Saturday, August 28, 2010

these are hard hard times; who do you think you're fooling?

Got another mention on NWN; gave me a bit of reinforcement on the diffidently realized intention (if not actual goal) of taking better photographs beyond just multiple ones.

I don't always worry about the details, but it's nice that when I do, it's noticed.

What's a technocommunist?

Meanwhile, in the land of Emerald, the new production team (with some of the old team's members) are working on transparency issues. Some think the long list of required fixes needs to be kept private; some think it has to be made public; others think it has to be made public AMONG THE DEVS only, so they're all sorts of confused over there. All they really know? They have a huge list of problems that need to be addressed, and they're working as fast as they can to come up with a battle plan to address them.

Speaking of restructuring, have some very handy tips on fighting the Frankenfuture; AKA, bringing value back into business and creating forporations, not corporations. I'm not sure all the newly created lingo works for me, but I like the direction they're going. The problem is, the dinosaurs we have in government and business now are not going to understand anything that article says.

Meandering through the Stumblebum Brigade list, I took a port to the O!Bleak store. This is where I found myself:

Second Life,oddity,weirdness,land for sale,virtual real estate

Wau. I actually started out in midair over this, about nine hundred meters up, and I'd say it's a recent move, considering they're on the Stumblebum Brigade list, save--why are they on the list if they don't exist anymore?

And yes, I edited the smaller images to show you JUST how big that sucker is--that is a HUGE BLACK BOX a quarter of a sim in diameter. Damn.

Second Life,oddity,weirdness,land for sale,virtual real estate

I would love to know the backstory on that. Protest gone wrong? Their landlord suddenly raised their rates? What? And their blog's no help; the last update was back in May.

Back to this entry while everything sorts itself out in the background.

Quoting Glimmering Sands again:
I note, there seems to be some belief that age equals maturity. I believe there are plenty of counter examples to this on both sides of the magic 18 boundary.

I do not believe SL is the appropriate place for people to be first acquainted with topics that are considered mature, but this is my own opinion. It is not up to me to decide how another parent wishes to have their child introduced to subjects they consider mature (or even for me to decide what they consider mature)
No, we shouldn't take the place of parents, that's not our place. But by the same extension--are parents going to ignore their child's presence in Second Life, until they catch over their shoulder some pixillated pornography, before they throw a fit?

Because that's what this end of the argument comes down to: the parents who are involved in their childrens' lives are not the problem. Those children are likely in SL already, having claimed to be adults long before, and are smart enough and diligent enough not to be 'caught out'; or they've stayed responsibly on the Teen Grid, trying to obey the rules even when their own grid went under time and again due to...what, really? Irresponsibility on the part of the Labs? Lower-grade servers? Incompetent techs watching the game? What?

But no, it's not them. It's the parents who want zero responsibility for their spawn, who will then shriek like internally irrigated squirrels over the mere concept that their "babies" could have been led astray by Second Life--because as they all know, after all, it's a den of sinful corruption and vice, adultery, homosexual fur orgies, gambling, Mafia crime, pedophilia, and terrorist training (depending on the rumors of the day, and how vapidly dull those hearing the rumors really are).

Tock Mars said (in response to Zyth Hax):
Zyth, you are right. With teens coming to the main grid any adult that wishes to engage in adult behavior should leave Second Life.

And because this is true, a lot of adults are throwing a fit that they are going to lose a safe place to act out.

Forgive them. They will settle down and find some other game to play.
Please be kidding. Please, please, please be kidding. Because if Tock isn't, then that entire comment becomes outrageous. Adults leaving the formerly eighteen-plus-only world that we designed, populated, and helped to create? Why? Why should we?

Of course, this goes back to that whole 'think of the children!' vibe I'm getting off other comments. Again, Second Life is not Gaia. It's not Shinobi Village. It's an adult game, supposedly designed for o why should all our behaviors be restricted to G? Hell no. Screw that.

Zoren Manray said:
IM services and other social sites don't separate adult and teen users and I haven't heard of massive amounts of people getting arrested from the interactions between teens and adults on those services.
Pardon me while I laugh hysterically for a moment. Obviously, Zoren hasn't been paying attention to how many adults are arrested every year for dealings with children. While some aren very nearly defiantly guilty--just like overzealous photography studios and postal workers who carefully pore over pictures of children to determine what might be child pornography, but operate largely on "I'll know it when I see it because I see child pornography IN EVERYTHING"--some are not, and it's a headache for everyone involved. Not the least of which is, SHOULD someone go down as a sex offender, there's no marking for online or offline predation--at least, not yet--so the assumption is (in the eyes of nervous parents, church leaders, and politicians) "Oh dear GODS that man is moving next to our CHURCH and he's on the sex offenders list and I bet he had sex with a nine-year-old and he could be SHOPPING while our KIDS are there and our KIDS COULD BE NEXT to be RAPED TORTURED AND KILLED and he must be STOPPED AT ANY COST--" and other forms of grindingly shrill hysteria.

A significant number of the current crop of sex offenses, by the way? If anyone's curious? Are between kids who were two years apart. Like, eighteen-year-old with a sixteen-year-old. Or a fourteen-year-old with a sixteen-year-old.

Hells, there are cases now where it's a six-year-old who got in trouble for kissing a five-year-old on the cheek, and got arrested, and got CONVICTED, and that's bad; nobody's going to convince me that "unwanted sexual advances" figure in to the five-year-old sharing a hug with a willing companion, people. But it's more or less understandable now--when they're both little kids. In fact, it may even be baffling, over worrisome--"Oh, that's just sad, Shaelee, I can't believe the judge sentenced him--but it's over now, right? How's the little guy doing?"

The problem is going to set in later. What happens when he's fifteen? Twenty-four? FORTY? Because the victim? Will never age.

I'm not saying bad things won't happen with kids on the grid, they will, they happen now, after all. I'm saying that all it's going to take is one big lawsuit and we'll be right back in the midst of child porn hysteria central. Do the Lindens really want that to happen?

Protest all you want on how most teens just want to build and sell and interact in safe spaces in safe ways--sooner or later some ditz (of either gender) is going to hook up with some twink (older or younger), and there's going to be that moment of revelation on one side or the other--"'re HOW OLD?!?" That is the scenario I don't want to see played out with lurid description on 60 Minutes or The View.

However, I have to admit, Zoren did wind up making a point:
And for those lamenting that Adults will no longer be able to engage in adult behavior in SL have you even read the TOS and community guidelines? You shouldn't have been engaged in those behaviors in PG regions to begin with.
Something we've been screaming about for YEARS at this point...
In Adult regions the risk will be no greater that it is now. To gain access a teen would have to lie about their age to gain access in the same way they can currently lie about their age to get a main grid account. Thus we'll still have the "They misrepresented themselves so I had no idea they were underage" defense we've always had. Just don't start mature behavior with people you've only met in a PG area, have them come to you in an adult area, or check if they're age verified, seriously it isn't that hard people.
And this is absolute truth. In fact, the only hardship I think will happen in these cases is that there are adults, who, for whatever reason, never wanted to age-verify because they themselves did not want access. These selfsame people may see nothing wrong--and there is nothing wrong--with a discreet skybox-bounded bed or rug with adult poses. They just don't want to have to move to Zindra and be faced with everything, all at once.

So, okay, what happens if you meet someone dreamy in a PG area? Get them to go to a Mature area. It's not the end of the world, no; and the Labs are ***SUPPOSED TO*** (I'd make those damned letters BLINK if I could, people!) be age-restricting under-eighteens TO PG/General areas alone. Which should mean--if it works--that they can't access Mature areas any more than they can access Adult. If whomever it is won't--or can't--leave PG land, even for Mature spaces? You have your answer.

Zyth Hax comments again (in response to George Orellana:
Then maybe you should stop having "Virtual Relations" with random people on Second Life and if you say "Why should I have to [stop]" then think, that's what you're saying we should do, you're saying we should have to stop doing what we want to do, and that's enjoying Second Life. And you're right I can't assure you that I'm 18 so maybe it's time to be a bit more careful who you mess around with, just my opinion. ):
Okay, I grant Zyth, and the rest of the Teen Grid, this point: Linden Labs just took away THEIR playground, and they're pissed about it. I get that, I do; I was pissed when they wanted to pop up an all-Adult continent, increasing hassle to everyone and incurring loss of revenue for affected merchants, rather than do the LOGICAL thing and pop up an all-PG (at the time) continent. That still seems like the best idea. Because there are people who want to live away from any potential 'naughtiness'; moreover, as I said at the time, it doesn't HAVE to be a backwater. Make it an art hub, a culture hub, give it gardens, give it statuary, give it amazing views and even more amazing builds to work in, play in, live in. Do the RIGHT thing, the FAIR thing, and make an all-General-rated continent, and make it so amazingly beautiful that it will win awards for innovation on and off the grid.

But no. The Labs aren't going to do that. They're going to force these kids into our playground, and while we're willing to share some things, we don't want or need to share other things with the underage. And it's not specifically the underage we don't trust! It's the Labs. We purely, honestly, rationally do not trust the Labs not to fuck this up.

Put frankly.

I'm not sure if I'm going to read this thread all the way down. I can see a very large battle brewing, and it touches on a lot of things integral to society, family, and the concept of relationship itself, but it can also come down squarely into the simplistic "NO KIDS"/"SCREW YOU, ADULTS" thing I'm already seeing, and...that's not good, either. Once concept becomes dogma, thinking goes out the window. And--though I know the Lindens aren't going to listen on this issue any better than they listened on Zindra, we need to stay rational and (at least somewhat) clear-headed.

But with clear and unwavering--and deeply traumatizing--real life punishments for even online offenses at this point, I can see why some adults are running scared. What I don't get is the attitude from some of the under-eighteens; it goes beyond "Dream on, like I'd be interested in you" into "But we would never never EVER want to kiss icky adults, we just want to build and be free to create"...and frankly? That doesn't ring true, either.


Serenity said...

LOL, great comment there from Tock. Pretty much says "Ah kids are here, GTFO adults." XDDDD But I definitely agree, more towards adult games - screw the kids - send them off to gaia or whatever.

Zoren's comment also amuses me. Tons of people get arrested. I'm surprised half of the japanese play SL because a lot of hentai is very border or "confusing" to people as child porn - while the story may support and say otherwise, the art can confuse people. Which is a whole nother topic which annoys me.

I can't help but laugh at the why would we want to kiss icky adults thing and such. All it boils down to is a matter of time, a lawsuit, an article, some report, things going out of hand because it's always just a matter of time.

Emilly Orr said...

Well, and also, there are severely underage participants in Japanese comments, there's a whole style devoted to that. Is it child porn? No, because child porn involves a real damn child, people. It's art that's pushing a ton of limits, I will fully grant you that. But is it actually child porn? No.

The problem is, especially in this country, the authorities don't seem to be able to distinguish the difference. Which was why the ageplay controversy went down the way it did--when an over-thirty RL woman played in a sex area as someone underaged, with an over-thirty RL male who fully understood this was a game, not some twisted version of reality.

Personally, I'm fine with the stance the Labs have taken on ageplay, don't get me wrong--it's THEIR world, we just live there--but sadly, now we're in a setting where we don't just have the potential for underage people, we have actual underage people. And it's scary.