Saturday, March 14, 2009

all in the name of misbehavior

Vye Graves starts this post off by musing on misdirection:

SL has no way of judging whether an animation, say, is adult. a collection of prims could be a necklace, or [genitalia]. You can't tell people a place is "safe" from such things with no way to enforce it. Why try?

I will obey whatever rules LL puts in place, but you can bet literally thousands of people will make it their hobby thwarting and griefing this policy. I really don't understand why anyone would imagine this is possible at all.

It's an important point, one we should remember. No one is ever seen--unless they choose to be seen so--carting around a pony nuke to destabilize a business. Yet before the advent of Havok 4, businesses and sims were routinely nuked by people who carried them in invisibly--in their inventories.

I have bustle dresses in my inventory. I have parasols, fans and Victorian and Edwardian hats. I have corsets and bloomers, button-up boots, and full-length gloves in black, grey and cream, embroidered with a minor rainbow of flowers to complement nearly any outfit.

I also have full latex, leather, straps, buckles, lingerie and defiantly adult furniture--from full beds to concoctions of lumber and steel and cuff rings. What stops me--beyond sheer common sense--from rezzing these things out on PG land is if the sim owner has marked no rezzing of non-group (or non-owner) items.

But nothing stops me--save again, that nagging common sense--from dressing however I choose, anywhere I choose. I know how to dress appropriately--and do manage to, most of the time.

Others feel that is an extreme way to curtail their personal freedom, and go on wearing their nipple piercings attached to the draw-down chain which slides between their legs and back up to their collar, and they see nothing wrong in going shopping wherever they want, looking how they want.

And it doesn't even need to go that far. Just the fact that we carry whatever we carry in our inventories, that is not curtailed or regulated in any way--and believe me, I am not asking for it to be!!--means that we have the capacity at any time to be non-PG in PG areas.

Hells. Take our inventories away. We port in to a PG area, our inventories grey out, unable to be accessed. We are still us. And nothing will stop us, ourselves, from speaking however we want.

It's an impossible standard. It will be an impossible standard. How do they propose to disallow personal clothing choices, as well as enforce grid-wide gag orders, on every single avatar that might have need to port to a PG area? How?

sachi Vixen, skin designer extraordinaire, had this comment to add:

I do not understand the idealogy that insists that grown ups need to protected when they are perfectly capable of tping away from an area they don't want to be in or, heaven forfend, close that little X in the corner of the window. I know that there are people who are very offended by a nipple but actually a nude body isn't anything indecent but is simply how we are made. Nudity doesn't have to be sexual, indecent or offensive. I might be offended by spiders, all those legs you know, but are you going to make them all register for a spider licence because I don't like them? Do we ban Michelangelo's David from our sims because he has his kit off or is he a work of art? This kind of thing just feels very unhealthy from a human nature aspect to me and I don't want to see SL nor the internet generally to go in this direction. People don't need to be protected, they need to take responsibility for themselves and for their own children.

I entirely agree. And maybe that's part of the California-centric perspective that, at one point, the Lindens did not want to seem to be enforcing: because that's certainly the American perspective at large. Children in danger? Let's not teach them; let's make a law! Law not working? Let's not teach the parents, let's make a new law! That law not working? Let's blame society instead of instructing communities, schools and teaching centers.

Personal responsibility has, for the better part of two decades, been profoundly lacking in this country. Depressingly so, even. Encouraging people to take responsibility for what they see, what their children see--it sounds logical. It sounds rational. It sounds doable.

But there is that nigh-inherent attitude on the part of people who don't want to be bothered that more legislation is the answer, not better instructions.

In this response, Blondin Linden takes on the 'accidentally naked in infohubs' question:

Good question: Failed logins would redirect based on preferred maturity - instead of dumping everyone to a PG region. This should help curb the AR's.

...right. Okay, for anyone who didn't catch that, let me add a personal detail: more of Korea4 has seen me naked than those I love and those I hired out to, combined. Why? Because Korea4 was the default infohub for the Rivula sim, and Rivula went down a lot. So for the first solid eighteen months of my existence on the grid, I showed up naked in Korea4 when my sim was inaccessible.

Over. And over. And over again.

But Blondin's suggestion wouldn't necessarily work either--say I get or gain a Mature/Adult maturity level. Will this mean instead of Holden, or Korea4, or Mauve, or any other infohub surfacing when my sim goes down, I'd show up naked on the stage of a bondage club? Or standing in the center of the Sex-o-Rama performance cage?

I mean, really, are there new mature/"adult" infohubs planned? Or is this yet another confusing answer-without--answering post?

Vye Graves again:

I vehemently believe that making claims of safety that you can't back up is asking for doom. An adult "continent" doesn't address private sims still accessible by the search, still viewable most likely from non-adult areas. IF, contrary to the claims now contradicting Phillip's interview less than two months ago, they are really thinking about merging the grids, then this is way more of a liability issue.

Doing your best to keep kids out is one thing. Inviting them in with some sad promise of safety is quite another.

"Liability" at the least; tragedy at the worst, yes.

So how long until furries, goreans, child avatars, and anything else that isn't a well behaved, normal adult human is forced into ghettoes of their own? As for those of you among the user community that support this. These people are coming for your freedom, and you are welcoming them as liberators. Wake up and smell reality, because you are probably next. (Nexus Burbclave)

Nexus has a damned good point here.

To the person who suggested that University Professors should teach their classes on the Teen Grid, college students are usually over 18 and are, therefore, adults. It is just that many of them resist being required to go to classes in Red Light Districts... (Doreen Garrigus)

I'm a bit confused about the point Doreen's trying to make, here. I grant you, I haven't been to every college campus in SL, but those I have been to are wide, well-lit greenspaces with buildings, near nothing that even approaches a red-lit road let alone a running brothel.

Are there college students or business people attending distance courses in SL who have to contend with running a gauntlet of vicious escorts, open brothels and people armed with whips and floggers, just to get to class? Anyone?

Doubledown Tandino continued:

(I'm getting a mental image of all these prof and student avatars being trapped in some sort of sex maze getting pelted with pink penises and every single movement or teleport to another location puts them in another maze with pink pelting [penises].... but they do have the knowledge to complain about it, and the knowledge to get to their virtual classroom.)

I'm in SL at least 40 hours or more a week.... for the past 2 or more years... my mature checkbox is clicked..... I never have ever in all my time ever been subjected to any lude xxx content accidentally,.... and on a daily basis, i do absolutely nothing to avoid it, and yet, I still don't see it. It's like people are raising an issue just knowing it exists. I have a feeling all of these 'hey I was forced to teleport to a sim and i tripped on a penis and i cannot avoid any of it' stories are fishtales.

Now, not that that's not an amusing image of the pink penis maze--and it is, it really, really is--but I more wanted to bring up a bit about the either/or tenor that's developing.

The people in Nany Kano's camp are offended at SL's sexual content. They feel it's shoved in their faces every time they go shopping and see anyone in fishnets, or see a skin store with images of nude women, or see cuddles in a shop that may go--to them--that one step too far.

The people in Doubledown Tandino's don't see the problem at all, and by that, I mean they literally don't see it--they go to dance clubs and see women in short skirts, but not naked; they go to skin shops and try on demos, because that's what you do in skin shops. They go to stores and aren't offended by piercings in odd places or latex or leather or cuffs or collars, and they don't get why other people are so hung up on things.

Me, I tilt towards Doubledown's mode of thought, but I can see the other side of the playing field. And while I emphatically don't want to live in a world where I can be so easily upset, I can see why they are. It's lack of understanding, mainly, or maybe a short in the shouldn't meter--they get stuck on what other people shouldn't do, because they don't do it. And they get to thinking soon after that, that everyone should think like they do, because they do.

People in the middle group--and some folks in Doubledown's, to be fair--understand that everyone's going to approach certain things differently, and finding equable middle ground is the most important, not caving to one side or another.

Let's talk about the infamous "Golden Rule", for instance. It's a great example. Some folks know, they just know, what it means, and they can't be pushed from that meaning, through discussion, open conversation, debate or even coercion--because they know what it means, their minds are locked shut on that concept. It's done for them.

Other folks wonder at the deeper meanings. What if you had someone who was trying to do unto others as he would have others do unto him, and he was a serious control freak? I mean, obviously you'd want to be controlled, and have every single aspect of your time with him patrolled, documented, watched, discussed, and restated, wouldn't you? It's what he would want, after all, if you and he switched places.

Or what if you were trapped in an elevator with someone unstable? To whom "do unto others" meant carving things into the walls to protect you from demons, carving crosses into his forehead and down your forearms, maybe holding you down with a knife to your throat to protect your soul from the evil that waited beyond the doors?

Or let's take this out of the stratosphere of "that would never happen" (for most people, anyway): what if one person's idea of "do unto others" includes feeding you coffee made with blessed water, and wasn't Christian? I had a friend who routinely blessed the water she made coffee and tea with, by leaving a flask on her altar overnight, and consecrating it in the morning, before mixing what was in the flask with tap water.

She really, truly felt that was the highest and best good she could do for anyone who stopped by her jewelry store. But a priest came by one day, and someone--not realizing who he was, let alone what--let slip the blessed beverage concept, and you would have thought all of us in the store had personally slaughtered his children in front of him, the way he screamed and carried on.

But to him, to his perspective, she had potentially endangered his immortal soul, because heathens had darkly enchanted fluid meant to refresh and offered it in the spirit of friendship.

Do unto others. It's a tricky concept. What the Lindens are proposing is even trickier--design a set of statutes of approved behavior for non-adult spaces, and approved behavior for adult spaces, and make sure both spaces are kept far apart from each other.

Impossible. But they're trying. Or at least they're telling us they're trying.

Vye Graves isn't so sure:

There has to be a functional usefulness to a system like this. A level of assurance, with, granted, a plus or minus of failure, but at least some means of proactively preventing content from being accessed. The fact is, the content is in mine and your inventory, and we can take it anywhere.

Unless that changes, these measures are meaningless.

I think the concept of the one-day griefer accounts need to be addressed, actually. I know people are very much plug-and-play, download it, drop it, unzip it, live it--but is there anything wrong with a one-day waiting period with a verified amount of log-in time for training on Orientation Island? I never wanted the open SLUrls available to any resident, or any idiot who wants to come in and make fun of the "furfags" and the rest of us, with whatever they wanted to use to crash sims and cripple grid performance.

And Felix Oxide ends this entry:

You are right about content. There is nothing except the threat of an AR to stop anyone from rezzing inapproprate content in PG areas. The griefers aren't going to move along to the redlight district with the legitimate users. They will stay right there in the PG area hoping to get a reaction out of those that do not want to see the objectionable material. This whole thing makes absolutly no sense and the only assurance you will ever have is if all offending content is deleted from the database and all the users kicked off of SL so the grid is empty.

There's a dark sort of logic to that. Do we want protected spaces more than we want vitality and active users? How many users--the few left actually spending money for the game--will leave because of this forced relocation to Pervistan? Do we need protected spaces more than we need to just start slapping people who come in stupid?

Or maybe what the Lindens really want is for everyone to leave, so they have the whole grid back, and they can make it as PG as they want to.

Maybe that's the core reasoning behind this.

If so, it's a lousy business ethic they've got.


Brad Reason / Doubledown Tandino said...

Thank you! Awesome that you pulled some of my quips and quotes about this issue. It's funny, because personally, I feel my view on this is not on the side of the adult content... but rather a general common sense mixed with a little freedom of speech and topped off with a touch of LL can't do anything about it anyways.

I really just look at this and think it's the most ludicrous of decisions to uproot an entire SL culture and push them away.

I view SL as the internet. Where I am is where I am. that page, that land... that page/land comes with whatever it has on it... but what do I care where OTHER pages/lands are located in relation to the universe. Personally, to anyone and everyone except for the owner, an island land is the same as a mainland land... it's whatever the owner puts on it.

But I digress.

i'm just annoyed that this is actually on the table as the way to solve the "problem"

The reason that adult content is on a piece of land is because the owner and person paying for their own personal space has decided to do so.

With this idea of moving all mature content to islands only. IT MAKES NO SENSE. Everyone in SL would be completely happen if a NEW MAINLAND was created for all-ages and no mature. Then, anyone who is offendable can simply stay on that mainland.

Grrr... this all just annoys me, because I really didn't intend to stand up for the adult/mature industry. But I do stand up for the logic, reasoning, and common sense industry.

Emilly Orr said...

Well, I wasn't so much making you the spokesman for the kinky set, as much as the spokesman for those who don't see the perceived "problem" as a problem.

I still think you and others are right--forget making an all-adult continent; make an all-PG continent. Fill it with lovely homes, walking paths, college campuses, flower-bedecked bridges over singing rills. Put swans in the ponds and dolphin leaping from the seas surrounding. I mean, you could go all *out*.

And residents could come there to learn, to talk to each other, to exchange skills and ideas with other people. Churches could set up and speak to the online devotees. The SL kids could set up a whole theme park if they wanted to.

The rest of the grid? Let 'em have the kinky stuph, the props, the dance clubs and strip parlors, the escorts and blue movies. Why wouldn't it work?

And I'll tell you another thing, no one would be upset by that. Because they would rent out the continent to residents and businesses within two months. Less, even.

And all this controversy? Blown away like dandelion seeds.

It's all so ridiculous that they'd rather have an all-adult continent, then go the other way--the rational way. But then, the Lindens never were bent on doing things rationally...