From time to time we have a member or visitor to our lands ask us why we are G-rated and "family friendly" on a grid that requires users to be 18 years of age or older.
The answer begins with a definition. What does family-friendly mean?
At its most basic level of course, family-friendly means suitable for children. But it goes beyond that. Look around at Elf Clan lands. Notice the beauty, diversity and harmony of these lands. Look at how the people here behave in contrast to elsewhere in virtual reality. Look at the popularity of Elf Clan, and ask yourself, Why are people attracted to this group?
The reason is simple: family-friendly isn't just for children. There are many adults who appreciate family-friendly values. Some of my favorite movies are family-friendly. In truth, family-friendly is society-friendly. It has been stated by wise men that the core of society is the family. Historically as the family degraded morally and ethically, so did the society. This was a principle that was recognized when we first founded Elf Clan and wrote its charter. If you want a socially healthy group, instill family-friendly values.
Something I find humorous (well, not really, it's more tragic than humorous), is the use of the terms Mature and Adult in regard to behavior that is decidedly immature and not adult. In my view mature means having gained a bit of wisdom during one's life, and adult means the exercise of that wisdom. What it does not mean is "doing whatever we want, no matter how questionable or dangerous, because we're grown-ups". That is not the course of maturity. Many Elf Clan members understand and agree; I've heard others make the same comment.
True maturity means making decisions that are not just for our own good, because we want to, but for the good of our neighbors and society as a whole, because it is beneficial and right. It means being unselfish enough and flexible enough to bend to the greater good rather than insisting on our own opinions. That is where "family-friendly" comes in. No, Inworldz is not a PG or G rated grid. It is widely known that Elf Clan is fairly unique in its openly-stated G-rating. However do not believe we are alone. Other region-owners have contacted me and stated their regions are basically G-rated too. One person requested a copy of our "G-Rated" sign so she could put it up at her non-Elf Clan sim. Several of our member lands joined Elf Clan because they were already "g-rated" and wanted to make that stance official by joining our family-friendly cluster.
G-Rated, Family-Friendly means that we have decided to make our society stronger through exercise of sensible values. Rather than being a "childish" stance, it is a stance that is truly mature. It is recognition that the attitude and activities of our members will affect our group as a whole. It is a statement of the kind of people and lands we want to be. The result of that decision is visible in our lands, in the conduct of our people, in the harmony and friendliness of our residents. Visitors regularly remark at how friendly and hospitable we are, and how much they enjoy exploring our creations. We are conscious of our relationship with our neighbors, so we build in a manner to compliment theirs. We are aware of our responsibility to our society as a whole, so we conduct ourselves with honor, respect and friendship. And while there may not be children/minors among us due to the 18+ requirement of Inworldz, it is good to know that our lands nevertheless present a family-friendly environment for the benefit of all our members.
Family-friendly means acceptable to the parents in our group. It means acceptable to those who shun the often-questionable activities found elsewhere in VR. G-rated means have some class and show some consideration for others... in speech, in dress, in conduct. It means that we exercise modesty among a truly polite society that puts harmony and honor above all. That principle has served us well for years. The Eldar have no intent of changing the positive influence of those policies any time soon... nor would our members want us to. Family-friendly is what makes Elf Clan Elf Clan.