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??!??