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Monday, November 17, 2014

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Roblem VR

The only thing they need to do is not call it, "Second Life 2" and they are very unlikely to call it that. From a marketing perspective they just need to rebrand and not talk about the sex stuff. Present SL people will find the new world just fine, the rest of the world will have to be spoon fed the concept that this is from the same company. The blogger hacks that are still recycling 10 year old stories about sl are still going to bring it up even if LL makes a big deal about banning it.

kex

Good luck defining what is and what is not porn.

Pussycat Catnap

I think you missed what we were complaining about.

I don't recall most of the objections being about how it would be recieved by conservatives.

I also agree that SL's "A" scene is a cesspool of misogyny (think Gor) and racism (think 'interracial' sims - which are NOT about places for mixed race people like me BTW, nor even places for people like my parents to meet. You just gotta see what they ARE about to believe it...).

But this does not mean a blanket response in the other direction is good.

At the end of the "virtual day" SL is a game about life and exploring the inner self (as I would say it), or as others might say - its is a place where you can explore your self and others.

If you limit the most basic form of human expression - you limit its ability to be what it aspires to be: a place to explore meanings.

There are plenty of people who came to SL for the 'teh sexxy time' or even to explore aspects of their sexuality... only to discover they found something else, or something more meaningful, or that their sexuality was not as they had understood it.

I dropped into SL to explore that, an aspect of my sexuality. Instead I found my religious sense of self - learned to define a spiritual sense I've felt all my life and been unable to define until I read a random notecard in... an SL dance club... and it sparked my journey. The original thing I thought I'd come here to explore - dropped as not really an issue.

If you limit the ability of people to explore themselves and others in SL - you might as well just take away the prims and turn out the digital lights.

Just rezzing prims in a sandbox has no meaning to almost all of us. If it did, we would have left, like SL's inventor did... for something else.

Look at SL's users... what have they been up to all of these years? Rezzing prims in sandboxes?

NO.

They've been rezzing themselves.

Look at the story you had last week about two people that found love - one of them having just passed away. And this having touched you deeply.

Limit what SL can be - cut off a key aspect of people exploring each other - and you limit stories like that from ever happening here.

tito devinna

Silly post. People slex in WOW they slex in skype they slex in the sims they slex on web sites where cute little old ladies trade pictures of puppies... Maybe second life should just rebrand itself as an artistic game for adults with adult values themes and situations, and be done with it. I think that would be a better money maker for them in the long run. I know i wont be playing a game made for the 19 and under crowd.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

s/porn/homosexuality/ and I dare say some would agree with the result. Where do you stop?

tito devinna

I was not trying to be sarcastic in my last reply. In the current era we are in with gaming, games are being created to fill nich markets and specialized users all the time. Steam is filled with them. They are not just being made now to cater to the 20 and under crowd looking for a shoot em up. So i dont see why second life cant just say its a game for artistic adults. I find it troubling that for some reason this idea is never brought forth as an option. And why does everyone seem to say no sex in SL then stop suggesting other things SL shouldnt allow. There has been negative articles about drug use in second life, many many articles about gambling in second life, many articles about the fact that people supposedly have used sl to launder money for organized crime, many articles about grown ups dressing as children avatars, If they want to clean it up and make it look better and shiney shouldnt they also do away with those things . Instead all us SL users hear is there shouldnt be sex in sl because ... well the reasons are never really given other than a standard line of "we dont want those kinds of people here" coupled with wild hand wringing and pointing to an out of date webpage with pictures of acient avatars. That kind of reply does frankly sound prudish and conservative. I realize slex is kind of a nimby in second life but then thats why Sl created pg and adult sims. If you dont wanna see it you dont want to live it you dont have to. I dont see any reason to change. I do find it interesting how these trash SL sites never posts current pictures from SL, or even take current pictures from actually logging into SL. Nope just haggard old avatars from 2006 and screen shots of 2007 sl advertisements croped in such a way to make them look bad, all of which are lifted from google image search. Maybe the question shouldnt be should we ban sex from SL it should be why do we pay attention to these trash talking web sites. I mean ultimately SL has a large userbase that seems to be reacting quite fine to the idea that some places have adult content and they are the ones paying the bills. Maybe Sl should respect that and the users rather than trying to appeal to people who are too lazy to log into SL to take their own dirty pictures.

tito devinna

Also gotta say for such a "going viral" article it sure is getting ripped apart by readers making fun of the out of date pictures, the inaccuracies, and the bold faced lies..most of the readers are also defending slex as well as explaining there is so much more.... Maybe this "going viral" is a non event. just saying.

ReBeccaOrg

Wow that article is like a history of SL media coverage, all in one place. =D

I'm honestly not sure how much of a problem all that really is. I mean, articles like that were going strong even during SL's first hype bubble when tons of corporations were wasting money with illconsidered in-SL attractions. Clearly they didn't scare off either the corporations nor the new users at the time. It's just now-a-days basically no one ever mentions SL other than to talk about how "weird" it is.

As far as SL2 goes, I think it's gonna be a hard sell no matter what direction they take. I'd be very surprised if it ever attracts even a fraction of SL's peak user base. I think sandbox virtual worlds do have a place in our future, but I'd be very surprised if Linden Labs will be the one to makes one that goes mainstream.

ReBeccaOrg

Replying to myself...

That said, eh, I can't see how having sexual content as a corner stone of your business is gonna help get traction. =/ So I can totally see starting with a PG-in-public rule.

It'd make it a LOT easier to invite new people. You wouldn't need to include lots of disclaimers about how they might get unsolicited "unsavory invitations". I was always a bit leery, especially with people who I didn't know well enough to know how they'd react to SL's seedier side.

tito devinna

ReBeccaOrg your reply on the original web page was epic.

Eddi Haskell

As much as some may dislike it, sex -- and gambling to a certain degree-- are always going to be part of any successful and open virtual world. I think where Second Life suffered is that in the early days, the public relations effort was not there to show all the good that virtual worlds can do (education, fundraising for charity, arts to the masses, etc)-- and let the "bad" side of things dominate media coverage. Saying that, SL has done an admirable job of policing the most debase and unacceptable forms of sex. And from what I understand, U.S. and other law enforcement authorities have made sure that SL cannot turn into a major gambling platform.

Roblem VR

I think the word you are all dancing around is censorship. NWN chose to use the word Porn rather than sex, and that's what we are really talking about, sex. I know it makes plenty of puritans and other religious folks uncomfortable but thats a secondary issue after censorship. If we are talking about a new virtual world you can't just regulate behavior without consideration of adult behavior to placate prudes. And I seriously have no bank in porn or sex. I just hate censorship and cow towing to hack bloggers.

Amanda Dallin

The purpose of the post referenced here is obviously to get you to register on their website with your Facebook, Twitter or Google + account. They post something to attract commenters who have to register with one of those. It's all about building list to sell and NWN just helped them.

Hamlet, do you get a finders fee?

zz bottom

Hehehe, Amanda i bet he did not, but obviously the agenda is a clear one, Sl2 will have porn (LL knows how much it means to them), sex and all we wish or dream or hate, as long as user content is allowed.
And i really doubt that LL will wish to censorship (Ebbe is Swedish i do think just by that fact, censorship is not on his book!).

Cube Republic

Pornography is always an early adopter of new technology. VR headsets will enable consumption of said media in new ways.

Ciaran Laval

This makes as much sense as saying Oculus VR should build into their terms of service a restriction that no applications can use Oculus for adult content. That's simply not going to happen.

The issue for LL is managing people's expectations regarding content. They failed in that regard in the early days of Second Life but to be fair to LL they themselves weren't sure what to expect from user generated content.

Now that they have history and experience on their side LL can build a system that categorises content from the offset and restricts the chances of people stumbling across said content.

The world wide web has far more adult content than Second Life will ever have, yet people are happy enough to utilise the world wide web. People will be happy enough to utilise Linden Lab's next generation virtual world for the right use cases and if there are enough compelling use cases, then the adult side gets diluted in people's minds, just as the adult side is diluted in people's minds on the world wide web.

Adeon Writer

I'm ok with this, which from experience tells me it's probably a bad idea.

Ezra

Blue Mars followed this logic. Linden Lab will continue to be smarter.

shirc desantis

"pearl-clenching" Dearie? Oh my, well I always thought it was clutching.. there again I suppose there are things yet to be discovered...
Best to make a new viral thingie just in case.

Tracy RedAngel

This again? Well it gets people riled up, so good job. It's a moot point anyway because we know LL will never restrict adult content unless they collectively swallow a handful of stupid pills. I'm more concerned that the hack "reporter" used such old, outdated, and crappy images. I find THAT more offensive than anything else. Orange Gumby-looking avatars with straw flexi hair.

Arcadia Codesmith

"the public should first understand the full range of what's possible in a VR-powered world."

They do. That's why we have kinky sex in Second Life.

Linden Lab didn't stock the world with strip clubs, horny unicorns, werewolf cocks and RLV collars. We did that. We ARE "the public". We're not special snowflakes set apart from the market; we're the market. They gave us a world where we could do almost anything we wanted, and among all the other things we wanted to do, we wanted to bring our often shameful, often bizarre, and sometimes wildly contradictory sexual fantasies to life.

There are some obvious technical reasons why you can't prohibit sex in a virtual world via design without completely eliminating (or at least severely restricting) the freedom of users to create animations and avatar accessories.

It's also pretty obvious that Linden Lab cannot or will not maintain any significant enforcement capability to clamp down on fornicators.

Sex is going to happen, and it's going to be every bit as colorful, deviant and snicker-worthy as you fear. Linden Lab can either plan for it, with zones and ratings and an infrastructure built to handle it, or they can watch it pop up in the most wildly inappropriate places and ways imaginable.

If it wards off the bluenoses, that's a bonus. For every moralistic prude that soils their Depends over shocking pixel sex, there are five curious souls who will respond to those sensationalist reports by checking it out. If we had a new user experience worth the name, we might actually keep a few of them.

As much as I respect your work, Hamlet, you're dead wrong on this one. Censorship will smother SL2 in its cradle. Just give us a world to build and let the users hash out what's appropriate (beyond reasonable zoning restrictions and compliance with real world laws).

Now about these pearls. Do they vibrate?

A.J.

I'm trying to think of a place on Earth where sex is successfully prohibited because people have had millions of years to practice their conduct out in the real world. Prison? Yea, prison would be a good example of how well humans respond to a sexless environment. How about a religious environment like the Catholic Church? No sex there, right?

Maybe fancy mesh Burqas should be required attire for all females in the new SL. You know things like cleavage and bazooka bottoms are a slippery slope toward undesired behavior. Instead of The Cornfield, maybe the new virtual world could have Magdalene laundries to throw those temptresses in who insist on bouncing about the virtual world.

I think this new sexless world will be a lot of fun and really attract the right element.

Issa Heckroth

You cant ban it. If people can upload stuff, then people will find a way to slex. End of conversation. Believing anything else is naive in the extreme.

Arcadia is right, either plan for it or expect to find sticky puddles in places you dont want them! :P

Luca Spoldi

The main problem of Second Life is still the same... as explained some years ago:

"Second Life suffers from a fundamental flaw: it is not viral, because its value proposition for the consumer market, which has now passed: “alternative life”, not “extensive experience”. These things have to be paid, because there is not a massive propensity to involve acquaintances/friends (as opposed to Facebook and MMOs). Even some of you have two identities on Facebook"...

If you like read more on: http://www.mondivirtuali.it/virtual/en/2011/07/12/virtual-worlds-rules-3

Pussycat Catnap

The simple solution to the problem of nasty hate-filled racist / misogynistic XXX content in SL is... simple...

Just enforce your anti-discrimination / anti-hate/bias policy.

Do that and the 'Gor' sims vanish, replaced with 'naked barbarian sex-fantasy' sims that are the same minus the misogyny (you could even keep your capture angles, but not gender-base it).

The 'inter-racial black men rape all white women XXX-sims vanish, replaced with places where actual REAL people across races can meet up. Or even people using one race in SL that is not their RL race, can meet up, but without an exploitation / abuse angle.

The D/s crowd... can go on as normal, but simple lose the assumption that the 's' is always the female or the non-white.

The biker sims can lose the dixie flags, but otherwise be the same.

- Just enforcing an anti-hate policy would solve all of Hamlet's concerns, and the common community concerns... without limiting human expression / exploration.

(it wouldn't actually solve Hamlet's spoken concerns - but it would solve what I suspect is the underlying reasoning behind them.)

Pussycat Catnap

"The D/s crowd... can go on as normal, but simple lose the assumption that the 's' is always the female or the non-white."

- That assumption's not really a D/s assumption anyway. But seems common among D/s posers... the sort who don't realize D/s is consensual (as has been hammered into me by people who are RL D/s and took me to task over assumptions I made long ago on encountering SL-D/s that they told me was anything but)...

In all of my examples, the failure to enforce the anti-discrimination policy has IMO, limited the growth of the 'genre' or 'concept'. Even for Gor. I realize that's the biggest sub-culture in SL, but I think it would be even bigger if it had been forced to shed sexism early on and adopt some other genre example of 'naked barbarian fantasy' - like 'Den' from 1970s Heavy Metal magazine for example.

Metacam Oh

Not into porn or sex in virtual worlds personally, but would not be interested in a virtual world that banned it either. Wonder Hamlet if the Internet would be would it is today if porn was banned on that too.

Wagner James Au

"If people can upload stuff, then people will find a way to slex. End of conversation. Believing anything else is naive in the extreme."

Sure, people will SLex immediately, and that's totally fine. People started cybering in WoW immediately. But you know why no one associates WoW with cybering? Because the avatars don't have genitals, and there's no way to attach them. Do the same with SL 2 at launch, and 80% of the visual problem is solved. So it's not so much about banning content, as architecting it out of the system until mass market growth is achieved.

Pussycat Catnap

I do not believe the sole reason WoW succeeded was because the male orcs could not attach a green frenis...

I think its a little peculiar to have such a view.

I think you should really sit down and read some of the replies you've been getting.

Arcadia Codesmith

I'm just a simple backwoods country girl, and your modern technology confuses and frightens me.

So maybe you could explain exactly how you propose to suppress the mesh penis while not impairing the ability to create and wear tails, belts, fanny packs, fannys, holsters, or any other avatar attachment that fits on or around the midsection of the avatar.

*blink blink*

Adeon Writer

No, you can't stop people from adding junk to their avatars, unless you stop people from adding things to their avatars, period.

And the SL attachment system for customizing avatars is pne of the reasons no one else can touch SL. No one else lets you do that. Take that away, and you won't have a chcessful virtual world.

The fact that people can use it to make anatomically correct avatars is a side effect.

You can make a policy of no adult content and ban when they see it, but they can't actually stop it wothlut making the platform useless.

Trust me on that one...

Ciaran Laval

Where I come from, wearing a fanny would be adult content anyway!

The best approach if you want real mass market appeal is to cater to mass market tastes and that includes adult content. Filtering is the key here. Television, cinema, theatre and the web all recognise this.

At this stage, with little detail about how Linden Lab's next gen venture will be produced, it's difficult to say how well they would do by taking an anti adult content stance. I definitely think it will be a barrier to the sort of adoption LL have suggested they want, but if they are happy with a much smaller goal, then yes it could work.

Adeon Writer

I find adult content in SL deathly boring with a side of annoyinly obnoxious, sprinkled with some laughably ugly. But it should be very obvious that you can't block it without ruining the ability to create content *at all*, unless you want to go for Linden manually greenliting all content, where LL has to accept EVERYTHING before it can be used in the world.

Do you think SL should not support custom avatars from the start? Only allow "Sims" level customization? Because, there's a reason Sims games never touch SL.

Pussycat Catnap

@Adeon: Oh Sims... :)

I think the very first user content even made for sims was a hack to remove the pixilation when your sim got in the shower or on the pot.

So yeah...

Good luck with that one. :P

Oh and I think there is a similar hack for WoW - but such hacks are probably really malware. That said, even people who do not play WoW know about its RP server mooncloud or something, and that one inn in the human area...

I see so many people who came to SL for the pixel bumping, and ended up finding so much more... that to me the idea of blocking what is arguably the main reason new accounts join - seems very odd.

SL pixel bumping though, is pretty boring. But that's something every newbie needs the opportunity to find out for themselves, so they can get it our of their system and then look around and ask "hey, what else can I do here?"

Arcadia Codesmith

As far as I'm concerned, sex ought to be one of the central test cases for the new engine. If you can make sex (in all its infinite variations) steamy again for our jaded pixel bumpers, then you've got an excellent base for most every other type of human (or inhuman) interaction.

Issa Heckroth

@Wagner James Au - What?

As others have already said, how exactly do you propose people customizing their avatars, but not being able to attach something "sensitive" in the groin area?

Please. I am all ears.

Wagner James Au

"Do you think SL should not support custom avatars from the start? Only allow 'Sims' level customization? Because, there's a reason Sims games never touch SL."

... the same reason The Sims has sold tens of millions of copies of the games and expansion packs, compared to SL's 600K users. And there's incredible creativity in the Sims player community.

Unless I missed it, no realistic, general use 3D interactive experience which allows pornographic sex has acquired more than a million active users. None. Can anyone think of an example?

Wagner James Au

"how exactly do you propose people customizing their avatars, but not being able to attach something 'sensitive' in the groin area?"

Same way WoW and other mainstream MMOs does it: Give the avatars perma-lock underwear and make clothing attachments around the waist bindable. Sure, people will figure out a away to create all kinds of bizarre strap-on dildo type devices, but it won't look very convincing, and it'll be clear that it's not something the company is encouraging.

And again, I'm saying that's something to consider *at launch*. They can always quietly allow genital attachments after SL 2 safely has tens of millions of users.

Tracy RedAngel

Hamlet...have you asked anyone at the Lab what they think of this subject, and if so, what was their reaction? I think it would be interesting to hear their views on this.

Amanda Dallin

The only possibility I see would be for LL to prevent sex businesses advertising on whatever the new version of the Events Calendar and Classifieds. Make search so that the user has to want to find adult areas and have consequences for gaming search.

You can't stop sex businesses without seriously restricting the world and hiring the staff to police the world. I don't see LL doing that but I can see them restricting posts to whatever LL controlled in world advertising exists. This along with zoning from the beginning (not hacked on later as in Zindra). Perhaps no sex businesses on the equivalent of mainland. Push it to private areas.

Tracy RedAngel

Perma-lock underwear? Why don't we just call it 'Teen Grid part 2'?

Part of the premise of Second Life to begin with was a world created by and for the users. That's what Second Life is. Linden Lab doesn't have a history of policing content, so why would they start censoring the new world? Do you think they simply want all brand new users and don't a damn if any current SL residents jump the old ship for the new? Those residents who are currently providing all their capitol?

Issa Heckroth

Answer to perma-lock underwear - people make the avatar entirely out of attachments, so none of the base avatar is showing. Done all the time right now in SL. Have you not herd of mesh bodies?

Seriously?

Sorry Hammy, cant be done unless you kill the very thing that makes SL so attractive to its current users.

EI Consulting

You got the job at Hustler...

irihapeti

what Hamlet says is correct. No nekkid

No nekkid is where the millions and millions of creative people are. The creatives into creating interactive creative nekkid are in SL. All 40,000 of them

SL2 I think will be no nekkid. bc for nekkid LL provide us with SL

Ciaran.Laval@Blueyonder.co.uk

@Hamlet "Unless I missed it, no realistic, general use 3D interactive experience which allows pornographic sex has acquired more than a million active users. None. Can anyone think of an example?"

Besides the one all around us that we live and breathe in you mean. Pornography is not the barrier to Second Life's userbase, nor will it be a barrier to Linden Lab's nextgen virtual world.

Two years down the line will not fly in terms of introducing adult content. Linden Lab have a chance to take a sensible approach to adult content in their nextgen virtual world. Should they choose not to, someone else will and that someone else is likely to take more of a share of the market. This isn't because there's that much demand for pornography, it's because there will be more compelling use cases on any platform that allows a broader range of VR use cases.

irihapeti

i think we think that the nextgen platform will be SL+. If SL hasnt been the great breakthru in terms of millions of users for LL then why we would hope a SL+ will do that if the social component remains the same as it is now in SL

if LL are to make the great breakthru in terms of millions then apart from the ability to make/create stuff the nextgen platform will be markedly different in terms of what we can make. And what we cannot. Will not be technicals that determine this. (technically it will be way superior) It will be social determinations

growth is efficiently managed in a virtual world when it mirrors the real world. The real world is a all ages creative platform. Everything else in that world then flows from this. the level and extent of nekkidness. violence. sexxors, etc

irihapeti

ps

is no point in going nextgen is adult only access but no nekkid

no nekkid only makes sense on a all ages platform

zz bottom

http://moviepilot.com/posts/2014/11/18/the-strange-stories-about-second-life-that-totally-miss-the-mark--3-2445543?lt_source=external,manual,manual
Please all read and coment on this article.
Sorry Hamlet but you are so wrong.

Arcadia Codesmith

You keep using the term "pornography" which is wildly inaccurate and somewhat offensive in this context. Consensual sexual acts between two (or more) adults are NOT pornography, regardless of the nature of the acts, unless they are recorded for the purpose of distribution or performed (intentionally) for a live audience. Continuing to use this loaded term to describe virtual sex imparts an obvious judgmental bias to the discussion.

Adeon Writer

No virtual world without the ability to import your own fully custom avatar will suceed.

Ajax Manatiso

What??? The media mis-reporting and giving a false impression? I don't think that has ever happened before. Alert NATO!!

Pussycat Catnap

Good point that use of the term pornography demeans to topic and creates a distraction.

Two key problems served to cause the presence of adult content and nudity in SL to be an issue.

One is the failure to enforce their anti-discrimination policy that allow hate conduct like Gor, racialized-rape-fantasy-sims, and Dixie flags to persist.

But another perhaps bigger issue is the simple failure to zone at the most basic level - putting G and M sims side by side in a checkerboard pattern rather than as distinct continents.

Going full tilt the other way... baked on underwear... is such a dismal failure of an idea that it would kill the platform.

Consider medical and educational uses of the nude body.

Consider an animal avatar.

Do you bake underwear onto a robot? A prim-cube?

These limits work in something like WoW because the entire point of logging into WoW is different. The aim of WoW is to go kill humans and elves, gathering up points and strapping their clothes and skins to your body for... genre reasons...
- The people trying to simulate a virtual life there are the problem, that needs to be discouraged.

SL is in only one sense, the opposite. The people trying to simulate a virtual life here are the solution - they need to be encourage.

BUT SL is also NOT Sims Online... the people trying to simulate a virtual life are not the ONLY or even primary audience. SL wishes to be a platform for the users to simulate what comes to mind for them...

Even running around killing humans and elves and wearing their skins and clothes while gaining points in a story.

WoW is ONLY meant as a game.
A Sims Online concept is only meant to be a virtual life.
SL is meant to be whatever the people logged into it decide to make of it.

WoW sells 11 million copies because a game is easy to engage with. There are clear goals and clear signs of achievement. You log in, you grab a big stick, you look for an elf. You poke it with the stick. You look for another elf. You log out.

Sims online like concepts. You log in, you look for a thing to click on, your sim emits a stream of plus signs or something. Goals and objectives are spelled out for you.

Second Life, and ANY virtual world.
You log in.
Welcome to a virtual existence. Not just a simulation.
Good luck.

- In the games, you need to restrict things to keep people on point with the task assigned.

In a virtual world, restricting things limits the potential tasks people can choose as their form of expression - and that kills the entire point of the platform.

Wagner James Au

"Consensual sexual acts between two (or more) adults are NOT pornography, regardless of the nature of the acts, unless they are recorded for the purpose of distribution or performed (intentionally) for a live audience."

But, in fact, virtual world sex is not performed by the adults behind the keyboard, but the avatars they control. And *watch* these avatars' simulated sex acts, usually from a third person point of view. So it actually is porn. Interactive, sure, but porn all the same.

Still waiting for an example of a general use 3D interactive world which allows porn which has more than 1 million users.

Pussycat Catnap

And... I'm...
Still waiting for an example of a general use 3D interactive world which DOESN'T allow porn which has more than 1 million users.

Not a game. But a competing virtual world, with no adult content. That is bigger than SL.

Not a game - so no WoW or Sims. Or for that matter no Blocksworld or Minecraft - which are not virtual worlds but virtual closed sandboxes.

The problem isn't the adult content.

The problem is that the very idea of virtual worlds is not mainstream.

Tracy RedAngel

Hamlet: Clearly what you define as porn is a lot different than many others. Therein lies the problem: Who decides? Kirk Cameron (Cheesy-80's-sitcom-actor-turned-evangelical) has a different definition of porn than a lot of people who have rather healthy attitudes about human sexuality. Again...I'll ask...what is Linden Lab's stance on this issue? *Crickets*

2014

sex sells, LL just hasn't embraced it.

Arcadia Codesmith

The Sims Online was one of the most spectacular flops in gaming history.

There were a number of reasons, but one of the most glaring was that the dev team dragged its feet on implementing user-generated content, because they couldn't figure out how to regulate it for things like nude skins.

Consequently, the Sims modding community, one of the biggest and best pools of creative user talent ever assembled, forsook the platform in droves -- not because of the lack of naughty bits (although there was certainly a healthy demand for that), but because the quest to squelch naughty bits had the unavoidable consequence of squelching many other forms of creative input by users.

The new platform will flourish if it is accessible, intuitive, and stocked with compelling user-generated content. It will flame out and die if it tries to tie the creatives down with arbitrary limitations because of some overblown fear of leering commentary by anonymous trolls.

Arcadia Codesmith

And by the way, we've now arrived at a definition of pornography so broad that opening your eyes during sex might qualify.

I'm unconvinced that the mere presence of an electronic intermediary is sufficient to render an act "pornographic".

I might overlook the less-loaded term "erotica", as it has connotations of artistic merit... the way I do it, at any rate.

Metacam Oh

I suppose if you are going to restrict pornography and adult content in this new "virtual world" you have to also restrict being able to view the normal 2d web from inside this virtual world as well, what would stop people from putting porn on their web wall? Banning adult content just opens up a shit ton of loop holes and restrictions on creativity. It's just an awful idea. And just because there hasn't been a 3d game with more than a million users who allow adult content is not exactly a scientific study showing that any 3d world that allows adult content will fail. SL has really been the only use case for this, and I think we'd all agree that the reasons SL has failed in that area has nothing to do with the adult content inside.

Amanda Dallin

The reason SL hasn't grown as well as was expected in the early days is mostly because of the short attention span of the average person. Pussycat touches on this in her comments here. Games like WOW and Sims have goals. When you start up those games for the first time you can quickly figure out what to do next. Unless you have someone helping you SL is daunting for a new user and they don't see a reason to figure it out so they quickly leave.

SL users as a group aren't more creative or intelligent than the average person. We're more stubborn and have a longer attention span. SL2 or whatever it's called needs to address this to have a chance of success.

Kirasha Urqhart

Other than the inherent issues of censorship so many have already commented on, the issue real issue with articles like the one mentioned in this post is that we live in a world of sensationalist media. While there may be some publications who are still held to higher standards of journalism, sites like moviepilot are the Enquirer of the internet age.

This author (and many like him) went looking for the easiest angle to exploit. And banning content from the next platform is not going to stop that. If these writers can't find the "dirt" they will make it up or not write anything at all because there's no money there. These people the same mentality as the paparazzi who set up across the street from celebrity homes and use their telephoto lenses to see into private bedrooms because that shot of Insert Stud of the Week Here in just his boxers will sell to TMZ for a much higher price than the one of the same guy pushing his kid on the swings.

As someone else said, sex sells. And these writers are counting on it to sell their articles. They couldn't care less what actually happens in virtual worlds so long as it's their bylines getting the clicks and resultant advertising revenue.

Shockwave Yareach

Either it is our world and our imagination, or it is not.

I build what I want. I sell the best I make to others who like what I made. If you don't like what I make, don't hang around my land and don't buy my stuff. I honestly don't care what you do with your second life - do not dare to tell me what I can do with mine if you want my business. Because the only thing SL has to offer is a fantasy world where you can do anything. Lose that, and there is no reason for VR disappears too.

Wagner James Au

"The Sims Online was one of the most spectacular flops in gaming history."

Yes, but the no-sex Sims *franchise* is massive: "As of September 2013, the franchise has sold more than 175 million copies worldwide". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sims

"I'm unconvinced that the mere presence of an electronic intermediary is sufficient to render an act 'pornographic'"

For the actual participants, Arcadia, it might not be porn, but when it's captured and published as machinima or screenshots, it appears to be porn, i.e. sexual imagery for purely prurient interests. The optics are really what matter. I'm actually very interested in genuine sexual expression between RL partners in a virtual space (I devoted a whole chapter to that in my book) but from the outsider's perspective -- i.e. the rest of the world -- it looks like animated porn. That's why it generates endless waves of bad publicity and mockery that curb mass growth.

Tracy RedAngel

The bad publicity is the fault of the HACK writers who choose to write juvenile, poorly researched trash. The problem begins and ends with them, NOT Second Life. Linden Lab could go head and get rid of sex in Second Life part 2, but then it wouldn't be Second Life, and virtually NONE of the current residents will migrate over. Seriously, this poor horse is already dead and beaten into the ground.

zz bottom

Wagner, before i ever knew about second life i was a sims user and builder.
From Sim 1 up to Sim 3.
i can assure you that mods to make it a porn game exist since its 3th day of existence..
And cause they exist it resumes the success of the franchise.

Issa Heckroth

Soooo......bottom line, dumb idea Hammmy. Poorly thought through and nearly impossible to implement for the most basic reasons of creativity.

The kind of dumb idea that people who dont actually use virtual worlds and have no idea about the platform tend have.

Oh wait....

Issa Heckroth

Also, RE the sims - Yes it is released as "no sex", but check out the modding community. I wont mention any names, but sims sex content IS out there, make no mistake. Cant you see how that is directly analogous with the SL user and LL?

LL never actually provided us with working genitals or anything "adult" related. The "modding community" did ALL the work in that regard.

You CANT ban sex in a world of avatar attachments. You still have not answered how you even think this would even be possible without fundamentally breaking avatar customization.

Your not answering the question because you CANT. Your just hammering your point about the sims into the ground.

Metacam Oh

There's even a ton of porn on Twitter, it's just inevitable and pointless to fight Hamlet.

Arcadia Codesmith

We don't change our sexy because the world thinks it's weird. We flaunt our weird sexy until the rest of the world gets tired of being left out of the fun.

If geeks had responded to "mockery and bad publicity" by forsaking their geekiness, there would be no personal computers, no cell phones, no Internet, no blockbuster movies... well, heck, probably no writing, math, tool use or fire. All human progress consists of flipping off the hecklers and just trying new stuff.

If you're not freaking the mundanes, you're getting stale.

Issa Heckroth

I am just going to comment one last time, because a post on this topic just cant be left with exactly 69 comments. :)

zz bottom

lol:)

Connie Arida

Sex? I thought we were riding a bike!!

Cube Republic

Hamlet: pornography hasn't stifled the growth of virtual reality. Second life is a niche market that most people don't have the time to invest in.

I remember the fake second life advert page telling people to go outside. It wasn't making fun of sex, it was making fun of the whole concept.

Cube Republic

Also I think it's important to acknowledge that if one wants to go full second life, the costs are staggering. Imagine suggesting to someone that they join this fabulous game, and if they wish to have a full space to themselves it will cost $295 a month. This doesn't even include the price of content to fill said environment.

Then even if you can afford it, the skills needed to express yourself are far beyond that of many n00bs.

Second life v2 will be an empty world to start with. I always remember an Electric Sheep seminar I went to in world back in the day on my friends market research sim. The gist of it was that the 'residents' provide the entertainment to the n00bies. So the reality is it will be largely down to the content creators to make people stay. Linden Lab will hopefully provide the resources to do this in new and engaging ways.

P.S. South Park this week, LOL.

Rei Nori

"What other people think of me is none of my business..."

LL should take this to heart and build the world they want to build. If it is of high quality and engages the minds of creative folks, it will be a success. NWN's fascination with mass appeal for VW is off putting - It will be as popular as it is.

Fred

Before we ban anything, we should reflect upon how SL have been reported about in the media. I think we all agree on that Second Life reporting is pretty much non existant, except for some niche blogs and enthusiasts, as far as mainstream media is concerned Second Life probably died in 2008.

If you say Second Life to anyone, some will think of the news story about a woman divorsing her husband as he had a online affair, some might recall a BBC documentary about long distance SL relationships that in some cases turned RL. And something about pedophiles. The platform is not getting any great press, that's for sure.

Solution: A communication strategy worth more than the paper it's written on for a change. Write lot's of PR storys about the things happening that we DO want to promote, invest a little in advertising. Think Duran Duran doing a live performance in SL, that was probably the highlight of this world, along with tech companies having their press releases announced inworld. We see none of that stuff now.

Yes there will be articles about sex and prostitution and bad things happening, but drown that stuff in the positive PR. Take ownership of how the platform is reported about with getting control of Facebook, Youtube, Twiter, plus big social networks "unknown" to us in the western world.

This sure is a engaging topic with a lot of interesting posts, this is where LL should come on a weekly basis and hear how things are working, if I was in charge of that place I certainly would!

rexrandall

Look, if SL and LL pull adult content in the next version then I among many many others will yank all our payments to LL. In my case in the past this has been thousands of dollars a month. All that will go poof so some f__king kiddie can play with his pet poodle.
I will NOT put my cash into 2.0 if there's a ban. PERIOD. so right there is a loss of around 6000 dollars currently to the lab and I'm just one avatar. Multiply that times all the adult sims that adult content supports and that's a huge chunk of cash that will simply go bye bye.
Maybe its (all our cash, sims, uploads, marketing) still not enough but I don't see muffy and buffy offsetting our loss of income so they can play pretty no sex barbie.

Victoria

*sigh* If secondlife 2 goes the way of IMVU, I will not use it. I don't even slex but it is the fact that secondlife is primarily for adults. To compare wow and sl is not a good comparison. WoW is a game, second life is basically a 3d chat. Call SL a game if you will but there is nothing to achieve or unlock like there is in WoW. People have cyber in wow and there are hacks to get your character naked and what not but it was never intended for that. It is a game and they allow kids as young as 12 or so to play it. Which is a horrible idea, the people on WoW can be pretty nasty. Unless your kid is one of those people talking crap in trade chat, they probably wouldn't handle being called names for half an hour for standing in goo on accident.

The fact is, if they want adult money they should allow adults to do adult things. The way IMVU treats their adult community is sickening and one of the reasons why I left. It also ties the hands of creators who wish to make adult content.

Sure it can gross people out or what have you but the fact we are looking at sexual content in such a negative light in the year 2014 (almost 2015) is so sad as well as the current war on pornography. Why are we as humans so freaked out by sex when we were created by it?

Secondlife will never be mainstream, linden labs needs to deal with it and move on. However, they have a niche following and might appeal to more people if they make it 1. easier to use 2. run better 3. actually run on more computers. This is what would make SL more successful not banning adult content.

Banning adult content in SL.2 will be a slap in the face to anyone who makes adult content in SL, including those who make "slutwear". Slutwear and skimpy clothes is a HOT seller and big market in secondlife. Including Lola tangos and other mesh body parts that are sexualized.

Want to ban sex in sl.2? Then ban it all and make it a heaven for children like IMVU tries to. There will be ways to use it for those purposes. Trying to fight human nature is a losing battle that puritans will one day realize. Sexuality is natural and a part of being alive for most humans.

SL relies on their content creators to make money. Their content creators do all the heavy lifting in solving problems that LL hasn't touched, such as mesh hands and feet to cover up the horrible default flippers and blocky nubs.

Also, gor or interracial sex sims are there because people MADE them and use them. There are also misogyny fetish sims (I just don't go to them!). People have politically uncorrect fetishes and desires. Oh, nooo the horror that someone can get off to something that is not politically correct. Don't go to those places it bothers you so badly. It's kind of like being pro-choice, just because it might not be for you, doesn't mean it shouldn't be an option for someone else.

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Wagner James Au
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