Monday, June 15, 2009

the sea is wine red, this is the death of beauty, the doves have died

[20:08] Easy Spirt: just got back from a tour of Porntopia ... very pretty sims all rated Adult, OMY the children there
[20:08] Emilly Orr: .....children?
[20:09] Arisha Zenovka: O.o
[20:09] Easy Spirt: I saw at least 5 child avies
[20:09] Eleanor Ocheis: Where is Porntopia? Got a LM?
[20:09] Lindal Kidd: sure...they're all adults, and verified.
[20:09] Emilly Orr facepalms
[20:09] Emilly Orr: Of COURSE they are!

And that in a nutshell is what we all feared would happen. They can't stop people--adults on the other side of their screens--from verifying that they are adult, then putting on a child avatar and romping around Pervistan. They could ban all child avatars from the grid...but then, there would be (and I do believe legitimately so) complaints on those who use child avatars to recapture a better childhood, to play freely without having to worry about adult matters, to simply exist again in a world without so many pressures surrounding their adult selves.

[22:22] Alexandri Ashbourne: I have to admit, the Lindens were quite intelligent in this strategy. Get all the currious in one place so they begine to like the idea, even if only from seeing so many appealing others of like minds.
[22:22] Dale Innis: Yeah, I'm definitely going to want to at least rent a little shack.
[22:22] Lat Lovenkraft: this is wll be the New Amsterdam

(No, I corrected nothing in that quote.)

I'm so happy for them. *snarls and bares teeth*

All right, fine, I've come close to these statements before, but now, I really must ask, I think: the Lindens were quite intelligent when, precisely?

When they decided to cave to the whinings of petty moralists who will not be satisfied until everyone with a shred of style, verve, independence, sensuality and humor is crushed underfoot?

When they came up with the lamentably idiotic name of Ursula for the continent?

When, with no explanation but oh, a metric ton of perky, they announced the bright new name for the continent of "Zindra"--likely carefully chosen for its utter lack of ties to any known meaning?!?

Or when they decided that the best and greatest build they could put on the central telehub for the new landmass was a Greyhound bus station from 1949?!?

Oh, yes! Let's embrace the wild exotic reaches of Those Practices We Dare Not Name! Let us show them we understand their need for such icky and inconceivable virtual ventures! Let's give them...a strip mall! From the fifties, back when life was still wild and exciting!


It gets better. Jack Linden showed up, just a few moments ago. I'm not actually sure he said anything, at least in open chat. But someone did ask him something I'm wishing I knew the answer to, myself:

[22:46] Yoshi Zhangsun: jack will child avatars be allowed on this land?

And right after that? Jack Linden ported away.


So, I admit, I had to see it for myself. But I wasn't necessarily up for the intense !GLAMOUR! and !EXCITEMENT! of...the I ported in to Bronlen.

Which is on the adult continent.

Which is rated Mature, not adult.

Which industrial park.


Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely industrial park, but...huh? I am not of the understanding.


I'm told by friends in the know that, until I upgrade to 1.23, I won't actually see the new classifications; so, to me, all the land is rated Mature because that's as far out as my classifications set goes. I guess...which doesn't make sense when I can click a button in Search and get--or not get--Adult content...Maybe that's always been confusing.


Oh, look! In addition to the perma-glow streets and the weirdly radiant benches and trees, they have scripted traffic lights at the intersections! That's helpful! That won't add any additional script lag to the existing potential scriptdeath of things...



What the hell is this? Sim borders now show office art from 1962?? WTF? PEOPLE! SNAP OUT OF IT!


Is it just me? Is this the most singularly boring build in existence??

And hello, corporate widgets, did you announce how the land swap was going to work yet? Did you announce to everyone who needs a parcel that they're going to get one, LIKE YOU SAID YOU WOULD?!?



Yes, because the Sydney Opera House is such an innovative, fresh build...


Night fell while I stood there, depressed, in the Bus Station of the Bland, and I had literally no idea what would happen from here.

But whatever happens, it's likely to be more entertaining than watching paint dry. Which would be more entertaining than being in Zindra right now.


It's big, it's bland, and it's cyan; it's not even an interesting color, it's just one of the basics.

So much promise. So much chance for independent thinking, moving forward, not backwards, dealing with this issue as adults, fully aware beings...

...and we get this. Glowing streets. Scripted goddamn traffic lights. Everything glowing pale blue.


It's so depressing.

Do vote on this JIRA item, it's becoming a problem. Today was the first time I've ever participated to help kill a sim--completely unintentionally!--with less than twenty avatars in the sim, total.

Why? Because every time an avatar ports in, the sim stops functioning for three to ten seconds. Maybe longer. So within the space of ten minutes, we dropped FPS to one, and the sim died. That just is not supposed to happen.


Sphynx Soleil said...

Blondin was there last night and a child av was present.

It didn't occur to me to ask him about it (or M, or Geo, or....drat I forgot the other Linden I saw) because I was heavily into an IM convo at the time.

And I didn't know the build was a 40's era bus station, heh, but I like some of the older, quirkier stuff anyway, so.... *shrugs*

A lot of SL architecture these days seems to borrow from something else, likely because that's what *sells*. The creativity sapped out by linden stupidity.

I wasn't keen on the border crossing graphics, but I was impressed that they popped up as I got closer to the border. Kinduva in-your-face alert for the clueless. :)

Dale Innis said...

We were kidding, Em'ly. :) I don't know how much of that conversation you were in on, but everyone was having such a good time just chatting with like-minded pervs that someone (I think it was Alexandri in fact) suggested tongue-in-cheek that this was a plot by the Lindens to get all of us together in one place where we would have a good time talking and therefore come to feel better about the whole debacle.

I agree (and pretty much everyone there seemed to agree) that the builds in Zindra are bafflingly weird; eye-candy but useless for any purpose anyone could think of. And similarly pretty much everyone there seemed to agree that the whole Adult thing was a bad idea being badly executed. But the people who were there last night were great!

And that will be the salvation of the Adult parts of the grid: however bizarre and wonky the Linden builds are, it won't matter, because the Residents will move in and start making stuff, and it will be glorious chaos again, as it should be...

(At least that's how I feel this morning; I'm in an optimistic mood.)

Dale Innis said...

On the child AV issue, I will go out on a limb and say that the Lindens' current position on the subject, that child AVs are allowed on Adult land as long as they aren't doing anything kiddiepornish, is the right one.

If things work out as I hope and expect, there will be vast amounts of Adult land on the grid, and on most of it there will be nothing sexual or otherwise kid-unfriendly happening like 99% of the time. So it would be bad if no child AVs are allowed on Adult land at all, because that would prohibit them from being in all sorts of perfectly kid-appropriate places.

If I were going to open an art gallery, I would definitely want to open it on Zindra, so that someday I could have a show on erotic themes without having to relocate the gallery. But if most of my shows were in fact not sexual or erotic at all, banning child AVs from it would be an unwarranted restriction on freedom.

(My one caveat on the whole "much of the grid will be Adult but not sexual right now" theory is that unverified people would therefore be banned from much of the grid. I haven't decided yet how much that worries me.)

Oh, and I'm sorry I didn't see you last night! I woulda said hi. :)

samanthapoindexter said...

I would agree with Dale's second comment.

Admittedly I'd also go much further. If LL is bound and determined to segregate all Adult content to a separate continent that only properly verified adults can get to, then the least they can do is reverse their misbegotten ageplay ban therein, having been assured of everyone's First Life adulthood to their own satisfaction. Not that I expect them to be anywhere near that reasonable.

Emilly Orr said...

Sphynx: Save for that 'in your face' graphic pop-up? Renders the whole concept of the pop-up moot, because if you're driving, the pop-up will not help you when changing lanes, and if you're walking, with even a scant breath of lag you won't notice most of the time. So why bother?

I'm fine with retro builds. I'm fine with reproducing the past. I am not fine with the Greyhound station designed by Flash Gordon being the best they could come up with!

Or maybe I'm wrong--maybe they designed that specifically with adults in mind. This could be the single largest 'screw you' in history--"Yeah, we know what you wanted, you aren't getting it, screw you and your issues, and give us our money. Die, the Lindens."

Emilly Orr said...


But if most of my shows were in fact not sexual or erotic at all, banning child AVs from it would be an unwarranted restriction on freedom.

Whose freedom? Personally, if I have an art gallery show, I'd much rather have real children there, than the other side of the coin--war correspondent photos, showing burnt and mutilated bodies, and having kids wandering around seeing that.

But regardless of the split, if I'm an artist, say, and I am making sexual art, as a statement of personal ethics, the last thing I want--regardless of whether that av is "allowed" to be there--is a child wandering around looking at the art!

There are certain things, in reality, we protect children from. And if we are to seriously embrace the ageplay ban and say that even virtual pedophilia is nothing but wrong, then child avatars should not be allowed at all on the adult continent. Period.

Everything else, for the most part, got expanded into another entry.

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Poindexter: I'm not the protester against ageplay restrictions, that's a thorn nest I don't even want to touch on--but I will say this, in all seriousness.

Because of the underhanded tactics of the moralists, no net-based business can afford to be seen as supporting even virtual pedophilia, because the mere hint is enough to get IPs banned, laws enacted, and people arrested. And that's bad, sure, I grant that, but the Linden decision currently is worse.

Why? It's not because I'm thinking they should lift the ban. Not at all. It's because I think they're walking right down the venomed throats of the moralists again--because now anyone with a grudge and the ability to snap pictures--or worse, video--will be able to say--and say legitimately--"I saw these kids standing next to a naked man in the adult continent! The Lindens are endorsing pedophilia!"

And then it's Germany all over again. They are setting themselves up to fail, in the most shortsighted, ludicrous fashion imaginable, and I can't believe this didn't occur to someone, somewhere, as a really bad idea.

Dale Innis said...

D-mn, I love talking to smart people. :)

I wasn't suggesting that kid AVs (or real children) should be allowed into a show of graphic sexual art. I was suggesting (and it's an important difference) that a gallery that might someday want to have such a show shouldn't therefore have to ban all kid AVs (or real children) from every show it ever has, even the completely innocent ones.

"Because you want the right to someday have a show of mutilated corpses, you may not allow anyone child-looking into your show of bunny pictures." It just doesn't make sense; it's not fair.

On the "setting themselves up to fail" question, I'm torn. I think it's in general a really bad idea to avoid doing something that is in fact okay just because someone might misinterpret it, or use it as misleading evidence, or use it to rile up irrational fears.

This is in the same general category (although I'm definitely not suggesting that you would say this!) as "you gay folks shouldn't hold hands on the street, it might get folks riled up and you'll be run out of town!". If we censor ourselves for fear of irrational reactions, then the bad guys win, eh?

On the other hand you're right about the risk, and I would hate to see the Lab forced to endure wasteful legal hassles and bad publicity over some adult in a kid AV being photographed next to a sex club or something, and it causing a huge stink in the international press.

It's a tough line to walk, on the edge... :)

Emilly Orr said...

I agree with you that each showing of art (even by the same artist) should be judged on its own merits, but that's not exactly what I'm talking about.

And it's not even what adults choose, you see, that's the issue--no, I'd never say that gays--or anyone--shouldn't have the right to express love and affection for each other in any environment.

But people get crazy where kids are concerned. Yes, there are genuine pedophiles using the net (the net at large, not SL specifically), I grant this. But by and large most of the shrieking is just specious hysteria.

It doesn't seem to matter, though--because if something breaks (which really, at this point, could happen at any time), that on SL kids were seen in a sex area...well, they've got all those lovely file archives from Germany, don't they?

I don't think SL can take another blow like that and not be irreparably tarnished in the media; and I truly, honestly don't think the Lindens have given thought one to that possibility.

Dale Innis said...

People definitely get crazy in this area; I hope some decade the world will be able to look back and say "it's good we finally got over the panic back in the zeros and started doing the stuff that really helped the kids instead."

The question I guess is how much we're willing to censor ourselves (and each other) in order to prevent ppl from going crazy on us and damaging something we love. Everyone will have their own answer to that, I expect...

Emilly Orr said...

I would adore living in a world where human sexuality wasn't something to be scared of and psychotically repressed. I would love if the country I call home would be less terrified of seeing a nipple accidentally, and more terrified of seeing an arm blown off. I would love if Western culture at the least, valued art, education, music and the sciences more than rigorous over-regulation and litigious hysteria.

We don't live there. And "I wish" scenarios don't get us there. The only thing that does is living, vibrantly, exuberantly, powerfully.

And I believe to the depths of me that Zindra, even as a virtual representation of how things might potentially be dealt with in the real, is a staggering step backwards on all fronts.

Dale Innis said...

Note that, although the person I went exploring with the other night also mentioned the Sydney Opera House, the ... um... structure to which you refer is called "dangomushi", which is the Japanese word for pillbug (wood louse, sowbug). So it's not so much a rip from the Sydney Opera House as it is a giant hollow wood louse in the *style of* a rip from the Sydney Opera House.

I knew you'd want to know that. :)

Anonymous said...

My comment about the Lindens being intelligent was in sarcastic regard to how they managed to sell the idea of Zindra by nothing more than having people all visit out of curriousity and make a decision based more on who they met there, than on what little the location itself had to offer. Much like any other sceme or unexplainable action Linden Labs takes, no matter how rediculous or illogical, small mobs of individuals tend to buy into the idea. LL has to rely on that because the logic alone wouldn't stand a chance. The way I see it, SL has become what it's residents make of it, with that being said, SL has become an adult world. It's the adults who have payment info on file and age verified accounts and it's the adults who pay LLs bills, so what sense does it make to uproot the majority, the paying demographic, when it would seem easier to move the underage minority back to the old Teen grid? If the kids get upset, LL loses nothing really, but upset the paying population and you have issues... Or so it would seem, but somehow, people eventually submit and accept what's given. Parhaps that is a trend which Linden Labs has learned to rely on when making potentially disasterous decisions.

Alexandri Ashbourne

Emilly Orr said...

I freely admit, I was in a throwing-things mood when I wrote this, and was more than willing to take anything overheard as a personal slight.

The problem, how'ver, seven months later, is that people are not simply caving and giving in to Zindra as a protected space. Adult-oriented businesses still flourish in Mature-rated areas. Adult content is still rife in search. And there are more than a few merchants, who, having toed the party line and moved to Zindra, see their businesses failing, while their competitors who did not move thrive--and it makes them resentful and angry.

Many, in fact, are choosing to move back to Mature-rated lands, because others have stayed, and the Lindens have done nothing; why, they think, should they alone be punished?

The Labs cannot say they haven't engineered, start to finish, what will end up happening if this trend continues; a not-at-all slow return to the days of mixed content of ALL types, in all areas of the grid. Because Zindra, as proposed, built and executed, does not work.