Friday, May 30, 2008

what's life like, bleeding on the floor?

Continuing from my last post, apparently all this started when Representative Mark Kirk threw a fit over sexual abuse of children in SL. Now, first of all, this is again creating hysteria where none exists--an adult aide tried--and failed, remember--to gain access to SL as a ten-year-old, and then later tried with the same address "pretending" to be eighteen--and created an account. Whereupon she apparently went straight to some inordinately tacky locale that made Hard Alley look sweet and frothy.

Okay, let's talk virtual violation for a bit. I don't bring it up a great deal, but--by the standards of such things--I have been 'raped' twice on the grid. Now, while both of these were emotionally damaging incidents, the control to participate or not in such scenarios was in my hands. I could have ported away. I could have left the grid. I did neither, because I was caught up in the roleplay, but I could have.

Any adult who goes through such experiences on the grid shares some of the culpability. Note, I am not saying that virtual rape is equivalent--it's harmful, sure, but it's not reality--to actual, and by another extension, I'm not saying it's perfectly fine and those who have experienced darker things on the grid should just 'walk it off', so to speak.

What I am saying is that any adult who knowingly enters such areas should not be shocked by what they find. And the last they should do is think first, "OMG TEH CHILDREN".

Now here's the statement that may get me lynched, but I'm standing by it--any underage person, male or female, who enters the grid under age deception, and then finds themselves in a sexual situation? They are also responsible.

Let me say that again, because it sounds vaguely important: ANY child who knowingly seeks out adult material--on the grid, on the web, on the streets--shares culpability for those actions. This is not someone sending heated emails to a child when the child's just looking for that cute balloon game on the net. I'm talking...well, let's bring up Samanthaa.

Samanthaa was a young woman who wanted to be a stripper and escort at Enigma, back when I was manager. She talked in a very young fashion, and I had concerns that she wasn't eighteen. So did some of the gentlemen who hung out at the club, who started digging. They discovered she was not the nineteen she claimed to be, but actually thirteen.

I banned her from Enigma lands, told her why, and the gentleman who'd discovered this reported her to the Labs. This is the standard practice.

She came back with an alt account. Begged us not to report her. Begged us for a job.

We said no, and banned that account from accessing the club. When next heard from, she'd gotten some job stripping at a beach resort somewhere. I didn't contact the beach resort; one of the other managers did. Haven't heard from her since, but I'm fairly sure she's probably still on the grid, somewhere.

Is this a child being unduly harmed by sexual experiences? Maybe, but she's seeking them out. Are there underage people on the adult grid? Yes, sure--they've stolen their parents' information, they've falsified their ages, and the Labs are steadily resolving these situations, much better, by the way, than most truly adult sites on the web do! This is more than a tempest in a teapot, this is a completely falsified, hysterical bleating for no reason. When directly asked, Representative Kirk could not name one single child who had been sexually exploited on SL. Not one.

On top of everything else? SignpostMarv Martin has withdrawn from all participation in SL's fifth anniversary.

This is getting insane. Yet again, the Labs are caving under pressure and making the entirely wrong decisions.

I'll keep you posted.

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