Sunday, August 15, 2010

put on your brake lights, you're in the city of wonder

So, I'm going along on the stops of the Gother Than Thou hunt. Some stores are good, some stores are challenging, I'm mostly having fun, and I'm compiling a list of places I want to buy things from, later on.

Across the Thrifty Goth group comes this:
[17:37] Sebborrhea Canucci: #28 forces you to join the lollipopz group
Well, I wasn't intending to go to Lollipopz for the hunt item anyway, because apparently, it's unboxed hair. Which means, for most of us, Hmm, I don't know what it is, let's rez it and find out. At which point the hair shrieks at you that you're now evil for trying to copybot, informs you huffily you've been placed on a copybotters database, and promptly deletes itself.

Frankly, I still think hair makers who do this are stuuupid, and they need to stop. And I don't shop at stores where the hair's no mod anyway.

But getting back to Miss Canucci...I was stunned by the first name. Because sebhorrea, or sebhorreic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes reddened, flaking skin on the scalp, above the ears, and in the eyebrows. There's not a clearly defined medical cause, and because of that, there aren't clearly defined courses of treatment, there's just things that control the symptoms.

So I pulled her profile. This is the first line from it:
I are named after teh disease.
Okay. Then she does know. Intriguing.

I'm going to revisit an old entry on the Second Sex blog in light of the new Linden ruling about sixteen and seventeen year olds mentioned yesterday.

As far as I've been able to find out, BnB Forced Sex Roleplay is now a dead sim. It's not even a valid parcel anymore. Stolen Innocence is now for sale as commercial land. Brigadom Market is now either blocked, or it's also a dead sim; teleports weren't working the night I tried. Pirate Cove's Orgy in Forest seems to be down as well; ditto for SlutLand. Are the Labs finally cleaning things up?

Well, not entirely: Lover's Playground as well as dozens, if not hundreds, of other stores still show up (though stores, they're on that fine iffy line of being a Mature rated sim selling sex beds, sex rugs, or sculpted bits); but I will say that some terms are being more rigidly excluded now under PG settings, so things are slightly improving...maybe?

There's an unexpected downside to this, however; for instance, any texture house that has drapes for sale, or food textures (like oh, say, grapes) will show up on a "rape" search. Rape isn't blocked from PG searching, and technically, it shouldn't be, because there are more than a few rape counseling and rape trauma recovery centers operating in SL. Unfortunately, that's not all that shows up..

So. Chances of someone "underage" wanting to search for rape roleplay? I don't think it's high, I think it largely depends on the teen. But there are some teens out there who are obsessively focused on sex, because--at least in America--decades of abstinence-only teaching has infused sex with all the lure and glitter of heroin chic.

But put sex aside for the moment; say the grid is cleaning up its act (finally) and the sex playrooms on PG lands are gone. Fine. The rules in Germany alone for underage exposure to violence are lethal. And how easy is it to get a weapon in SL? Trust me, go to ANY freeb market, and 75% of sandboxen, and you'll find--or be given--a weapon. While most of these are simple bullet rezzers, some do actual (sending-home-style) damage, and have blood effects. To onlookers, this may well indicate an unacceptable level of violence.

Also, there's this from New World Notes. I want to pull out a couple of questions, and their answers.
Shava Suntzu: What crisis control does Linden Lab have in place when the first 16 year old boy posts on Facebook how he (as venue host Gwampa Lomu put it) "got gloriously shagged by this 30-something dame?" Isn't that going to be age play all over again?

Philip Rosedale: We think the controls Second Life [already] has are very good for supporting 16+. If and as needed, we'll add more during the transition.

Shava Suntzu: Search is kind of a mess, and not on the roadmap for this year. Are there plans to create more intentional metadata? Real tagging rather than taxonomies?

Philip Rosedale: I don't know. We have a great search team that will talk more about their plans as they figure them out.

Shava Suntzu: Is there a way to decide on search relevance in SL? Is relevance different for the various spheres (commerce, entertainment, etc.)?

Philip Rosedale: Relevance is a big challenge and as important in virtual world search results as it was for the web. If we can do a good job of defining relevance, we suspect it will make SL easier to use and grow the economy. So we will keep working in it.
I guess that's some sort of waffling commitment to not expose anyone unnecessarily...I just happen to think they're opening up a huge liability issue for lawsuits from parents on behalf of their children. Frankly.

Also, this bit was interesting, Miss Suntzu reporting a comment from Terence Linden:
Via email Linden Lab community rep Terence Linden followed up on Philip's comments on the closing of the Teen Grid: "[W]e tried to speak with as many organizations as we could prior to the announcement at SLCC, and we are continuing those discussions now as well, both 1:1 and in groups. As we move forward with this process, we will be in close conversation with those impacted. There are a number of great projects and organizations on the Teen Grid, and we are working to understand what would be necessary, especially from a safety and security standpoint, to continue serving as many as we can on the Main Grid in the future. We cannot commit to serving the under 16 market for now, but we will work with educators and others to determine if and how we could allow younger users access in the future."
Uh-huh. This seems to bely the earlier stated 'No, we're only closing Teen Grid temporarily, it'll reopen!' statements...

shopping,warning signs,Second Life

Sign currently up at F'ed Up (which is the actual name of the store, yes).

I really don't have anything to add to that.

Save for this--remember Qarl Linden? He's now working for Emerald. Make of that what you will.


Rhianon Jameson said...

"Decades of abstinence-only teaching"? There really are two Americas! I'm living in the one that teaches grade-schoolers about proper condom use and, occasionally, makes condoms available to the tykes. The one with cheery lessons about masturbation. In DC high schools, there was a recent flap about the free condoms: apparently Durex is considered a subpar brand, and the kids held out for Trojans.

Outside of some religious schools, I'm not sure where to find abstinence-only education. The Bush administration pushed it, certainly, but even had that had a 100% penetration rate (apologies for the bad pun), W only lasted two terms. No, if there are oversexed teens rarin' to have at middle-aged ladies, it's not thanks to lack of detail in sex-ed classes!

Emilly Orr said...

Depends on where you live. The South, large sections of Central, the entire midwest...where I went to high school? When our health teacher got pregnant--married, to a church pastor, heavily Christian--she was deemed unfit to teach in "her condition" because it might give us "the wrong idea".

The wrong idea. That having a kid in a stable Christian family is a bad thing?

We also weren't allowed to wear shorts or short skirts in the summer, because it might "cause prurient thoughts" on the part of other students who saw us.

Or let's fast forward to more recent things--in Spokane, Washington, more teen girls get pregnant, on average, in Spokane than in Washington as a whole (1,788 pregnancies in the class range in 2008 alone (see the PDF from the Spokane Regional Health District). And it is a bitter, bitter fight every year between the parents' activist groups and the educational board over what gets taught to kids on sex at all.

(In fact, the Teen-Aid movement, a church-based abstinence-until-marriage group? Started in Spokane, and is largely pushed as the "only alternative" to leading a life that results in prostitution and drug use; aka "it's either keep your legs closed, or you're a slattern on the streets" thinking.)

Rhianon Jameson said...

Fair enough. But we're old, Miss Orr. (Don't deny it. You know far too much to be a spry youngster, and I distinctly recall reading something about a 20th anniversary!) If you said our generation is horny and frustrated, well...

But the youngsters who will be joining us...okay, they're horny and frustrated, but not because they didn't get a good dose of how to go about the process. :)

Emilly Orr said...

Oh, you're not wrong; in fact, at one point I told my mother I was older than she was. :)

But see, I didn't specifically say horny and frustrated. I would say--outside of large metropolitan centers, like DC--it's still mostly scraps of education off the internet and rumors passed student to student. Maybe things have changed in big cities; in smaller ones promise rings are still the big thing, and the 'wisdom' that says oral sex means you still haven't had sex (hence, the concurrent rise of STDs in the under-25 set).