Archive for the ‘Mature content’ Tag

Transcript of Adult Continent In-World News Conference

Click through here for a transcript of the in-world news conference held by Linden Lab on the planned adult continent.  The transcript was provided to members of the Second Life Media Consortium group; the conference took place on our island on May 1.  Participating on the Linden side were Cyn, Jack and Ken Linden.

Aside from some very light editing to correct punctuation and grammar, the transcript is as provided; no redactions have been made or material added by me.

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Second Life “Adult” Definitions Draft Published

The plans for the new adult continent are proceeding apace at Linden Lab. The Big Blog announced the progress in an article published yesterday, with links to a draft of current proposals for what constitutes “Adult,” “Mature,” and “PG” content. (Adobe PDF copy of the draft document from the Knowledge Base)

The key to the whole enterprise will be to devise a fair and comprehensive definition of what should be tagged “Adult,” and what is “merely” art.  This is something of a concern for me as an art dealer in world, though I haven’t handled any nudes yet beyond a few quite tasteful things by such as Maxfield Parrish.  (His Daybreak is my biggest seller — which is a relative thing (grin).)  At this point, though, I’m satisfied with what I’ve read.  Though I haven’t followed the discussion on the Forums — I have enough to read and process every day! — it seems that the Lab is trying to work actively with the Residents to get something workable and that will, if not please everybody, not totally displease everybody as well.  That’s the working definition of “compromise,” by the way.

Any road, come approximately June, the changes will be implemented to everybody with the new 1.23 viewer, and we’re gonna need to live with it.  One can hope that, if the policy needs tweaking, Linden Lab will be open to it.  Such things are almost never gotten right on the first go, and I expect some fine tuning will come.  Just in case, I’d urge a workable appeals process as well, so that someone who gets banged by the policy wrongly can get things fixed.

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Lindens Follow Up On Adult Continent Question

After I left for RL work yesterday, Governor Linden published a quickie article on the Big Blog to inform us of where the discussion over adult content changes stood.  Nothing deep here; just a distillation of where the Forum discussions started by the Lindens have traveled to, and the top concerns raised there.  According to the piece, the main questions for solving are:

  1. Enforcement of the content demarcation
  2. Definitions — what is “adult content”
  3. Scope — how far-ranging this will go
  4. Impact on businesses
  5. Impact on private estates
  6. “Why not a PG Continent?”
  7. Personal information and 3rd-party partners — probably the “age verification” issue

I suspect number 6 is the easiest to answer right now, and I haven’t even been involved in any of the discussions.  There will be a PG continent, simply because all the “by definition” raunchy stuff on the Mainland will be moved to the planned red-light continent.  Having said that, the definition itself has still to be thrashed out.  That will, of course, be one of the hairier problems faced by the Lab, will contain continual “grey areas,” and will no doubt bring constant charges of unequal enforcement against the Lindens by various quarters, based on that exact amount of “grey area.”

I’m sure Linden Lab realized that they were brewing up a potential hurricane when they began this initiative.  I just hope they realize how ongoing that hurricane will be, how long it will last, and how ugly it can get in both the short and long term.  The Governor has been under a lot of criticism over the past year or so for the banking ban, gambling ban, and various other decisions that were imposed without discussing with the Residents first.  Now they’re gonna find out the true meaning of democracy:  that, even when the public is involved with the rulemaking process, no turn goes unstoned.

(Addendum:  Kitt, my other half, suggests a very simple rule:  if it involves sex, it goes to the mature continent.  Even if it’s just as benign as holding hands and kissing, it goes.  I can imagine the fanfare of welcome that definition would bring….)

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“Red Light” Continent in Second Life’s Future

Lots of commentary has, no doubt, been delivered already on Linden Lab’s announcement yesterday of planned “adult-content reform” for Second Life. I suspect that Residents have been looking for the next thing they can excoriate Governor Linden about; and, lacking any major crash and burn of the 1.22 viewer release (which is unlikely, considering how long it’s been in development and testing), this is the Next Big Piece of News to Hit the Grid.

Just in case by some accident you haven’t heard, the Lab plans to designate one section of the Grid as exclusively for adult-level content, with access by some acceptable form of age verification.  This will not be a single sim/region; even based on the 2-4% estimate of content as falling in a definition of “adult content,” that would more than fill a single sim, even using the airspace above ground level.   (Imagine the lag in that single sim!)  It appears that they are planning to build a subcontinent designated for red-light activity, to which all such content on the Mainland will need to move by deadline.  Estate islands will not be subject to the move.  However, all user-created content must be flagged with an appropriate age level, regardless of its location.  Access to the red-light continent will be by age-verified accounts only.

This last may be one of the stumbling blocks faced by both Residents and Linden Lab.  The methods suggested in the original Big Blog article:

…We will implement account verification systems that provide an additional level of assurance for providers of Adult content that only adults are able to access their content. Such a system might be tied, for instance, to a verified payment method like a credit card, a validation by our age verification provider, or another credible method of validation….

Considering all the fun I’ve heard concerning Residents from outside RL North America trying the “age verification provider,” I don’t see that method being very popular.  Credit cards may be more likely a method.  I’ve wondered if that meant that all Residents will eventually need a full, paid account, but I find that unlikely; after all, Profiles today say “Payment info used,” which should be enough for most purposes.

Of more concern, and the main thing that is being debated in the Forums now, at Linden Lab’s invitation:  what is “adult content”?  The final decision on this will affect hundreds of Residents, and is going to be almost literally thrashed out.  One definition might include combat sims, and those folk will resist that as much as they can.  For instance, would you call the duels that take place on one of the regions in Samurai Island complex “adult”?  I would encourage you to go to the Linden’s article, about halfway down the page now, and click on the links to take you to the Forum threads, where you can express an opinion, and help in the shaping of these matters.

A speculation on my part:  once this new system is finalized, the Teen Grid will probably be closed down.  This is a reasonable conclusion, assuming that the plan moves through; without the adult-oriented content out there, there is no real reason to segregete off minor Residents — assuming, of course, that they have not forged some sort of age verification.  Still, this could open up the main Grid for educators’ more thorough use.  Despite the comments of some in other venues, Second Life is what you make of it, what you want it to be.  Several corporations are already discovering savings in their transportation budgets by holding meetings in world; and a good educator will scout out locations that fit their lesson plan, then bring their class in to experience it.  Time will tell on this; but, considering the remarks of Philip some time back, I would think the eventual closing of the Teen Grid will be at hand.


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