Prelude note to readers: An article appeared in an online "newspaper" stating that SL is to be banned in Australia for being an X-rated game. I questioned the validity of that article from the start. Regardless, the fact is that Australian law (apparently) does ban any online game with a rating over M15... and of course SL definitely is way past M15. So whether SL gets banned or not lies yet to be seen. But the main issue is the fact they're even being considered for ban-- and the pervading company attitude that has brought them under the firing sights of both Australia and (previously) the German government (Germany was primarily responsible for forcing Linden Lab to ban "AgePlay"-- the virtual representation of pedophelia). Historically, Linden Lab has done little to filter the content of their board. They have evinced no concept of social responsibility-- unless such was forced upon them.
That said, on to the blog...
This was found in Linden Lab's "Zandra" blog today (Zandra is the new "adult continent"):
9) Are child avatars allowed on Adult land? Child avatars are allowed on adult land as long as they are account verified like any other Resident. Those choosing to represent themselves with a child avatar do not represent a minor as the account holder. Not all adult land is going to be hosting adult content either. There is plenty of protected land on Zindra that will technically be adult but safe in terms of content. This however does not change any prior policies regarding child avatars. Sexual ageplay is not allowed anywhere on the grid, regardless of rating.
AUSTRALIA BANNING LINDEN LAB?
According to Internet blog reports, Australia has placed Second Life on its national Internet ban list for proferring widespread pornography. Considering the above announcement-- is it any wonder? I feel very sorry for the users in Australia who might lose their investments and associates on Second Life. That's just totally lousy. But can one blame a government from banning what is essentially a pimp board that encourages child abuse?
No matter what spin Linden Lab may try to put on the issue... allowing child avatars on a publicly-advertised adult-specific continent is just asking for trouble. All we're seeing here is more of Linden Lab's historically consistent moral and ethical depravity rising to the top. From the company that initially brought you default-naked-young-girl avatars (Ruth), the company that failed for years to act on blatant AgePlay (until the German government put its foot down)-- from the company that has for years allowed the worst of excessively-perverse garbage to be thrust under our noses at nearly every market grid wide-- from that same company comes the announcement that child avatars will be allowed on its adult-specific continent. But oh no--- AgePlay won't be allowed-- no sirreee!
Is the company totally blind to how two-faced and hypocritical that statement appears to the general public? If they want to ban AgePlay from their board-- then keep child avatars out of adult areas. Any allowance whatsoever of such things is openly condoning and enabling anything that might happen as a result. If Linden Lab thinks that allowing child avatars on Zandra will have no public repercussions... management is clearly clueless.
THE AUSTRALIAN CONTROVERSY
Second Life aside-- there is a huge controversy about the Australian government's choice to keep pornography off the Internet. But we have to understand... this is a country where topless beaches are the norm. They are not prudes. They simply realize the difference between nudity-- and degradation of women and obscene presentation of human sexuality.
The Internet is full of the most vile forms of pornographic obscenity (and I do mean obscenity... stuff that would give Hugh Hefner a heart attack). I won't even describe some of the stuff that has popped up on my screen over the years. People who promote such things are psychopaths who should have been locked away (or terminated) years ago, before they harmed anyone else. They are the vilest of the vile, without excuse or value.
We must realize that children have easy access to the Internet and that those "Warning! 18+ only admitted!" signs don't stop them for five seconds. I'd say in that aspect, Australia has our country beat. That the United States allows such things to go unregulated and uncontrolled is absolutlely shameful. It is total disregard for the mental and emotional welfare of our young ones. The result: many professionals believe we are raising a generation of virtual sociopaths.
In this country, people have become so jaded, so imune to conscience, so sexually-impacted by everything from toothpaste advertisements to kid's TV shows... it would appear nothing is considered "obscene" any more.
Australia disagrees-- and they put their foot down in the form of law. They passed laws against Internet pornography (quite some time ago it appears). Reportedly, they're considering enforcing it on Second Life, a system with blatant and excessive pornography throughout... on such scales that it turns the stomach of even the most liberal and tolerant.
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST
I thought that Linden Lab was on the right track when they started removing such things from the mainland-- much as cities zone porn to a red-light district. But it seems rather than moving porn out of the main thoroughfare-- Linden Lab intended on using that new continent as a marketing ploy. That is obvious in the number of splash-page advertisements for their new "adult continent". Basically, the company is saying:
LOOK HERE! YOU CAN FIND ALL THE PORN AND SEX YOU WANT RIGHT HERE ALL IN ONE PLACE. AND GUESS WHAT??? WE'RE EVEN ALLOWING CHILD AVATARS! WOOHOO!"
/me shakes head. Soon, no one with any sense of morals or ethics is going to be able to stomach either Linden Lab or Second Life. What will be left-- will be people who have nothing of either. I'm glad other VR worlds are being established. Second Life is becoming a ghetto, a low-life, no-class cesspool of attitude and depravity. If I speak strongly here-- it's because it seems time someone did.
HANG A RED LIGHT ON THE DOOR
I would try to appeal to this company's sense of conscience and ethics... if there was any evidence they had any. As it stands, perhaps they should just be honest and hang a red light on the door. If they want to be a pimp board, at least stop trying to gloss over the fact.
If on the other hand, they really do want to remove blatant pornography and public offense, they are surely going to have to excercise some common sense and make better decisions than the one noted above. Allowing child avatars on the adult continent is just loony. If they wanted to improve their reputation at all-- they are going about it totally the wrong way. If anything, their child avatar decision exposes their true, consistent nature: a company that's claiming to be the wannabe virtual web, yet up to its neck in sex merchanting and virtual pedophelia.