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Archive for October, 2009

The folks who moved to Zindra are Not Happy. From their perspective, those who obeyed the rules and moved to Zindra are now invisible to the common man’s searches, while those who didn’t obey the rules are getting extra business because they are more visible to the rest of SL.

Couldbe Yue suggested in the official forums that an Adult Search check box be added to search even for non-verified accounts. I took a deep breath and shared my perspective as someone who doesn’t really have any interest in hanging out in Zindra, since I suspect that the folks advocating this really don’t see what I do.

I posted:

I don’t normally say much on the forums, and I certainly don’t say much that is controversial, so I might be sorry for this post, but here goes nothing…

There’s something that the folks in Zindra probably don’t realize… what those non-prudes who are happily not in Zindra have perceived through this whole sordid mess. I never considered myself a person who wanted adult content gone, but I have to say that the entire process has been an interesting eye-opener.

First came the ill-conceived announcement that adult content would be shoved off to one corner of the grid and filtered from search. Personally, I liked the idea of filtered search (if I search for roses, I don’t want to have to wade through half the search results being BDSM locations to find sculpty roses; it’s inefficient). I liked the idea that I might be able to reliably buy a parcel of mainland without having a slave trader buy the parcel next door. But I thought that opening new non-adult areas would have been more logical. Obviously, that wasn’t on the table.

Next came the protests. Not only on the blogs, but all over inworld. I saw more gratuitous nudity than I had seen in my previous two years in SL. Those of you who were sowing your wild oats while you still could by flaunting around the whole of the mainland nude, blaring about your adult content-ness, got hard to ignore. I personally feel that when I have an obligation to a group, I should not mute its members inworld, so I had to just put up with it. Your world, your sexuality, in my face gets pretty old after the umpteenth time.

Finally, the rules, as poorly devised as they may have been, came into effect. And you know what? When I search for “rose” now, I find pages upon pages of search results of either flowers or avatar names. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t defend LL, but my search results really are more “predictable” than they used to be. And as a bonus, I’m not seeing anywhere near the level of “acting out” and seeing as much public nudity in inappropriate places as I was before. The system obviously isn’t perfect, since those of you who have followed the rules are seeing people ignoring them. But maybe it’s the searches I’m doing (or not doing)… but I’m not running across the non-compliance you are complaining about.

All that was not to get you riled up. Rather, it’s to share a perspective that to the average user like me that this process actually worked…. and I suspect that going to cause some serious inertia on the part of LL to making additional changes, even small ones like adding a check box in search.

I’ve been following this thread with interest, and I’m curious, Couldbe, could you clarify this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Couldbe Yue
I can only think that by allowing everyone a glimpse of what is there it will:
a. make it easier to convince those not complying to comply


Do you think they’re more likely to comply if they think that the non-verifieds will see their content in search? Why would they be any more less likely to attempt to game the system if there was still a non-adult search to be gamed? I guess I’m dense, but I’m not getting it. And if I don’t, the rest of us who live outside the Zindrasphere might not, either.

I was silent on this blog a long time, including through the whole Zindra implementation, so I never spoke up about my opinions on the subject at the time. But what I saw was a poorly-conceived policy on the part of the Lindens, poorly-executed “protests” on the part of the people who felt they were going to be marginalized, followed by intense relief that the most public part of the chaos was over by those of us who didn’t have a direct stake in things. The intense relief part is the part that I think that those within the Zindrasphere may not be aware of… and could be their biggest enemy in trying to enact additional changes.

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Before this post title gets anyone worked up: No, I’m not announcing that I’m leaving. So no, you can’t have my stuff, sorry.

I was wandering through Burning Life a bit today, realizing that Burning Life 2007 was the first LL-sponsored inworld event I really found intriguing. SL4B was a little over a month after I rezzed, and I remember attending a party there where I was required to wear pajamas. I bought some hideous, overpriced pajamas that I probably still have somewhere in inventory but have never worn again, and the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, SL Birthday celebrations are now linked in my mind with bad pajamas. But I digress.

That first Burning Life I attended, I remember thinking that one of the most magical things was the temple. Now, I don’t often enter houses of worship in real life, so what I was doing wandering into anything called a “temple” without fearing it would drop onto my head is beyond me. But inside, I found a place that you could leave a message. The message would then be displayed as hovertext above one of the votive lights in the temple, and at the end of Burning Life, all of the messages that are left during the event are read off as the temple is burned to the ground.

I suppose the reality of attending the burning of the temple — something I have never managed due to timing conflicts — is probably not nearly as mystical as the idea itself. I’ve seen videos of avatars dancing around with fire extinguishers in place of codpieces, so I am sure there are some issues with dignity involved. But the idea stays with me.

What we leave behind in a virtual world is different than what we can in a physical world. Here, we can procreate and “pass on our line.” But in a virtual world, whether it’s in the walled garden of Second Life or the wider one of the internet, what we leave behind is less tangible. Is it less meaningful? What mark are we leaving? What will they say about us when we have moved on to new frontiers?

These are the things I pondered this morning in this year’s build of the temple at Burning Life as I whispered a few words to be consigned to the particle flames when the event draws to a close.

Despite my recent cynicism about LL and Lab-sponsored events, there are some real gems among the builds this year. Crank up the fan on your video card and wander down to take a look if you get a chance.

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