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Old 2012-08-07, 17:17   Link #21
AC-Phoenix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
So if you get a phone call one day from a random guy saying every time you turned your TV on he will kill a person, will you be guilty of murder if it turns out he did go out and killed people every time you turned on the TV?
there is a slight difference between said problems:
- Kyaba submitted evidence
- Kayaba invented the gear necessary so he knows best about what it can do
- he is no random guy on a phone line pulling a prank call

If you want your example so that you can charge people:
There is a serial murderer out there who calls random people having their TVs rigged to do exactly that, and they already brought it on the news.


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Originally Posted by Adigard View Post
Yes, but depending on how you look at it... Kayaba 'technically' pulled the trigger... killing the person. He's also the reason they were put into the life and death situation in the first place.

Which, IMO, is part of where it gets really murky and why new laws would need to be implemented to punish the guilty. And, of course, you couldn't try anyone prior to those laws being put in the books. But who knows, not a lawyer.
As said I wouldn't want to be the prosecutor/juddge
And no, you usually can't charge peopel for crimes having happened before they are in effect. Analogies are also forbidden in criminal law.

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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
Actually, I think there would both a large public push to try and punish the worst offenders (at the least), as well as pretty strong grounds to secure convictions.

First, when the remaining players beat the game, they are going to be minor celebrities and put into the public eye, recounting their experiences. The victims' families are going to want to know how their loved ones died, and the players are probably going to want to tell them. This will lead to well-publicized stories identifying specific individuals who are accused of killing other individuals: "SAO Player Allegedly Murdered Twelve In-Game; Families Demand Justice."

Then the question becomes whether you can convict them. I'm not familiar with Japanese law so this is all US-based.

Worst case for the prosecution is no physical evidence: the servers don't record anything, and when SAO ends all the information is deleted (I don't know if this is what happens). All you have are the statements of the surviving players and the time of death.

Could you still secure a conviction? Most likely yes. Real-world convictions are secured all the time without any corroborating physical evidence based only on eye-witness testimony. If you had three witnessing saying "I saw A PK B right in front of me" then that could certainly be enough to convict. Also, you could easily get one member of a PK guild to testify against another in exchange for a plea bargain, and that would go a long way to a conviction.

The best defense one could raise is they didn't think killing in-game would actually lead to death. But this might not be that strong, and it won't work in all situations. It's not strong because there is a fair bit of contradictory evidence that could lead a reasonable person to believe that PKing in-game leads to real-word death.

The dev's announcement and description of what happens if you die in-game or if the Nerve Gear is removed is a strong point in support of the idea that a reasonable person would think death might occur. Also, a reasonable person would likely infer that since the game was on-going, and the authorities had not simply cut the power to the Nerve Gear system, that something bad was likely happening to those people who died in-game. It's not definitive proof, but that's not required. And the jury

Regardless of its strength, that defense won't work in all situations, because there are certain categories of murder and manslaughter where intent to kill doesn't matter. All that matters is that the person die through the perpetrator's actions. One category is felony murder, which is a statutory crime that basically makes it murder if a victim dies in the course of a perpetrator committing or attempting to commit a felony, such as robbery or burglary, no matter whether the perpetrator intended to kill the victim or not.

So in a situation where a PKer threatens another player: "give me your sword/money/etc. or i'll kill you" and the player resists and is killed, that's felony murder, so long as the PKer intended to rob the player, even if the PKer didn't intend to kill the player.

Also, the idea that it wasn't the PK that killed them, but the microwave pulse, really won't fly. The death is directly attributable to actions initiated by the PKer. To argue otherwise is to basically argue that its the firing pin striking the cartridge that causes the bullet to fire, not the shooter pulling the trigger.
@Records
The servers do record PK's, there is just no access to said data atm. If they wouldn't record them people couldn't have their orange diamonds.

@felony homicides:
Aye, I dont know if they are really qualified as murder than though or just count as a qualification for the same penalty.
(Austiran law has the robbery version of what you said as a delict called severe roberry with different levels of qualifcation. The last and highest is if the robbery causes the victims death --> penalty 10 two 20 years or lifetime.
Which is the penatly for murder. )

@Microwaves
As I said: direct sine qua non causality
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Old 2012-08-07, 17:20   Link #22
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
So if you get a phone call one day from a random guy saying every time you turned your TV on he will kill a person, will you be guilty of murder if it turns out he did go out and killed people every time you turned on the TV?
a better example would be if you were kidnapped and tied to a electric chair. There is a button in front you and you are told if you press the button someone else who is also tied to a electric chair will die. Nothing will happen to you if you don't press it but if you press the button someone will die.
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Old 2012-08-07, 17:29   Link #23
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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
If you had three witnessing saying "I saw A PK B right in front of me" then that could certainly be enough to convict. Also, you could easily get one member of a PK guild to testify against another in exchange for a plea bargain, and that would go a long way to a conviction.
Except the witnesses don't know who A is. Names are not displayed unless you're in the same party.

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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
The best defense one could raise is they didn't think killing in-game would actually lead to death. But this might not be that strong, and it won't work in all situations. It's not strong because there is a fair bit of contradictory evidence that could lead a reasonable person to believe that PKing in-game leads to real-word death.
Maybe, maybe not. Even Kirito himself wasn't sure that death in game would lead to actual death. Many players also committed suicide believing that they won't die IRL, the rest were either too scared to try, or would rather play it safe and go the game clearing route. There are more than enough holes in here for reasonable doubt.

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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
Regardless of its strength, that defense won't work in all situations, because there are certain categories of murder and manslaughter where intent to kill doesn't matter. All that matters is that the person die through the perpetrator's actions. One category is felony murder, which is a statutory crime that basically makes it murder if a victim dies in the course of a perpetrator committing or attempting to commit a felony, such as robbery or burglary, no matter whether the perpetrator intended to kill the victim or not.

So in a situation where a PKer threatens another player: "give me your sword/money/etc. or i'll kill you" and the player resists and is killed, that's felony murder, so long as the PKer intended to rob the player, even if the PKer didn't intend to kill the player.
Good luck trying to find any of the 50 states, or any country in the world for that matter, that would consider virtual items as real properties owned by the players. You can't commit armed robbery of something that doesn't exist. The only entity that has any rights to any of the objects in game would be Argus, the company that runs SAO, and even then only as intellectual property.

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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
Also, the idea that it wasn't the PK that killed them, but the microwave pulse, really won't fly. The death is directly attributable to actions initiated by the PKer. To argue otherwise is to basically argue that its the firing pin striking the cartridge that causes the bullet to fire, not the shooter pulling the trigger.
Firearms is a well-known device with specific function and capability that any reasonable person born in the last 3+ centuries would know.

PKing in a VRMMO on the other hand, is not.

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Originally Posted by AC-Phoenix View Post
@Records
The servers do record PK's, there is just no access to said data atm. If they wouldn't record them people couldn't have their orange diamonds.
I already addressed this earlier, in the spoiler bracket in an earlier post.

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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
a better example would be if you were kidnapped and tied to a electric chair. There is a button in front you and you are told if you press the button someone else who is also tied to a electric chair will die. Nothing will happen to you if you don't press it but if you press the button someone will die.
Nope, completely wrong context. Being physically tied down to the electric chair gives you verifiable proof that there is credence to the threat, no such thing were available to SAO players.

In any case, this is getting off-topic, should probably move it to one of the theory/speculation thread if you guys want to continue.
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Old 2012-08-07, 17:35   Link #24
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post

Good luck trying to find any of the 50 states, or any country in the world for that matter, that would consider virtual items as real properties owned by the players. You can't commit armed robbery of something that doesn't exist. The only entity that has any rights to any of the objects in game would be Argus, the company that runs SAO, and even then only as intellectual property.
if you can buy and sell virtual property with real money i am sure you can charge someone with theft.

Trade Secret isn't tangible either but you can be charge with its theft.

Not the US but...
Quote:
The Dutch Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a teenager who stole another boy's virtual property in the MMO RuneScape.
Back in 2008, a pair of Dutch teenagers were convicted of theft after they "coerced" a 13-year-old boy into transferring an amulet and mask from his RuneScape account to theirs. The Leeuwarden District Court declared in its ruling that "these virtual goods are goods [under Dutch law], so this is theft."
One of the duo took his lumps like a man but the other decided to appeal, based on the question of whether or not things that don't actually exist in the physical realm can be considered property. His lawyer argued that the amulet and mask "were neither tangible nor material and, unlike for example electricity, had no economic value." The court disagreed, however, saying that the items did have an "intrinsic value" to the player because of "the time and energy he invested" in getting them.
The ruling is noteworthy because of the hazy legal status of virtual property in the real world. It's not simply a question of ownership, but of whether or not the property in question even "exists" in the first place. This is far from a definitive answer, but it is an interesting step.
According to Wizzley, the teens were also given a "suspended juvenile detention" for the assault - the "coercion" involved beating the younger boy and threatening him with a knife until he logged into the game and dropped his items - but that conviction was not part of the appeal.


http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news...eft-Conviction
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Old 2012-08-07, 17:41   Link #25
kyp275
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
if you can buy and sell virtual property with real money i am sure you can charge someone with theft.

Trade Secret isn't tangible either but you can be charge with its theft.
Trade secret is an internationally recognized intellectual property with clear ownership.

virtual game items on the other hand are considered the game developer's IP only, regardless if you were selling them with real currency (which is why most MMO game devs can ban RMT - they own it, you don't), crazy Dutch court rulings or not. I doubt you're going to find many sympathetic courts around the world that would agree with the Dutch court's ruling.

The idea that virtual items should be considered real goods and property because it gained intrinsic value due to the investment of time and effort into it opens so many legal quagmires and pitfalls it'd never survive a serious challenge in court. What happens when you die in a MMO and you lose some of your gear? what if another player looted your corpse? do you now get to sue the game devs or other players for destruction of property and burglary? The Dutch case is also special in that the two perpetrators committed assault (with a deadly weapon no less) and coerced the victim in real life, which probably helped the prosecutor's case.

Last edited by kyp275; 2012-08-07 at 17:55.
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Old 2012-08-07, 17:51   Link #26
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Actually, I think there would both a large public push to try and punish the worst offenders (at the least), as well as pretty strong grounds to secure convictions.

First, when the remaining players beat the game, they are going to be minor celebrities and put into the public eye, recounting their experiences. The victims' families are going to want to know how their loved ones died, and the players are probably going to want to tell them. This will lead to well-publicized stories identifying specific individuals who are accused of killing other individuals: "SAO Player Allegedly Murdered Twelve In-Game; Families Demand Justice."
I'm... not so certain I agree.

They're heroes in a video game for god's sake. Regardless of whether or not player's die when they're killed... they're still playing a game. I'd imagine the average joe on the street who doesn't have a family member involved couldn't give a tinker's damn about the story.

Roughly half the family members would probably be horribly embarrassed about it all, the others would probably be kicking and screaming about it, but that's still only a few thousand people.

And remember, it's a story that's likely grown stale over the two years it was on-going. I think the bigger push would be on the politicians who allowed all of this to happen, the company that threatened the children, and the madman who 'pushed the trigger'. I think a bunch of kids who had been comatose for the past two years and playing a video game, even a death game, would be... poor fodder for the public.

And damn, we're WAYYYYY off topic now. I swear this was an ep5 discussion. Someone should ask a mod to create a new thread and yank all these OT posts into it.

Also... 'specific individuals'? Unless you look at a photo of each of the surviving SAO player's prior to being comatose for two years... I'd imagine they'd look slightly different when they get out. And their avatar names won't necessarily help you track anyone down. I think it'd be VERY easy for the government to hush it all up if they choose to.

//EDIT: That's actually a wonderful question the books totally skirted. Do character's actually look their 'new' age in SAO? I know they look like they did when the tutorial started. But do the novels discuss anything about updating the character art? Never thought of that one before... even while reading through. huh. Kininarimasu! Off-hand I'd guess the characters do age, because it'd be silly if they didn't.

Last edited by Adigard; 2012-08-07 at 18:32.
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Old 2012-08-07, 18:05   Link #27
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Good luck trying to find any of the 50 states, or any country in the world for that matter, that would consider virtual items as real properties owned by the players. You can't commit armed robbery of something that doesn't exist. The only entity that has any rights to any of the objects in game would be Argus, the company that runs SAO, and even then only as intellectual property.
I remember reading that it is for example a crime to delete someone elses MMO characters in the US. - and they don't really exist physically either.
Next thing is that said items are life savers in that world. And bringing someone in a helpless situation is acrime too. But we should actually go away from that topic.
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Old 2012-08-07, 19:03   Link #28
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
So if you get a phone call one day from a random guy saying every time you turned your TV on he will kill a person, will you be guilty of murder if it turns out he did go out and killed people every time you turned on the TV?
that pretty different here. as someone said, Kayaba is no random guy

if someone told me that push a button will kill someone, but i push it anyway and killed one person. there are camera recording with sound of me being told not to push it but i still push, will i be charged for murder?
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Old 2012-08-07, 19:30   Link #29
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that pretty different here. as someone said, Kayaba is no random guy

if someone told me that push a button will kill someone, but i push it anyway and killed one person. there are camera recording with sound of me being told not to push it but i still push, will i be charged for murder?
The Milgram experiment suggests folks will do it, if instructed to by an authority figure... but in a different set of circumstances I imagine that button would get pushed more often than we believe.

Hell, I think some people would do it eventually just to get the weight off their back.
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Old 2012-08-07, 20:38   Link #30
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Nope, completely wrong context. Being physically tied down to the electric chair gives you verifiable proof that there is credence to the threat, no such thing were available to SAO players.
and the players are physically tied to the NERV Helmet, removing it means death.
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Old 2012-08-07, 20:46   Link #31
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The Milgram experiment suggests folks will do it, if instructed to by an authority figure... but in a different set of circumstances I imagine that button would get pushed more often than we believe.

Hell, I think some people would do it eventually just to get the weight off their back.
Well, yeah, but showing that they will do it is completely separate issue from legal culpability. People will commit crimes. So? Is that an excuse or any kind of legal defense?

Anyway, recklessness is enough intent for homicide, so it really doesn't matter what anyone in the game actually believed. All that matters is that they were aware of the possibility that their actions would lead to death. The question of evidence is the more interesting one.
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Old 2012-08-07, 20:54   Link #32
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Actually, I think there would both a large public push to try and punish the worst offenders (at the least), as well as pretty strong grounds to secure convictions.
I do think that the more (in)famous PKers - The ones that PKed a lot of people and hence gained notoriety for themselves amongst other SAO gamers - May well become infamous in the real world. It's possible that the public may see such PKers the way we currently see people who go on shooting sprees in real life.

But the PKers who only PKed another player or two... I honestly think they'd escape public attention. And they may even escape the attention of the gamers who cleared the games (and by extension, the real world authorities).

Let's face it, there has to be lots of deaths in SAO that are largely unaccounted for and/or forgotten. People just dying while trying to level up, like what we saw in Episode 3. Unless there's some gamer who's made it his or her mission within the game to carefully chronicle all gamer deaths, not all of these deaths are going to be remembered that well by the gamers.
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Old 2012-08-07, 21:05   Link #33
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I do think that the more (in)famous PKers - The ones that PKed a lot of people and hence gained notoriety for themselves amongst other SAO gamers - May well become infamous in the real world. It's possible that the public may see such PKers the way we currently see people who go on shooting sprees in real life.

But the PKers who only PKed another player or two... I honestly think they'd escape public attention. And they may even escape the attention of the gamers who cleared the games (and by extension, the real world authorities).

Let's face it, there has to be lots of deaths in SAO that are largely unaccounted for and/or forgotten. People just dying while trying to level up, like what we saw in Episode 3. Unless there's some gamer who's made it his or her mission within the game to carefully chronicle all gamer deaths, not all of these deaths are going to be remembered that well by the gamers.
I think perhaps you're overestimating how much people care about what happens in the game? As far as the outside world is concerned, Kayaba basically "poisoned" all the players with his sinister machine, and now they're all in comas. Some of them die sometimes, and their families pray for their safety and/or yell at the government for letting it happen. The event "ended" as soon as it happened. The fact that the players are actually doing something other than lying in comas is irrelevant to 99% of the population. And whenever they die, it's considered Kayaba's fault for "poisoning" them.

This is just what the public perception would be. They can't see inside the game, and most likely no one who's even played the game in beta or whatever is left outside. So they have no way to imagine what it would be like. So they don't.
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Old 2012-08-07, 21:06   Link #34
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Let's face it, there has to be lots of deaths in SAO that are largely unaccounted for and/or forgotten. People just dying while trying to level up, like what we saw in Episode 3. Unless there's some gamer who's made it his or her mission within the game to carefully chronicle all gamer deaths, not all of these deaths are going to be remembered that well by the gamers.
We haven't seen the "wall o' player names" featured in Episode one for a while, and the anime has yet to mention what details are posted in regards to each individual death.

It's possible the average successful PK kill is not recorded by anyone, anywhere. Going back to the earlier discussion of Sleep-PK... it's possible that people simply started disappearing from the starter cities, and it was only after a time / wave of deaths that people finally figured out what was happening.

Monster PK and PK's in the field potentially wouldn't leave much in the way of survivors, so other than seeing an orange player I'm not sure how much the average person would know.

In the previous Episode we can assume Kirito had very specific details about the PK attempt, from a survivor... but if there were no survivors, there isn't going to be much information.


As to the game logs notion... considering some of the suggestions have included large scale EMP attacks on the headsets, it's possible very little of the data would survive such a government 'attack', and very little in the way of logs may remain afterwards.

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This is just what the public perception would be. They can't see inside the game, and most likely no one who's even played the game is left outside. So they have no way to imagine what it would be like. So they don't.
Pretty much spot on. It would be dwarfed by the next celebrity breakup / big business scandal / PR blitz. 10,000 kids is important and all, but ultimately the public is going to be really bored of
"So, what's going on with all those hijacked SAO players? Oh, still sleeping? 'k"

There may be a lot of public interest when / if the game is cleared... or the government could very easily cover it all up and force the player's to be quiet about it... very easily in fact.
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Old 2012-08-07, 21:48   Link #35
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
and the players are physically tied to the NERV Helmet, removing it means death.
and completely missing my point.

when you're tied to an electric chair, you can SEE that it is an electric chair, which you know can easily kill you - you're practically in an execution chamber that have killed thousands before.

SAO? not so much. As far as the players know they're stuck there, they have no way of knowing what Kayaba said is true, they have no way of verifying if NervGear can actually fry their brain as Kayaba claims. SAO players do not have the benefit of being able to read the LN series like us to figure out what is going on in the outside world. They obviously know something is wrong, but no way of determining just how "wrong" it is.
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Old 2012-08-07, 21:56   Link #36
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So if you get a phone call one day from a random guy saying every time you turned your TV on he will kill a person, will you be guilty of murder if it turns out he did go out and killed people every time you turned on the TV?
SAO players didn't get a call from some random guy -- they were told by the person who created the game. And they know the thread must have some credibility since no one in the real world is yanking their helmets off. A reasonable person in that situation -- as most SAO players are -- would take the situation seriously.
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Old 2012-08-07, 21:59   Link #37
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Pretty much spot on. It would be dwarfed by the next celebrity breakup / big business scandal / PR blitz. 10,000 kids is important and all, but ultimately the public is going to be really bored of
"So, what's going on with all those hijacked SAO players? Oh, still sleeping? 'k"
But that's not what they would be hearing.

Every so often a "coma patient" would die. I think that it would be somewhat comparable to hearing about your nation's young people dying in a far-off conflict in a foreign country that you don't get to see. Every so often the news would report on a Makoto or Mikuru dying from SAO, and that would keep SAO in the news.

The slow, painful trickle of deaths would cause SAO to be something of a constant cloud over Japan. I honestly think it would be on people's minds the way the Iraq war was on Americans' minds in the first few years after it.

Honestly, I think that SAO could be to Japan what 9/11 and the Iraq war combined were to America. You have the sudden death of thousands of innocent people at the hands of a terrorist, just like 9/11. Then you have the slow, painful trickle of deaths just like the Iraq war.


I think some people here might be drastically underestimating how much the Japanese public would care about something like SAO happening in the actual real world (i.e. in our world).
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Old 2012-08-07, 22:02   Link #38
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But that's not what they would be hearing.

Every so often a "coma patient" would die. I think that it would be somewhat comparable to hearing about your nation's young people dying in a far-off conflict in a foreign country that you don't get to see. Every so often the news would report on a Makoto or Mikuru dying from SAO, and that would keep SAO in the news.

The slow, painful trickle of deaths would cause SAO to be something of a constant cloud over Japan. I honestly think it would be on people's minds the way the Iraq war was on Americans' minds in the first few years after it.

Honestly, I think that SAO could be to Japan what 9/11 and the Iraq war combined were to America. You have the sudden death of thousands of innocent people at the hands of a terrorist, just like 9/11. Then you have the slow, painful trickle of deaths just like the Iraq war.


I think some people here might be drastically underestimating how much the Japanese public would care about something like SAO happening in the actual real world (i.e. in our world).
I think they'd definitely care, but they wouldn't care about the game. It'd just be a big terrorist attack that left a lot of victims. They'd yell a lot about the game industry and the government for letting this happen, but the idea that the people in comas are actually doing something and possibly responsible for the deaths of others likely wouldn't come up nearly as often. There'd be a big manhunt for Kayaba, "the worst terrorist in history" but even when it means life and death no one's going to care about a video game.
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Old 2012-08-07, 22:04   Link #39
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
SAO? not so much. As far as the players know they're stuck there, they have no way of knowing what Kayaba said is true, they have no way of verifying if NervGear can actually fry their brain as Kayaba claims. SAO players do not have the benefit of being able to read the LN series like us to figure out what is going on in the outside world. They obviously know something is wrong, but no way of determining just how "wrong" it is.
In a strange (limited) sort of way, you could say that this is sort of like "belief in the afterlife". They are being told that there is no "life after death" (except one way: clearing the 100th floor), but of course they have no way of proving it except through dying, and there's no way for people who are dead to tell them whether it's true or not. This is like how various religions believe (conversely) that there is an afterlife, but of course there's no way to prove it because... well, you have to be dead to get there.

Incidentally, as a sort of converse point to this... if you don't believe the game creator when he said that death was real, why believe him when he says that they'll let everyone out if they clear the 100th floor? And if you can't believe that, then you might as well believe that everything is pointless, and it's all a matter of whether you die sooner or later. So what are you going to do with your remaining time in the game world, based on that? (I know a lot of people who have that philosophy in real life, incidentally.)

If you follow those tortured analogies, then I think someone could make a pretty good case that the rules that would apply in the real world should apply in the game world, even though there's no way of proving their "permanent" consequences. If someone in the real world were to go on a killing spree believe they're freeing everyone and sending them to heaven, we'd still incarcerate them for murder. So, if someone in the game world is killing people out of a belief that "maybe they won't really die", it's not so different. It raises the question of, if that's true, why don't they test that theory on themselves (unless they have some sort of Saviour complex... but I don't think that's what motivates most of the PKs we've seen...)

So... absent any evidence to the contrary, I think PKs should be treated basically the same as murder... but I can also accept that there is a very bizarre psychological condition here that has an influence on how you might punish someone should it ever come to that. (Because, in fact, they weren't born in that world, and are perfectly aware that the outside world still exists. All the afterlife analogies break down if you've been to "heaven" and just want to get back to it... assuming you can. (Quantum Leap? ))
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Old 2012-08-07, 22:05   Link #40
Dr. Casey
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Age: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Honestly, I think that SAO could be to Japan what 9/11 and the Iraq war combined were to America. You have the sudden death of thousands of innocent people at the hands of a terrorist, just like 9/11. Then you have the slow, painful trickle of deaths just like the Iraq war.


I think some people here might be drastically underestimating how much the Japanese public would care about something like SAO happening in the actual real world (i.e. in our world).
Yeah, I agree. That's actually part of what makes the premise of Sword Art Online so fascinating to me, the understanding that it would be such a notorious scandal. It would be a very famous, very dark period in history that would tarnish the public's faith in Virtual Reality games for a long time, much like the explosion of the Challenger still has some people wary of space shuttles 26 years later.
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