For many the seamy side of Second Life is a problem. For the many family oriented Myst-Uru players the presence of adult content has been a problem, making THERE a popular choice for many Uru Refugees. That is changing. The Linden’s have come up with a way to eliminate much of the adult content for those that so choose. Probably in June that choice will go away. Then one either age verifies or they are excluded from adult content. That blocking will be handled by a new viewer. In April and May that upgrade will be optional. In June it is planned the new viewer will be required.
A few weeks ago the news about Linden Labs creating a new Amsterdam Red Light district was all the rage in the blogs. Those hosting adult or violent content now have to deal with ‘zoning laws.’ Specific areas of SL are setup to host adult content. A new region designation of Adult has been added. While it is still confusing as to what will and won’t have to move we do know that ‘adult content’ meeting a rather nebulous definition will be removed from the general main land. Whoever it is, the moves are expected to be complete by the end of August.
As good as this may sound to some SL Uru-ites it has some implications for owners of Mature and Adult regions and those with businesses. Beyond designating a region PG, Mature or Adult there is how the new viewer will block searches and how classified ads, events and products must be classified. The informal tech info is that some words used as search terms will be blocked from those not age verified.
It can be surprising how many seemingly innocent words have double meaning. A product like a Dark Red RP Dress may get blocked because of the usual meaning of ‘Dark RP’ in SL or maybe not. We really don’t have any information that clearly says. See Linden’s: What are “Adult” Regions, groups, events, and classifieds?
I think this is part of the move to combine the teen and adult grids. Something I think many Uru-ites will like. It is also going to push many more to age verify. For business owners of adult products and games within SL it will complicate their marketing and advertising.
I think the nebulous definitions of what will and won’t be considered adult and what will and won’t be blocked is a deliberate strategy on the Linden’s part. They want to retain the right to decide as things go along. Consider that they have to balance the social mores of Americans, the French and Middle Eastern cultures. Everyone is likely aware of the problems of ‘legally’ defining obscenity for enforcement purposes. Imagine that on a global scale.
Virtual World News – Brief Story
New World Notes – In Depth Story