Second Life to regulate adult content

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Chicago (IL) - Linden Lab has confirmed its intention to regulate adult content found in the wild virtual world of Second Life.

The company will implement a three-tiered rating system - PG, mature, or adult - that will be used to identify content and set individual preferences for residents. In addition, Linden Lab will require Second Life users to verify their allegedly mature age before visiting sleazy red-light districts and accessing stimulating adult-oriented search results.

The creators of Second Life have also decided to transfer (or banish) mature content from the mainland to a newly created continent filled with frolicking avatars. A timeline, along with specific details on how the "migration" will be managed, is slated for publication during Q2.

"From the beginning, Linden Lab has led the way in the development of virtual worlds and has set the standard on many cultural and social issues involved with virtual communities. Preferences and community standards vary tremendously across industries, countries and cultures; our goal is to retain as much of the freedom as possible while continuing to push the medium and our platform forward," explained Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon. "We made this decision, and defined and developed this program based on the direct requests and feedback we received from the Second Life community. As we continue to grow, it is crucial that we maintain the diversity of user-generated content while providing enhanced controls to support a wider range of uses."

According to Linden Lab, the "adult" designation will apply to Second Life regions which "host, conduct or display content that is sexually explicit or intensely violent, or depicts illicit drug use." "Mature" regions are expected to be defined as locations designed to accommodate common activities in Second Life, including social and dance clubs, bars, stores and malls, galleries, music venues, beaches and parks.

In contrast, puritanical "PG" sectors will be completely devoid of any sexual, violent or enjoyable themes. Indeed, references to drug or alcohol consumption will be forbidden in prohibition-friendly PG areas, which could attract hordes of prudish educators, conference attendees and real world businesses.