Tuesday, April 7, 2009

did I really cut open the goose just to lose what's in it?

Interesting bit on the prevalence of the prim noob, and why it's not just another freebie.

In a similar vein, though a much more annoying one, a certain Miss Jessquemin Yoshikawa is selling the WV Huge Prims box on XStreet. For four hundred Lindens. In fact, everything she's got up is taken from someone else, most of it freebies (from Arcadia Asylum and others). Because I didn't make anything she's got up, I can't do anything about it, but I've contacted who I can, the names I do know. It's insane. It's just insane.

In other news, EEEEE! I have finally found the boots I've been searching for all these years!



You can find them for a nominal fee at Show Me on the Doll. Miss Putrid Gloom, the designer (what a name!) is slowly building a store of oddities, and has a Subscribe-o-Matic in case you're interested.



And back to our regularly scheduled irritation, already in progress.

Eighteen pages in on the conjoined forum thread and I am again tired of reading.

Blondin Linden starts us off:

Originally Posted by Argus Collingwood
Payment information on file = verified. I would think folks creating content and selling it in-world or on Xstreet would be verified?

You are correct. If you have payment info on file with Linden Lab or Xstreet - you are already age verified.

Well, that's one good thing, at least...I think.

Now, I think Baska Babenko intended the list of "conduct guidelines" to be meant sarcastically, but one point leaps out at me:

Any horror themed content should be adult. However, horror themes may be permitted on any other parcel between October 16 and November 1 for halloween.

You know, I hadn't even considered this. The Unlucky Chairs that pop up in world (year round on goth sims, in October for others) that feature beheading, a rather violent staking, and electrocution: are they now beyond the pale? Or the Hallows build I had last year, that featured poseballs wherein one could stand surrounded by fire, or splay on the floor in a pool of blood--would those displays be over the top? Or half the haunted houses we toured through last September and October, some with very realistic displays of violence (though not usually sex)--would those have to be exiled to Pervistan?

This ongoing effort to control and police what goes on in SL is getting really disturbing. I'm an adult, I'm capable of deciding for myself what kind of things I want to see or avoid. If I find something that I don't want to see, I don't start filing complaints or look for someone to blame; I leave and don't go back there. If someone wants to build a sex club, I have no complaint with that; nothing is forcing me to go there.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Ilianexsi Sojourner (wau, what a name) has some pretty sensible questions on page nineteen:

That old-fashioned system of being responsible for oneself has seemed to work pretty well so far... so why is it now necessary to start segregating all the so-called 'undesirable elements' into one area? Are we not capable any longer of getting up and leaving if we don't want to be there?

This is a damned good point. And maybe this is just a local thing, for me--maybe the rest of the world "already" links "adult" and "responsible"--but considering I live in the country where we freely and with seemingly zero difficulty give away our personal freedoms on a daily, sometimes hourly basis...it irks me to no end to see that same mentality crash into SL.

Col Nikolaidis's entire post needs to be read, but this was the point I had to capture:

Mature, adult, weirdo sexual, perverse fun: it don't matter what you call it. There is already an age verification thingy. Mature means what it says. Not for children or the emotionally bankrupt.

(Sorry about my sarcasm, but really, this whole issue is madness.)


Kazimir MacMoragh has a far more worrying query for me personally:

But what about all the people who haven't bothered to place a security orb in their home for whatever reason. Are they now public by default? How many uninvited-but-not-unwelcome visitors does a parcel need to have before it's considered public? How many "friends" do I need to have that use my home before it's considered a public location?

Never mind people who "haven't bothered" on the mainland; my mind turns to people in Caledon, who by edict cannot add security orbs at ground level. I realize all of Caledon is a linked chain of private estates, and is thus exempt--so far--but still, what if others rent land in similar situations? By covenant, by agreement, by signed notecard, whatever, what if where they live, is land they cannot put security orbs on?

Kirana Rawley, halfway down page twenty-one, showed a fair amount of irritation:

People can wander into stuff that may disgust them because they aren't "warned" that it's going to occur. They have the choice to tp out. People can cam in to an area and see things that will offend them. They have the choice to reset their camera and look elsewhere. If you don't like what you see, hey there's plenty of other stuff to see, just move along.

Which matched Col Nikolaidis from earlier, but also needed to be said. Again. (And again. And again. And...)

Ito Setsuko's entire post deserves to be read, but here are the most relevant bits of it:

I feel strongly that forced geographic separation (and only initially, will it be ill-defined 'adult content', IMHO) of content/users only restricts Residents' freedom and opportunities (fiscal, creative and social) and will do nothing but engender a sense of difference, intolerance and ghetto-isation in Second Life. Along with the serious financial and technical problems it will lead to, this policy will foster a culture of segregation that will not stop until Second Life becomes a collection of nothing more than 'predictable' and homogenised content

...and at which point, I strongly believe, most of the creators will be biding their time until the next potential virtual world opens, where they can create freely--whether or not they make "adult"-oriented products at all.

Brenda Connolly introduces a new term on page 23:

I think so too. It may not be the immediate plan, but I do think it is on the white board in M and M's war room as a "to do". It's been done by the other worlds, with less than stellar results, but I think LL believes they can pull it off, and that the creation of Pornsylvania is the magic bullet.

(She was responding, by the way, to Ciaran Laval's comment about the "merging of the grids [being] denied, but kids on the grid being part of the thinking behind this isn't being denied.")

Of the three options now, I firmly believe that while Dusan Writer's SLamsterdam is being touted the widest, and my favorite is still Desmond Shang's Pervistan, I think Pornsylvania has an excellent chance to catch on as the adopted "official" buzz word. (She has another--Pornopolis--but I think Pornsylvania flows better off the tongue. *coughs* So to speak.)

I'm ending tonight's post with an invitation for all who can access the forums, to do so to read this post.

Tomorrow, I'll post it in full; yes, I think it's that important. (While it will, of course, change nothing, but...one has to try.)


Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

I don't think horror should be adult by default. Stuff like Saw or Hostel sure. But Buffy the Vampire Slayer is technically horror (vampires, demons, werewolves) and I remember one of my favourite movies as a young lad was Monster Squad. It was a movie featuring the famous Four of the Universal Monster movies. But it's only rated PG. And Nightmare Before Christmas has skeletons and vampires so again, technically horror.

Big no to horror being adult by default.

Icterus Dagger said...

I've read Deltango Vale's post, and while on the whole, I understand and agree with much of it, I have one huge problem.

Without the "anonymous" accounts, I would not be in SL. Ever. If age/payment verification becomes mandatory, I will find something else to do with my spare time.

I guess everything has an effective lifespan. Caledon. Second Life. It's not all bad. I remember when books were my SL. Maybe I'll get back to basics.


Emilly Orr said...

Edward: I suppose I should have made that plain; when I say "horror" in this light, I'm speaking of the concepts advanced in Saw or Hostel style films--not necessarily brutality for the sake of brutality, but that level of horror that is above and beyond 'monsters for fun'--while I'm sure there are people out there who were scared by Nightmare before Christmas, I think there were far more genuinely scared by Nightmare on Elm Street.

(Though to be fair, Hostel and its sequel pretty much are brutality for the sake of brutality. Whereas Saw, through at least films one, two, and five, with the possibility of three--the fourth installment was, frankly, painful--elevated brutal horror to near-art, with the complexity of the back story.)

Emilly Orr said...

Mr. Dagger: I do believe that anonymous accounts--and by that, I want to be clear, I mean accounts set up with no payment information whatsoever, no credit card linked ever in the history of the account, not accounts set up with little or no RL information--are mostly responsible for the trouble we're in.

Entirely? No. Of course multiple factors feed into this, and I would not want all anonymous accounts--what's starting to be called NPIOF accounts, for "No Payment Information on File"--to be automatically banned. Some people do not want to attach RL payment information to their account, and not because of anything inherently shady; simply and solely because they are concerned for their privacy in the hands of a company who've been proven to handle such matters haphazardly at best.

That being said, though, what's the best way around this? Honestly, it might take just as much manpower on the ground in the long run, but I think an account by account evaluation just might get us out of this.

* Has the account been logged into at any point in 2009? Pair that with, have emails sent to the account on file, if there is one, been answered? If those answers are no--kill that account.

* Have there been any complaints on this account; have those complaints been resolved; have there been any accusations of "griefing" behavior? Kill that account.

Just those two steps? Would solve a lot of the complications we wade through now.

Icterus Dagger said...

Privacy concerns are one of the primary motivations I have in my comments above.

I realize that many of the "problems" are due to anonymous accounts, but I agree with you that with some.. oh.. I don't know.. WORK and RESPONSIBILITY, we could cut out a lot of complications.

But corporate responsibility has ever been less than personal responsibility, in my opinon.

I believe corporations can't make the money they "need" any other way.


Emilly Orr said...

And therein lies the main problem, in my opinion.

There's an assumption (in my culture, at least) that we can be adults without taking personal responsibility. That we somehow need to be protected down to the skin surface from "hazards" that pose a threat to us, without the bulk of us ever standing up and claiming personal responsibility for our actions.

I find this abhorrent; I'm not the only one; but sadly, we are in a vanishing minority.

Am I advocating the deletion of all anonymous accounts? Of course not. Many of the educators on the Teen Grid are--though private and obsessively verified through Linden Labs themselves--so-called "anonymous" accounts. My landlord in Lunitarium, until he bought land in SL and started paying tier, was an anonymous account, as was (and may still be) his wife.

There are stellar examples of responsible, actively thinking adults on the grid; but our main problem, I do believe, is not the thirteen-year-olds who sneak in with no verification. I truly believe our main problem is the by-age-rated-adults that have no sense of personal responsibility, and even less sense of culpability for actions undertaken.

Vivito Volare said...

I have commented elsewhere my feelings on this matter, even catching the ear of a couple of Lindens.

Suffice, if the stated motivation was indeed completely honest and level, LL has little credit in the Trust department with many of their users.

LL has yet to learn how to sweeten their offerings to one group of users without alienating good sized chunks of their user base.

Emilly Orr said...

Thing was, I honestly believe there was a better way to bring this up, but it hit as just one more big slap in the face to the residents. And I loathe how polarizing it's become--the people who just want to live quietly *without* escorts and strippers dripping off their porch are being portrayed as frigid moralists with axes to grind, and those of us saying there's got to be other ways to accomplish things without shifting everyone around are thus core fans of every sick perverted impulse the psyche can dream up.

And both sides have their good points and bad points; both sides need to be heard without bias.

Unfortunately, regaining the ground they've lost this time is going to be very difficult, I think.

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

You say that as if you're not a fan of every sick perverted impulse the psyche can dream up.


Emilly Orr said...

Oh, I'm not, Edward, I have definite limits. In fact, one of my rate cards for somewhere listed infantilism, ageplay below the implication of sixteen or so, scat, wound sex, and snuff as always off limits; anything else was negotiable, but no implied guarantees that I'd enthusiastically embrace whatever it was.

My main rate card for two years (mainland) said no permanent marks; no stabbing; no strangulation to the point of unconsciousness; no extreme wounding. While I engaged in edge play, definitely, I still edged away from (most of) the true extremes of experience.

So I know you meant this tongue in cheek, and I answered seriously, but still, it's a point to remember: my "oh hell no" point is a lot lower than most peoples'. And I've known escorts whose "oh hell no" point drops far below mine.

Which is why definitions of what's adult, what's beyond the pale, are always going to be unnerving. Who decides? Me? The quiet church-going lass down the street? The university dean? The mother of six children under thirteen? We all will have radically different definitions for what's allowable, versus what's "adult" and needs to stay "adult".