Age Play: Supporting What?

Wednesday 25 May 2011, 4.15PM to 17:30

Speaker(s): Dr Carla Reeves, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Division of Criminology, Politics and Sociology, Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Huddersfield

Second Life is a virtual online game. It is an adult-only, free-form computer generated environment in which users, through their avatars (animated characters), act out a life not unlike they would in the real world but without the physical or social boundaries of the the real world.

The practice of an adult user creating and operating as a child avatar is referred to as 'ageplay'. Ageplay is a contentious issue within Second Life as many users engaging in ageplay simulate sexual activity between child and adult avatars. Ageplay has become a topic of concern because police investigators have assumed a link between ageplay and the increase in risk that ageplayers will commit real world child abuse offences. But what evidence is there to show that activity such as ageplay is worrisome? This discussion explores the unique environment of Second Life which combines elements of both the use of child abuse images and online networking and adds an additional dimension to the equation: that of role-playing fantasies.

Location: W/222 or W/307 tbc