LL Ageplay Shocker: The Company Rules

by prokofy on 07/03/07 at 8:04 pm

Prokofy Neva, Dept. of Community Afffairs

In a reversal of their usual hands-off policy toward inworld lifestyles of even the most extreme type, Linden Lab has unexpectedly come up with an ageplay policy today, which it has chosen to articulate not on the official Blob, but in notecards delivered to some inworld businesses.

A notecard is making the rounds with the following text:

Dear Second Life Resident:

Linden Lab would like to inform you that your land or business is possibly not in
compliance with Second Life’s Community Standards. The depiction of sexual
activity involving minors may violate real-world laws in some areas, and the
Second Life community as a whole has made it clear that it views such
behavior to be broadly offensive. Linden Lab chooses not to allow the
advertising or promotion of age play or related activities in any public
forum — including in-world textures, classified ads, the Second Life
forums, or parcel descriptions.

Advertisements, promotions, or descriptions of such activities must be
removed to avoid account sanctions. Any account asserting an age that does
not meet Second Life’s minimum age of eligibility will be closed.

Linden Lab

The notecard, titled “LL AgePlay Policy” and listing “Chadrick Linden” as creator, is white type on brown and is a non-modify card and appears to be authentic.

It is not yet known which businesses or homes have received the card.

For a lively discussion on the topic and my thorough critique of Tateru Nino’s justification of ageplay on the Blingsider, see my blog.

135 Responses to “LL Ageplay Shocker: The Company Rules”

  1. Urizenus

    Mar 7th, 2007

    Wow, I guess something like that was inevitable.

    My only question is about the restriction on “descriptions” of such activities. Does that mean that an in world newspaper can’t even talk about it happening?

  2. Prokofy Neva

    Mar 7th, 2007

    I have no idea. And I wonder what “public” means here versus “private” as in your own home. Chadrick was online, but chose not to respond to my request for a comment on the record.

  3. Artemis Fate

    Mar 7th, 2007

    Interesting. I was wondering where they’d take the idea of “broadly offensive”, since it definately seems to me that sexual ageplay falls under that umbrella.

    However, it does seem a bit like this is more of a notecard asking for a removal of a sign not connected to the actual ageplay place, “Linden Lab chooses not to allow the advertising or promotion of age play or related activities in any public forum” perhaps simply condemning ageplay places from advertising, like cigarette companies.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  4. Nacon

    Mar 7th, 2007


    Seriously… what’s more to talk about ageplay? Nothing, cause it’s stupid and retarded.

    If this is such a huge deal, then why aren’t you talking about it in Sim Online and There.com?
    (duh, they don’t want to get fucked by their own government.)

  5. Maria LaVeaux

    Mar 7th, 2007

    I agree with Arte here, it seems Only to comment on the Open advertising of these activities, and Not the activities themselves. Prok should continue to try and gain Clarification of LL’s position, but it does seem fairly Plain to me.


  6. Joannah Cramer

    Mar 7th, 2007

    “Any account asserting an age that does not meet Second Life’s minimum age of eligibility will be closed.”

    This seems quite clear cut — if you claim your AV is any younger than 18(?), that’s ban for you. That would mean even people who play children without any kind of sexual motive to it… still get the banstick just the same. Quite absurd.

    Question would be if this extends also to mere appearance of the AV (because of the “depiction of activities…” mentioned earlier in the same card) I.e. if the ban is also going to affect anyone who doesn’t _look_ ‘old enough’ O.o

  7. Caramel LeShelle

    Mar 7th, 2007

    Excellent news. Well done LL.

  8. Urizenus

    Mar 7th, 2007

    Does that mean that furries have to claim to be 18? An 18 year old dog or racoon is freakin *old*. Maybe there will be different ages of consent for different species. The fun is just begining!

  9. Gillian Waldman

    Mar 7th, 2007

    No doubt in response to all the kerfuffle over the John Edward campaign in SL and other corporate/civic pursuits. What took them so bloody long?

  10. SixSider

    Mar 7th, 2007

    I am curious to see how this will affect the Harry Potter folks and such.

  11. Prokofy Neva

    Mar 7th, 2007

    I’ll tell you what I *don’t* like about this policy, as is it worded. Of course, as anyone knows from reading my blog, I find ageplay and BDSM intellectually indefensible and morally contemptible. What people do in the privacy of their own homes SL and RL is not the government’s business nor their neighbours’ business and that should be respected (one can have one of those “My Name is Luca” side discussions about what to do for abused children, wives, etc. but that’s a different argument)

    So there’s the definitional problem opened up here in Chadrick’s card (if it’s authentic, and it appears to be because it was showing him as creating and was on “no modify”) about privacy and “public”. What is public? The card notifies us that “public” means “the forums” or “the classifieds” but is “public”, in that perverse and devilish W-hat definition, “anywhere my camera can angle into?” Because that was the case in the incident last summer when gangs of people were trying to shut down a house used by a group of ageplayers — they looked at their neighbours’ groups, profiles, and the zoomed into their houses to see their offensive pictures on the walls. The Lindens were unmoved. They did not take down the house or remove the pictures. They stood by and did nothing. And I think probably one has to concede they did the right thing there.

    All of this “public v. private” can be parsed and now Lindens will parse it. {Just like they parsed me right out of Dore PG into bannination for 3 days *on a first-time offense* for merely saying “Fuck you” to Kex Godel who was being an obnoxious FIC twit to me over an attack on Anshe’s land I was trying to get the Lindens to fix (a very important protest that happened by accident but which I’d do again in a heartbeat].

    No, what bothers me here is another Lindeny thing which I REAAALLY don’t like — and that’s this “the community” stuff:

    “and the Second Life community as a whole has made it clear that it views such behavior to be broadly offensive.”

    1. What is the Second Life community “as a whole”? I reject that concept out of hand, because if we posit there is such a thing, we have a nasty, oppressive beast, which is “Whatever Aimee and her friends-who-are-now-Lindens think are right” because that’s what the Lindens mean by “The Community”. There isn’t really any “community as a whole” made up of 4.5 million random sign-ups of 187,000 people who spent a dollar, and let’s not pretend there is, shall we?

    2. What is “made it clear”? How? On forums that don’t exist anymore? On chance random comments on the Blob which is an inarticulate mess, designed to push company lines and not pull customer opinion? Where on earth does one access “the community” in the act of “making it clear” how it feels about something?

    To be sure, we all know there’s, say, my blog post that just protested The Tateru’s white-washing of ageplay; or there’s some person’s website that tracks and outs ageplayers to try to shame them out of town — but this is just a fractured fairy-tale. I believe in articulating my own position and finding like-minded to share that position and resonate with it to keep the public space neutral and unalloyed and unallied with any faction, to the extent possible. That doesn’t mean making “The Community” enforce its standards. I’m happy *this* standard is enforced and fairly certain it is reflective of the broad democratic masses around SL but…what if I’m wrong? And how will I know?

    3. “it views such behaviour”. Here’s the worst thing of all. Aside from the polling problem of how to access that “it” that can do that “viewing” in this collectivist utopia of the Lindens, there’s the problem of how perception crystallizes, and how haphazard it can be. Today, the Lindens took the pulse of the “community” and pretty much got it right, that most people are offended by ageplay and don’t want it viewable or even present in SL, i.e. in the SEARCH list or CLASSIFIEDS or justified on major blogs like the Blingsider. So good for the Lindens today!

    But yesterday, despite EVERYBODY within view or shouting range of the Bush Guy’s signs, who actually had to live with them (instead of being some sectarian sandboxer abstractly bleating about his “rights” even as the Bush Guy took away everyone else’s freedoms), the Lindens took a ruling that “The community didn’t find it broadly offense” or “The community didn’t think of it as spam”. Oh? Well, HELL NO. They were wrong about this; Hamlet was wrong about it; all the FIC were wrong about it.

    In other words, there isn’t a community, it is hard to access its voice, when it does rise to some collective action (it pretty much did on Copybot, splitting basically 60-20-20 on against, for, and unknown), the Lindens may Do Something…but then again, they may not, just because they’re dope-smoking hippie wierdniks.

    And that’s just the problem. We don’t have a government, we don’t even have a responsible authoritarian executive that still goes through some kind of electoral and parliamentary process. We just have this…company…that may or may not listen to its…customers, some of the time, or never, and may most of all listen to the fear of bad press, and a powerful presidential candidate, and then run for cover invoking “the community” when they mean “the future president of the United States of America” — or “big companies like Sun Microsystems” who may or may not reflect “the community’s aspirations”.

    4) “broadly offensive”. This term, which is legally overbroad on the face of it, and which isn’t defined in any kind of ACLU legal First Amendment fashion, is one of those things that you just “have to know”. Let me give you a bit of guidance here drawn from my actual SL experience of actual Linden readings:

    o bust made up of my RL picture spewing my blog, exaggerated and ugly, being defaced on a private sim — not offensive (not removed by Lindens nor grounds for RL disclosure)
    o bust made up of my RL picture in blackface with exaggerated African-type lips being defaced on Linden-sponsored “Burning Man” land — not offensive
    o picture of a man urinating on a book that may be about the Koran — offensive (owner asked to remove)
    o picture of man’s bare buttocks put up cheekily in protest against an ugly girlz girlz girlz sort of club showing pictures of naked women in silhouette — offensive, owner asked to remove the butt.
    o group with a picture of a cum-doused girl in the icon — offensive, removed by Lindens
    o group with anti-gay charter — asked to be changed by Lindens
    o signs calling for a boycott against Anshe as an evil landbaron — not offensive (one Linden); offensive (another Linden)
    o sign accusing Lordfly, Jauani, and other assorted FICers of killing Christmas (offensive, removed)
    o “no gays” hate signs on my lawn (offensive, removed by Lindens)
    o cut off bloody furry heads (offensive, AR accepted)

    If you mine some Herald back issues for other similar stories — you’ll get the idea. The bar of taste and offensiveness slides, isn’t clear, and is pulled down by one Linden one way and another another way.

    So what should LL have done?

    I think they as a company, responsible for maintaining a closed proprietary world, which nevertheless is free and open to the public, in which they make no claims about age other than those they can verify through payment methods, they must have a loud and clear policy against ageplay *and ageplay simulation* in the public domain, on their forums, in their classifieds, in their search ads, and at public meetings.

    They must promulgate this position/law not in a notecard randomly given to ClownTown USA by one Linden (that’s what I discovered about this particular card) but published on their blog as an official company position.

    When it comes to freedom of expression, the best law is usually either no law or a very brief law that is both broad in its application but clear so as not to admit overbroad application.

    So in this case, they should say briefly exactly what they’ve said, “Public ageplay is not permitted” but they shouldn’t say “ageplay in your private home is allowed” because that implies they pick and chose what is or isn’t allowed; here, they are merely silent, as the “state”.

    The state can decide what is appropriate for public school dress; the state can take Christmas creches out of traffic circles; they do this by reading precedent and law as well as the community’s levels of tolerance, but they don’t invoke it in such a facile and direct way as the Lindens, nor do they invoke it in in a *context* that is similar to SL (where we have no genuine mass media, no parliament, no courts, etc.)

  12. Curious Rousselot

    Mar 7th, 2007

    This is complete speculation on my part but I am going to venture a guess anyway…

    I will bet LL received some sort of political pressure. Maybe a letter from the prosecutor’s office in the Netherlands, maybe related to the John Edward campaign, maybe something else. Probably in the form of an official letter.

    LL’s response was to inform at least the owners of some high profile age-play areas in the form of the note card. They then responded to the complaint with another letter stating something to the effect of:

    We don’t create the content, the users of the system do. To that end we have informed our users that the sort of offensive content you pointed out to us is not acceptable and must be removed. We will monitor the situation and, should they not remove the offensive material, we will remove it ourselves and cancel the offender’s accounts. I trust this proves satisfactory to your complaint. We now consider the matter closed.

    bla bla bla

    In other words, they are doing as little as possible to fix the problem (as usual) but they *NEED* it to appear as though age play has left Second life. Make it harder to find. Don’t advertise (at least not in a way that the general media is going to find easily), take it into private areas with ban lines and large walls to prevent casual observation and it might go away enough to satisfy LL.

    It doesn’t really matter if age play does go away, so long as LL doesn’t get more formal complaints.

    Non age-play specific groups (like HP) are probably okay for this first round. If the problems don’t go away soon, this will probably change.

  13. Caramel LeShelle

    Mar 7th, 2007

    On reflection, I agree actually.

    This would appear to be more about hiding ageplay from the prying eyes of the RL press, and being able to point out a document of sorts the company produced that set our their opposition to the practice in SL – even if you never really intended to enforce it and deliberately didn’t make the majority of the community aware of it.

    I hope that all of the SL news outlets get their hands on this story so that it will indeed become a public issue and not just a sneaky way for LL to hedge their bets.

  14. Angel

    Mar 8th, 2007

    “Any account asserting an age that does not meet Second Life’s minimum age of eligibility will be closed.”

    Well there go all the kids, most will assert an age under 18.

    Who shall we start on next? Well I think beastiality is abhorent so let’s target the Furries. I won’t stop until we see a statement from Lindens saying “Any account asserting an species that is not human will be closed.”

  15. csven

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Any account asserting an age that does
    not meet Second Life’s minimum age of eligibility will be closed.

    Well that probably nukes a lot of innocent people. Nice going, LL.

  16. Petey

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Damn, there goes one of my best critiques of Second Life.

    Public, though? Jailbait is enclosed by a wall on all sides and has very strict permissions. This will be interesting…

  17. Plastic Duck

    Mar 8th, 2007

    This is Voted 5 all over again.

    Chadrick Linden hasn’t been dishing out as much heat as he used to, he needs to get his name back in the game and looks for something juicy to stick his dick in. What better choice than to go after something so controversial as age play? This has absolutely NOTHING to do with age play, children, or any laws.

    I remember when Chadrick (CrowCatcher Valen) was first hired over a year ago as Adam Linden, he would spend hours around Baku and other popular goon hangouts looking for and sometimes enticing trouble. He worked a ridiculous amount of hours (often for free) and tried so hard to make a name for himself. It worked, and now he’s working in the offices and is a big shot in the support/abuse/liaison department.

    When Michael Linden decided to ban the 60 or so Voted 5 members, he wasn’t doing it because he wanted to nail 60 grid crashers, he did it because it was epic drama that the majority of SL would agree with. He got 1 or 2 grid crashers (who had been banned dozens of times before) but then had Philip Linden announce that they had just banned 60 grid crashers. The SL public is happy, and it looks like LL is doing their job.

    With this scenario, it’s worded to make it seem that LL is banning horrible child molesters and pedophiles, saving thousands of innocent children around the world. They’re not. They’re banning a legal and legitimate form of role play. This is absolutely 100% politics.

  18. hayzeus kristohs

    Mar 8th, 2007

    actually jailbait closed a few days ago, i believe.

  19. nyx

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Glad to hear it…’child rape play’ is a tool used by pedophiles to ‘test the waters……

  20. Pierre

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Funny how this blog starts getting all moral on Ageplay when they never condemned it before. In fact, just a few weeks back there was a completely uncritical interview with an age player. Could it be you suddenly found some balls after it was criticised elsewhere in SL media last week?

  21. FWord Utorid

    Mar 8th, 2007

    While I do not participate in or seek ‘ageplay’, I do not have a personal opinion on what is appropriate for consenting adults to ‘perform’, online or otherwise. However, according to my profile, there is a setting (which I cannot change) which states I was ‘Born On’ 9/17/2006. By that token, I am 6 months old. And if that’s consistent across SL, then there isn’t anyone in SL over the age of 3 or 4. So, it’s Linden Labs that has converted us into ‘children’, and regardless of how we are depicted, we are all children under their system. — fu

  22. Little Gray

    Mar 8th, 2007

    In Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition 535 U.S. 234 (2001), the U.S. Supreme Court determined that provisions in the Child Pornography Prevention Act prohibiting, “any visual depiction, including photograph,film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture” that “is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” §2256(8)(B), and any sexually explicit image that is “advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression” it depicts “a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” i.e. ‘virtual child pornography, was overly broad, in violation of the First Amendment, because it includes matters that are not ‘obscene’ within the legal defintion of the term, nor, produced by the exploitation of real children.

    You can view the decision online.

    No subsequent decisions have overruled this decision. You can view the complete decision at http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-795.ZS.html.

    It appears that, with respect to virtual sex acts between child avatars, LL is more restrictive of Free Speech rights than the United States is.

    Arguments can be made that suspending or banning a resident — thereby depriving them of personal property — as a result of engaging in ageplay could be legally actionable. Certainly, LL could restrict advertising ageplay (of a sexual nature) in PG areas and impose other reasonable time, place and manner restrictions, but, the legality of banning or suspending a resident for advertising ageplay (of a sexual nature) in mature areas is questionable.

    Little Gray

  23. Jesse Malthus

    Mar 8th, 2007

    “Appears to be authentic”? Hate to break it to you, but notecards are the most easily forged (in terms of misrepresented creator) objects in the world.
    I’ll believe it when it’s in the Community Standards/TOS

  24. LeBon Simons

    Mar 8th, 2007

    I concur with Little Gray.

    Furthermore, to make an example of why this is completely bogus– Porn sites are allowed to promote the “teen” aspect of their content with no repercussions. These types sites feature women (or men) who LOOK LIKE CHILDREN. IMO there is no difference between looking like a child and playing up that aspect of your sexuality in RL and having a sexually active avi in SL that looks like a child. It’s not up to Linden Labs to make such a broad reaching decisions when it comes to ADULT role play within SL (yes, it is still adult role play). I am very disappointed. I am curious if any lawyers helped to create this policy or if a bunch of computer geeks with illusions of piety in a board room in California created it. If there was hard evidence linking ageplay in SL to child abuse I might change my opinion, but there is not and most likely will never be. I think a lot more sociological investigation needs to be done and a lot less restriction in the meantime. Let’s see the science.

    BTW, imo all of the sex-play in SL is ridiculous anyway…get over it and find some flesh. Pixels=Pixels, Flesh=Sexy… LOL.

    Remember to always use a virtual condom,

    LeBon Simons

  25. kathygnome

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Child avies aren’t banned, you simply need to state in your profile that you are 18+ IRL and not advertise for sexual activities. A lot of us who play kids already had that somewhere because we were the last people who wanted to be bothered by the freaky guys.

    One of the nice things about Linden is that they are capable of figuring out the difference between those of us who are playing kids and reliving their inner child and the guys who are there to **** kid avatars.

    And while virtual child porn is legal in the US, it’s illegal in a number of other countries.

  26. Lewis nerd

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Why not just ban *all* sex from Second Life, then 99% of our problems will be solved.


  27. Prokofy Neva

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Jesse, this notecard is on “no modify” and shows a creator; unless there is an elaborate hack that can get around “no modify” on notecards, I don’t have reason to believe this is forged. The card has been served to some businesses alleged to be involved in ageplay and they’ve complied.

    Re: “Certainly, LL could restrict advertising ageplay (of a sexual nature) in PG areas and impose other reasonable time, place and manner restrictions, but, the legality of banning or suspending a resident for advertising ageplay (of a sexual nature) in mature areas is questionable.”

    Little Gray, you know perfectly well that these notions of “time, place, and manner” apply to local governments. They don’t apply to private groups. Your notion that an SL banning is actionable will hinge not on the action and whether it fits under the law, but what determination will be made about the nature of LL and SL themselves.

    LL is a private company; it has a private club which requires registration, even if free. So it could be argued that this is like the case of the Boy Scouts, and not like one of the Mall of America cases. As you well know, the interpretation of these laws will very much depend on the case and how the judge rules on it based on these precedents. So you can render an opinion on it, but you aren’t the judge yourself, merely an ACLU lawyer attempting to get the maximum free-speech ruling you can.

  28. Crispin Lover

    Mar 8th, 2007

    This is funny considering that rumor has it that CrowCatcher aka Chadrick Linden is quite the kinky boy himself.

    Lewis Nerd, to desex SL would be to dehumanize it.

    Why are you so afraid of sex? If you want a sterile environment to your liking there’s plenty of other MMOs out there which cater to that market.

  29. Lewis nerd

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Who said I was afraid of sex? Not me.

    Ban SL sex and you’d get rid of most of the pervs, half of the unverified accounts, most of the laggy sex clubs – and less people online means a better experience for everyone else.

    After all, how rewarding can it really be to a normal, sane human to be watching a talking penis and a particle effect?


  30. Crispin Lover

    Mar 8th, 2007

    I see, Lewis, and how would you propose going about policing that?

    A “Just say no” campaign like the idiotic one they had here in the US for a while?

    Hire 2000 “police persons” to scour the grid 24/7/365?

    Set up an Echelon like system to monitor people’s IMs?

    What your talking about is nigh on fascism.

    No thanks.

  31. Petey

    Mar 8th, 2007

    “What your talking about is nigh on fascism.


  32. Anon

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Well, down the slippery slope we dive… head-first…

    Abandon independent thought all ye who enter hear.

    Propriety owns your thoughts and actions now.

    Your opinion means nothing.

  33. Anon

    Mar 8th, 2007


  34. Lewis nerd

    Mar 8th, 2007

    There is, of course, the thought that if you don’t participate in anything suspect (ageplay, cybering etc) then you have nothing to fear.


  35. Prokofy Neva

    Mar 8th, 2007

    The Lindens drew the line at anti-gay and racist hate speech; none of the liberal hedonists of Second Life were upset about that, surely.

    The Lindens are now drawing the line at ageplay and simulated child rape; they find that it is in line with communist standards about what is “broadly offensive”. Most people find it “broadly offensive”. Only a small percentage of sectarians will keep battling this and trying to make a free speech case out of obscenity.

    The reason LL can do this is because they’re a private company, even with their role as a common carrier and public space and such. They haven’t been challenged. Perhaps they will be.

    Life is about picking your battles, and bad cases make bad law. I’m not interested in running with the cases involving pissing on holy books or simulated child rape in order to establish free speech precedents within virtual worlds. I’ll let Little Gray do that.

    I’m more interested in having LL first cease their arbitrary and punitive practices of banning people from the forums over criticism of other residents and the company over much more garden-variety stuff like CopyBot; from there, if that level of freedom is achieved then you could branch out to ensure the um freedoms of people who want to piss on holy books and rape kids. I won’t be joining them out there on the fringe.

    It doesn’t matter that it is Chadrick Linden who happens to have made and signed this card. He’s just doing his job, and not an easy one. It could well have been another Linden on duty at the time. Their own personal lives are irrelevant. I’m for publicizing all Linden mains and alts because I think they’re like government officials. What they do on their private time is their business, but if they have established public businesses or projects or reputations, then the public has a right to know how/if they may be biased.

    While they have a policy of distributive decision-making, I can’t believe that only Chadrick by himself went out on a limb with this one, it’s so controversial. Surely other Lindens backed him on this.

    Curious may be right, it could have been the combination of the Dutch and the Edwards campaign that galvanized them into focusing on this but I’ll bet it was also the frustration of not being able to have an answer for the many residents abuse-reporting this sort of behaviour.

  36. Lewis nerd

    Mar 8th, 2007

    I’m still waiting for it to appear on the blog.


  37. shockwave yareach

    Mar 8th, 2007

    The sexual ageplay question is a bit of a puzzle. On one hand, I personally find it distasteful. But at the same time, there are people who are in their 50s who get to pretend to be a kid again. So kid avatars aren’t automatically “dirty”.

    What people do in private in the virtual world is of no concern to me because no-one can be hurt. While yes, some argument for enabling a real world behavior could be made, the same could be said in order to ban all violent video games and movies. So be sure you look before you leap. Key word here is private – giant promo ads for what would be universally condemned in RL is begging for hassles.

    Nobody is going to create the SL FBI and start logging conversations. Those who run the sex ageplay areas will either leave, keep a low profile, or be removed from the grid. That’s all. I’ve little belief that anything can remove even the sickest stuff from dark corners of the game because nobody has been able to eliminate it in RL either. But it can be cleaned up when it becomes widely visible, and that seems to be the direction LL is taking.

    I’m more concerned with the real life perverts than what a bunch of pixels on somebody’s screen are doing. If you want a cause, pick that one up.

  38. Devon Ashby

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Devon’s Perfect Second Life:

    I log in to the ultimate escape from my demanding job and personal life. Like every member of SL, I am free to do whatever I choose as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. I am an adult, seeking and in the company of other adults, and we recognize that expression and pleasure, of any kind, is a personal choice and while we may not understand or enjoy what someone else enjoys, we respect that because we share a world where we’re given the freedom to do whatever that is because we’re adults. I find like-minded individuals who enjoy the same things I do. We create and live in environments that support our interests.

    It’s not for anyone to decide if what anyone else does is right or wrong. We’re too busy living our own lives and respecting the rights and freedoms of our neighbors. The highest ground IS living the motto “Live and Let Live”.

    So I live my life, do my own thing, enjoy myself, knowing that I am not harming anyone. I understand that not everyone understands my thing, but they don’t stop me and I don’t stop them from doing or thinking whatever it is that they do.

    The Reality of my SL:

    Some people find what I do offensive, and seek to stop it. They aren’t forced to participate, they don’t have to TP into areas where it exists, and it doesn’t impact thier lives whatsoever. They worry about implicatons that don’t exist. They talk about their morals as if they (should) apply to everyone, and “what if” situations that have nothing to do with what I do. Their desire to invade my SL ruins it for me.

    Here’s the line in Second Life, for anyone who doesn’t get it: Unless someone is actually harming you, i.e. invading your personal space and demanding that you react personally, it’s none of your business and there is no action required on your part.

    Very simple. Even a child can understand it. *g*

  39. FWord Utorid

    Mar 8th, 2007


    Jesse Malthus is indeed correct. “No modify” doesn’t mean the originator of a notecard can’t be spoofed. In technical terms, this setting is a non-sequitur, wholly unrelated to the origin of the notecard.

    Additionally, it may be possible that the originator is a Linden as suggested, but did this without authorization. Even more possible explanations have been offered.

    I really do think someone (read: YOU) should have confirmed this prior to going public, to offer a whole story instead of a tidbit, but then, the credibility of blogs that pretend to be newspapers about pretend worlds is obviously going to be [adjective]. If you indeed made an effort to do so, it is not apparent by reviewing the text of the article.

    You can, of course, escape responsibility by your choice of ‘appears to be authentic’, but I find that to be lazy journalism, and I will not rely on your form of reporting as a matter of fact.

    Point blank: Until this *is* confirmed, I don’t think anyone should buy off on this notecard as a legitimate Linden Labs position. If it IS a legitimate Linden Labs position, it is certainly a very poor way to distribute policy.

    Further, with regard to legalese that affects the Second Life service… Second Life is a telecommunications medium. It is more than likely regulated according to laws related to telecommunication, in the same category as a phone line, web site, radio and television broadcasts, and other similar mechanisms. The Federal Communications Commission and it’s policies may regulate the use of Second Life. Additionally, there is gambling in Second Life, quasi-prostitution, fraud and many other forms of questionable practices occur between users on a daily basis. Even beyond this, it’s reach extends to the international community.

    The truth of the matter is, legally, Second Life is fairly unprecedented territory, it’s disposition has yet to be determined, and it reaches into all of the legal cans of worms out there. I don’t think anyone, lawyer or Joe Citizen, even “The Man”, can AS YET accurately pigeonhole Second Life as falling specifically under any particular governing body, and I think the desire to be “right” is leading a lot of intelligent people to draw false positives and venture wild guesses as to what “the rules” really are.

    I do not isolate this to just you, Prok, nor to just Little Gray, but… If you’d like to be “right” about the legalese as it pertains to Second Life, you will need to get more than one opinion prior to claiming you are, and I believe only time will tell what is to become of Second Life and what ‘rights’ we believe we have in it.

    – fu

  40. God you're stupid

    Mar 8th, 2007

    “Jesse, this notecard is on “no modify” and shows a creator; unless there is an elaborate hack that can get around “no modify” on notecards, I don’t have reason to believe this is forged.”

    Elaborate Hack:

    1. Obtain Notecard from said Linden that has Full Rights.
    2. Make fake notecard.
    3. Change Permissions for Next Owner to No Mod, No Copy
    3. Distribute Fake Notecard.
    4. Watch as Prokofy Neva goes off and makes a fool of themselves.

    Any official Policy would appear on the Blog or in the TOS. Any official notices in regards to your account would be sent via E-Mail to the account on record.

    If you would like, I can have a No Modify notecard from Pathfinder Linden stating you’re the new lord and overseer of Second Life

  41. Crispin Lover

    Mar 8th, 2007

    That would be all well and good except that Chadrick Linden has stated that his is an authentic note card from him.

  42. Ryozu Kojima

    Mar 8th, 2007

    I spoke with Chadrick Linden.

    This notecard is authentic and was written by him. He was visiting various Ageplay related places yesterday and distributing this notecard to any land owner with questionable ageplay related land.

    As for this being backed by the whole of Linden Labs, I have yet to verify.

  43. Jessica Holyoke

    Mar 8th, 2007

    First, Little grey has cited Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition correctly. However, there are huge issues of conflict of laws in regards to Second Life that I would watch out for non-US prosecutions of obscenity.

    Second, I have seen avatars that link to myspace pages where their listed ages are below 18. The statement in the second paragraph might just be that if the typist is stating an age that does not meet the minimum, their account will be closed, as opposed to the avatar being of a certain age. While we tend to think of our SL birthday as our birthday, that would not be the criteria the Lindens are looking at. Its not clear from the notecard if its the Avatar’s stated age or the age of the typist, but I’m going with the typist. It makes more sense due to the lack of policing going on by the Lindens.

    Third, sexualized ageplay goes in two directions, from the adult’s point of view and the child’s point of view. An adult seeking out a child roleplayer does have some risk of wanting to perpetrate the crime. It does not serve as a release, but rather an enticement. On the other hand, there’s more to being a pedophile then simply wanting to have sex with children. In order to perpetrate in real life, it’s more than simply having sex with kids. (The details of which I am going to leave out. And I am drawing a distinction between child rapists, someone who sexually and violently assaults a child, and pedophiles, people like NAMBLA and those who think kids like it and want it.) There’s a reason why there are more “online predators” caught by detectives and Dateline, then there are actual victims. The internet makes it seem easy. (I never looked into it, but the two main media “Second Life is evil” points are the rape areas and the ageplay areas, do they intersect??)

    But what of the “child’s” point of view? Infantilism is a reasonable fetish that appears with some frequency. I don’t see a child-like avatar going out and perpetrating because he or she likes to put on diapers. And the same goes for a woman putting on a cheerleader’s outfit or playing as a school girl in real life. These are all elements of ageplay without moving into pedophilia. Personally, I’m ok with those aspects of ageplay as long as adult avatars are used.

    Lastly, if children aren’t allowed to be sexualized, then we’ll see a rise of little people sex clubs. There will be ways around the prohibition. And if there’s anything Second Life has taught us, it’s that people with the ability to *do* anything, will.

  44. Inigo Chamerberlin

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Can of worms here. And trust LL to open it with their usual ineptness. The statement published above is full of ambiguity and poor phrasing.

    What is the point of having a general counsel on the firm and then allowing an unqualified individual (judging from the document’s content) to publish this mess?

    Alternatively if Ginsu WAS responsible – maybe LL needs a more competent general counsel?

    While i agree with what MAY be the document’s intent (I’m assuming here that it’s to prevent age play sex between adults) – and that’s difficult to determine, it’s so badly written – I cannot agree with the document as it stands because it’s… well, an incoherent, badly written, poorly phrased and ill conceived mess.

    Classic LL material in other words.

  45. At Last...

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Over the months I’ve seen pages and pages of arguments re: sexual ageplay in SL. The bottom line is paedophilia is a condition, not an act. Whether you RP as a child or an adult in these situations is largely irrelevant. If your RP involves the sexualisation of children in any way, you are obviously doing it for sexual enjoyment, ergo you fit the dictionary and medical definition of a paedophile….

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1998.“pe.do.phil.ia n [NL] (1906): sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object — pe.do.phil.i.ac or pe.do.phil.ic adj.” Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

    The diagnostic criteria for paedophilia according to American Psychiatric Association:

    a) Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent intense sexual urges and *sexual arousing fantasies involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children*.
    b) The person has acted on these urges, *or is markedly distressed by them.*
    c) The person is at least 16 years old and at least 5 years older than the child or children in a).

    I am not saying it is RL child abuse, but why anyone would want to support the expression of paedophilic tendencies through virtual roleplay in SL is beyond me. As psychologist Jos Buschman of the Van Mesdag clinic in Groningen, The Netherlands, says, Second Life is [hopefully now, WAS] “by definition a school for paedophiles”,

  46. Overcast

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Seems to be just a legal disclaimer. Might just be heading off a possible future PR issue with this.

    Bascially just saying – ‘do what you want, just don’t let us know about it’.

    I can’t claim to know what’s all involved in Age-Play. Pedophilia might or might not be an incorrect assumption. Guess it just depends on the specifics.

    I do agree – afterall; the rules state clearly at startup that the person playing must be >= 18 years old..

    For those of us who are adults, that’s a welcome rule indeed, actually.

    Although just saying “we are an age play club” or something similiar really isn’t illegal in any sense, perhaps they like to play 20 somethings and are all over 60 IRL – who’s to say?

    I agree that government noses too much into private affairs, but at the same time, some steps must be taken to protect children. However; as long as everyone is really 18+ in SL – it’s not an issue, from that point on, it’s all roleplay.

    Slippery slope.. yeah.

  47. Reality

    Mar 8th, 2007

    Hmm, and as usual those whose ideas and ideals are rooted firmly in a world where Fantasy is mistaken for Reality speak up with their old rhetoric.

    If you are not capable of recognizing that Second Life and all other amalgamations of computer data which do not comprise an image of real life (photographs, movies and the like) then you have no business making an opinion about anything regarding Fantasy.

    This move – be it a true policy change for Linden Lab or not – is a step in the wrong direction as it fosters the false belief that the avatars are real beings.

    Colonel Cahoot – in the future kindly remember that the Fantasy world of Second Life is just that, Fantasy. The Avatars are not real beings and the people behind them (for the most part) know that they are not real.

    The next time you wish to cite a definition or prognosis kindly do so in the real of Real Life and not in the realm of Fantasy as such things fall apart once you introduce an element that is not real and never will be.

  48. Linda

    Mar 8th, 2007

    I personally know several ageplayers who received the notecards. They received them directly from the Lindens. The notecard is not bogus.

  49. At Last...

    Mar 8th, 2007


    As I’ve already stated, paedophilia is a condition. Having a fantasy involving the sexualisation of child is a paedophilic trait, that is an objective fact. It matters not whether that fantasy is realised, carried out only in the mind, or acted out virtually in SL. The only thing that would prevent a sexual ageplayer from not being clinically diagnosed as a paedophile, according to the criteria of the American Psychiatric Association, is if they have been RPing for less than 6 months. By saying that fantasy doesn’t count, you have holed your own argument below the waterline; I suggest you read the definitions again.

  50. Reality

    Mar 8th, 2007

    No colonel – I suggest you cease blowing a thin reed. return to your world where Fantasy and Reality are as one and where the deluded decide what is and is not subject to the laws of reality.

    Second Life and all associated with it are Fantasy – as in not real. As far as you touted APA goes … kindly do not quote anything from a group of people whose views change with the ages and are never firmly grounded in anything remotely resembling reality.

    When such a time comes as you or anyone else similar can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that all persons engaged in any form of Fantasy Play honestly believe that what they choose to play is real and/or decide to carry it over into reality …. then and only then will you have a hope of having a case or ground to stand on. Reality is absolute- not some or most – all persons must show the same signs.

    It is that simple – your argument has no absolute proof, nor do the arguments of any Association and quite frankly a dictionary is nothing more than the current adopted meaning as seen by a particular publisher or group of people.

    In the future do not attempt to respond to me with such feeble ‘evidence’ or retorts. either provide absolute evidence – which as of this time does not exist – or stick to your own personal views.

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