Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual Worlds

May 11, 2009 -

At the behest of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission is looking into children's access to explicit content in virtual worlds.

That word comes by way of Virtual Worlds News which spoke to a pair of FTC attorneys last week. The regulatory agency's report on its findings is scheduled to be presented to Congress in December.

GamePolitics readers may recall that in 2008 Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) called on  the FTC to issue a parental alert about the virtual sex occurring in Second Life:

Sites like Second Life offer no protections to keep kids from virtual "rape rooms," brothels, and drug stores. If sites like Second Life won't protect kids from obviously inappropriate content, the Congress will.

VWN notes that Second Life publisher Linden Lab recently announced a plan to restrict underage SL users from accessing mature content.

Via: Massively


Comments

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

you think this age verfication stuff is REALLY going to kep people out that are underage? i dont think so. i know a few people that have VERIFIED their main acct and their alts using same bogus info such as JFK's details, or Elvis Presleys details. All htis info is readily available on internet... its not gonna stop people verifying even if they underage.

    There is NOT a single way one can TRULY verify they are of legal age via the internet.

if you wanna protect kids, age verification just isnt the way to go. :/

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

     Ok I don't care which Country we all live in. I happen to be in Canada and it is the same attempt at control just different forum. I am an active member in SL and I will be damned if I will let congress "PROTECT" my children. Why the hell is all this being put on Linden Labs. Why has it become such a ridiculous situation that congress can decide what is healthy for my children. I have 2 children I sat down with them took the time let them ask questions, and like with everything else with them we had a discussion SL, as we did with Drugs, as we did with sex and alcohol.

 

     What I do in SL is my business, it is not the business of some bureaucrat in a three thousand dollar suit to tell me what I can do in an adult oriented Life style/Game, or to think they protect my children... Where were the Bureaucrats when my family had to worry about a sexual offender moving into my community and no body told us? I saw no protection, no one stepped in to protect them it was my job. And a job I do proudly. So the bureaucrats can't protect our children in Real Life so why do they think you have the right to step in and claim to be able to in a virtual life? Or blame a corporation like Linden Labs for their content? In an "adult" oriented virtual world. You can't stop minors from viewing Blatant paid or even free sex site. At least LL tries to help their residents.

 

     They have two tiers of sims PG and mature and if a parent is not responsible enough to monitor their children Is it the corporation fault? Hell no. Quit pushing the blame and let the parents be responsible for their actions. Silly laws are what have screwed our generation of children. No spanks, no reprimanding your child, you are a bad parent if you discipline your child. Yes babying the adults and the laws/bureaucracy of talk really gentle and soothing and all will be ok.

 

     Well it isn’t. It has come down in the last 50 years to a push the blame society. I will tell you I watch my children. I tell my kids the rules they don’t tell me. I follow the laws and have taught my children to follow and respect them as well. I am not saying my children are angels they are human and they make mistakes. But I will tell you when I go out I walk proudly and have no worry of going to a restaurant and enjoying a meal with my kids and I have no worry about them going into SL and participating in some asinine sex crap. They have better judgment and morals then that.. I know I talk, explain and disciplined them. Yes I am a wind bag, But in my final statement. It is not the responsibility of anyone but me to control what my kids do so stop blaming everyone else and telling us. “If they won’t protect you we will”. Now that is a wind bag Bureaucrat line of I want to be elected BS if I ever heard one.

 

Thank you for listening and this is just my opinion… Yes just my opinion

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

As someone who has been in Second Life since 05 I know that they constantly are trying to keep under age users out by all possible methods but nothing can stop a kid from using parents information to get into Second Life. I have seen parents just do not do what they can to keep this from happening so the responsibility ultimately has to be parents and not blame second life, but themselves. Just look at the drug commercials about kids who get drugs from parents medicine cabinets or wherever in homes. Parents need to do a better job at parenting rather then blaming others for what they fail in doing. I have been a SL mentor for 3 years and I cant count how many times i have turned in reports on under age use. There is a teen grid and many say its boring for a teen. Congress needs to actually contact those of us adults in Second Life and get a bit more common sense observations. It is very clear that congressional investigators are rather superficial.

And shopping for clothing is a blast in SL never worry about finding your size. I have yet to see a single identifiable governement person contact ANY of the help groups. So if government is concerned why dont they contact those of us in there?

At Age 13 i was kid who grew tall fast and being a little overwaeight as well as being 5' 10" tall in the mid 60s I was able to buy Playboy no problem as well as look at any adult magazine with no question. The only difference is now we have computer and internet today. A smart kid can access many things adult more easily today then ever before. And lets face it religion has too much influence on cultures especially the US which I think has too much issue with sexual content across the board.

The Truth is out there, it just may not be what you were looking for or wanted

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Well, I might as well add my two cents on this.

1) Second Life has a world for kids ... any parent in their right mind shuoldn't be allowing young kids onto Second life for Adults.  If you are offended by adult content.... stick to the 'PG' areas in game (yes, we have plenty, and anyone breaking the rules of those areas gets kicked out)

2) Children will cyber in a childrens game, if they want to 'emote' sex .. they will.  Period.  You can put as many rules as you want in a game, and guess what? Private messages allow anything.  I have been asked for sex in EQ2, WOW, and various other games and this while just out adventuring.  I have NEVER been approached out of the blue on SL unless I was in a "sex" area.  Even then "no thank you" works well and they go their merry way.

3) an Adult game being censored for having adult content? Very very lame.  If you want to make sure that only adults can enter the adult area, make new players pop in on a PG continent.  Once they are age verified they can go anywhere, but until they verify age, they can just explore clubs and stores that are geared towards 'unknown age' players.

4) Rape is non-consensual sex acts.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to rape someone who willingly participates, does it turn some people on to pretend? Sure, but just as many of you are disgusted by that, remember many are disgusted by blow jobs or what not.  Live and let live.  Hell 12 year olds use that term all the time now to refer to kicking someones butt in a game "man I just RAPED that a**hole" etc etc.   People are right, the US as a whole is full of people who like to pretend sex doesn't exist.  If you want to be a prude about it, or just don't want to be exposed to it .. then don't search for "mature" in game and treat it like TV .. you don't like it? Change the channel.

 

Children have tons of games they can play where behavior in public chat is monitored.  Let them play one of those.  This is one of the few games that is geared towards adults as an MMO.  The whole point of SL is to be able to live out fantasies ..whatever those are.  If it is an orgy ..more power to you, for some like my sister it is the ultimate shopping spree *grins* for me? It is a place to go where I meet very interesting adults from all over the world.

Plain and simple, if you can't trust your child to only go where you tell them they can online...they shouldn't have free access to a computer.  Be parents and stop blaming others for your child not respecting rules and boundaries.

 

 

 

Being good is mandatory.....behaving is optional.

Being good is mandatory.....behaving is optional.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

As a mother and an adult:

1. I don't want a bunch of people who have no idea my children exist telling me how to parent.

2. I don't want a bunch of people who have no idea to parent themselves (for even those with children don't actually watch them) telling me how to parent. It would amaze me how ignorant they are of parenting (the ones who are parents) except I've long learned than anyone not a parent has distorted views of parenting and Congress has even distorted those.

3. I don't want a bunch of people engaged in the very kind of behaviors they want hidden telling me how to parent. They aren't exactly the types of folks I like, backstabbers, liars, and criminals. I don't pop over to the prison to ask the inmates how to be a good person, I surely am not going to listen to their views on parenting.

I'm a mother of 5, including 2 teenagers, and I know you can't watch them every second of every day. My son has accessed internet porn, I mean it's a cake walk. Not because sites have any obligation to do my job, but because adults shouldn't have to jump through hoops to access things that are for adults just because someone is afraid little Annie will see a peepee. I am well aware of the sick crap on the internet and well aware of how easy my children could access it. I handle this by this new invention of "talking". See we sit down together and engage in a conversation in which we discuss things. We've done this since they were little and it seems to work rather well. My son still accesses porn and aside from being sure he isn't accessing anything disturbing, I let him. Why fight it? Am I happy my children are discovering their sexuality? I wish they'd wait. However, last I heard you couldn't stop biology and you're a fool to try. You CAN guide them to healthy endeavors and be sure that they are viewing sex in a healthy and safe way and help them if they are accessing anything disturbing. The neat thing about this talking thing is that you can do it while driving down the road, folding laundrey, or even cleaning the toilet!

Your children do not have a "right" to the internet. If you feel it's too much for your children and your family, then turn off the internet. You can still access the internet for work in all kinds of ways and your children can't get on that devil's playground, except at school where they are policing (or should be). You as a parent should be just as ready for the increased responsibility of having the internet as your child should for the privilege of accessing the internet.

As a parent, and as a parent of 5, I feel PERFECTLY justified laying this right where it belongs: ON THE PARENT. Quit being lazy and parent  your own children, I manage and most likely I have more than you.

 

 

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

The key lie in this is: "Sites like Second Life offer no protections to keep kids from virtual "rape rooms," brothels, and drug stores."

Yes, no protection aside from the fact that LEGALLY only adults are ALLOWED to be in Second Life in the FIRST place.  Here's a clue to Kirk and similar pinheads: if they break the law to be there NOW, they'll just break whatever NEW laws you invent TOO.  Morons.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

OMG here we go again, this kind of crap ruined a good site called IMVU...Im not into web sex, but i enjoy developing for the programs..But I cant let another atrosity against FREEDOM  go unsaid  whats next cams by our GOV in our real life bedrooms...is there nothing left for adults? are kids going to keep ruleing and ruining adult time? Why does the GOV think it should put its dam nose into every aspect of our lives? where has our FREEDOM  gone? and i would lay odds some of those high and mighty morle majority are them selves the pedafiles we all dread....i for one can tell you they hide in church so should the GOV close the churches to keep the unrully kids safe???? im a gramma and yes i worry about them on the web they hear it from me daily...but see that is the magic sentence they HEAR IT DAILY!!!well all i can say is another nail in the gate to freedom...let FREEDOM RING AND NOT JUST IN OUR MEMMORIES!!!!!!!!

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Well as one resident of the 50,000 or so of us in Second Life, I can tell you some of us want age verification improved too, as the thought of some snotty 14yo trying to engage an adult in sex to extort cash from us doesn't sound so fun either. Where are the parents? Who cares? I'm sorry but I don't belive a sudden introduction of a good parenting policy will keep kids out of adult worlds, I'm not niaive enough to think the US legal system is going to protect residents in other countries from having their names dragged through a media kangaroo court on molestation /grooming charges before being aquited. The only option is to reduce the ease of access by children to adult areas of the internet. If that upsets a bunch of adults because they must forfeit the "freedom" of anomonity, so be it. It's been coming for a while and the Lawyers have been circling, so time to get defensive.

The  "Yess I am over 18" checkbox is about as effective as a "don't steal my stuff" sign on your front door, and is soon to be proved about as much protection in court as a "customers enter at their own risk" sign is from litigation.

Many of us in SL are there for the creativity, 3D modeling & business too, not the cybering, but if consenting adults want to roleplay sexual acts between people, plants, toasters or whatever it's their business really what they do in private areas, the only line drawn is that of kiddie porn, it's just not right in most peoples view and not allowed.

Sure some people here may have no interest in SL, but then many peoples interests aren't Unreal Tournament either but they don't go around bagging it, only kids do that sort of behaviour...................

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

@Vandisha ... "Well as one resident of the 50,000 or so of us in Second Life, I can tell you some of us want age verification improved too, as the thought of some snotty 14yo trying to engage an adult in sex to extort cash from us doesn't sound so fun either." 

My complaint about the Age/Account verification malarkey is not that it's happening but that it's being done in completely the wrong way.   There is nothing at all to stop some unfortunate person from encountering an unverified avatar on a mature or pg parcel, and, after inviting the av back to his skybox on a mature sim to take a look at his new sex bed, discovering that his new friend is, in fact, a snotty 14-year-old extortionist.  

And, come to think of it, I can't imagine that a 14-year-old who had no moral qualms about engaging in such a blackmail scheme would be too bothered about entering a parent's driving licence details into the Aristotle verifacation website, though I am told that putting in Elvis' details gets you verified, too.

What LL are telling us, in the blogs and forums and in-world meetings, is that this more to clean up in-world search than anything else, with a view to attracting more businesses and educational users.   And I can see the point; some feed-back I had after an in-world presentation to a training provider about the possibility of their using Second Life as a training platform was that -- based on their experience of what bored trainees look for with Google if you don't stop them -- they were worried people doing self-paced modules might start playing with the seach tools, think, "Ah, that sounds more fun that what I'm supposed to be doing," and TP off to investigate on the company's time.  

I can also think of several ways to avoid this without causing massive uncertainty and inconvenience to content creators (like me) who are desperately trying to keep up with LL's conflicting definitions of what we we can sell from where and how we can advertise it.  

 

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

To my mind, people are getting confused between, on the one hand, the general proposition that it's undesirable children should have unsupervised access to explicit material on the internet and that it would be an irresponsible parent who found his or children accessing such material and did nothing about it, and, on the other, that government should take preventative action should be taken so that such circumstances can't arise.

Think of other items to which it's clearly undesirable young children should have unsupervised access; alcohol or poisonous substances or matches or sharp knives or hard-core pornographic magazines or dvds or whatever.   Yes, we control children's access to such things at the point of sale, but once a parent or older sibling has bought them and taken them home, we rely on parents' good sense and responsibility to keep such items out of harm's way (and, in extreme cases, we prosecute parents who can't or won't behave responsibily).

I think the confusion arises because, with online materials, the point of sale is in the home and, therefore, less easily controlled than it would otherwise be.   However, if you think about the reasons you want to control the point of sale, it's really because you're worried what the child, unsupervised, might do with the stuff after leaving the store.

We control and police children's access to potentially hazardous materials in stores, I suggest, because it's generally desirable and -- which is the important bit -- it's easily and proportionately done.   However, legislators don't seek -- in general -- to tell parents how to prevent children's access to such materials once they've been introduced into the family home because it would be impracticable and disproportionate.  

To my mind, the same considerations apply when fretting about what, if anything, should or can sensibly be done about children's possible access to undesirable materials they may encounter online.

 

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

Meanwhile, I'm wondering why the hell "Congress" is wasting time trying to nanny out possible polygon nudity, when OPEN pornsites like that colored tube and such don't even require a damn account.

 

Seriously, if impotent "parents" worry about what their kids can find in a virtual sandbox with '99 GRAPHICS.. Just think of the uproar when they hear about what nasties you can get with bloody Emule!

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

 

Just thought I should post this.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

You Freaking tell them Woo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's not a Game Publisher/Designer/Producer's Job to raise other people's kids. Instead of point a finger at someone doing their job, point teh finger at yourself for not doing your's.

It's not a Game Publisher/Designer/Producer's Job to raise other people's kids. Instead of point a finger at someone doing their job, point teh finger at yourself for not doing your's.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

I love how people love to pound the "America is a bunch of prudes" drum. I resent it. Remember it was "our" legislature that approved the now standard "Yes, I am 18" ruling. As a parent of two preteens I am all for ISP's taking a stand for prudent access. The problem is that most ISP's cannot keep up with the voracious demand and curiousity. Sex drives all humans. I am very active in the adult content community (I made the build pictured above. SL-Amsterdam), the majority of us are for realistic and practical application of access guidelines. Aye, there's the rub. What is YOUR suggestion?

In my opinion adult content should have been sequestered in Second Life from the beginning. However, it is very simple to distinguish "responsible" ISP's from those that seek to make a fast buck from adult content. I applaud Linden Lab's change in policy towards "explicit adult". Until recently, anyone who could fill out a registration form, could soon be watching VERY adult depictions. Not eveyone on the web is an adult. A few barriers is usually enough to discourage. 

The problem is the "few bad apples" syndrome. Google keywords are gamed. Porn sites that have no verification whatsoever and splash nudity on their front pages proliferate. Where do you draw the line? Who is going to hold ISP's and content providers accountable? No one wants to have their rights to Free Speech trampled, but simply saying "Where are the parents?" is a cop out. So is simply clicking "Yes, I am 18" IMO. I am an adult content producer. I am also a parent. Our children access the web on a PC in plain view. They will until they are at least 15-16 years old. But I do get sick and tired of my 9 year old gasping every time she has to do a research project for school. I am NOT going to hover over my 12 year old son every moment he is on the web. The pendulum swings both ways.  

We need more efforts like http://www.asacp.org/ whom are VERY active in the adult content community and embraced by most.

It's been my experience that those who get their lulz by saying "ZOMG..think of the chilrenzzz" Usually do not have any.

One thing is for sure, if the U.S. Congress gets involved. It will be a catastrophe.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

As an older sister to kids who are 10+ years younger then me, I know very well you can't stand over (and shouldn't have to stand over) your child every moment they're on the internet.  But there really are parents that don't do anything about it and then blame everyone else later.  My own mother can actually fall into the catagory of not doing anything about filtering what their child watches... my 10 year old brother has and will watch Family Guy and South Park, neither of which I feel are appropriate for him.  He's watched all the Scary Movie films as well.  My mother will hear what he's watching and say "Oh my, I don't think you should be watching that," but never actually acts to stop him.  Ironically enough, she's put me in charge of actively filtering and monitoring what video games they get a hold of. >_>

I'm curious though, have you taught your 9 year-old how to turn on the safe search filter on Google?  I personally don't use it, so I'm not sure just how well it works, but I assume it should at least cut down some of the inappropriate content.

I think in general, people aren't asking for parents to watch their kids 24/7 (if they are, they're probably not parents themselves, or had to deal with kids for long periods of time), just for the parents to make sure they take an active role in raising them.  Talking to your kids about the sites they visit or the games they play, and being sure to follow up and check them out for yourself.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

The janitor who cleans up the meeting hall should be ready with somethign that gets brain matter out of carpet, and a lot of it.

 

But seriously, there are the parents?

 

Those who believe they know what's best for everyone, have no clue.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Nothing like mental lemmings protecting people from themselfs....

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

Fixed:

" If sites like Second Life won't protect kids from obviously inappropriate content, the Congress will. Because the parents shouldn't be arsed to raise their own kids.."

Seriously, what the hell?  If parents aren't paying enough attention to keep their kids from a KNOWN adult environment, on a KNOWN adult service that actively states that it is for 18 and over ONLY, then they've got a hell of a lot more to worry about than little Johnny being exposed to some cartoon characters bumpin' pixels and talkin' dirty on the internet.  Believe me when I tell you that the kids seeking this out, are already well versed before they even get to one of these services.  Don't put the weight of responsibility and blame on the services, put it where it belongs, on absentee and neglecting parents.  How about fines for the parents when kids are caught using adult sites?  I bet it would wake up at least a few who are asleep at the wheel.

 

 

 

 

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Second Life looks too "sterile" for kids to get hooked on it for hours on end. They want to see more action, explosions, more exciting graphics. The nanny-state proposal is an anti-law.

In programming, good programmers follow design patterns, which are generally methods to keep code specialized, and one part of the code doesn't get in the way of another part of the code. There is an "anti-pattern" called the God Object. Nanny-state governments remind me of the God Object. There is one object that knows about everything and is responsible for taking care of everything.

Too many politicians and nanny-supporters think that because the government's job is ultimately to look for the well-being of people, the government's influence on the people's lives has to be all-encompassing. They don't seem to support the delegation of tasks to other bodies of authority such as parents.

GameSnooper

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

I don't want to assume anything but how many people let alone kids are actually playing secondlife?

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Ironic that people hate goverment restrictions and oversight. But when it comes to inappropriate material, which is overall a matter of opinion they want goverment to do the job that they should be doing: supervising the kids that they chose to bring in this world and think for themselves and make their own decisions and let others make their decisions as well. 90% of this BS would be solved if people who found something offensive and bothersom would either dont buy the product or use the OFF button. Why does the whole world have to bend over backward to these f***s?!?! The day is coming when there is nothing on TV on the radio etc because everything was found offensive by at least 1 person. Mark my words.

 

 

In Scapegoats We Trust

"With free speech either all of it is ok or none of it is." Kyle Broflovski

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

Yeah! More Free Speech restrictions from our precious nanny-state and a Congress that is supposed to be barred under a certain important Amendment of the U.S. Constitution from making such restrictions. If a parent finds a certain form of Free Speech media inappropriate or unsuitable for their children (and for some parents this could be the Holy Bible or Harry Potter Novels) it is their sole responsibility to "protect their children" from such content. Nothing in the constitution bars a parent from deciding what Free Speech material is appropriate for their kids but it does prevent the state from doing so.

 "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

This is just so much posturing from another capitol hill douche. "Rape rooms", what the hell is he talking about? Number one, I don't think you can rape other character's without their consent, which means that you can rape anyone. Unless they count you running up to someone with your huge penis model you bought from an "artisan" for $200 linden dollars. 

Also, second life is an interesting concept but I don't think it ever really became significant. While all of do to some degree or another have our own "second life" on the internet, it has more to do with the sites we visit, forums we chat on, and of course favorite fapping web site, then it does with having a literal second life in a virtual world. Its like they took the allegory literally.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

I'm all for Second Life issuing an explicit content warning or something (though I am not in favor of mandating it).

But how about "If sites like Second Life won't...then the PARENTS should..."

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

"If sites like Second Life won't protect kids from obviously inappropriate content, the Congress will."

If I were a parent, I would probably want congress as far the fuck away from my kids as humanly possible.

--------------------------------------------------------

Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

I second that. Congress in my opinion is no better then a child molester, while not raping them physically, they are raping them financially. Are children are going to have to pay for our government's made mess in the future.

 "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Not that I support rape in any way.... but in these virtual worlds... did any actual "rape" really occur? Or is it just "questionable" speech that some people don't like?

Is there a "day after" pill for "virtual" rape?

Didn't think so...

grow up people.... get a thicker skin and stop trying to legislate every little thing you disagree with.

I have two kids and provide them with KNOWLEDGE not fear and judgement.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

I help run one of these "rape rooms" in secondlife. and there seem to be a few misconceptions; we act out scenes of non consensual play including kidnappings and rape. We also stress the importance of Safety, Sanity and even (oddly enough) consentuality . "Roleplay" is a consensual act even when you are acting out scenes of non-consent. In a roleplay at anytime the “victim” become non-consenting then they can call an end to the action and it is expected that the 'evil rapist' will stop immediately. If they continue beyond the use of a safeword or 'out of character' demand to stop then it is abuse and not “roleplay”; sometimes guests do go too far and we have needed to intervene when a guest crosses the lines (and ignores safewords and personal limits of their "victims" but most guests recognize that the “game” is played for the enjoyment of all involved parties including the “victims”.

In our sim we warn guests what sorts of activities might occur in several ways before they ever get down to the “playground”. no-one goes there without a very good idea of what kind of activities they might encounter.

We recognize that real life rape is a horror that no person should ever have to suffer but "rape" and "Kidnap" are common fantasies that can and often are acted out in virtual worlds just as they are acted out in consensual roleplay in BDSM clubs and within private homes in the real world.

Regarding Children: we (referring to our sim within secondlife) have no effective tools today to prevent underage people from accessing our site; By the time a child has arrived at our island they would have already lied on several levels, ignored the terms of service that preclude anyone under 18 from accessing any part of secondlife's main grid (even "PG" areas are off limits to anyone under 18) and manually changed the default settings of the search tool to allow searches for mature content. 

I don't think we need a new law to fix this problem and I worry that government's efforts to "protect children" will also result in preventing access by adults. As far as the law should be concerned LindenLabs has already done enough to warn off children but clearly lindenlabs can do more and they are proposing changes that will require validation of user ages using one of several forms of identification (including credit cards). The owners of our island are very eager to see the new age verification system in effect across all mature content sites. The last thing we want is children being involved in any way with our site and we welcome the changes that are proposed by Linden Labs on age verification.

 

 

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Not to mention when someone's had enough they can, you know, just get up and LEAVE the place.

 

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

IF there is rape, it's either RP, meaning it's a consentual act, meaning not really rape, or, it's someone sending unwanted messages, which is why the ignore list exists.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Perhaps it is possible in Second Life for you to get your avatar to forcefully rape another one.

If that's the case then ... I don't know.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

If you mean dryhump the air above him by way of primitive following objects (that you need area permission to place), yes.

But that's a bannable offense in most places, not to mention considered griefing

 

Now, ACTUAL nonconsensual rape, and not just retarded combinations of sounds and animations that only run on the perpetrator...

THAT is impossible.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there are kid version of Second Life?  If so then why even use Second Life as an example?

 

 

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Because kids go o nthe mai ngrip anyway and it's somehow Linden Labs' fault.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

It's great to hear that SL is putting up barriers to prevent underage users from getting to places where they shouldn't be.  I've never had an interest in SL, so I really have no clue what they did before.   However the system is faulty for just about any online content.  Users can lie really easily about their ages on most sites out there.  Doesn't mean the site shouldn't try though.

Sorry Congress, unless you close down the internet, underage people are always going to get their hands on things they're not supposed to.  Just like they will in real life.  Get over it.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

My question is, why are children playing this game anyway?  If there are these things in this game (and I wouldn't know, no one I know would touch this game), what parent in their right mind would allow this?

 

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Look at another avatar social site: GaiaOnline.  It says strictly in their TOS that you need to be 13 or older to have an account, that way they can keep the content PG13, and not have to worry about parental lashback.  However, the site is still clogged with little kids ranged 8-12 since you can't actually varify people are as old as they say they are when they sign up.  Gaia doesn't even have the more questionable areas SL have, but horny little kids find chat areas where they can have cyber sex.  It was quite funny as I ran across a parent on there looking to close down their son's account because he was caught having cyber sex and sending nude pictures back and forth to people on there.

Kids end up on these sites doing stuff they shouldn't because parents don't monitor what sites they're going on.

Actually, reminds me of a recent issue with a friend of mine.  Around 16-ish or so, she was accused of going to porn sites by her parents because they kept popping up in her seach history.  My friend isn't an idiot, she knows how to delete the search history, so she knew it wasn't caused by her and convinced herself and her parents it must've been some spyware or such putting the sites there.  She's 19 now, and recently walked in to the computer room to find out it was really her 10-12-ish little sister surfing the porn sites.  Her parents were so concerned about their older daughter getting into sex, they haven't even bothered to monitor the one that's really starting to develop unhealthly habits.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Why are they STILL treating Second Life like it matters?

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

I could not agree with you any more. Second Life is not even relevant.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Because a significant number of people still play it?

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

I'm starting to switch gears myself. I think as far as sex goes, the US is over-sensitive on the issue.

 

I always thought there was a barrier for minors getting access to explicit areas of various games, granted weak ones. Then again it isn't hard to change your birthdate to make you appear over 21.

 

---- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

 What gear were you in before? It's been obvious for a very long time that North America in general is ridiculous about hiding anything to do with sex. I'm no scientist, but I have an inkling that the large number of teenagers with unwanted pregnancies and STDs are somehow related...

I remember a quote from a woman who lead some sort of parenting group, and I'm paraphrasing here, "The damage that can be done to a child by seeing a breast in public is not far off from the damage that is done by sexual assault." Yes, someone actually believes that a 6-year old seeing a booby is only slightly less damaging than that same 6-year old being raped. I'm not saying that this kind of thinking is nonexistant in Europe, but it is FAR less common.

On topic here, when are these people going to learn that it is literally impossible to stop an 'underage' person from accessing this sort of thing? There's not any point in trying. Unless we started giving national IDs to citizens, and it required retinal/thumbsprint scan and a tissue sample to get on the internet, absolutely nothing is going to stop this. And I bet that could be circumvented as well.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

What gear were you in before?

I used to be quite uptight about sexual content. Now.. I realize that I was quite off from my former "offense" of that kind of content.

---- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

Teenagers with unwanted pregnancies and STD's is a byproduct of US oversensitivity towards sex. Something to do with "Just say no" sex ed classes that teach kids that they can always "just say no" and not catch anything.

Nevermind the fact that kids DON'T just say no, and when that fails they rarely have the knowledge of what to fall back on (ie. Birth control, protection) and thus catch STD's and get pregnant.

Also, that quote was from a woman who wanted to ban public breast feeding. That was from an Interview on Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t.

 

And on topic. People are not going to learn ever since they have obviously forgotten that as young people they snuck into their parents' stack of porn.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

No, teenagers with unwanted pregnancies and STD's is a byproduct of parent's not caring what their children do and children becoming stupid whores because of it.  However, I do totally disagree with the idea of Congress legislating gaming companies removing these things from games, when these games have a ratings system and warnings in-game about the possibility of encountering these themes.  It seems as though people just don't want to accept responsibility for their actions.  This is the root of this whole problem.

 

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

It's a combination of both.  Many schools don't have good sex ed programs because parents don't want their kids learning about it at school.  All this abstinence only education crap is DEFINITELY part of the issue.  I wish I could remember where I found a whole 15 page PDF of a group that analyzed the most common taught abstinence only program in the USA, and they found a crazy amount of factual errors (including using the results of a flawed study in the 50s on a condoms success rate), and at some points, the program even starts to impose a religious lining about conception, homosexual relationships, and gender roles in society.  Since I can't remember where the PDF is, here's a Washington Post article on those studies: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26623-2004Dec1.html

But then as you said, these parents also don't want to teach the kids themselves about sex, so we end up with a bunch of raging hormone teenagers with no real facts on how to at least protect themselves when they are sexually active.  It's a rather destructive cycle. 

You unfortunately can't make parents teach their kids about sex, but you can make public schools, which is why we should at least revamp the sex ed here in the USA.  Badly.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

" teenagers with unwanted pregnancies and STD's is a byproduct of parent's not caring"

It's not hard for teenagers to do that sort of stuff behind their parents back.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in Virtual

I always thought that those strip clubs on Secon Life were inventions from Law and Order SVU.

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

"If sites like Second Life won't protect kids from obviously inappropriate content, the Congress will."

Le sigh.  This line of reasoning never ends well.

"VWN notes that Second Life publisher Linden Lab recently announced a plan to restrict underage SL users from accessing mature content."

As they should be, if anyone is going to do it.

Re: Congress Awaits FTC Report on Explicit Content in ...

They shouldn't have to do a thing. Second Life is an Online Comunity. And it was really designed to be for adults. Over Half the crazy sex stuff that is in second life was made by it's users. It's a Free system. It's not the job of Linden Labs to take teh hands of someone else's kid and lead them away from the naughty stuff. Parents shouldn't be in an uproar it's rediculous. If they wanna be pissed at anyone, they should be pissed with themselves.  They dropped the ball not Linden Labs. BLizzard's World of Warcraft has  as T for Teen rating. But it states that it's an online game and that might change the rating depending on who you play with. When people got into an uproar because they found teens with guilds ment jsut for cyber sex  on wow, Blizzard said "hey we told you what happens online hads nothing to do with us. We are jsut responsible for what the NPC's say and do.We are perfectly Teen. If you don't like your child cybering on our game then take teh game away from them or monitor their game play." Linden Labs should do the same thing...The exact same thing.

 

 

 

 

It's not a Game Publisher/Designer/Producer's Job to raise other people's kids. Instead of point a finger at someone doing their job, point teh finger at yourself for not doing your's.

It's not a Game Publisher/Designer/Producer's Job to raise other people's kids. Instead of point a finger at someone doing their job, point teh finger at yourself for not doing your's.
 
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