Sunday, May 3, 2009

what you see is never what you're gonna get

The World Hopscotch Federation will not be happy about this!

And onward we still go. I'm going to try to wrap it up in one, and then back to...gods, ANYTHING ELSE!

So. We start on page 296, with a comment from Argent Stonecutter quoting Blondin Linden:

Originally Posted by Blondin Linden
Because Dreamland is owned by Anshe Chung - even the parts that are public.

Yes, I know that.

What I don't know is why that matters. When Random User teleports to Random Store on a PG parcel and sees Something Nasty on the Adult parcel next to them, are they going to care if the estate is owned by Governor Linden or Anshe Chung?

Linden Labs is avoiding that problem on the mainland by making it a "continent-wide" restriction. The thing is, that leads to the most disruptive part of the scheme ... forcing people to move. If the adult restriction was allowed to be per-sim (or per-parcel), then far fewer people would need to be moved, and a good deal of the disruption would be avoided. Why isn't that an option?

And it's a damnably good question, that--why haven't they provided these controls? Is it that difficult to restrict per sim or per parcel? Coding-wise, I mean. Wouldn't that solve everything, or at least, the "Adult" content issue?

Mystique Chambers on page 298 notices a trend:

I just had an odd day. Big companies that I have loved going to their sims, closing. Selling everything and packing. Some condensing many sims to one. Some theme sims closing completely. I got word that a few more sims just gave notice of closing. Doesn't Linden labs see what is happening here? Or are they blinded by what they feel is a right move.

I am talking of long standing businesses that have been around longer then me and I've been here for over 2 years.

I'll go her one better--I'm noticing sims and businesses closing that sell nothing remotely close to what's been discussed for "Adult" content. We're losing people, good people, while this debate rages.

Ceera Murakami's explanation later down that page is very worth reading; I'm quoting what starts it off:

Blondin, are you completely unaware how ineffective and incomplete and just plain unreliable the implementation of "Per Parcel" age verification is today?

I'd have to say, yes, Blondin has no clue how unreliable the current system is.

Can we please get a Linden spokesperson who actually plays the goddamn game?!?

Milla Janick comments on search revisions on page 299:

I believe if LL actually had complaints from genuinely outraged users over inappropriate search results, something would have been done long ago.

She's not wrong, I think they would have, too.

Jaereth Enoch, on the same page, agrees:

You can't write morality into the game by the lowest common denominator, which is precisely what you're trying to do. You're going to end up harming far more people than you intend to 'save' via your methods.

Doesn't seem like they're planning to stop any time soon, but I do agree.

Couldbe Yue on page 302:

I don't know about bankrupt, but certainly since the open sim announcement LL has consistently week on week been contracting. The grid was around 31,000 sims when that announcement was made - now it's down to around 26k.

And more closing each week...maybe each day at this point.

In the middle of that post, and all the why-are-you-DOING-this hysteria, a small little drop of major WTF fell. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the concept of Linden Labs forcibly changing the sim name that the Czech company owns to placate someone in America trying to seize right of contest. The. HELL.

Nearly nearly done, now on page 311, Professor Milos says this:

'Slavery' in the form you reference - that of forced labor, where human beings were (e.g. the colonial slave trade), or are (e.g. human trafficking or bonded labour), treated as the property of others, restricted of freedoms, unable to leave and deprived of, for example, monetary compensation or even their lives - has nothing to do with what I'm assuming you are referencing in SL, that of virtual (sexual) 'slavery' and/or the consensual power exchange contract between a submissive and a dominant using SL as a medium to enjoy it with.

Which is really a whole other debate, but essentially, this boils down to:

1. What he says is true.
2. Most people (who have no understanding of BDSM or D/s relationships) don't care; to them, it looks like slavery and it's appalling.

This won't resolve, regardless of what the Lindens do or do not; it just won't. Some people won't listen; some people have closed minds; and some people on both sides of the debate are clueless.

Bottom of page 311, Shockwave Yareach says:

But don't make the mistake of thinking that flashing dots on a video screen are real. No video game is real, just as no fictional book is real. And anyone who thinks that real laws need to be used against imaginary characters needs serious mental health, whether they wanna ban the Goreans for involuntary confinement, or have Col. Mustard (ret) arrested for that killing in the [parlor room] with the candlestick.

So. Damn. True.

And the very last post, on page 312, is from Blondin Linden, unsurprisingly enough:

Hey Everyone - after 300+ posts, I think it's time to close this thread. But fear not! We'll be opening a new one and trying at least once a day to answer some of the most common questions. Head over to "Upcoming Changes for Adult Content: Answers to Questions"

...and here is where your trembling reviewer ceases to review, and, having done going through the thread, is now MOVING THE HELL ON.

Good gods. I may come back to comments from emergent threads, but this whole 300+ rant-in-progress has been insane. And it all boils down to:

Residents: Don't do this!
Lindens: Everything's fine.

And maybe, that's the way it's always going to be. With every Linden decision.

And on that pessimistic note, I'm leaving for greener non-rant-driven pastures for a while, settle my head (and my level of cynical depression, it's risen to unconscionable levels over these last two posts).

I'm left with the thought that Blondin Linden (and most of the Lindens, really) must not get out much. That it's a wide wild grid out there, full of surreal, entertaining, baffling, horrifying, deranged, unbalanced, gorgeous, distressing, and ultimately amazing things...and the Lindens aren't looking at a tenth of it as they live and function likely entirely on Linden-owned lands.

Which tells me--maybe the best thing out of all of this is Blondin committing himself to exploring the grid, determining what is and is not adult content. (And, to that end, the Maturity Ratings guidelines FAQ is out--with the codicil that anything listed there may change.)

As for the rest of them...the total disconnect from the rest of us has been made manifestly clear. If we didn't know before, we sure as hell know now.

[21:03] Lalinda Lovell: i have a thought, after the mature continent opens and people have to age verifiy, will people get auto ejected from mature groups if they dont verify?
[21:03] Nagash Demina: Who the hell knows.



Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

But don't make the mistake of thinking that flashing dots on a video screen are real. No video game is real, just as no fictional book is real. And anyone who thinks that real laws need to be used against imaginary characters needs serious mental health, whether they wanna ban the Goreans for involuntary confinement, or have Col. Mustard (ret) arrested for that killing in the [parlor room] with the candlestick.Sadly the Australian courts have upheld a conviction of childporn against a man who had picture of the Simpsons characters engaged in sex acts on his computer.

turnerBroadcasting said...

Half right. The process itself has to be real.

If I log into an avie, I am a human being and my thoughts and actions are governed by a real person.

So the process by which I Want to resolve the rules of the game, would be a real one.

This is no different than, say, you invite your friends over for a game of monopoly and as you're dealing out the money you all come to an agreement on how much everyone will get, etc. - and set the rules in advance.

Its part of the game, but its a part where you're not a shoe, or a hat.

And I'm the race car. Because I say so.

You can have the wheelbarrow if you want.

Emilly Orr said...

Okay, I am foursquare not into Simpsons porn, but I do like anime, and if the Simpsons are considered perceptibly real, then anime's likely going down hard in the next case. Yeep.

I understand the basic point of the argument--that if this was a real-life photograph of a mother engaged in sex with her children--it would be beyond the pale, and the possessors and/or makers of the original image would be sent to jail.

But purely cartoon images? What's next, purely cartoon images of someone being stabbed will get the artist convicted of murder? This sets a very, very dangerous precedent.

Emilly Orr said...

Turner: no, I always play the Mind Flayer.