I am writing more about sex in virtual worlds and Second Life™ than I’m getting… Ciaran Laval has an article about Twitch: Twitch Explicitly Prohibits Second Life With Rules Of Conduct Update. The TL:DR is simply they have banned all content from Second Life, by name. The official details are in the Twitch RoC Update. I think there has been another edit since Ciaran posted his article.
They say added for clarity:
If a game’s US version is rated Adults Only by the ESRB, you should not broadcast that game on Twitch. However, ESRB rated Mature versions of Adults Only titles are permitted for streaming, such as Mature versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy.
Games rated 18+ by other rating systems are fine to stream, so long as they are not rated AO by the ESRB, and they don’t violate the standard language of our RoC and ToS.
The peeps at Twitch are making it clear Adult Only… meaning sexual, content is NOT welcome. They list the games by name and SL is one. I suspect this is a move to save time and effort on their part, they are deciding what is too sexy by the game not the actual content. That saves them time looking at and deciding if the content crosses their line.
I wondered how much image content coming from Second Life is in the class Adult Only? I looked at Flickr thinking that could give me an idea. Out of the first 100 images on Flickr this morning from a search on Second Life only 3 involve nudity and none were sexually explicit. Four or five more show avatars in skimpy clothing but, no ‘parts’ showing. Another 3 or 4 show couples, with clothes on, in poses suggesting romance. I would have to do this count every day for an extended time to say, with any confidence, most content coming out of Second Life is PG safe.
I also don’t know if Flickr is filtering the broad search on Second Life. But, my personal experience looking at the content flowing through Flickr, I only see a small percentage it, is mostly not what I would consider sexual in nature. Now of those I follow… that it is a different story.
Twitch may be missing a lot of interesting content and losing may be a million users. But, they say they have 100 million unique visitors every month (2014). So, at best we SL users make up 1% of their visitors. That suggests the cost-benefit ratio doesn’t work for them and they are maximizing the use of their resources, meaning personnel.
Basically, it is too much trouble to police users of adult only games.
Twitch is responding to social values of the majority of its ‘customers’. Until humans change, unlikely, we’ll see this story repeat in various forms.