Second Life

Linden Regroups and the Kids Are In

The Lab clarified its policies, procedures and plans for the Second Life birthday celebrations and for all intents and purposes the kids are in - or allowed in, or is it allowed to apply. And the implication is that Gor and other communities are allowed in as well - so long as their builds and participation are PG.

This does NOT mean, however, that the applications will be accepted - just that they’ll give a reason other than “we don’t want to celebrate kids culture” - maybe they can say “Oh, that’s not MUSICAL enough” or “Thanks anyways, but we already have enough photography”.

The Lindens assure us that kids (and all others) can submit applications and that so long as the exhibit idea is PG there are no other reasons for which it will be rejected out of hand. Which isn’t to say they won’t need to draw the line somewhere - IF they actually had so many applications that they needed to make sure their sim didn’t overflow.

However, in addition to opening up the application process to all TOS-compliant residents again, they’ve also both narrowed the topic area and split the field. What was previously a celebration about diversity and culture is now about “stuff”, as if trying to create a handy portfolio of “things you can make in SL” - like music and machinima, although sure they still mention cultures and whatnot, but it strikes me that there’s a greater emphasis on tools than on sociality, which may be a way of making up for the fact that they look like tools for how they’ve handled this whole mess.

The clarification from the Lab is back-peddling. First, they said on Massively that child AVs and others were allowed to attend but not to participate in the builds, now they’ve back-tracked in such an artful way and are allowing anyone to apply or attend, so long as they meet the PG requirements of the sim. Why didn’t they just SAY I wonder - hey, we were wrong. We made a MISTAKE. Anyone can apply who’s in the TOS who submits an idea appropriate for a PG sim. Instead, they slip slide around it like they do so many other things - have no idea how they learned to skate so well in California.

But at the end of the day, this is sensible. There’s a TOS for a reason. Sims are PG for a reason. Anyone with the audacity to say that the Lindens should preclude members of the community who abide by the TOS, who have been active participants in SLC before, and that it’s “OK” to make decisions based on taste, morality, or just - well, gosh, aren’t those little kids creepy, we can’t have THEM around…has lost their bearing.

Linden has a TOS. They have community guidelines. And they can make whatever choices they want about how they promote their platform. But they had no sensible reason to exclude an active, money-paying community. Some said that there’s nothing wrong with keeping the “commons clean of creep” - bullshit. Utter bullshit. It’s a PG build, and it was a PG build when they made the decision in the first place. And what you call creep others call creative, and I sometimes find tails on humans creepy too, but I’m not going to exclude Nekos because of it.

Linden has made a sensible reversal, but they’ve done two other things: one, they’ve still reserved the right to NOT ACCEPT applications, and second they’ve split the community in two by extending the celebrations over two weeks - one for the “culture” and one for the “corporations”.

And let’s face it, this reverse, this change, and the resolution they’ve come to tells you as much as you need to know about where the Lab is at right now - trying to please two separate constituencies, two different target audiences, attract two different communities, appease two different groups.

Corporations, schools, collaboration……and culture, immersion, creativity, and social. Two weeks, two separate streams of events, two different target audiences, and let’s keep them apart, shall we?

The Lab needs the larger culture because there are numbers there, and that pumps up the stats, and it allows them to still make claims about a growing community. But their bread is buttered in the longer term by the companies and universities, and this has been clarified in this new change of heart over how the SL birthday will be celebrated.

In the meantime, what remains to be seen is whether those who felt excluded will even bother.

And what will also be interesting is whether communities that became united in opposition will now split through the Linden’s reversal. Maybe that was partly their intent? Maybe I’m being conspiracy minded about it - but wouldn’t it be interesting if these communities that they just disenfranchised now become split and that all that really ends up happening is a few members of Gor or maybe a few kids are added to the FIC?


speak up

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site.

Subscribe to these comments.

*Required Fields

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.