Sunday, April 5, 2009

we shouldn't wait for nothing to wait for

This is breathtaking. Yet another step on the "what is experience" path: slowly but surely, the virtual is becoming real. (And perhaps, vice versa, as well.)

While I have not, overwhelmingly, dealt with the severity of the adult content issue in non-American lands (being American, I have that rather large cultural blind spot), Shockwave Yareach puts it quite succinctly indeed:

Originally Posted by Blondin Linden
How will living in Europe keep them from accessing Adult content?

Europeans are forbidden by law to give you the data you require. So they cannot age-verify. Ergo, they cannot access adult content, even if they themselves created said content.

Imagine a world where you cannot access your own parcel because you cannot age verify across the pond. That world is coming, along with all the rest of the serious problems I have already spelled out for you people again and again and again.

And isn't that a daunting thought?

Way back when, when age verification (via, at that point, personal documents plus what the Lindens considered a "nominal" fee of ten dollars US) first surfaced, I faced the utter destruction of my (then) career: because I did not (RL) have ten US to hand over, I would, by their rulings, be banned from every workplace I had, including ones on my own land, because I could not be "age verified" as an escort!

Despite putting up--and keeping up, all these years--accurate credit card information!

Now double that, quadruple that, quintuple that--in the thousands--for every European citizen who is bound by law not to give out personal information, including age-verifying information, on the internet!

This is a coming catastrophe if the Labs don't wake up.

Oh, and in answer to the last bit from Screwtape Foulsbane? Argent Stonecutter had a very succinct comment as well:

Originally Posted by
Screwtape Foulsbane
I was saying that no one can hide as the other sex. No one being tricked in a "relationship".

Argent is male. Argent's player is male. Argent still doesn't want any personal information about his player exposed. His player concurs.

And So does mine. So do many of our players; whether we're playing the gender we're not, the species we're not, or the color we're not; it is a virtual world, these things can change, these concepts can be explored.

I have spoken with people in virtual worlds who want to know age, birthdate, gender, real name, right from the first hello. These people deeply scare me. Not because I'm "hiding" in any sense, but because on the grid, if we are not whom we say we are, then who are we? And if we are who we are, on the grid and off, then why are we in SL?

I think--and it may be just me--that many of us play in SL because we can do things we cannot do in other worlds. I haven't kept this extremely quiet, but it's not known by everyone either--part of what drew me to SL, draws me still, is that I can dance there, where I can no longer dance in RL. Just that--the simplicity of moving with another person, twirling, spinning, lifting or being lifted--it is an amazing joy to me, nearly at times rapturous, depending on setting (and companion). I have always adored dancing, in any world; in SL, I can dance again, and the weight on my soul of not being able to dance--from waltzing to en pointe displays--lifts for that time.

Do I think I am lying to anyone, being egregiously deceptive, if I am not forthright and clear about my knee problems? No. And if I were a man behind the screen, who had this same problem, but who adored ballgowns and looking at pretty women, would I think I was then being deceptive in not telling my partners, "Oh, hey, I'm a guy too"?

You dance with someone. You find them intriguing. Let's leave the physicial stuph out for the nonce, let's just discuss friendship--because I know people who are angry at finding out a friend is the opposite of whatever they thought they were. This friend is close to you, hears the thoughts of your heart, perhaps supports you during a bad breakup, gives you dating advice--whatever.

Why does it matter if they aren't, in every regard, what they say they are off the screen? You aren't dealing with them off the screen! You are dealing with them on the grid, right then, right now, in that moment--that avatar you see, that is who they are.

What does any of the rest of it matter?

I'll stop this bit by another comment of Argent Stonecutter's:

Fix WEB-982 and move it back to Linden's servers instead of hosting it on Jive. I had no idea that the new blogs weren't hosted at LL until comments in WEB-982, which means that I've been entering my SL password at a third-party site.

THE. HELL. Are they serious?? GREAT, so much for password privacy! AND commenting on the blogs!

Are the Lindens trying to ruin their own business??!??


Sphynx Soleil said...

Holy bookworms, batman! Where oh WHERE is that library??? I want one of those sooo bad. :)

Emilly Orr said...

I don't know precisely, but I'm making the leap that it's somewhere in Russia, due to the presence (small, but there) of Cyrillic characters on the panorama overlay.

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

I think the library is one of the rooms in the Strahov Library in Prague. The shelves match though the ceiling doesn't match the pictures I can find. Though I know the library there is divided into different rooms depending on subject.

If you want some nice library porn, check this entry in the curious expeditions site

You may wish to cover your keyboard with something to catch the drool though.

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

Of course, having said that, I stumbled across a picture of the St. Florian Monastery-Library, Austria which specifically mentions the Papervision photos.

Sphynx Soleil said...

*SWOON* Library porn indeed! Thank you!

Rhianon Jameson said...

"I think--and it may be just me--that many of us play in SL because we can do things we cannot do in other worlds."

No indeed, it's not just you. And -though this is wildly off-topic - it illustrates my confusion over how SL is ever supposed to be a platform for serious businesses. I can't have my typist's name, or appearance, on-line, and whoever I say I am has to be taken on faith by everyone else.

Far better to be content with a world where we can all create characters that reflect who we'd like to be, rather than who we are.

I've also had strangers come up to me and ask about my RL age and so on in the first breath (someone once asked me "a/s/l?" and I had to reply, "I have no idea what you're talking about."). It's weird. Human curosity being what it is, sure I'd like to know more about the typist with whom I'm interacting - sorry to hear about the knees, by the way - but at the level of SL interaction, none of it matters.

Then again, the same phenomenon occurs elsewhere in fiction. Some people can't be content to watch Ocean's Eleven - they also have to know about George Clooney's political views, Brad Pitt's alleged marital difficulties, and so on. Whatever happened to being immersed in the story?

Emilly Orr said...

Edward: Ooh, happy perusing indeed. And Oolon FTW!

Sphynx: there's a wonderful scene in Ever After designed with you in mind--floor to ceiling (with a very tall ceiling) bookshelves, with books one must climb ladders to attain, in a time in France's culture where most noblewomen didn't read, so there's that additional layer of the pleasant shock of finding a literate woman who enjoys reading!

Miss Jameson: Thank you, though as you know, sympathy was not my main goal in saying that. And yes, you're right as well, I do get curious when interacting with some people--what do they look like off the grid? What do they sound like (if I haven't spoken with them via voice, which is still a rare thing for me to do)? Who are they in their lives outside?

Do I need answers to these questions? By and large, no. Unless circumstance walks me in front of one of them (and it's happened all of twice now, personally, discounting the shots of CaleCon last year), I don't need to change my mode of interaction, I don't need RL information, I don't need to ask.

If topics come up? Then sure, and I am not averse to sharing similar details with those I trust. But I shouldn't be required to reveal everything I keep private to everyone I meet--after all, I don't do that on this side of the screen, so what makes anyone think I want to do it on the grid?