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16 Eur. J. Crime Crim. L. & Crim. Just. 325 (2008)
Deviances in the Virtual Reality or the Character-Altering Power of Virtual Communities

handle is hein.journals/eccc16 and id is 335 raw text is: MA RTI NUS                                                                  n
NIJHOFF                      European Journal of Crime,
PUBLISHERS         Criminal Law and Criminal Justice 16 (2008) 325-343  ww.bril.necdl
Deviances in the Virtual Reality or the Character-Altering
Power of Virtual Communities
Katalin Parti*
Permanent research fellow, National Institute of Criminology, Hungary; PhD candidate,
University of P~cs, Faculty of Law, Infocommunication and Law Doctoral Program
i. Introduction
Although the term virtual reality is difficult to define semantically, it has a
complex meaning in our everyday life. The word virtual itself has the meaning
of vividness and reality. The attribute and the noun is practically the same so it
does not take us nearer to the denotation of the term. The notion is the product
of the simulative technology: Virtual Reality (later VR) makes it possible to cre-
ate artificial surroundings where one can experience how real situations move in a
computer-simulated environment, try and practice the required behaviour under
real circumstances. VR first appeared in the military industry as a technique of
drill but nowadays, it is also used in entertaining, with the computer games based
on environmental simulation.' In my essay the expression Real Life (RL later) is
used as an antipole to VR referring to the fact that - although the origin of the
virtual communities is the real community - the rules of real life are slightly dif-
ferent in virtual circumstances as the philosophy, essence and nature of the virtual
community is different.
* This essay was written when the writer was a scholar at the Max Planck Insitute for Foreign and
International Criminal Law, Freiburg i. Br., in the year 2007 and 2oo8. Contact: parti@okri.hu.
I) <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual-Reality> (last downloaded: 8 February 2008.) See also: Zs.Gy.
Balogh, Jogi informatika (Budapest-P&s 1998).

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008

DOI: 10. 1163/157181708X333373

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