Second Life is trying to get rid of the nasties

Ahh, the people asking “Are Furries Doomed?” about Second Life trying to get rid of the nasties are looking at the wrong thing.

We learned what is wrong with Second Life back last year at Gnomedex when my son was yelled at by a Linden Labs’ employee because kids aren’t allowed to interact with adults on Second Life.

THAT is what’s wrong with Second Life, and continues to be. I haven’t been back since.

Fix that problem, Linden Labs, and all the rest of this gets cleaned up too.

How would you fix this problem?

Well, we have red light districts in the real world, don’t we? Does anyone worry about how children can be brought up in such a world? Maybe some of the most fanatical religious folks do, but normal rational human beings don’t mind that at all. We just stay out of the red light districts if that kind of behavior doesn’t match what makes us happy.

But in Second Life my son continues to be locked out of my world. Why?

Why do we have such stupid architectures when the real world shows us the way out of these kinds of problems already?

I’d love to sit down with Linden Labs for a video interview. I’m pretty open this week. You know where to find me.

It’s interesting. Since my son got yelled at, he’s spent hundreds of hours in World of Warcraft, which is a more beautiful world and where me and him can play together, if we like. Of course there’s no nasties in that world. Now, if you want “nasties” then you gotta put them in a walled off part of the world.

It really pisses me off that software folks don’t learn from the real world and don’t invest the time and energy it takes to let kids and adults play together, even if they are in the same family.

Think this doesn’t matter? Well, I’ve talked with various companies and they are scared of getting into Second Life because of brand protection issues. When CNET had a bunch of penises thrown at it every marketer had a heart attack. THAT happened BECAUSE Second Life’s architecture sucks. The fact that they won’t let kids into the world I’m a part of was just a separate demonstration of that.

Even after Linden Labs solves that problem there’s another one to solve before companies can really get into Second Life: each island can only support about 100 people. So, that’s two places where the architecture in Second Life sucks. When will Linden Labs fix both of these issues? Will it be another year? Why wasn’t this issue fixed in the last year?

Comments

  1. SL and WoW use two different approaches to drawing their worlds: SL does it in realtime from their servers, as residents create; WoW sends you a CD that you load on your machine. This is why there’s a limit on the avatars in a sim.

    SL could do a mix : clientside-defined sims for newcomers or special interest groups…

    but is their philosophy of ‘your world. your imagination’ holding them back?

  2. SL and WoW use two different approaches to drawing their worlds: SL does it in realtime from their servers, as residents create; WoW sends you a CD that you load on your machine. This is why there’s a limit on the avatars in a sim.

    SL could do a mix : clientside-defined sims for newcomers or special interest groups…

    but is their philosophy of ‘your world. your imagination’ holding them back?

  3. I think there’s some improvements that Linden Lab can make about “nastie” things but :

    Wow is a game where publisher makes/owns all the content, even the name of your character. SL is a user-generated content world where everybody can create, sell without giving copyright to Linden Lab. So the problem is to drawn lines between public/private behaviours and you know is not so easy: how to keep your son away from nasties things on the internet? You’ve some tools but it’s not perfect. And well because it’s about sex, it’s got a lot of press but a lot of people do “normal” things in SL and nobody notice.

    About companies and SL: I think that the problem is much bigger that their public relations concerns. We hear a lot of buzz about virtual activities of real companies in SL but few real successes. If I socialize, play, discover people in SL it’s not to find the latest crap from IBM, Nike, Dell etc … It’s like on YouTube : I don’t care about the last show from CNBC but I enjoy some home made videos. A lot of companies went to SL to be in SL, not to build some new customer relationship medium. It’s like if you find a blog with only press releases as posts and no RSS feed.

  4. I think there’s some improvements that Linden Lab can make about “nastie” things but :

    Wow is a game where publisher makes/owns all the content, even the name of your character. SL is a user-generated content world where everybody can create, sell without giving copyright to Linden Lab. So the problem is to drawn lines between public/private behaviours and you know is not so easy: how to keep your son away from nasties things on the internet? You’ve some tools but it’s not perfect. And well because it’s about sex, it’s got a lot of press but a lot of people do “normal” things in SL and nobody notice.

    About companies and SL: I think that the problem is much bigger that their public relations concerns. We hear a lot of buzz about virtual activities of real companies in SL but few real successes. If I socialize, play, discover people in SL it’s not to find the latest crap from IBM, Nike, Dell etc … It’s like on YouTube : I don’t care about the last show from CNBC but I enjoy some home made videos. A lot of companies went to SL to be in SL, not to build some new customer relationship medium. It’s like if you find a blog with only press releases as posts and no RSS feed.

  5. Instead of going for the sensational headline, let’s look at one key issue that’s not as sexy as going HOLY CRAP FREAKS IN THREE-D. Let’s for five second stop talking about dogs humping chicken girls or whatever. Let’s talk about Terms of Services. We used to like talking about TOSes once upon a time.

    “Broadly Offensive” is the term. A very vague one at that, and yeah, there’s normal stuff and there’s freaky stuff and there’s stuff in between.

    I’d beg to ask a Southerner. Your confederate flag. If you display it in SL, can I report you and you are forced to take it down because *I* might consider it to be offens—er ‘broadly offensive’? Even if you have the words ‘Heritage, not Hate’ scrawled on it?

    That’s where the conversation is not, because we are too narrow focused. If you posted a confederate flag on your wordpress.com blog, could you be banned? I don’t know. But with the language being thrown around about content that is ‘broadly offensive’ in Second Life, please tell me, could the display of the flag be a violation if enough people are ‘broadly offended’ by it?

    ER

    (For those outside the USA, during the American Civil War, the Confederate flag was the flag of the South, and is associated with slavery and all the stuff that surrounded our nation divided. While bits of this flag still exist in modern state flags, many consider it to be a racist symbol or a celebration of a time when it was a-okay to keep a human as property. Southerner refute this and there are derivative works of the flag with the phrase above on it, to say, no in fact, we’re not racists, it’s heritage. For some, that’s not good enough. It’s not as severe as a Swastika (depending on who you ask, I, guess, but yeah, it invokes serious debate and rage).

  6. Instead of going for the sensational headline, let’s look at one key issue that’s not as sexy as going HOLY CRAP FREAKS IN THREE-D. Let’s for five second stop talking about dogs humping chicken girls or whatever. Let’s talk about Terms of Services. We used to like talking about TOSes once upon a time.

    “Broadly Offensive” is the term. A very vague one at that, and yeah, there’s normal stuff and there’s freaky stuff and there’s stuff in between.

    I’d beg to ask a Southerner. Your confederate flag. If you display it in SL, can I report you and you are forced to take it down because *I* might consider it to be offens—er ‘broadly offensive’? Even if you have the words ‘Heritage, not Hate’ scrawled on it?

    That’s where the conversation is not, because we are too narrow focused. If you posted a confederate flag on your wordpress.com blog, could you be banned? I don’t know. But with the language being thrown around about content that is ‘broadly offensive’ in Second Life, please tell me, could the display of the flag be a violation if enough people are ‘broadly offended’ by it?

    ER

    (For those outside the USA, during the American Civil War, the Confederate flag was the flag of the South, and is associated with slavery and all the stuff that surrounded our nation divided. While bits of this flag still exist in modern state flags, many consider it to be a racist symbol or a celebration of a time when it was a-okay to keep a human as property. Southerner refute this and there are derivative works of the flag with the phrase above on it, to say, no in fact, we’re not racists, it’s heritage. For some, that’s not good enough. It’s not as severe as a Swastika (depending on who you ask, I, guess, but yeah, it invokes serious debate and rage).

  7. In the “real world” we all build and interact with each other’s stuff all the time too. We’ve found a way to police behaviors we don’t find good for society. I am not allowed to have sex with my wife on my front lawn, for instance. I’ll be arrested for doing that.

    Linden Labs didn’t want to invest in building a real world where you’d have to have real cops. So, they said “no kids” and now they are having to deal with the bad PR that brings them.

    There are two reasons companies haven’t had any successes:

    1) You can’t build something “ultra popular” like a baseball stadium, because you can’t get more than 100 people into it. That ALONE kills corporate interest.

    2) You can’t protect your brand because there’s no cops and because throwing penises seems to be par for the course inside Second Life.

    I should add:

    3) There’s no granularity so everything has to be treated like inside a church in order for there to be no bad PR. Bad architecture is behind this mess!

  8. In the “real world” we all build and interact with each other’s stuff all the time too. We’ve found a way to police behaviors we don’t find good for society. I am not allowed to have sex with my wife on my front lawn, for instance. I’ll be arrested for doing that.

    Linden Labs didn’t want to invest in building a real world where you’d have to have real cops. So, they said “no kids” and now they are having to deal with the bad PR that brings them.

    There are two reasons companies haven’t had any successes:

    1) You can’t build something “ultra popular” like a baseball stadium, because you can’t get more than 100 people into it. That ALONE kills corporate interest.

    2) You can’t protect your brand because there’s no cops and because throwing penises seems to be par for the course inside Second Life.

    I should add:

    3) There’s no granularity so everything has to be treated like inside a church in order for there to be no bad PR. Bad architecture is behind this mess!

  9. Eric: you’re right. But the problem is that there’s no granularity to the worlds. It’s all or nothing.

    “Broadly offensive” means something different in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City than it does in the red light district of Amsterdam.

    The problem with Second Life is the architecture sucks so they need to make these stupid rules for everyone.

  10. Eric: you’re right. But the problem is that there’s no granularity to the worlds. It’s all or nothing.

    “Broadly offensive” means something different in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City than it does in the red light district of Amsterdam.

    The problem with Second Life is the architecture sucks so they need to make these stupid rules for everyone.

  11. Warcraft being a walled garden, and allowing no user-created content. Facebook, too.

    Are walled gardens okay a little?

    Would you trust your peers to be able to create something as beautiful and seamless as Warcraft, or is user-generated content destined to be the world of digg comments and flying genitalia.

    Linden Lab didn’t put it there, we the people did.

    (I still want to explore the ‘broadly offensive’ issue as well, but the top-down vs. bottom-up thing is what has fascinated me about WoW vs. SL)

  12. Warcraft being a walled garden, and allowing no user-created content. Facebook, too.

    Are walled gardens okay a little?

    Would you trust your peers to be able to create something as beautiful and seamless as Warcraft, or is user-generated content destined to be the world of digg comments and flying genitalia.

    Linden Lab didn’t put it there, we the people did.

    (I still want to explore the ‘broadly offensive’ issue as well, but the top-down vs. bottom-up thing is what has fascinated me about WoW vs. SL)

  13. Facebook allows all SORTS of User Generated Content. Almost every word I see on Facebook was created by a user.

    The problem with Linden Labs is there’s no granularity to the world. If there were, my son would be allowed inside it, just the same way he’s allowed in the real world (which, by the way, also has churches and red light districts).

    The problem is that Linden Labs chose an architecture with no granularity and they didn’t want to invest in cops and things to enforce the rules.

  14. Facebook allows all SORTS of User Generated Content. Almost every word I see on Facebook was created by a user.

    The problem with Linden Labs is there’s no granularity to the world. If there were, my son would be allowed inside it, just the same way he’s allowed in the real world (which, by the way, also has churches and red light districts).

    The problem is that Linden Labs chose an architecture with no granularity and they didn’t want to invest in cops and things to enforce the rules.

  15. Is SL like YouTube? or the Web?

    We still have idiots in other virtual worlds and games like WoW– they just have to be a bit more clever with the nasty, so to speak. Remember the instance of the XBOX 360 game FORZA, that dealt with user-generated racial slurs on a car?

  16. Eric: the problem is that most people don’t want to have virtual sex. My son doesn’t. I don’t. Most people are like me. How big are red light districts in the world? Very small compared to the rest of the city. Even in places like Amsterdam which have famous red light districts (and the most popular thing to do there isn’t to have sex, but to walk around and gawk at those who do).

    So, when a world is designed that’s beautiful and says “no sex” is it any wonder that more people join that world than one that says “you can build, but you have to put up with no kids and flying penises?”

    I don’t have trouble seeing why WoW is a lot more popular. Not at all.

  17. Is SL like YouTube? or the Web?

    We still have idiots in other virtual worlds and games like WoW– they just have to be a bit more clever with the nasty, so to speak. Remember the instance of the XBOX 360 game FORZA, that dealt with user-generated racial slurs on a car?

  18. Eric: the problem is that most people don’t want to have virtual sex. My son doesn’t. I don’t. Most people are like me. How big are red light districts in the world? Very small compared to the rest of the city. Even in places like Amsterdam which have famous red light districts (and the most popular thing to do there isn’t to have sex, but to walk around and gawk at those who do).

    So, when a world is designed that’s beautiful and says “no sex” is it any wonder that more people join that world than one that says “you can build, but you have to put up with no kids and flying penises?”

    I don’t have trouble seeing why WoW is a lot more popular. Not at all.

  19. Eric: yeah, I know. That’s why these kinds of worlds, if they really want to be like the real world, must hire cops to enforce the rules. Linden Labs didn’t want to make that investment (the employee who yelled at me and my son isn’t even there anymore and my account neve got closed down, and, indeed is still being charged even to this day and I can’t get through to tech support, either, but that’s another problem).

  20. Eric: yeah, I know. That’s why these kinds of worlds, if they really want to be like the real world, must hire cops to enforce the rules. Linden Labs didn’t want to make that investment (the employee who yelled at me and my son isn’t even there anymore and my account neve got closed down, and, indeed is still being charged even to this day and I can’t get through to tech support, either, but that’s another problem).

  21. Robert one correction: The Fly Pinking Penis at CNET interview could have been prevented easily. All they had to do was not allow people to build and not be able to run scripted objects and not allow objects to pass through onto their land or to put in a blogging perspective….

    It is like having open comments, without requiring email address without Askimat’s potection and with no no follow in the hyper links and then wondering you have loads of spam in your comments and why you have a low google ranking

    All these options are available to land owners by defualt and you dont need to be an expert to turn them on. It is as easy as adding a facebook app :)

    Oh but im with you with the rest of the post though, SL Sucks with the nasty stuff but they are still so much more to it then 1% of nasty stuff that somehow makes news (sic) surpirse.

    As someone who has been in SL since march 2006, i can say for one thing. the content and stuff make it so far and keep me busy but if it wasnt meeting the love of my life there and making some good friends than i would be part of the 90% of SL users who leave.

    As for having adults and kids on the same grid, that could be problems with security etc. You know protecting your kids from weirdos etc but anyways lol i said enough.

  22. Robert one correction: The Fly Pinking Penis at CNET interview could have been prevented easily. All they had to do was not allow people to build and not be able to run scripted objects and not allow objects to pass through onto their land or to put in a blogging perspective….

    It is like having open comments, without requiring email address without Askimat’s potection and with no no follow in the hyper links and then wondering you have loads of spam in your comments and why you have a low google ranking

    All these options are available to land owners by defualt and you dont need to be an expert to turn them on. It is as easy as adding a facebook app :)

    Oh but im with you with the rest of the post though, SL Sucks with the nasty stuff but they are still so much more to it then 1% of nasty stuff that somehow makes news (sic) surpirse.

    As someone who has been in SL since march 2006, i can say for one thing. the content and stuff make it so far and keep me busy but if it wasnt meeting the love of my life there and making some good friends than i would be part of the 90% of SL users who leave.

    As for having adults and kids on the same grid, that could be problems with security etc. You know protecting your kids from weirdos etc but anyways lol i said enough.

  23. Heh, well I agree on Warcraft, but don’t agree that it’s popularity is a 1:1 because of content and safety, it IS a game after all and it is a quite good one.

    I just want to make sure I’m understanding that enforcement, policing and such, or say ‘moderators’ if you will is what you recommend (I remember this came up when Justin.tv launched at the same time as the Kathy Sierra incident and the subsequent digg comments, and these similar themes came up (IIRC)).

    That’s a good place to get the conversation on track– if in fact, the establishment of rules and vague terms like ‘broadly offensive’ are the result of zero policing, the question which I’m curious to see the answers to: Is strict moderation and a little tightening of channels and content a GOOD thing for these reasons, or does the community police itself?

    (This is not an SL issue per se, but a content/democratic/user-ish one).

  24. Here’s your answer on the adult/kids playing together in SL: lack of demand. I’d bet there’s simply not a critical mass of users who want to play with their kids.

  25. Heh, well I agree on Warcraft, but don’t agree that it’s popularity is a 1:1 because of content and safety, it IS a game after all and it is a quite good one.

    I just want to make sure I’m understanding that enforcement, policing and such, or say ‘moderators’ if you will is what you recommend (I remember this came up when Justin.tv launched at the same time as the Kathy Sierra incident and the subsequent digg comments, and these similar themes came up (IIRC)).

    That’s a good place to get the conversation on track– if in fact, the establishment of rules and vague terms like ‘broadly offensive’ are the result of zero policing, the question which I’m curious to see the answers to: Is strict moderation and a little tightening of channels and content a GOOD thing for these reasons, or does the community police itself?

    (This is not an SL issue per se, but a content/democratic/user-ish one).

  26. Here’s your answer on the adult/kids playing together in SL: lack of demand. I’d bet there’s simply not a critical mass of users who want to play with their kids.

  27. Darren, I hope when you say ‘kids’ it’s the 5 year window only of 13-18 year olds, and not like drooly babies, heh.

    I know Robert’s son, he’s a smart kid, and in the Warcraft sense, I could give a rip if he is 13 (?), I only care that I can pwn! him in a duel. Which I probably could. ;-)

  28. Darren, I hope when you say ‘kids’ it’s the 5 year window only of 13-18 year olds, and not like drooly babies, heh.

    I know Robert’s son, he’s a smart kid, and in the Warcraft sense, I could give a rip if he is 13 (?), I only care that I can pwn! him in a duel. Which I probably could. ;-)

  29. I Forgot one thing about SL. By Defualt in search, the mature content box is unticked so by defualt when you enter second life and you dont have mature content enabled than you do miss most of the sex stuff in search. I say most cause not everyone who has a classified for a brothel ticks the mature content box when listing their classified or their place in search but its a start.

  30. I Forgot one thing about SL. By Defualt in search, the mature content box is unticked so by defualt when you enter second life and you dont have mature content enabled than you do miss most of the sex stuff in search. I say most cause not everyone who has a classified for a brothel ticks the mature content box when listing their classified or their place in search but its a start.

  31. Jay: and is there a way for me, as a parent, to lock out my son from any of those areas? No, of course not, because my son isn’t allowed at all in Second Life.

    Darren: you might be right. But parents won’t buy their kids something where they have heard there’s flying penises inside.

    And, since parents can’t go on the teen grid to evaluate the appropriateness of THAT environment (I’m not allowed in the teen grid) then parents probably won’t feel comfortable letting their kids sign up for Second Life.

    Instead they’ll go for the violence in WoW. :-)

  32. Jay: and is there a way for me, as a parent, to lock out my son from any of those areas? No, of course not, because my son isn’t allowed at all in Second Life.

    Darren: you might be right. But parents won’t buy their kids something where they have heard there’s flying penises inside.

    And, since parents can’t go on the teen grid to evaluate the appropriateness of THAT environment (I’m not allowed in the teen grid) then parents probably won’t feel comfortable letting their kids sign up for Second Life.

    Instead they’ll go for the violence in WoW. :-)

  33. One side thought from over on Twitter: Who is in charge of policing content and by whose standards?

    (This Barbie world is looking pretty good. They censor the word ‘man’ in chat hehehe)

  34. One side thought from over on Twitter: Who is in charge of policing content and by whose standards?

    (This Barbie world is looking pretty good. They censor the word ‘man’ in chat hehehe)

  35. Another Twitter update: Some are FOR policing content and some are AGAINST it.

    This isn’t an SL-specific thing really. The core issues scale to other networks and sites and content forms.

    As an aside, Robert and others, thanks for carrying on this dialog. I’d hope that after 17-20 comments of getting to some actual core issue, we hopefully can avoid the boring, cliche, un-funny, not useful textbook snark that is so characteristic in threads about SL.
    ;)

  36. Another Twitter update: Some are FOR policing content and some are AGAINST it.

    This isn’t an SL-specific thing really. The core issues scale to other networks and sites and content forms.

    As an aside, Robert and others, thanks for carrying on this dialog. I’d hope that after 17-20 comments of getting to some actual core issue, we hopefully can avoid the boring, cliche, un-funny, not useful textbook snark that is so characteristic in threads about SL.
    ;)

  37. Robert, you’ve raised four objections to Second Life that I can see. Two of them are valid … the other two, not so much:

    The valid ones:

    1) Kids and adults can’t mix on the grid. You’re right about that. It’s a terrible policy, which, arguably, has precisely the opposite of the intended effect. The best way for parents to protect their kids — in RL and SL — is to do things together.

    2) Scalability: Again, a valid point. That’ll change over time as the architecture improves, or someone else will come along and introduce a more scalable virtual world, which would likely be fatal to Second Life.

    Now here are the two unfair criticisms:

    1) Second Life needs to be censored: Who should do the censoring, and why should they have that power?

    Even though Second Life is developed and operated by one company, the company tries to adopt an Internet-like model of anarchy. Individual landowners decide what’s appropriate on their land.

    Yes, there are strip clubs, brothels, and orgy rooms in Second Life. There’s porn on the Internet, too. But the prevalence of adult content in Second Life is exaggerated. Just like on the Internet, and in real life, you have to seek it out.

    4) You say that companies can’t protect their brand, and cite the CNET flying penises incident. Another example, which you did not name, was the defacement of the Obama headquarters.

    But, as Eric Rice notes, that kind of thing is easy to prevent in Second Life. How easy? It’s like this:

    If you are the landowner, right-click anywhere on your property. Select the “Options” tab. The very first set of options you see have the header, “Allow other residents to:” Two of the choices there are “Create Objects” and “Run Scripts.” Make sure both of those are unchecked. Close that tool and you’re done. Takes a couple of seconds.

  38. Robert, you’ve raised four objections to Second Life that I can see. Two of them are valid … the other two, not so much:

    The valid ones:

    1) Kids and adults can’t mix on the grid. You’re right about that. It’s a terrible policy, which, arguably, has precisely the opposite of the intended effect. The best way for parents to protect their kids — in RL and SL — is to do things together.

    2) Scalability: Again, a valid point. That’ll change over time as the architecture improves, or someone else will come along and introduce a more scalable virtual world, which would likely be fatal to Second Life.

    Now here are the two unfair criticisms:

    1) Second Life needs to be censored: Who should do the censoring, and why should they have that power?

    Even though Second Life is developed and operated by one company, the company tries to adopt an Internet-like model of anarchy. Individual landowners decide what’s appropriate on their land.

    Yes, there are strip clubs, brothels, and orgy rooms in Second Life. There’s porn on the Internet, too. But the prevalence of adult content in Second Life is exaggerated. Just like on the Internet, and in real life, you have to seek it out.

    4) You say that companies can’t protect their brand, and cite the CNET flying penises incident. Another example, which you did not name, was the defacement of the Obama headquarters.

    But, as Eric Rice notes, that kind of thing is easy to prevent in Second Life. How easy? It’s like this:

    If you are the landowner, right-click anywhere on your property. Select the “Options” tab. The very first set of options you see have the header, “Allow other residents to:” Two of the choices there are “Create Objects” and “Run Scripts.” Make sure both of those are unchecked. Close that tool and you’re done. Takes a couple of seconds.

  39. Mitch, the only problem with the tools to censor and manage our land in SL is that it’s -offense- driven.

    I can’t ban who/what I don’t know or what I can’t see before it happens. I can take a guess of *how* it might be done, but I won’t know what to ban until it happens. And by that time, the ‘offense’ has been committed and it’s a nice juicy headline on a tech blog someplace.

    So yeah, I’m disagreeing with myself just slightly on that one point. It IS easy, after the fact.

  40. Mitch, the only problem with the tools to censor and manage our land in SL is that it’s -offense- driven.

    I can’t ban who/what I don’t know or what I can’t see before it happens. I can take a guess of *how* it might be done, but I won’t know what to ban until it happens. And by that time, the ‘offense’ has been committed and it’s a nice juicy headline on a tech blog someplace.

    So yeah, I’m disagreeing with myself just slightly on that one point. It IS easy, after the fact.

  41. Eric, I’m afraid I don’t understand your point. You can do the ban before the fact. Ban object creation and other people running scripts on your land and you’re secure.

    You don’t have to do that after the fact, you can do it beforehand. And you should, if you’re bringing a highly visible RL business or political campaign into SL.

  42. Eric, I’m afraid I don’t understand your point. You can do the ban before the fact. Ban object creation and other people running scripts on your land and you’re secure.

    You don’t have to do that after the fact, you can do it beforehand. And you should, if you’re bringing a highly visible RL business or political campaign into SL.

  43. Good luck Robert- ask them about zero-mass invisible prims wrapped around ATMs. Give me a week with their metaverse and I’ll have it cleaned up a bit- afterall it took us 1 day to fix their crappy map API.

    I love SL- I really do- it is the security that is lacking and accountability- and to the one thinking turning off scripting locks down a land- think again. More holes than swiss chess. They won’t even return an e-mail about a flaw. Fine.

    regards,
    Wayne

  44. Good luck Robert- ask them about zero-mass invisible prims wrapped around ATMs. Give me a week with their metaverse and I’ll have it cleaned up a bit- afterall it took us 1 day to fix their crappy map API.

    I love SL- I really do- it is the security that is lacking and accountability- and to the one thinking turning off scripting locks down a land- think again. More holes than swiss chess. They won’t even return an e-mail about a flaw. Fine.

    regards,
    Wayne

  45. Mitch, I should have clarified banning or muting people. Anyone can attach a prim or activate a sound etc and none of the prevention measures help. I won’t know who I can ban until it happens.

    And yeah, we can say ‘no free users allowed’ or ‘group members only’, but heh, we’re nearing the point of deny*all.

  46. Mitch, I should have clarified banning or muting people. Anyone can attach a prim or activate a sound etc and none of the prevention measures help. I won’t know who I can ban until it happens.

    And yeah, we can say ‘no free users allowed’ or ‘group members only’, but heh, we’re nearing the point of deny*all.

  47. The flying penises and other griefing are only a problem to the very inexperienced, who haven’t bothered to ask any of us oldbies for advice.

    You can also prevent a lot of trouble in a commercial shop or event by blocking “No Payment Information On File” users. Almost 100% of griefers are NPIs (the handful who aren’t can be banned and abuse-reported), and while you will be locking out the 25%, say, of NPIs who aren’t griefers, for a lot of businesses that’s okay. NPIs don’t have money, after all.

    Robert, being upset at Linden Lab over your banning is juvenile, stop it. You read (or should have read) the TOS when you signed up. They’re very clear that teenagers aren’t to be on the main grid. You broke the law, got caught, and got punished. This is not LL’s fault; you are a criminal. Suck it up, show some remorse for your crime, and maybe you can be rehabilitated into an honest citizen again.

    The proper, civilized way to approach that kind of restriction is to talk to LL like an adult. You ask they why they have their policy, and work with them to either change it, or understand why they’ve done this and come to agree with them.

    As it turns out, you’ll eventually be able to be on the same grid. Age verification seems to be going ahead (despite many problems), and once that’s done, underage users will be blocked from mature parcels. You didn’t contribute anything to getting this done faster or better, though, because you were too intent on being mad at the “police” for catching you.

    If you only wanted to play with your kid, you should have headed to Toontown or WoW. They’re massively less interesting because you can’t build anything, but they’re meant for kids. Second Life, from founding to present, has been for adults. You tried taking your kid to the Vegas strip and then were SHOCKED to discover that nobody would let you play poker and watch strippers together.

  48. The flying penises and other griefing are only a problem to the very inexperienced, who haven’t bothered to ask any of us oldbies for advice.

    You can also prevent a lot of trouble in a commercial shop or event by blocking “No Payment Information On File” users. Almost 100% of griefers are NPIs (the handful who aren’t can be banned and abuse-reported), and while you will be locking out the 25%, say, of NPIs who aren’t griefers, for a lot of businesses that’s okay. NPIs don’t have money, after all.

    Robert, being upset at Linden Lab over your banning is juvenile, stop it. You read (or should have read) the TOS when you signed up. They’re very clear that teenagers aren’t to be on the main grid. You broke the law, got caught, and got punished. This is not LL’s fault; you are a criminal. Suck it up, show some remorse for your crime, and maybe you can be rehabilitated into an honest citizen again.

    The proper, civilized way to approach that kind of restriction is to talk to LL like an adult. You ask they why they have their policy, and work with them to either change it, or understand why they’ve done this and come to agree with them.

    As it turns out, you’ll eventually be able to be on the same grid. Age verification seems to be going ahead (despite many problems), and once that’s done, underage users will be blocked from mature parcels. You didn’t contribute anything to getting this done faster or better, though, because you were too intent on being mad at the “police” for catching you.

    If you only wanted to play with your kid, you should have headed to Toontown or WoW. They’re massively less interesting because you can’t build anything, but they’re meant for kids. Second Life, from founding to present, has been for adults. You tried taking your kid to the Vegas strip and then were SHOCKED to discover that nobody would let you play poker and watch strippers together.

  49. Kami:

    The fact that you think that Second Life is all about letting my son play poker and watch strippers is EXACTLY what’s wrong with it.

    Sigh.

    Good luck with that kind of world. We just wanted to hang out with Eric Rice and build our houses and office buildings. Law breaker? OK, that sticks, but it is a stupid law and a stupid architecture that required that law.

  50. Kami:

    The fact that you think that Second Life is all about letting my son play poker and watch strippers is EXACTLY what’s wrong with it.

    Sigh.

    Good luck with that kind of world. We just wanted to hang out with Eric Rice and build our houses and office buildings. Law breaker? OK, that sticks, but it is a stupid law and a stupid architecture that required that law.

  51. “Just the same way he’s allowed in the real world (which, by the way, also has churches and red light districts).”

    You allowed your less than 13 year old son into red light districts and strip clubs in the real world? Interesting parenting skills there. Seriously, I don’t know about you, but I was pretty much able to monitor where my 12 year olds went in the “real world”. More often than not, I knew where they were and who they were with. In SL, unless I’m sitting there next to them, I can’t really monitor where they are going That is the difference between SL and the “real world”. And SL can’t take your word for it that you will monitor his behavior on SL, like you can in the real world (or at least should)

  52. “Just the same way he’s allowed in the real world (which, by the way, also has churches and red light districts).”

    You allowed your less than 13 year old son into red light districts and strip clubs in the real world? Interesting parenting skills there. Seriously, I don’t know about you, but I was pretty much able to monitor where my 12 year olds went in the “real world”. More often than not, I knew where they were and who they were with. In SL, unless I’m sitting there next to them, I can’t really monitor where they are going That is the difference between SL and the “real world”. And SL can’t take your word for it that you will monitor his behavior on SL, like you can in the real world (or at least should)

  53. I gotta pipe in here, because I can’t argue with COPA. Yes it’s dorky, but while it exists, it’s what we are governed by. The law is the law, no one is above it. Lobby to change it, otherwise deal with it.

    Keep in mind we are talking about a hosted service and are bound by its rules. (Plenty are working on building host-your-own grids.)

    But okay, so this isn’t new, a lot of stuff is like this. Don’t like YouTube’s or Facebook’s TOS, well y ou know what you can do. ;)

    With the issue being a wide open platform, it’s still up in the air if we should have police, who are they, who makes judgement on content.

    Some folks will no doubt disagree passionately about policing and others are for it. The tech is just dumb tech. People are the problem. Always have been, always will be.

  54. I gotta pipe in here, because I can’t argue with COPA. Yes it’s dorky, but while it exists, it’s what we are governed by. The law is the law, no one is above it. Lobby to change it, otherwise deal with it.

    Keep in mind we are talking about a hosted service and are bound by its rules. (Plenty are working on building host-your-own grids.)

    But okay, so this isn’t new, a lot of stuff is like this. Don’t like YouTube’s or Facebook’s TOS, well y ou know what you can do. ;)

    With the issue being a wide open platform, it’s still up in the air if we should have police, who are they, who makes judgement on content.

    Some folks will no doubt disagree passionately about policing and others are for it. The tech is just dumb tech. People are the problem. Always have been, always will be.

  55. Jesus Christ, Robert. You VIOLATED second life’s terms of service, they booted you, and you’ve been bitching about them ever since. Get over it, already.

  56. Jesus Christ, Robert. You VIOLATED second life’s terms of service, they booted you, and you’ve been bitching about them ever since. Get over it, already.

  57. Seriously, I don’t know about you, but I was pretty much able to monitor where my 12 year olds went in the “real world”. More often than not, I knew where they were and who they were with. In SL, unless I’m sitting there next to them, I can’t really monitor where they are going That is the difference between SL and the “real world”.

    Second Life is not much different than the main Internet in that regard. Any 12-year-old can get onto porn sites, and the smart ones can do it without getting caught.

  58. Seriously, I don’t know about you, but I was pretty much able to monitor where my 12 year olds went in the “real world”. More often than not, I knew where they were and who they were with. In SL, unless I’m sitting there next to them, I can’t really monitor where they are going That is the difference between SL and the “real world”.

    Second Life is not much different than the main Internet in that regard. Any 12-year-old can get onto porn sites, and the smart ones can do it without getting caught.

  59. @24: You nailed it. (Even though your Vegas analogy seems to escaped Roberts grasp.)

    But don’t forget this is a long standing vendetta for Robert who isn’t so much interested in being a part of a community such as SL. He wants to be treated as a VIP journalist who is above the rules that others have to follow.

    SL is a labor of love for the people who work there as well as many of its users. It’s a small company, and unlike Microsoft, potentially vulnerable to a media bully. I think nothing would please Robert more than hearing of a financial setback to SL that could be attributed to these all too regular pot-shots.

    While I’m sure that all the decisions made regarding SL aren’t perfect, and I’ve criticized the bandwidth issues since the program’s inception, I also know that the people involved are not making these decisions in a vacuum. They have been involved and studied many similar programs that have gone before and are attempting to improve on limitations (like static content) that those programs still have.

    SL was started on the premise that it would only perform well on computers 5 or 10 years out, and it’s getting there. It was promised to work on a variety of platforms and (finally) I can use it as well on Linux as I could on Windows or OS X. That last change took two years longer than they thought it would. I forgave them. If I were Robert, I’d be throwing eggs at their windows for eternity.

    I also know that the economic system of the program was changed many times before it reached relative stability, and I’m quite sure that many other aspects will look very different in another 5 years. Child users were NEVER a priority for the company during the early years. In fact I seem to remember them saying they would NEVER allow children users. The kids grid was only added long after (in Internet time) the adult nature of the main grid had established itself. Unlike the economy, this is not a parameter you can tinker with on a weekly basis. Whatever they come up with next in this area, whether an improvement or a step backward, will have to be stuck with for a good long time. I don’t blame them for proceeding with caution.

  60. @24: You nailed it. (Even though your Vegas analogy seems to escaped Roberts grasp.)

    But don’t forget this is a long standing vendetta for Robert who isn’t so much interested in being a part of a community such as SL. He wants to be treated as a VIP journalist who is above the rules that others have to follow.

    SL is a labor of love for the people who work there as well as many of its users. It’s a small company, and unlike Microsoft, potentially vulnerable to a media bully. I think nothing would please Robert more than hearing of a financial setback to SL that could be attributed to these all too regular pot-shots.

    While I’m sure that all the decisions made regarding SL aren’t perfect, and I’ve criticized the bandwidth issues since the program’s inception, I also know that the people involved are not making these decisions in a vacuum. They have been involved and studied many similar programs that have gone before and are attempting to improve on limitations (like static content) that those programs still have.

    SL was started on the premise that it would only perform well on computers 5 or 10 years out, and it’s getting there. It was promised to work on a variety of platforms and (finally) I can use it as well on Linux as I could on Windows or OS X. That last change took two years longer than they thought it would. I forgave them. If I were Robert, I’d be throwing eggs at their windows for eternity.

    I also know that the economic system of the program was changed many times before it reached relative stability, and I’m quite sure that many other aspects will look very different in another 5 years. Child users were NEVER a priority for the company during the early years. In fact I seem to remember them saying they would NEVER allow children users. The kids grid was only added long after (in Internet time) the adult nature of the main grid had established itself. Unlike the economy, this is not a parameter you can tinker with on a weekly basis. Whatever they come up with next in this area, whether an improvement or a step backward, will have to be stuck with for a good long time. I don’t blame them for proceeding with caution.

  61. Robert
    I think you’re right. Second Life already had PG and M sims, a X rated sim would seem like a sensible solution. Certainly there is little to no enforcement now between the two classes of sims, so why does Linden Lab bother with a PG rated sim if kids can’t use it? Seems a little bit daft to me.

  62. Robert
    I think you’re right. Second Life already had PG and M sims, a X rated sim would seem like a sensible solution. Certainly there is little to no enforcement now between the two classes of sims, so why does Linden Lab bother with a PG rated sim if kids can’t use it? Seems a little bit daft to me.

  63. Phew Robert – how about you get above the rant and give a few specifics on why the architecture ‘sucks’. No arguments on the scalability – it has a long way to go. But I’m wondering if you have a single idea how the architecture works or, god forbid, you had some constructive suggestions on how to improve it?

    Your whole post reeks of whining revenge rather than considered thought of the issues…

  64. Phew Robert – how about you get above the rant and give a few specifics on why the architecture ‘sucks’. No arguments on the scalability – it has a long way to go. But I’m wondering if you have a single idea how the architecture works or, god forbid, you had some constructive suggestions on how to improve it?

    Your whole post reeks of whining revenge rather than considered thought of the issues…

  65. Some Guy: welcome to freedom of speech where we can bitch incessantly about rules that we think are stupid and lame, which this one is.

    And LayZ: if I tried to take my son into a casino a cop would ask me kindly to take him outside. Same if I tried to take him into Amsterdam’s red light district.

    The problem is that Linden Labs doesn’t want to pay for the cops and now that they are realizing that businesses are leaving because audiences are avoiding Second Life (which they are) they are trying to change the rules and are getting bad PR because of THAT!

    It’s all due to a sucky architecture in the first place. Imagine making a game with cute furries and build-it-yourself 3D only for adults. Yeah, that’ll go over well.

  66. Some Guy: welcome to freedom of speech where we can bitch incessantly about rules that we think are stupid and lame, which this one is.

    And LayZ: if I tried to take my son into a casino a cop would ask me kindly to take him outside. Same if I tried to take him into Amsterdam’s red light district.

    The problem is that Linden Labs doesn’t want to pay for the cops and now that they are realizing that businesses are leaving because audiences are avoiding Second Life (which they are) they are trying to change the rules and are getting bad PR because of THAT!

    It’s all due to a sucky architecture in the first place. Imagine making a game with cute furries and build-it-yourself 3D only for adults. Yeah, that’ll go over well.

  67. Fromescu: I already explained why the architecture sucks.

    Is there a place where both kids and adults can intermix, even if they are in the same family (identity is easy to prove, just ask for a credit card)?

    If not, then you can see the architecture was not well thought out for doing anything but an all-adult place.

    Add in the fact that you can’t get more than 100 people on an island and you can see the architecture of Second Life needs some work.

  68. Fromescu: I already explained why the architecture sucks.

    Is there a place where both kids and adults can intermix, even if they are in the same family (identity is easy to prove, just ask for a credit card)?

    If not, then you can see the architecture was not well thought out for doing anything but an all-adult place.

    Add in the fact that you can’t get more than 100 people on an island and you can see the architecture of Second Life needs some work.

  69. Duncan, I’m not 100% sure about this but the PG/Mature rating somewhat made no sense, because as some point, PG sims touch Mature sims and then you can see easily across the border. What I’m not sure about is if it was a TOS violation if someone in a PG sim could look a couple meters aware and see your ‘mature’ content.

    Yeah, wonky. They are SO out of the common carrier space.

    But the TOS sorta acts like the policing, doesn’t it, Robert? And if not, it still brings us back to the question:

    Should we police/moderate/monitor content, otherwise be held liable? Forget about the TOS, we’ve kinda killed that dead horse, as well as this isn’t really a technological issue (there’s plenty of tech talk to be had about gaming architecture, trust me heh)

    Open, closed, moderated? Because this is where I see the biggest difference in opinion with people. From “Don’t you dare tell me what to do” vs. “Yes, clean it up and protect!” (or something similar)

  70. Duncan, I’m not 100% sure about this but the PG/Mature rating somewhat made no sense, because as some point, PG sims touch Mature sims and then you can see easily across the border. What I’m not sure about is if it was a TOS violation if someone in a PG sim could look a couple meters aware and see your ‘mature’ content.

    Yeah, wonky. They are SO out of the common carrier space.

    But the TOS sorta acts like the policing, doesn’t it, Robert? And if not, it still brings us back to the question:

    Should we police/moderate/monitor content, otherwise be held liable? Forget about the TOS, we’ve kinda killed that dead horse, as well as this isn’t really a technological issue (there’s plenty of tech talk to be had about gaming architecture, trust me heh)

    Open, closed, moderated? Because this is where I see the biggest difference in opinion with people. From “Don’t you dare tell me what to do” vs. “Yes, clean it up and protect!” (or something similar)

  71. Eric: if it were me I would have built in a granular parental control system where I could decide which islands Patrick could visit. Your world never had any of the nasties that we’re discussing tonight. I felt quite safe with him being in your world, because I knew you wouldn’t show him anything you wouldn’t show him in front of me.

    The solution to this is granular parental controls, open it up to parents to let their kids in (only with credit cards) and then make sure the disgusting behavior stays behind a red-light-district wall where you have to have a credit card to get access.

    In fact, Second Life really started going down hill when they stopped requiring credit cards for access, didn’t it?

  72. Eric: if it were me I would have built in a granular parental control system where I could decide which islands Patrick could visit. Your world never had any of the nasties that we’re discussing tonight. I felt quite safe with him being in your world, because I knew you wouldn’t show him anything you wouldn’t show him in front of me.

    The solution to this is granular parental controls, open it up to parents to let their kids in (only with credit cards) and then make sure the disgusting behavior stays behind a red-light-district wall where you have to have a credit card to get access.

    In fact, Second Life really started going down hill when they stopped requiring credit cards for access, didn’t it?

  73. Robert,
    If you say SL’s architecture sucks, then every service out there that involves multiple users sending significant amounts of data in and out sucks.
    With SL, you’re not getting prerendered content like most MMOG’s. Your avatar, it’s textures, animations, sounds, primitives, etc, have to be streamed up to the servers and then broadcast out to everyone in the area. This is along with the all the data that makes up the user generated content that you see in the world.

    By your same complaint that the architecture sucks because you can’t have more than 100 people in the sim, then:
    Skype sucks because its Skypecasts can’t have more than 10 people in the same room talking at the same time.
    Operator11 sucks because you can’t have more than 10 participants in the same broadcast.

    From that, I’d say 100 people in the same sim is a technical feat. I remember when it first started in 2003, it was terribly laggy with just 15 people in the same area.

    As for an answer, they should just open source the server as they did with the client. So then you can host your own sim in your home where you and your son can play.

    I would love for you to have an interview with Linden Labs. Compared to mostly all MMOG’s, they have been very responsive to the community. I would hope you approach them with an empty glass like you do in your interviews by asking ‘Who are you?’ ‘What do you do?’

  74. Robert,
    If you say SL’s architecture sucks, then every service out there that involves multiple users sending significant amounts of data in and out sucks.
    With SL, you’re not getting prerendered content like most MMOG’s. Your avatar, it’s textures, animations, sounds, primitives, etc, have to be streamed up to the servers and then broadcast out to everyone in the area. This is along with the all the data that makes up the user generated content that you see in the world.

    By your same complaint that the architecture sucks because you can’t have more than 100 people in the sim, then:
    Skype sucks because its Skypecasts can’t have more than 10 people in the same room talking at the same time.
    Operator11 sucks because you can’t have more than 10 participants in the same broadcast.

    From that, I’d say 100 people in the same sim is a technical feat. I remember when it first started in 2003, it was terribly laggy with just 15 people in the same area.

    As for an answer, they should just open source the server as they did with the client. So then you can host your own sim in your home where you and your son can play.

    I would love for you to have an interview with Linden Labs. Compared to mostly all MMOG’s, they have been very responsive to the community. I would hope you approach them with an empty glass like you do in your interviews by asking ‘Who are you?’ ‘What do you do?’

  75. I would love to do an interview with Linden Labs. I’d treat them just like I treat everyone. I’ll certainly ask them about these issues, but I won’t be an asshole about it.

  76. I would love to do an interview with Linden Labs. I’d treat them just like I treat everyone. I’ll certainly ask them about these issues, but I won’t be an asshole about it.

  77. Heck…..3D Sex and Depravity will be mild compared to the spam problem…I’ve done a tongue in cheek post on our blog, broadstuff, about spavatars (spam avatars :)

    Re: kids, my kids want to build stuff in SL, but not in the teenagers section – however, like Robert, I’m less than keen they go onto a world where the smut is so generalised. So its WoW for them…..

    On architecture – its a client / server balance issue – WoW loads a lot onto your client, so it does some of the heavy lifting. I can’t see how SL can really scale without adopting some of this model (the idea about opening up the server side by Rodfather above strikes me as the most efficient route) – or alternatively, simplifying itself.

  78. Heck…..3D Sex and Depravity will be mild compared to the spam problem…I’ve done a tongue in cheek post on our blog, broadstuff, about spavatars (spam avatars :)

    Re: kids, my kids want to build stuff in SL, but not in the teenagers section – however, like Robert, I’m less than keen they go onto a world where the smut is so generalised. So its WoW for them…..

    On architecture – its a client / server balance issue – WoW loads a lot onto your client, so it does some of the heavy lifting. I can’t see how SL can really scale without adopting some of this model (the idea about opening up the server side by Rodfather above strikes me as the most efficient route) – or alternatively, simplifying itself.

  79. Robert says: “Eric: the problem is that most people don’t want to have virtual sex. My son doesn’t. I don’t. Most people are like me.”

    That’s a very big assumption to make, Robert. An awful lot of people within Second Life DO want to have virtual sex. It’s one of the main drivers of the economy, from sales of sex-related products through to virtual brothels. Stroker Serpentine’s law suit over the copyright for his SexGen products demonstrates that.

    That’s not to say that SL is one big virtual brothel, but it’s a fact of human nature that “your world, your imagination” (the SL slogan) involves a lot of imagination about sex.

  80. Robert says: “Eric: the problem is that most people don’t want to have virtual sex. My son doesn’t. I don’t. Most people are like me.”

    That’s a very big assumption to make, Robert. An awful lot of people within Second Life DO want to have virtual sex. It’s one of the main drivers of the economy, from sales of sex-related products through to virtual brothels. Stroker Serpentine’s law suit over the copyright for his SexGen products demonstrates that.

    That’s not to say that SL is one big virtual brothel, but it’s a fact of human nature that “your world, your imagination” (the SL slogan) involves a lot of imagination about sex.

  81. Did you ever play the game, or just see screenshots of it on various techsites?

    A lot of these depraved SL players think it’s their god given right to walk all around the world with their virtual genitals hanging off them in plain sight, wearing a furry, gorean, fetish or whatever avatar, and if not that, still running around in skimpy clothes. How often do you see that in the real world? Often enough, they’re also doing their virtual sex acts wherever they think they have to.

    And red light district? You should be aware that the highest commodity traffic is made by virtual sex items and animations. This is as well reflected in the virtual shopping malls. Most of the game would be a red light district.

    Considering I played this game quite some time in the past (until I lost patience with it’s crappy code and perf), a lot of it spent on exploring the virtual land and getting a rise out of the residents (pretty easy, almost everyone seems to be a brittle little flower), I’m convinced that you’re far off with your conclusion.

  82. Did you ever play the game, or just see screenshots of it on various techsites?

    A lot of these depraved SL players think it’s their god given right to walk all around the world with their virtual genitals hanging off them in plain sight, wearing a furry, gorean, fetish or whatever avatar, and if not that, still running around in skimpy clothes. How often do you see that in the real world? Often enough, they’re also doing their virtual sex acts wherever they think they have to.

    And red light district? You should be aware that the highest commodity traffic is made by virtual sex items and animations. This is as well reflected in the virtual shopping malls. Most of the game would be a red light district.

    Considering I played this game quite some time in the past (until I lost patience with it’s crappy code and perf), a lot of it spent on exploring the virtual land and getting a rise out of the residents (pretty easy, almost everyone seems to be a brittle little flower), I’m convinced that you’re far off with your conclusion.

  83. Did you finally cancel your subscription? I can think of some charities that might appreciate a month donation …

    On the other hand, it’s their gig, and if they want to draw a tos in some way or other, that is their business. Did they honestly “yell” at your son? I didn’t have that impression from your first posts a long time ago.

  84. Did you finally cancel your subscription? I can think of some charities that might appreciate a month donation …

    On the other hand, it’s their gig, and if they want to draw a tos in some way or other, that is their business. Did they honestly “yell” at your son? I didn’t have that impression from your first posts a long time ago.

  85. I seem to recall that you’ve been bitching about this subject for over a year now. You complained because you basically forgot that you had signed a contract and that you were a paid subsciber to Second Life, and that Linden Lab had done you the gross disserviceand inconvenience of changing your password as a safety measure. You then violated the Terms of Service which you had agreed to by letting a minor use your account, rather than seeting up an account for him on the more appropriate teen grid. Whilst many of us choose to live in “PG” areas, Second Life is very much an adult entertainment service. We like it that way, so long as it doesn’t get too far beyond the pale of generally accepted behaviour or even socially approved perversions. We don’t want your son in Second Life, no matter how bright or well behaved he is. If we wanted to spend our time with children we would no doubt be well adjusted individuals with real families, not spending countless hours with complete strangers. If you want to spend quality time with your children go ride a bike or something; take them bowling. Don’t bring them in Second Life.

  86. I seem to recall that you’ve been bitching about this subject for over a year now. You complained because you basically forgot that you had signed a contract and that you were a paid subsciber to Second Life, and that Linden Lab had done you the gross disserviceand inconvenience of changing your password as a safety measure. You then violated the Terms of Service which you had agreed to by letting a minor use your account, rather than seeting up an account for him on the more appropriate teen grid. Whilst many of us choose to live in “PG” areas, Second Life is very much an adult entertainment service. We like it that way, so long as it doesn’t get too far beyond the pale of generally accepted behaviour or even socially approved perversions. We don’t want your son in Second Life, no matter how bright or well behaved he is. If we wanted to spend our time with children we would no doubt be well adjusted individuals with real families, not spending countless hours with complete strangers. If you want to spend quality time with your children go ride a bike or something; take them bowling. Don’t bring them in Second Life.

  87. I agree, the way to solve the problem of potentially abusive people and predators entering Second Life — or rather *being* in Second Life already and having a field day — is NOT to make it more closed, but to make it more open.

    When there are more and more normal folks doing more and more normal stuff like prototyping a school environmental project with their teens as they sit on their Second Life parcel, and more and more people pick it up for more and more everyday uses, the fetishistic or deviant stuff will wane in visibility and importantance.

    It’s not about creating a Red Light District. SL has those. It’s more about creating so many Green Light Districts that they simply wash out the Red Lights. I’d very much like to be able to explore SL with my children, and use my own good judgement. My son happens to be on the teen grid, but he found its limitations and the Linden over-involvement just very frustrating and finally just dropped it. I myself was heartbroken to see how the creativity of my son and his friends who used SL intensively for a time was lost, destroyed, dismissed, unencouraged by Linden teen FIC feting, Linden overinvolvement in events drawing traffic away from kids trying to get traffic, over-organized and privileged groups like Global Kids, the granting of special access to large and preferable sims to the teen FIC, the admission of camp chairs and inability of kids to fight that throwing of the “game,” etc.

    Teen Second Life exposed my son to the kind of adult cynicism and Lord of the Flies behaviour allowed by laissez-faire adults that I had hoped to shield my 13-year-old from for a few more years…Overinvolvement on the wrong things, underinvolvement in the right things — this could have been fixed by having RL parents present and helping instead of 20-something Lindens barely out of their teens themselves just using it as a cool party and a resume-burnisher.

  88. I agree, the way to solve the problem of potentially abusive people and predators entering Second Life — or rather *being* in Second Life already and having a field day — is NOT to make it more closed, but to make it more open.

    When there are more and more normal folks doing more and more normal stuff like prototyping a school environmental project with their teens as they sit on their Second Life parcel, and more and more people pick it up for more and more everyday uses, the fetishistic or deviant stuff will wane in visibility and importantance.

    It’s not about creating a Red Light District. SL has those. It’s more about creating so many Green Light Districts that they simply wash out the Red Lights. I’d very much like to be able to explore SL with my children, and use my own good judgement. My son happens to be on the teen grid, but he found its limitations and the Linden over-involvement just very frustrating and finally just dropped it. I myself was heartbroken to see how the creativity of my son and his friends who used SL intensively for a time was lost, destroyed, dismissed, unencouraged by Linden teen FIC feting, Linden overinvolvement in events drawing traffic away from kids trying to get traffic, over-organized and privileged groups like Global Kids, the granting of special access to large and preferable sims to the teen FIC, the admission of camp chairs and inability of kids to fight that throwing of the “game,” etc.

    Teen Second Life exposed my son to the kind of adult cynicism and Lord of the Flies behaviour allowed by laissez-faire adults that I had hoped to shield my 13-year-old from for a few more years…Overinvolvement on the wrong things, underinvolvement in the right things — this could have been fixed by having RL parents present and helping instead of 20-something Lindens barely out of their teens themselves just using it as a cool party and a resume-burnisher.

  89. Prokofy, your terminology may not be clear to those unfamiliar with the culture. Does FIC = A-List, etc? That kind of thing.

    I’m curious though, Prok, you have had plenty of conversations surrounding the idea of virtual governments (EVE Online I believe is walking down this path), and that seems to conflict with your ‘more open’ statement above.

    I have no commentary on the desires of social groups, they do what they do, whether it’s Lord of the Flies-ness, A-listism/elitism, sex, violence, education, what have you.

    Does the idea of government apply to mainland, and not private islands (analogous to existing on WordPress.com vs. installing/paying for your own copy)?

    I focus on that issue because it seems to be relevant to the discussion of policing content and/or communities.

  90. Prokofy, your terminology may not be clear to those unfamiliar with the culture. Does FIC = A-List, etc? That kind of thing.

    I’m curious though, Prok, you have had plenty of conversations surrounding the idea of virtual governments (EVE Online I believe is walking down this path), and that seems to conflict with your ‘more open’ statement above.

    I have no commentary on the desires of social groups, they do what they do, whether it’s Lord of the Flies-ness, A-listism/elitism, sex, violence, education, what have you.

    Does the idea of government apply to mainland, and not private islands (analogous to existing on WordPress.com vs. installing/paying for your own copy)?

    I focus on that issue because it seems to be relevant to the discussion of policing content and/or communities.

  91. Wow. Great conversation.
    From my perspective, Robert, your problem #1 is not architectural at all- it’s a social/governance issue. As macbeach correctly noted, from the start SL has been focused on adults, IMHO due to the overhead/content filters that would need to be in place on user-uploaded content. Do you know how many staff that MySpace and Flickr (now Yahoo) burn umpteen million man-hours *policing* pictures that gets uploaded to keep our children from getting goatse’ed? The way I read the economic stats at 10L per upload, last month that would be 2,115,853 textures, sounds, and animations that would need to be human-”validated” for non-pornographic content before allowing use. Multiply that by the complexity of monitoring prim-built (golly those flying penii were flexi prim, temp-rez no less) or scripted objects that can dynamically change shape/textures/sounds, and the problem becomes impossible to staff/budget.

    Do take a peek at the Daniel Linden (Director of Community for Linden Lab) video interview on governance then meet him, he has inworld office hours you can visit or email daniel@lindenlab.com. I bet he would happily make time for an interview. He also, in that video, explains why your comment – “identity is easy to prove, just ask for a credit card” – is simply NOT true.

    Many others point out that in the past year the security controls of the space you manage have been greatly increased and all of the media-magnified “defacings” can easily be prevented (deny build, deny object entry, deny scripts), and as Daniel notes, more changes are coming on that front. This leads into Eric’s question, as private estates are more like a privately-hosted WordPress site, with Covenants, and Estate Mgmt controls. If you want to permit visitor interactivity (i.e. allow Blog Comments) then you must be ready and prepared to deal with the results of an anonymous internet public (comment and trackback spam).

    Your #2 concern, the 100-max-avatar-per-simulator, has been proven multiple times to not be a barrier to holding large events. Take a look at IBM’s sims for examples of stadiums that are at the intersection of 4 sims, voila, a 400-person event, all within sight/hearing range of each other. The Second Life Ballet performs there, and IBM holds larger business and community meetings there regularly. Go even further, and with Sharding, you can clone an event and use media streaming to make it happen on N number of sims simultaneously. This has been done with many larger musical performances already- the largest I know of used 25 sims at one time.

    On some of the other comments:
    The “Adult Flag” – separate from the PG/Mature system already in use and community-monitored – has been discussed as part of the Identity Verification project.

  92. Wow. Great conversation.
    From my perspective, Robert, your problem #1 is not architectural at all- it’s a social/governance issue. As macbeach correctly noted, from the start SL has been focused on adults, IMHO due to the overhead/content filters that would need to be in place on user-uploaded content. Do you know how many staff that MySpace and Flickr (now Yahoo) burn umpteen million man-hours *policing* pictures that gets uploaded to keep our children from getting goatse’ed? The way I read the economic stats at 10L per upload, last month that would be 2,115,853 textures, sounds, and animations that would need to be human-”validated” for non-pornographic content before allowing use. Multiply that by the complexity of monitoring prim-built (golly those flying penii were flexi prim, temp-rez no less) or scripted objects that can dynamically change shape/textures/sounds, and the problem becomes impossible to staff/budget.

    Do take a peek at the Daniel Linden (Director of Community for Linden Lab) video interview on governance then meet him, he has inworld office hours you can visit or email daniel@lindenlab.com. I bet he would happily make time for an interview. He also, in that video, explains why your comment – “identity is easy to prove, just ask for a credit card” – is simply NOT true.

    Many others point out that in the past year the security controls of the space you manage have been greatly increased and all of the media-magnified “defacings” can easily be prevented (deny build, deny object entry, deny scripts), and as Daniel notes, more changes are coming on that front. This leads into Eric’s question, as private estates are more like a privately-hosted WordPress site, with Covenants, and Estate Mgmt controls. If you want to permit visitor interactivity (i.e. allow Blog Comments) then you must be ready and prepared to deal with the results of an anonymous internet public (comment and trackback spam).

    Your #2 concern, the 100-max-avatar-per-simulator, has been proven multiple times to not be a barrier to holding large events. Take a look at IBM’s sims for examples of stadiums that are at the intersection of 4 sims, voila, a 400-person event, all within sight/hearing range of each other. The Second Life Ballet performs there, and IBM holds larger business and community meetings there regularly. Go even further, and with Sharding, you can clone an event and use media streaming to make it happen on N number of sims simultaneously. This has been done with many larger musical performances already- the largest I know of used 25 sims at one time.

    On some of the other comments:
    The “Adult Flag” – separate from the PG/Mature system already in use and community-monitored – has been discussed as part of the Identity Verification project.

  93. @33 “And LayZ: if I tried to take my son into a casino a cop would ask me kindly to take him outside. Same if I tried to take him into Amsterdam’s red light district.”

    Good God! Could you possibly be more dense? WHY would you try to take your son there in the first place? That’s the point!!! You KNOW what’s going on in SL, yet you think 12 year olds can police themselves? You’re the parent for christ’s sake!!! Be a parent!!! Don’t rely on the rest of the world to handle your responsibilities.

    Agreed they could do more to mimic real life, but since they don’t then you have to make the decision if you want your kid exposed to that.

  94. @33 “And LayZ: if I tried to take my son into a casino a cop would ask me kindly to take him outside. Same if I tried to take him into Amsterdam’s red light district.”

    Good God! Could you possibly be more dense? WHY would you try to take your son there in the first place? That’s the point!!! You KNOW what’s going on in SL, yet you think 12 year olds can police themselves? You’re the parent for christ’s sake!!! Be a parent!!! Don’t rely on the rest of the world to handle your responsibilities.

    Agreed they could do more to mimic real life, but since they don’t then you have to make the decision if you want your kid exposed to that.

  95. Robert: “if I tried to take my son into a casino a cop would ask me kindly to take him outside. Same if I tried to take him into Amsterdam’s red light district.”

    The cops did stop you up front. Linden Lab designated most of SL as “Mature” regions, equivalent to the Vegas strip. You do know that “Amsterdam” in SL is a sex-based sim that sold for over US$50K?

    Yes, it’s kind of unfortunate that they didn’t create a separate PG continent where you would never be exposed to adult activities (sex or otherwise), but it wasn’t a problem for most of us, because we didn’t want to be around children.

    “It’s all due to a sucky architecture in the first place. Imagine making a game with cute furries and build-it-yourself 3D only for adults. Yeah, that’ll go over well.”

    It goes over very well with adults, who generally don’t want to interact with children all that much, and would like some place where they can just be adults without the constant “FOR THE CHEEELDREN!” whining of parental groups.

    There’s an equally-functional Teen SL grid, which isn’t for you and your filthy penis attachments. It’s not very big, but it works well, seems to be censored reasonably well, and the teen grid residents who’ve spoken up seem pretty interesting and have done good work.

  96. Robert: “if I tried to take my son into a casino a cop would ask me kindly to take him outside. Same if I tried to take him into Amsterdam’s red light district.”

    The cops did stop you up front. Linden Lab designated most of SL as “Mature” regions, equivalent to the Vegas strip. You do know that “Amsterdam” in SL is a sex-based sim that sold for over US$50K?

    Yes, it’s kind of unfortunate that they didn’t create a separate PG continent where you would never be exposed to adult activities (sex or otherwise), but it wasn’t a problem for most of us, because we didn’t want to be around children.

    “It’s all due to a sucky architecture in the first place. Imagine making a game with cute furries and build-it-yourself 3D only for adults. Yeah, that’ll go over well.”

    It goes over very well with adults, who generally don’t want to interact with children all that much, and would like some place where they can just be adults without the constant “FOR THE CHEEELDREN!” whining of parental groups.

    There’s an equally-functional Teen SL grid, which isn’t for you and your filthy penis attachments. It’s not very big, but it works well, seems to be censored reasonably well, and the teen grid residents who’ve spoken up seem pretty interesting and have done good work.

  97. Kami: that’s a nice theory, but it actually doesn’t go over well with adults. The usage on Second Life isn’t that great. iLike got six million users in two weeks on Facebook. Now THAT is usage. How many does Second Life have after three years? Far far far less.

    Most adults I know say “ew” after someone offers them a penis for sale (as happened to me in Second Life).

    The fact that it’s an adult-only world with very few rules (until now, because they realize if they want to grow the number of users they’ve gotta do more than just be known as an adult-only place) is one reason it hasn’t taken off.

  98. Kami: that’s a nice theory, but it actually doesn’t go over well with adults. The usage on Second Life isn’t that great. iLike got six million users in two weeks on Facebook. Now THAT is usage. How many does Second Life have after three years? Far far far less.

    Most adults I know say “ew” after someone offers them a penis for sale (as happened to me in Second Life).

    The fact that it’s an adult-only world with very few rules (until now, because they realize if they want to grow the number of users they’ve gotta do more than just be known as an adult-only place) is one reason it hasn’t taken off.

  99. Robert it’s all very well comparing Second Life with WoW and saying “Hey I can play with my kid in WoW” but the other side of the coin is the mess that sites like MySpace have gotten themselves into with regards to having adults and kids mix.

    I do believe however that Mr Rosedale shares your vision of an area where teens and adults can mix, personally I think they’d run into the MySpace issues if such an environment were created, rather than create the WoW model of wholesome fun.

  100. Robert it’s all very well comparing Second Life with WoW and saying “Hey I can play with my kid in WoW” but the other side of the coin is the mess that sites like MySpace have gotten themselves into with regards to having adults and kids mix.

    I do believe however that Mr Rosedale shares your vision of an area where teens and adults can mix, personally I think they’d run into the MySpace issues if such an environment were created, rather than create the WoW model of wholesome fun.

  101. If interested, there is a contest written out for ‘parental control software’ for second life. Maybe this will help with getting the two grids merged, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up to high.

    But I agree with you, parents should be able to ‘join’ their kids in SL (or kids their parents) although I’m not sure how much of our ‘adult content’ I’m willing to give up for that. :/

  102. If interested, there is a contest written out for ‘parental control software’ for second life. Maybe this will help with getting the two grids merged, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up to high.

    But I agree with you, parents should be able to ‘join’ their kids in SL (or kids their parents) although I’m not sure how much of our ‘adult content’ I’m willing to give up for that. :/