Friday, March 13, 2009

Balkanization? Get over it!

Yes we saw it coming (or if you didn't you're truly not paying attention) - the restrictions over "adult" content and who has access. I personally support this initiative and I'm assuming it will be done professionally and with an even hand. We can't have the adult and teen grids merged unless we can restrict the "adult" content. Note - it's "adult" not the existing "mature". I see three categories now instead of the two and I'm willing to wait and see how it all gets defined.

Some will believe this is leading to the balkanization of SecondLife (although I haven't seen that word used yet relative to this discussion). My response would be "huh"? We are already balkanized. Don't think so? Even if you don't count the IBM-type firewalls for business - when was the last time you were forced to watch Gorean slave masters at work next door to your little oasis? Unless you visit a Gorean sim you won't - doesn't mean you won't see Gorean characters running around but all the "good" stuff is done at their home. How about pony players? Incest aficionados? These types of activities are primarily restricted to sims or parcels where the residents share that type of mindset and where they're aren't afraid of being targeted by us insensitive, narrow minded, uneducated louts. (in this case I are proud to be a lout!)

"But!" some will reply. "That's just roleplay!" Well, Sparky, so is porn. Don't believe me? Then you really think that norse god in the corner playing with himself is not a 75 year old fat guy with false teeth and a "wand" that requires the sacrifice of a goat to operate? You need more help than I can offer.

We need a Second Life that isn't in the gunsights of every reactionary luddite looking for a cause to scare the populous and get themselves elected. We need a Second Life where the teen and regular grids can combine without having every parent in the world up in arms. I need a Second Life where I don't have to worry about somebody putting a sign up next to my store showing up close photos of naked body parts (wasn't that special).

There are those - and they pop up relative to every major issue and/or change announced by Linden Labs - who say things like "But what if I live on the third floor and my porn store only occupies the bathroom of the second floor on every 17th Thursday and how will I cope?" These are the people who can't look at rules or guidelines and use common sense to interpret their meanings in various situations. Or figure out when to ask somebody what is and isn't permitted if that isn't clear. You know the ones who are always saying things like "But you didn't explicitly tell me I shouldn't use it for a dildo!" I have an idea how to help these poor souls - but that will be a different blog post. Sorry ..... you'll just have to wait.

Voluntary segregation doesn't seem to bother anybody. Although it does seem to require a significant financial investment. If I was a porn purveyor I would see a big benefit to the "red light district". It'll be much easier to get traffic to your place of business and you know that those people wandering in your front door are actually looking for what you have to offer. I think their business will improve and they won't have to pay to create the "destination".

The one concern so far that I think is valid would be the issue of where the balkanization will stop. I wouldn't want to live in a Second Life that formally segregated and regulated based on form (humanoid vs furry for example), religion, politics or gender as examples. However, I don't think that could happen. My belief is that so few residents of SL would be willing to accept those types of blatant persecution that the world would be emptied. Porn will not engender the same type of reaction.

The fact that there is some isolation now based on rl bigotry is the fault of all of us not punishing those who discriminate by withdrawing our business or support. Again - another post for another day.

So yes I'm pleased that porn (and let's be honest, that's what we're talking about) will be put somewhere I don't have to see it if I don't want to. Put where those who are interested will know how to find it. Put where you can finally answer the newbie question "Where do I go to have sex?" And that all by itself is a really good reason to implement this policy.


Dale Innis said...

Well expressed opinions. You've probably already seen my post expressing a somewhat different view :) so I won't go into enormous detail, but...

Voluntary segregation would be fine with me! If LL had opened some new land that was zoned PG, I wouldn't have any problem with that; I would have agreed with you that it was a good idea even (there would still be problems with subjective judgements, but one copes).

But what they're actually proposing is to forcibly uproot some huge number of existing establishments (and the number will be huge if "Adult" means anything at all), who have followed all the rules and done nothing wrong. And that just seems unfair and mean. Being uprooted is punishment, is singling out as non-normative, is degrading. And I don't like seeing that happen to people who've been good.

When you say that you're glad that the porn "will be put somewhere I don't have to see it if I don't want to", isn't that already the case?

If you don't want to see porn you can stay on PG sims. Or for that matter in Mature places that don't have any porn. As I asked Gwyneth who similarly surprised me by saying something similar, when was the last time SL *forced* you to look at porn? (Not counting some griefer blasting the place with dirty particles, which the adult exile will do nothing whatever to prevent.)

Hoping the "calm down, it's no big deal" folks are right... :)

Honour McMillan said...


I haven't had a chance to read your post yet - I tried to formulate my response without looking at other posts. :)

Yes I have been "forced" to look at porn. My comment about the pictures next to my garden was based on what really happened.

Being forced to "move" would be an issue in the real world. That I can see. Being forced to "move" in SecondLife. Again I don't see that as a horrible thing to have happen. And I think there will be more benefits to them than people realize at the moment.

I wish labeling land PG actually meant something. In my experience it means people can decide to have sex in the middle of my business just cause they want to. They can put on display whatever they want next door. My parcel description does not stop them from doing whatever they want and inflicting on me.

I don't think people should have to keep a 10m view distance and closed windows doors at home just cause a neighbour needs to be an exhibitionist or advertise their services in a public way.

But that's just me. :)

Dale Innis said...

I can't resist replying one more time. :)

I'm not sure that the adult exile will fix, or is even intended to fix, the things that you're looking forward to it fixing. Having your parcel marked PG doesn't keep people from canoodling naked in the middle of your business now, and I'll bet having your land not marked Adult will be just as ineffective at preventing it.

I naturally can't find again your comment about the pictures next to your garden :) but in the case of the age-players with the disgusting profiles that's already against the ToS, and there's no reason to think that the adult exile will improve enforcement any.

If the pictures by your garden were someone's personal property, Lindens have said in the forums that anything goes in personal residential spaces. If they were from a hard-core sexually-themed business, then the adult exile should actually help. *If* Adult marking is actually enforced the way that PG parcels and profiles so far haven't been. I'm not holding my breath...

Honour McMillan said...

it was a business :)