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Monday, March 16, 2009


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I wonder whether the price of land will differ between Adult and non-Adult areas.

I fear the influx of thousands of 13 year old griefers.

I anticipate the works developed by thousands of energetic teenagers who have lots of time on their hands.

Emeline Magic

To me:
* I agree that LindenLab must improve the rating system. A general/mature/adult system would be perfect to me. Some people come to SL for sex, some people don't like sex griefers.
* I agree that LindenLab should add a child protection/validation system. An credit card didn't validate anything to me.
* Have a "red light zone" won't make a big difference. Ok there will be a little less adult content on the mainland but most shop/club/group won't move even if the new continent will drive a little more traffic. LindenLab should propose this service and it's up to the resident to make it work... or not...


There's another and, to me, even more likely, consequence of the red-light continent - it'll become the place verified adults go to get away from the kids.

Of course the red-light area is being introduced in preparation of the eventual merger of main and teen grids and for Lindens to suggest anything else is disingenuous and silly. Personally I'm all in favour of the merger because I think it will be a shot in the arm for SL in general. But ArminasX is right about the teen-griefers and the red-light district will probably become the bohemian, anything-goes place we all go to get away from them.

Connie Sec

An interesting and thoughtful post. In many ways I agree that a simple act like segregating the "adult" content from the rest of the mainland can have unintended consequences. The Lindens are acting without any "systemic" thinking as regards consequences. A more nuanced approach, taking into account other factors apart from the objective "needed" would probably achieve the same result without the unintended consequences. That would require, amongst others, input from all "stakeholders" and is beyond the scope of a quick comment in a blog.

Doubledown Tandino

Second Life's new Red Light District (if that's what we're calling it now?) is going to be "an icon of social freedom"

The mainland is going to dry up, simply because more residents will want to have freedoms on their land rather than restrictions. And the PG people don't need all that space.

Personally I know a) I would rent, and exist off the mainland because i like freedom to discuss anything with my friends, freedom to play music regardless if there's a naughty word, freedom to not have to walk on eggshells.

People (or perhaps LL) is envisioning this seedy underbelly removed from the majority of inworld view.... but the "seedy underbelly" isn't going to be whats being forced to move... it's going to be the REAL PEOPLE that are forced to move. the gamers the thinkers the uniters the collaborators the motivated masses (and of course, the players the pimps the hoes too) ... those are the people that are gonna be forced to move. Meanwhile the mainland is going to turn into a gestapo theme park, where that will be the feature attraction of the mainland: people will enjoy reporting other people on the mainland, for fun, and for spite, and for even more sense of power.

Zillow Dejavu

Interesting take. I also visited Amsterdam, many years ago. I found the Red Light District to be just what I had imagined. In fact, as a woman (visiting with her husband, no less) I was beckoned and asked if I wanted to enter an establishment. Weird! I figured a lot more was going on under the surface.

It's a fascinating city of wonderful people and it's unfortunate and understandable that this part of the city is shameful for them. Just like you and me, most tourists probably venture to that area of the city. Changing it now will be a huge task for Amsterdam and may even costs it some tourism dollars. SL also faces difficulties if it moves forward. But sometimes things are worth the risk.

Ann Otoole

Just another way to sell more land. Nothing else will change. Except the LGBT community will be gone along with all of it's money which vastly exceeds that of the "normal resident". Duh.

What Linden Lab needs to be doing is paying for Constitutional legal experts to guide them instead of setting themselves up for potential decimating legal battles that eventually destroy the reputations of the executives. I don't wish to see Second Life get killed off but it seems to me that someone has become quite skilled at duping Linden Lab into making suicidal errors of judgment that will produce the desired effect the day an alternative is ready to open it's doors to the former SL residents.


Thks of this vision Hamlet. Indeed a vision i wanted to express.

I wonder would it not be time then that maybe the name should be changed? The Second life name? or should we keep Second Life for the redlight district area and all kind of mature things and places for education and business, pg entertainment, and pg content on The Grid?

Just thinking out loud...so a mature world and a pg world?With Different browsers, gateways with or INSL (mature) or Grid (PG)?
This to avoid these thoughts about is now in Amsterdam?? Or will SL be just as strong and take it as a challange as Amsterdam does to change perspective on their openess...


Seven Shikami

I'm already getting that reaction whenever I mention SL to people. I can break it down this way:

2% "Oh, Second Life, that's neat stuff!"
38% "What's Second Life? Never heard of it."
60% "That's the place with all the freaky sex, right?"

I'm doing my best to provide alternative entertainment (and it's kinda baffling that "alternative" in SL means "family friendly games and entertainment") but the majority opinion out there from non-SL natives is that SL is just a pile of kinks and porn and griefing.

And now you're saying it's gonna be WORSE? Oi...

Chaddington Boomhauer

I think theres one big difference with regards to the comparison. SL isn't in need of relaxed laws to enable extreme adult content, it's already there. It's hard to see a new continent enabling major increases in the activity.

It will be convenient for people at welcome areas, NCI , TUI etc - they can direct the one-day-olds trying to come onto them straight to a place they can get what they need :)

BJ Tunwarm

If they are trying to get the hanky panky out of the public eye this an't the way to do it. You can bet your bottom dollar the *first* place a RL reporter will go will be Adult Continent. This will just make the tabloids job easier.

Who knows, maybe that is Liden Labs' master plan? There have been notable boosts in memberships with those cyber sex stories. This might allow them to have it booth ways.

Nexus Burbclave

Jovin brings up a really interesting point, and I can offer as supporting evidence the unintended consequences of Atlanta's anti-smoking ordinance. Unlike many such ordinances, it made an exception for establishments that do not admit those under 18 (I think they have to have at least a beer and wine if not full bar license as well). While many places became family friendly, others opted to go 18 plus either after lunch hours or all of the time. Several establishments have seen an increase in business after making the change to 18+.

Impalah Shenzhou

When layers take control over technology (and society), get ready for foolish decisions.

As Doubledown and others pointed maybe "red light district" will be an oasis for adults escaping from annoying teens. At least in my case, as a creator/merchant (and not of adult content) I want children far far away, with their WIIs or Gameboys.

Very Keynes

I have 2 venues in SL, one on mainland and one on a private estate, I also create content in the form of Scripts, builds and clothing. All of it PG. But I want all residents of SL to be able to enjoy it, be they Human, Gorian, Furry, Tiny....
I want the Musicians to express their songs and lyrics freely and not have to confine them self to "Oops' I appear to have broken a string.." when the inevitable happens during a complex guitar rift. So That is 2 totally PG venues that will be first in line for an adult rating, that still leaves the dilemma of having now excluded those who can't or won't verify. LL is forcing segregation on me and I am not happy at all.

Burgundy Mirajkar

Increased attention to distinguishing between what is "adult" and what is "non-adult" content would likely mean strengthening the definitions of both and then more actively patrolling the border between them. I think that is antithetical to at least some of the aspects of the culture that has developed in SL, where people can be comfortable riding the ambiguity between these and allowing sim owners to decide what is acceptable for the context they want to create. Developing a "Red Light Continent" (I'm just gonna say "RLC") has at least three possible unintended consequences of the kind Hamlet is concerned about:

* A lot of friction surrounding what gets defined as adult and what does not: At the extreme end, some conservatives would lump any and all LGBT content in with escort services just because they associate it with sex more than they do heterosexuality. Where would skin, shape, and tattoo stores, which don't sell anything inherently sexual but that display more nude pictures than many porn sites, fit in? Or clothing-optional but non-sexual-activity locations? There are no absolute answers to where the line gets drawn, and that's the point: no matter where it is, it makes statements about what is considered normal and what gets marginalized. In other words, who gets to decide what content is ghettoized in the RLC and what content is not, and do those people's standards speak for everyone? (The answer to the last question will always be no.)

* Less control for residents to determine the rules and standards in their own regions. Whereas the lines I mentioned above are now largely determined, case-by-case, by those who wish to shape the atmosphere of their own domain (except, of course, that people in PG regions need to comply with PG rules), a RLC could push people to affiliate their region with either the adult or the non-adult side of the equation. The people who lose out here are those in Mature regions who want to allow their visitors freedom as they themselves define it without running dens of hedonism. If they want to retain that freedom, would they need to move to the RLC and be branded as marginal? And if they don't do that, do they give up that freedom?

* Increased regulation of the circulation of sexual content could lead to increased regulation of other content. As a resident (and not a tabloid reader), I don't see why sexual content should be the first in line for such consideration. Why not violent RP areas? Any kind of distinctions carry value judgments, and I don't actually think RPs should be cordoned off, either, but some people don't think heavy sexual content is that much of a threat to SL's population. In fact, before steps are taken to create a sexual ghetto, I think LL would need to establish that the present location of sexual content actually *is* threatening to anything besides SL's public image.

Unlike Amsterdam, there are no illegal drugs in SL (SL itself is the closest thing to a drug here), and only one form of sexuality is prohibited (sex involving child avs). There are no fetishes that can't already be sated, as long as someone has the ingenuity to create whatever props are needed to sate them. I'm a bit confused by those who think a RLC would be a place for escaping youngsters, since that is precisely where I'd expect the more hormonal among them to go.

This proposal is more PR-oriented than it is resident-oriented. I don't believe it's valid to make decisions in the interest of sprucing up SL's image to non-residents when the consequences for residents are unlikely to be favorable.

Ciaran Laval

I wouldn't be surprised if we do see an increase in adult business on the back of this. The professional Internet pornmeisters will like the id check being taken out of their hands and happily setup home.

Maybe Ron Jeremy will get an account!

Ann Otoole

Sorry Ciaran. The "professional Internet pornmeisters" have their eyes on something else metaverse related rofl.


Isn't there already an entire virtual world dedicated to sex? I seem to recall it even being called "Red Light District" or something like that.

So why should we assume that creating a "mature" sim will cause a wave of new residents looking for sex when there is already an entire sex-themed virtual world?

Arcadian Vanalten

I'm just wondering why we're not looking the other direction; why, instead, not make a PG continent and keep that as a haven for the easily troubled?

It would settle the issue nicely and decrease the anxiety for those of us in the potential grey area. I'm not into sex clubs, orgy dens, etc, although several of the mainstream clubs I DJ at will occasionally have a Skinny Dipping Night, or a Naughty Nighties event. Based on one clothing optional event per month, would they end up being forced to relocate to the XXX continent?


Nice post!
By the way, if you have any intentions of visiting Red Light District, you should check out The Amsterdam Red Light Guide

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