"The term realistic has been used by developers to describe attempts at creating a game which feels close to reality offering players the chance to experience something without the limitations of their physical ability or the person being placed in harms way."

Dr. Adelle Colette stood speaking in front of an audience that numbered just over 70, this could be considered a large number of people to some but when you removed the 27 people who had been forced to attend this conference, it really showed just how little people thought of the issue being discussed. Adelle was speaking at the 2nd gathering of the European Convention for the Protection of Virtual Gamers or ECVG for short. This was a sub section that the Convention on Cybercrime had created out of fears at the rise of Virtual Multiplayer Games and the need for some form of regulation. The convention consisted of all 27 members of the European Union and signatories from the Americas and Asia, although that was mainly confined to the United States, Canada and Japan. Along with signatories the convention gatherings also allowed for the developers and companies behind VMG's to attend, although the only sign of such attendance today was from smartly dressed lawyers looking out for their businesses interests.

"What we face today with the rise of virtual multiplayer games is the divide between reality and fiction becoming smaller," Adelle took a deep breath and in the next few seconds thought how best to structure the next point, she had been going off her prepared script since entering the room much to her own annoyance. "We are seeing an increase in the number of people who are seeking refuge in virtual multiplayer games, and with that, the establishment of entire online player driven societies based upon the setting of the game, which is immersive and realistic to the point that the gamer questions whether they prefer an artificial reality to true reality."

Adelle pushed a strain of her short blond hair away from her eyes as she analysed the faces of those present in the room, many of those in the room were unfazed by her speech or the statistics on the screen behind her that showed numbers of VMG users who had been hospitalised through deliberate over playing, along with an offshoot set of statistics which outlined numbers of suicides and attempts from those who believed they could reunite with fellow gamers in an online afterlife. The evidence was all there to voice a rational argue of concern but the motivation to do anything was not, and when the market for VMG's and virtual technology was so lucrative that it was beginning to wiggle its way into the public sector and military, it was unlikely that those present in the room representing gaming companies would do anything about this and more likely that those who wished to would be supressed by the powers that be.

"Surely what you are suggesting doctor, amounts to nothing more than pseudoscience. We are all aware of the inherent risks of vmg's, but your claims are just modern exaggerations of traditional criticisms of video games, and even if there were some truth in what you are telling us, then the only solution to such a problem would be the closure of such overly immersive vmg's and in turn the redundancies of thousands of honest, hardworking people whose jobs are dependant on the maintaining and expansion of this form of entertainment." A voice spoke out from the silence of the audience.

The heads of those present all turn in unity to face the man who had spoken, who then stood up from his seat to further make himself known. This middle-aged man dressed in a light blue work shirt against the sea of black and white shirts was Alex Quinn, CEO of the joint Anglo - American company, NEXUS, which responsible for creating one of the most popular VMG's around. Fantasia World Online, a disc bought free to play virtual massive multiplayer online role playing game that was widespread.

"Doctor, I highly doubt that anything I say or do will convince you that vmg's are both enjoyable and perfectly safe, however still, it would be my personal pleasure to provide you the opportunity to participate in Fantasia World Online's latest expansion, so that you can see firsthand how the people feel about this debate." Alex Quinn smiled and offered out a hand. "So how about it doctor?"

Adelle looked at the man who by all accounts was to be considered her enemy, before reaching a conclusion. "I accept," she said with a nod before departing the stage.