the fuel that sees the perpetrators of this abuse and those who silently support it punished!”

After hissing her determination, many eyes in the court looked at her with sympathy and respect. As for Amber, she seemed slightly bored, something which made everyone frown.

Julia took a deep breath and began. “I was in a party with my younger brother and three of his friends. We set out to experience the game world and level up our characters.”

“When we reached a secluded area for hunting monsters, the three suddenly struck out and killed my brother’s character, while forcing me down.”

Despair appeared on Julia’s face. “Other games I have played before would not allow for these things to happen in the first place or at least have the sense to include a report function to prevent them. I tried to report them before things got too far but the AI merely informed me that the function was just there to report bugs and was not made for this kind of situation.”

“After that, I tried to log out to exit the game. However, that function was blocked because apparently being on the verge of r.a.p.e, and in the midst of s.e.x.u.a.l assault, somehow counts as being in a ‘combat’ status.”

“All avenues to protect myself had been closed to me, and I had to suffer the s.e.x.u.a.l abuse of the three repeatedly until my brother returned with some of my own friends to rescue me.”

Julia stopped there and the crowd was pin-drop silent. This kind of topic was always a tough one because the type of crime was impossible to take back and sometimes, the punishment was not enough to cover the damage done.

Diao sighed and asked. “So did you make a complaint to the studio?”

Julia nodded. “I did, but they have refused to release the identities of the three fellows who have committed the crime. The same happened when I requested the video evidence, so I could prosecute them.”

There was angry grumbling in the court at that. It seemed unreasonable for the game to deny something as simple as that, hence the reaction. Diao banged the gavel lightly and called for order, then gazed calmly at Amber.

“What does the defendant have to say in reply to this?”

Amber perked up slightly. “The first issue is about whether or not the game promotes the abuse of human rights. From the words of miss Julia here, it seems as if our game was created to facilitate r.a.p.e and help rapists achieve their goals.”

“However, there are many things that this court has interestingly ignored.”

Diao frowned at that and so did the other judges. Just as she was about to warn Amber, the woman continued without a care.

“Firstly, Boundless World is a Fully Immersive Virtual Reality game that allows our users to experience a fantasy world as if it was real life. This was what was advertised to all buyers pre-launch and every time they log in.”

“Secondly, before creating an account, the user is warned of all these things. We do not hide in the fine text nor do we make it obscure, it is directly read to the mind of the prospective player, send to their consciousness that GloryGore Studios will not be held responsible for any such harms that occurred while playing.”

Amber smiled with amus.e.m.e.nt. “I believe this point especially has been made known to you all, as that is why this had to be pursued as a hearing instead of an actual trial. For all intents and purposes, the reality of the situation is that GloryGore Studios is legally absolved of all possible accusations.”

Amber turned to Julia. “And so I ask you, Miss Julia, did you receive this warning?”

Julia instinctively wanted to lie that she did not in order to strengthen her position, but was also clever enough to know that if evidence was brought that she was lying, her position would become far weaker.

Diao too was looking at her from the side and subtly shook her head. As such, Julia could only grit her teeth and admit it.

“That’s right, I did.”

“Excellent. And did you decide to continue playing despite being warned each time, instead automatically accepting our terms?” Amber pursued with a smile.

Julia frowned deeply. “I did obviously.”

Diao and Julia both expected Amber to ask why next and attack Julia’s claims from there, but were surprised when Amber shrugged and placed her chin on her knuckles.

“There you have it, Your Lordship. She saw the warning, ignored it, got hurt, and is now pointing the finger at the wrong party.”

The crowd burst into angry chattering once more. It had to be said that while hearings were also litigation process, they were far less formal and chased less after law but rather a mix of morality and logic.

The crowd naturally were not interested in hearing such logical disputes, believing that by virtue of their suffering, the game and the studio were at fault!

Diao banged the gavel, but before she could speak, Herbert frowned and asked a question.

“Miss Amber, if I am to parse your words clearly, you believe that GloryGore Studios and its intellectual property, the game Boundless World, are absolved of all blame for merely providing a warning and refusing to cooperate after the fact?”

Amber shook her head. “I haven’t gone that far, Your Lordship. Right now, we are only addressing the first issue of whether Boundless promotes the abuse of human rights.”

“I believe the matter concerning providing her details of the criminals and the evidence falls under the last issue, whether or not the studio has furnished victims or the authorities with relevant information.”

Herbert was silent, but his brows creased, realizing from Amber’s behavior that this was going to be a troublesome hearing. The defendant was far too calm and prepared for all of this, her lack of empathy towards the victims rubbing him the wrong way.

Diao picked up from there. “Is that right? Removing the matters concerning after the act, what about the lack of a reporting function or disallowing victims from escaping the game world?”

Amber responded calmly. “That should fall under the second issue, whether or not the studio ‘GloryGore’ has taken measures to protect the rights of their consumers during use of their service.”

Jamilee stepped forth to ask a question that had been bothering her all this while. “I recognize that these matters do not fall under the first issue, but one remains that does and you have been avoiding it so far.”

“According to Miss Julia, she made a report about her circ.u.mstances and your AI told her it was not relevant to the function. From this, we can assume that even if your AI was not aware of the act due to focusing on the world at large, it was brought to its awareness by the report, yet it chose not to do anything about it?”

Diao gazed at Jamilee appreciatively, for the point she had brought up was extremely piercing. Diao and the other four belonged to the older generation, so they didn’t know much about AI or virtual reality.

They were attacking it how typical judges would, yet Jamilee was younger and more knowledgeable about such things and had caught onto a very important issue.

Even Amber’s calm smile froze a little as her eyes narrowed.

“That is correct and wrong at the same time. Our AI is advanced but also due to that, it is bogged down by endless processes. The reporting function is automated in the sense that the AI receives a report, assigns a subroutine to search for keywords, and in the absence of them, sends an automated reply. In the presence of one, it inspects the issue personally.”

“Allow me to give an analogy for those not tech-savvy to understand. Our AI is like a CEO who has a cabinet full of letters. Does the CEO read each and every one himself? We all know he does not, since he is too busy managing the company.”

“As such, his secretary will open each one and skim them through to sort important ones that need to be addressed by the CEO from those that do not. Letters that state something like ‘Our third factory has experienced an explosion and 30 men died’ is something he would need to see and deal with personally.”

“A letter that says ‘In our third factory, one of the workers ignored the safety rules and experienced a light accident’ does not reach his eyes and is sent by the secretary to lower levels for sorting.”

Amber chuckled. “Of course, in the case of the AI, the lower levels would mean being logged for later at best.”

“So no, the AI was not aware.”

Amber’s long and calm reply made the crowd a bit agitated but many were frowning deeply, especially those not part of the activists. They realized that from a logical perspective Amber, made sense.

The judges realized this too, and Jamilee responded. “Thank you for the clarification.”

Julia paled, realizing that the kind of outcome she had expected from sharing her story was not as explosive as she had hoped. She then glared at Amber and asked in an aggrieved tone.

“Are you saying just because your AI was too busy to make time for a useless peasant like me, I should be freely abused?”

“My answer to you is the same Miss Julia, it begins and ends with the warning given. You are basically a person who looked at a gate with the bold warning ‘Do Not Enter, Dog Inside May Bite’ ignored the warning thinking you were smarter or luckier than others, jumped the wall, ultimately got bitten by the dog, and are now blaming the owner.” Amber retorted calmly.

“Tell me, does that make any sense to you?”

Julia was infuriated. This warning matter was a roadblock that prevented her from arguing using logic and the other things concerning her matter were not relevant to the first issue, so they couldn’t be tacked on yet.

Diao banged the gavel. “Defendant, make a conclusion.”

Amber maintained a neutral expression. “Your Lordship, Boundless World is not a game that promotes human rights abuse. It is a game that works as was advertised to all consumers in order to avoid misrepresentation and false advertising, and most importantly to this issue it provides everyone with a warning that could not be ignored.”

“Players who choose to experience the game are made aware of the risks and still decide to forge on after agreeing to bear the consequences on their own.”

“Just as one does not sue the Cigarette company for getting lung cancer after smoking – as the warning on each pack is printed to cover more than half of it – Boundless World cannot logically, legally, or morally be held liable for such atrocities. After all, we do not ask the criminals to assault their victims nor do we endorse their activities.”

The court was silent for a bit as the judges began discussing among themselves. The crowd also silently exchanged their opinions, many minds swayed by Amber’s explanation because, despite everything, it made sense.

Nevertheless, the majority felt it was nonsense because of the fact that players were not given protection from such things. Regardless of advertising, no one should be allowed to go through such a thing. It just seemed like the company was negligent at best and indirectly consenting to such things through ignorance at worst.

Diao banged the gavel and nodded to the crowd. “We shall move on to the second issue, whether or not the studio ‘GloryGore’ has taken measures to protect the rights of their consumers during use of their service.”

Diao only slightly smirked in response to this. “Following witness Julia’s story, there are two identified acts that count as negligence and omission to protect the rights of customers. Firstly, there is no presented function for reporting the atrocity in progress to stop it, and secondly, the game takes steps to prevent emergency logout using obtuse reasons.”

“What does the defendant have to say in response to this?”

All eyes fell on Amber, wondering how she would worm her way out of this one.

Amber smiled, her small eyes curling into crescents. “As stated before, the report function exists for bugs, not issues. There is an emergency logout function, but it is only activated when the user experiences damage pertaining to their real body or any life-threatening activity. We have countless measures put in place to protect the lives and health of our users while they play.”

“However, I have a question to throw back to the court, one very important for deciding the current issue.”

“When you are about to be assaulted, s.e.x.u.a.lly or otherwise, r.a.p.ed, murdered, or any crime performed on yourself, is there a report button for that? Do we have an emergency logout option in reality?” Amber asked slyly.

Diao frowned. “Of course, there is. One can make a call to the police to report the issue or call any other authority to assist them in the protection of their own safety.”

The rest looked at Amber like she was an idiot for this was possibly the dumbest counter-argument one could bring up to defend something like this.

Amber maintained her cheerful outlook. “That’s right, in reality, one has the police and many other bodies to protect their rights. However, we shouldn’t forget that the police are humans like us who have been chartered by the law to protect our safety.”

“In Boundless World, these protectors exist as well, only instead of police, they are called city guards. And I can confidently claim that they have faster response times to crimes than even the police in real life. To that point, I request the court to let in my witness for her testimony.”

Diao nodded to the clerk who called out the second witness to proceed to the box on the left side of the judge’s panel, since Julia was still in the first box to the right.

The second lady was also quite voluptuous and would definitely inspire l.u.s.t in onlookers. She was slightly prettier than Julia, but not by much. She also had a calmer disposition.

“Thank you for coming here today, Miss Helen Kaplan. Please tell us your story.” Diao prompted in a cold tone.

Helen ignored her and began. “I have been playing the game called Boundless World since it launched and have made some progress. One day, about a month or two ago in real-time and more than half a year in the game’s time, I was besieged by a group of five men who were stronger than me.”

Helen’s calm disposition wavered as she remembered the fear and horror she felt at the time. “Luckily, we were near a town called Rolling Stone, and my cries for help had been heard by the city guards. They quickly materialized nearby and slaughtered the five men, placing them in jail with severe punishment to their in-game characters. I was also heavily compensated which made my wealth and power increase greatly at the expense of my abusers.”

“I believe they were so ruined they had to quite a start afresh while I jumped forward about 500% of my progress at the time.”

This story made Julia display envy and sorrow, wishing the same happened to her. The activists in the crowd were also feeling uncomfortable and greatly stifled.

After all, Helen’s story proved that the game did in fact provide protection and compensation for victims, but not in the way anyone had expected.

Diao banged the gavel and spoke in a frigid tone. “That’s enough, thank you. Defendant, how does this story absolve the issue presented before the panel?”

Amber spread her hands and smiled. “Your Lordship, doesn’t it speak for itself? I asked if the real world had a game-like menu that one could report crimes in progress and the answer I received was that people could call for the police to provide protection.”

“This is also the truth in the game as proven by my witness’ experience. She called for the ‘police’ and they saved her, providing her great compensation as well.”

Julia was not willing to accept this. “If that is the case, why couldn’t they help me? Why isn’t a function provided to call for them when needed?!”

Amber laughed coolly. “It has to do with the conclusion I gave for the first issue. Boundless World is a game that is advertised and styled after reality in order to provide 100% immersion.”

“For example, as you are sitting here, there are only three ways to contact the police. The first is to scream at the top of your lungs and pray that you are heard. The second is to use a Mobile or Holo-device to call them directly. The third is to have someone else call them on your behalf.”

“All these options are present according to the reality within the game’s world. A fact that was omitted by Her Ladyship in the center seat was the fact that the same world is set in a medieval time.”

“And so, I ask all intellectuals within the court, were there phones during the medieval era?”


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