1994 Ann. Surv. Am. L. 471 (1994)
A Rape in Cyberspace or How an Evil Clown, a Haitian Trickster Spirit, Two Wizards, and a Cast of Dozens Turned a Database into a Society

handle is hein.journals/annam1994 and id is 547 raw text is: A RAPE IN CYBERSPACE OR HOW AN EVIL
CLOWN, A HAITIAN TRICKSTER SPIRIT,
TWO WIZARDS, AND A CAST OF DOZENS
TURNED A DATABASE INTO A SOCIETY
JULTN DIEBELL
They say he raped them that night. They say he did it with a
cunning little doll, fashioned in their image and imbued with the
power to make them do whatever he desired. They say that by
manipulating the doll he forced them to have sex with him, and
with each other, and to do horrible, brutal things to their own bod-
ies. And though I wasn't there that night, I think I can assure you
that what they say is true, because it all happened right in the living
room-right there amid the well-stocked bookcases and the sofas
and the fireplace-of a house I've come to think of as my second
home.
Call me Dr. Bombay. Some months ago-let's say about half-
way between the first time you heard the words information super-
highway and the first time you wished you never had-I found
myself tripping with compulsive regularity down the well-traveled
information lane that leads to LambdaMOO, a very large and very
busy rustic chateau built entirely of words. Nightly, I typed the com-
mands that called those words onto my computer screen, dropping
me with what seemed a warm electric thud inside the mansion's
darkened coat closet, where I checked my quotidian identity,
stepped into the persona and appearance of a minor character
from a long-gone television sitcom, and stepped out into the glar-
ing chatter of the crowded living room. Sometimes, when the
mood struck me, I emerged as a dolphin instead.
I won't say why I chose to masquerade as Samantha Stevens's
outlandish cousin, or as the dolphin, or what exactly led to my mild
but so-far incurable addiction to the semifictional digital other-
worlds known around the Internet as multi-user dimensions, or
MUDs. This isn't my story, after all. It's the story of a man named
Mr. Bungle, and of the ghostly sexual violence he committed in the
halls of LambdaMOO, and most importantly of the ways his vio-
lence and his victims challenged the 1500 and more residents of
Originally published in the VMWage Voice, December 21, 1993.
Reprinted with the permission of the Vrd/age Voice
471

Imaged with the Permission of N.Y.U. Annual Survey of American Law

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