Friday, June 8, 2007

Linden Labs and Second Life - Scapegoated

Second Life, SL for short, is under fire once again for providing a platform for people's fantasies (thanks to PixelPulse, GamePolitics, Bonnie and Regina for info). Familles de France have sued the Linden Labs, and in response a statement was issued listing their intended self policing ideals.

So from now on (yeah right) there will be a new age verification system, and "real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depiction of sexual or lewd acts involving or appearing to involve children or minors; real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depictions of sexual violence including rape, real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depictions of extreme or graphic violence, and other broadly offensive content are never allowed or tolerated within Second Life."

Statement goes on to say:

"Please help us to keep Second Life a safe and welcoming space by continuing to notify Linden Lab about locations in-world that are violating our Community Standards regarding broadly offensive and potentially illegal content. Our team monitors such notification 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. Individuals and groups promoting or providing such content and activities will be swiftly met with a variety of sanctions, including termination of accounts, closure of groups, removal of content, and loss of land. It’s up to all of us to make sure Second Life remains a safe and welcoming haven of creativity and social vision."

Is sexual expression not part of creativity and social vision? pfft.

There is definitely conduct/content that can offend and hurt other players in real life. SL is not utopian, but how can anyone expect it to be? It is built and expanded by players from around the world. So what should members of Familles de France do when they stumble upon a leather vested avatar enjoying the virtual whipping of a life time? Duck into a virtual church perhaps?

And I admit I'm not involved in Second Life, so I'm curious...consenting situations aside, can avatars escape unwanted touching and abuse on this game's platform or can your character become under the control of others? I know some games work this way and rapes and other assaults have happened. Does SL operate like that? You tell me.

Update: I found a great blog about virtual laws. Here is some excellent commentary on this sticky SL issue.

1 comment:

zigzagzig said...

I wonder? You bring up some very good questions...I'm curious now to...hmmmm