Thoughts on Popularity, Maturity, & Porn in Second Life

New Gallifrey (adult)

The recent SL Drama disturbed a number of residents for a variety of reasons. One group, that was quite rightly offended in my opinion, were the owners of Adult regions which DO NOT contain content which could be considered porn, and don’t host extreme or violent sex.

While it’s true that if you want to display any or all of those three aspects of life you must have the Adult maturity rating, it does not follow that you will. People can decide to label their islands Adult for lots of reasons.

A search on the posts in this blog will show you that I often visit Adult sims – I never share locations that are pornographic and I won’t stay somewhere which allows/encourages/permits extreme or violent sex. A quick check of the sim’s rules (or even the region description) is usually enough to make up my mind.

New Gallifrey (adult)

Today’s location is, for example, rated Adult. New Gallifrey is a Time Lord role-playing destination which permits observers at ground level. If you’re not in the story you can’t venture above 500 m. It’s always possible that the Gallifreyans are having wild sci-fi orgies up there, but I didn’t get that impression. It was more that some of them also have their homes in the sky and would prefer not to be a tourist attraction.

There’s a lot of confusion about Maturity Ratings, in part because they aren’t overly detailed. I don’t think anybody wants to have the job of maintaining a comprehensive list in each category of what you can and cannot do.

Leading teams of Greeters at events has given me a bit of experience in trying to explain them in simple terms. With the caveat that things could have changed, let me give you a simplified overview.

New Gallifrey (adult)

If you land on a region which is rated General, do not expect to see or hear anything that a Southern Baptist wouldn’t say or do in front of their grandmother. 17 year olds can access these sims and you don’t want to be responsible for a lawsuit against Linden Lab because some preacher’s daughter saw a nipple or heard a swear word.

It’s a surprise to many that nudity is actually allowed on a Moderate sim – although owners don’t have to permit it, they can. Think about Burn2 – there’s often nudity at that event and yet the regions are Moderate. You can have stores with sexy clothes, clubs with strippers, and even arty pics. The fact that it is allowed does not mean you are expected to disrobe.

What you cannot have is photo-realistic nudity, sex in public (or even the back rooms of clubs), or pokey-bits. In other words – nothing erect.

Adult sims can host pretty much anything (there are still Community rules against child sex play etc.,). This does not mean that they do. Just because you see this maturity rating do not assume (as Hamlet does) that the location is “pornographic”.

New Gallifrey (adult)

Way back in the dim distant past, when I bought my first 69 sq m of land, I was surround by billboards advertising hard-core sex clubs. A big one flashed a giant vajayjay at me everytime I looked in that direction.

The creation of the Zindra continent meant that it was the only area of mainland where Adult content was allowed. My view improved markedly. :)

Note that allowed does not mean mandatory (even on Zindra). If you do have Adult content, it does not automatically mean it’s pornographic. Sex exists in Second Life. Fact. Having a popular Adult sim does not make it pornographic. That is also a fact.

As a last note, – Grizzly Silversmith made a very good point in a recent podcast. Translate “the most popular regions in Second Life” to the notion of “the most populated areas in real life”. Now try telling somebody that all of the UK is like London. No?  How about New York and California tell you everything you need to know about the United States?

The idea that you can extrapolate the essence of Second Life based on a list of popular sims is just plain wrong. Not understanding the difference between porn permitted and porn required, not checking to see if popularity is based on bots, or if porn is present, well all of that is a journalistic fail. :)

New Gallifrey (adult)
Advertisements
Leave a comment

16 Comments

  1. Lovely post and so true.

    Reply
  2. Maturity settings are so complicated, 1920s Berlin, according to my European point of view, should be set to general, but to be sure, we set it to mature because some less than innocent subjects can be found, we have a night club where sometimes a dancer may lose their bra, a bookstore may sell some vintage 1920s nude postcards and there is a “brothel” even though the actual business part of that isn’t happening in our sim.
    So we’re generally confused about our setting, but fact is, you can sort of walk around the sim without seeing people without underpants doing the hanky panky.
    That’s why we choose mature.
    Even though I would have absolutely no issue letting people who aren’t yet adults in RL wander around the sim.

    Reply
  3. So well said, Honour. If one dislikes, is disturbed by, or is disinterested in a certain facet of Second Life, it’s so easy to turn the other (clad or unclad) cheek. None of us upon logging into SL are assaulted or confronted by a certain type of content that we cannot easily escape. Even griefers can be muted, blocked, reported, and so on – and there’s always another sim to teleport to.

    Just as the glass can be half empty or half full, and the real world can be a place of beauty or a place of hate and fear, it’s all in how you frame your view. A few bloggers over the last few days have mentioned how perfectly indefinable Second Life is, and I think that’s the way we like it. :)

    Reply
  4. One of the complications is that in-world businesses can find themselves locked away from potential customers if they are in an Adult location. It’s something that does make me wonder what they are selling. But you see the same thing in the Marketplace: you wonder why the seller has rated some items as Adult.

    Reply
  5. thank you Honour for all those clarifications

    Reply
  6. cafealait

     /  July 3, 2015

    I found SL very confusing and undemocratic. I was a 2 1/2 year Premium member with a Zooby baby of 2 years spent alot of money along with weekly land rental, house etc. as a SL member.
    Went to an adult ROLEPLAY big daddy and daughter sim when a resident wanted to RP asked age….RPing I said 17. The jerk said they were alerting SL. SL did a favor terminating my account with no ability to talk to a living soul
    So my membership and money meant nothing.

    Reply
  1. A skewed perspective on Second Life | Living in the Modem World
  2. Thoughts on Popularity, Maturity, & Porn in...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: