Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Adult Content Warning!

I’m merely guessing, but I think on the 12th of March someone left the doors to the cages at Linden Labs open and the Communication department escaped for a while. Then, before they were all caught and returned to the cages, given their daily ration of decaf skinny latte and musli, or whatever PR people survive on, they managed to get this posted on the SL community blog.

If you work through the blandness of the first paragraph you eventually find out that LL is planning to introduce a third category to the two existing of PG and Mature. We will now, or eventually, have places tagged as Adult as well. I might have ignored this all had I not had a conversation In World with an escorting friend of mine – and then a little later get a note card passed to me by yet another, this time non-escorting friend.

If you think you’ve already guessed what their attitudes are, you’re wrong.

My escort friend was all for it. The other friend had entitled his card something along the lines of “Fascist takeover of SL by moralizing Lindens”. My escorting friend’s argument was basically that it was a god thing because there was a lot out there in SL that would make people quince and squirm. (I’d point out that in many cases that is just what people are looking for there, but whatever!) And she continued that restricting access to them would be better than making things like that Verboten.

The note card basically said that the decision, undemocratic as it was, just further curbed Residents’ rights to do what they pleased.

What surprises me is that this is a topic at all – and hence my suspicion that the Communications guys had escaped for a day. Sure, I’ve been surprised and sometimes aghast at things I’ve found in SL. But let’s take a place like Neva – a free sex sim – which will certainly fall under that category. Sure, it’s a boring place for boring people doing boring things – but if it astounded me and shocked me would I hang around to let that feeling sink in?

No, I’d TP away.

But that’s not the point. What was I doing there in the first place if I was so worried about my moral cleanliness? Had I typed “Church meetings” into search? Did I find it while looking for “Bible Studies”?

I think not.

It could be that certain sims of this sort do try to lure me in with descriptions of “Visit our wonderful beachside resort and talk to enticing other people about current affairs” – only to have me greeted by images of male avatars with erections reaching up to their shoulders.
Could be, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I do a bit of writing on the side and have some stories posted on the web. Now, two of them are tagged for 18 and older, the rest are PG (and the two first mentioned I would like to emphatically point out are tagged just because the characters use rough language at times). Now, guess which stories are most read?


Now, I think this will be what happens in SL as well. As soon as the Lindens install the Adult category landowners and merchants will be demanding to be tagged as that. Sex, as any public relations person knows, sells.

But, some would argue, if they do use age verification to allow residents access to those places, wouldn’t it reduce the overall number of potential visitors? Yes, it would. I’d like to suggest a different approach: Simply tell people that they are entering an Adult area and can turn back or cancel there tp. Certainly, it’s a pain to click away the window – but we’ve had to do that for years in thousands of stores and clubs.


Tia said...

Eaton, this is not really about mature [ and I use the term loosly]adults like you who, peruse SL sfter dinner with a glass of merlot in one hand and a sliver of Roqufort in the other, searching for original conversation.
Its more about the feeble minded [mental note not to do an Obama here,]or shall we say 12 year old, turbo charged with hormones and cheap cider [makes mental note that this could apply to menapausal women too maybe??]who gets off on seeing cartoons with erections up to their shoulders.
[BTW, I am told that there are cartoons on sites like PornHub too, allegedly.]
These unsupecting 12 year olds then fall prey to more sophisticated adults who groom them, lure them to a meeting [NB not bible class], do unspeakable things to them , sever their limbs and dump them in the local river.
Apparently Linden must believe that by labelling sites as adult this will be avoided.
Mmmmmmmm, now who really are the feeble minded here.........

Eaton said...

Well, technically 12 year olds shouldn't be on SL in the first place and solving that problem would solve the problem of them being lured - but Linden has made a very half-hearted attempt at doing that.

Tonight I will try persuing SL with a glass of merlot in one hand and a sliver of cheese in the other - just don't expect me to type very quickly - or very well!

Tia said...

I suppose a Skype is out of the question then ??

Jamar said...

"I’d like to suggest a different approach: Simply tell people that they are entering an Adult area and can turn back or cancel there tp."

Indeed Eaton .. *smile* .. of course, ur post contains nothing but 'common sense' ... however i think u might find that politics are behind this somewhere. Somehow governments are being forced to, or either believe it is their duty, to 'protect' the innocent from the uncensored world of the internet.

It has even gone to the absurd level in Australia where the current Govt is running 'filtering trial' with the major ISPs, publicising that it is in the interests of the morality of their Australian citizens ... hahahaha ... only last week the 'list' of banned sites used in the trial was leaked proving that 80% of the banned sites were of a 'political nature'!!

Can u imagine this, in a 'free' society .... i cant!!! From all accounts it would appear the trials will fail!! Hopefully!

However, while i do not agree with Govt [or LL] having that sort of power, there is an argument for restricting full and free access to children under the age.

Not that there is anything inherently WRONG with Adult Behaviour ... OMG ... they have to be exposed sooner or later, but it is easy to argue that here is a 'certain age' below which 'hard core' is 'out of order.

SO ... how to manage it? ... well clearly there is no single answer ...*sigh*... but all i can say if there is a 12yr old logged into Second Life then perhaps the parents of that child have something to answer for .... and further, irrespective of the controls, parental or otherwise, under age ppl are being exposed to adult content .... and u will never completely stop it!!

Making it more restrictive for Adults .. mmmm... well, formal ID only has to be provided ONCE ... so i really dont know wot the fuss is about??? Who cares, i for one rarely go there. it is so boring ... in fact it is 'child like' in its presentation really *LOL* .. cartoons trying to simulate copulation ... omg ... wot happened to using words and imagination. For 'christ's sake' all a child has to do is type 'youporn' into google and click on the button declaring themselves of legal age, and hey ... forget about cartoooons ... LMAO!!

Anyways, in the end sex is just that ... sex ..*smile*.. so who gives a 'fuck'??? ..*XD*.. anyone would think it is an aberration of society *smile*

Miss Mom said...

Hmmm...all I can say is...
why is the fuss always about protectiing kids from sex and not from violence?
It says so much about a society when sex and erect peninses are considered more dangerous than a gun.
AND I am all with you Jamar...if kids 12 years mine...10 want to find porn the just google sex, porn, penis or any other world they know.
It is always a parents responsibility to make sure their kids are not exposed to "bad things".
And...although I do not frequent Sl anymore I think it's sad that people get so upset about naked cartoons...but some places I know even get upset if you TP in wearing a bikini. Right Eaton? ;)
Live and let live...and in SL unlike the real world it is SOOOO easy to avoid being upset and/or harassed. Ignore, mute, delete and if nothing else work...for Gods sake get the fuck out of there. How hard can it be????