At any rate, Akira Luminos pondered a question:
Maybe I'm way off - but...thinking about the child safety element (whether LL are planning introducing minors or not, but acknowledge that they are here anyway, as we probably all do) - *IF* the end result is to have an adult population 'verified', so they can access restricted adult content (which may well happen), and they still allow unverified accounts in SL generally, won't that result in an easier target for predators than we currently have, where at least they have no idea whether someone is a minor due to the cloak of all the adults with NPIOF status?
There's a point there, a good point. Deserves a good answer. Doubt there'll be one, but nevertheless.
Nany Kayo chimes in again:
Depictions of human slavery should be categorized as restricted adult content.
Slavery is considered extremely offensive by most people. No one should be confronted with images of ongoing slavery without giving their explicit permission.
I'm really starting to dislike Nany Kayo, frankly.
Then Blondin Linden actually responded:
What do other thinks about this? Would others agree that depictions of human slavery would fall on the side of extremely violent?
I'm more than halfway tempted to send him a notecard explaining exactly why Nany is on crack over this, with links and reference photos.
Deltango Vale responded to Blondin:
No, slavery is considered extremely offensive to Nany Kayo. The rest of us will decide for ourselves what we consider offensive.
Blondin responded again (miracula!):
What do you consider offensive in terms of violence?
Which is actually a damned good question. Sexuality, sexual identity, gender identity, it's all fluid, slippery, difficult to pin down. Violence, on the other hand, that's easier.
So what do we consider offensive, from a standpoint of extreme violence? Let me give a brief framework, maybe that will help.
* A collared avatar, kneeling, leashed to a standing avatar: not violent.
* Being slapped in the face: whether it's amusing or irritating, still mildly violent.
* Being trapped in a bear trap (bloodlessly): annoying; mildly violent. If there is particle blood--still annoying; moderately violent.
* Being punched: moderately violent.
* Being stabbed: weirdly, mildly violent, unless it involves particle blood again. Then I'd have to say moderately violent.
* Beheading: If it's carrying around one's own head, weird. Occasionally fun. If it's the head being cut off in an amusing fashion (I'm thinking the Unlucky Chair series of "deaths"), mildly violent (to moderately, depending on amount of blood). If there is a chainsaw involved and screaming, *extremely* violent.
* Loss of limbs: If in a cartoon fashion (avatar limbs folding up), mildly violent. If it's avatar limbs being torn off, accompanied by particle blood and screaming, very violent. If there are viscera dangling and the avatar is made to drag itself across the floor, that's the definition of horror for most people.
* Avatars roasting on spits: Very violent.
* Avatars being eaten by large animals: if it appears relatively painless, then bizarre, not necessarily violent (to me, at least). If it appears painful, if the avatar is struggling, if, again, there is screaming and blood involved--very violent.
So (for certain definitions of, to be sure), we're verging on sex again. So let's go into BDSM:
* Avatars chained: Not violent.
* Avatars dangling from ceiling cuffs: It's wince-worthy, it might appall some folks, but it's not violent, per se.
* Avatars stretched on racks: There's pain, sure, visibly; does that mean moderately violent, then? If there's moaning or screaming, then likely so.
* Avatars flogged (floggers being generally made of softer materials, though admittedly, an RL friend of mine made one from lengths of chainmail chain--which, believe me, having been dared into trying it? Welts nearly instantaneously), to the point of skin blushing, no welts, no stripes: mildly violent, at best.
* Avatars whipped (full cat-o-nine-tails-styled flogger, all the way up to full bullwhips snapped gently), to the point of welting: moderately violent.
* Avatars whipped with devices that cut the skin, or leave scars: very violent.
Beginning to see the definitions, or mine at least? Did I lose anyone?
And is defining "violence" in SL starting to look like it's a case of the Lindens trying to define sexual violence, emotional violence?
Will places like Toxia, for instance, have to move to Pornadelphia? Just because they offer places that might happen to mix pain and sex?
Though I am beginning to get a very dire image of the way Nany Kano's mind works:
Depictions of slavery would be considered objectionable in any public place in the United States, similar to burning crosses.
Wau. Just...wau. How deluded is that? And what does she mean, then, when she says "slavery"? Does she mean BDSM relationships--which is, in nearly all cases, consensual and worked out in advance, even on SL? Does she see a woman in silks, a woman collared, a man with a whip, a woman in tight latex, and equate them mentally and emotionally with lynch mobs and the KKK? That's not rational. That might not even be sane.
Kyle Steig has a detailed list for what he wants to see happen on Pornotopia:
Here's a solution that will leave me a satisfied customer and not one inclined to see what my legal options are:
- Skip the 'age verified' plan and go with 'age affirmed' as an opt-in process unrelated to payment info on file. Get yourself out of the liability business.
- Give me a 'reverse mute' so I can mute myself to anyone who has not 'age affirmed' and agreed to see 'adult content'.
- Give me an additional permissions flag that lets me not sell to or allow anyone to even see any products I make who have not 'age affirmed'.
- Let me apply this flag retroactively or flag content as 'pre and post' rift so I can't be blamed for things I made two months ago.
- Move every single prim on my mainland to equivalent parcels on the Adult Continent. Make it zero work for me or waive 3 months tier so I can do the work myself on land swapped meter for meter to ensure there's no out of pocket for me.
All the current options being discussed involve taking value I have paid and or worked for. This taking is in an effort to move SL to a standard not even applicable to my Cable TV in my home or the internet in general. The above terms let you demonstrate a commitment to segregate the pervs from your would-be investors and the press and they don't mean taking away my value.
We're only 2-4%. You won't miss us. It won't cost much. Be generous.
Hard bottom line there, but one that I think is more than reasonable. If the Lindens want this done, it's maybe the least they can do, really.
Phoebe Hatfield brings this section home:
I can not choose whether to be censored or segregated. I can not choose whether to be forced out of my land because your company is hell bent on alienating its customers. The only real acts of violence on Second Life are committed by Linden Labs. You can choose not to, but will you?
Likely not, all factors considered.
Blondin Linden finally defines something in the forums:
I would consider extreme violence to be things like torture. Can anyone here make an argument where torture would not be considered extremely violent?
Okay. That's a base line I can live with. Torture. Fine. Let's define the how, then.
Torture according to Dictionary.com:
1. the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.
2. a method of inflicting such pain.
3. Often, tortures. the pain or suffering caused or undergone.
4. extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.
5. a cause of severe pain or anguish.
An act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person, for a purpose such as obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation or coercion, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind. Survivors of torture often suffer from physical and psychological symptoms and disabilities. There may be specific forms of physical injury including broken bones, neurological damage, and musculoskeletal problems. Torture may results in psychological symptoms of depression (most common), post-traumatic stress disorder, marked sleep disturbances and alterations in self-perceptions together with feelings of powerlessness, fear, guilt and shame.
So for me? The line between those two definitions is markedly slim. I would have to say, and say positively, that--according to these definitions, as understood--that the submissive/slave relationship to the dominant/Master or Mistress is not torture. And that torture, as defined, is well over the line of what we want to consider as "extremely violent".
Let me say that again, as it seems to be vaguely important: BDSM and D/s relationships are not, in themselves, relationships depending on torture.
Of course there are cases that go beyond the bounds of generally understood concepts. But I believe by and large, on SL, what we are dealing with is a subculture that operates by choice. Pain by choice. Force, in this sense, by choice. Suffering, if we go that far, by choice.
So. Let's move one step farther back. If a relationship is consensual, it is not slavery, under the generally understood definitions.
Let's pull those in as well.
The Free Dictionary defines slavery as:
1. One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household.
2. One who is abjectly subservient to a specified person or influence: "I was still the slave of education and prejudice" Edward Gibbon.
3. One who works extremely hard.
4. A machine or component controlled by another machine or component.
intr.v. slaved, slav·ing, slaves
1. To work very hard or doggedly; toil.
2. To trade in or transport slaves.
And West's Encyclopedia of American Law defines slavery as:
1. The state of one bound in servitude as the property of a slaveholder or household.Okay. I'm tired, I'm for bed, so let me wrap up this conversational jog somewhere at least safely off the road. Here's my take on this issue, at present:
1. The practice of owning slaves.
2. A mode of production in which slaves constitute the principal work force.
3. The condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence.
4. A condition of hard work and subjection: wage slavery.
1. People like Nany Kayo need to be more open-minded and less judgemental; also a good dose of thinking before they send out such ill-considered idiocy is heartily recommended.
Actually, no, there's a better starting point than that, but damn, I'm just irked enough to let that stand. But let's restart anyway.
1. The Lindens need good working definitions of extreme content, adult content, extreme violence and extreme sexuality.
2. They are soliciting opinions months in advance on how to word the coming documents, but they've already decided a new continent and segregation is the Best Plan.
3. Many, many people chimed in with alternate suggestions. These suggestions were ignored.
4. The Lindens began pushing for definitions again, and what bothered people, both in terms of open sexuality, and extreme violence.
5. The conversation was motoring along (at least as well as a luxury car with sugar in the tank and four square tires can) when slavery and references to Southern oppression were dropped like napalm candies into the front seat.
Now, I realize Blondin did leave the door open, but really--Blondin was asking about extreme violence. At what point does a conversation about the nature of violence in a virtual world even have to mention slavery in the real world? It's not just me, right? Nany is pretty much fifty cards short of a playable deck, here?
And me, personally, I don't care what your stance is on D/s, on BDSM at large. It does not matter. Pro or con, it doesn't even feed into this because Nany so completely overreacted that one almost has to stand back and applaud the effort, just on theoretical points of applied confusion.
It does seem, however, barring other factors--and more information coming past page 78--that the Lindens, or at least Blondin Linden, is trying to link BDSM with extreme violence. And that just doesn't work for me. Label Dolcett violent, fine; vore and snuff equipment violent, fine; label anything that shreds an avatar and bumps the typist off the grid; fine, I have no problem with that.
Gor? "Extremely violent"? The pretty little slave girl in silks, violent because she is a slave? The quiescent prettyboy under the spiked heel of the dominatrix holding the whip, violent because he's chosen to submit to a woman? Strippers, violent because they work in BDSM clubs?
No. Just no. It doesn't pan out, it's ludicrous, and whether it's coming from the Labs or demented social conservatives like Nany, it's a baseless accusation. It doesn't hold up. Logically, this allegory will not serve.
But it does make me curious about what the definitions for the adult continent will be, when the Labs finally release another draft...