Robot Closet Sex In Google’s Lively Chatrooms

by Alphaville Herald on 03/08/08 at 3:52 pm

Experience the joy of the lively tentacle

by Pixeleen Mistral, International Affairs desk

players rejoice as robot closet thrusts it’s tentacles on demand

Google claims their Lively 3D chatroom is a de-sexualized platform where players can safely interact with each other. But the players have other ideas, and have even found a way have virtual sex – using a piece of furniture provided by Google — the Robot Closet.

At first blush, the robot closet seems harmless enough, but players soon realized the closet has an animation that causes 4 tentacle-like robot arms to thrust suddenly out of their retracted position, then return to the retracted position. According to reliable sources, Lively players feeling amorously inclined will place a Robot Closet in a secluded chatroom, then position themselves so that the animated arms of the closet appear to thrust from one player into another. Vigorous clicking of the closet follows, to trigger the animation as the avatars pleasure each other.

One might wonder if this will result in an increased demand for one of the more esoteric forms of Japanese anime porn – robot tentacle hentai – as pre-teens and teens enjoy some of their first online sexual experiences with robot tentacles courtesy of Google.

Google’s community standards for Lively appear to prohibit this stating, “We don’t allow nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. This includes making sexual advances toward other users”. The community standards also state that players younger than 13 are prohibited, and players between the ages of 13 and 18 need their parent’s permission to join – but there does not appear to be much of an enforcement mechanism in place for any of this – players are simply expected to abuse report each other.

Apparently the creators of Lively sought safety by limiting what their users could do, but the result is rather boring – there is no shopping, no building, and frankly not much to do in Lively other than flirt. Not surprisingly, the community standards are completely ignored by the players. With a very young demographic – most of the players I met seem to be between 11 and 15 – Google may also be headed for some negative press if Lively appears to be a pick up site for underage cybersex – which may be happening if my experience is representative.

To get a feeling for the “social” scene in Lively consider the private IM’s I was receiving while researching the robot closet.


Mr. smooth pickup artist asks if I am a naughty girl. Rather than try to explain that I am a well-known journalist, I decide to role play an earnest 13 year old. Sometimes the story comes first. I would soon regret this decision.


I feign confusion, he presses for naughty talk.


A common feature of the sex chatrooms in Lively seems to be furry avatars positioning themselves facing the crotch of male avatars – I hope they are not doing what I think they are. Could it be something naughty? Maybe they are just acting like dogs and sniffing? I really hope so.


In open chat, someone asks how to have sex in Lively. A helpful soul explains about the robot closet.


I’m looking up the robot closet in the catalog. Meanwhile, Mr. smooth pickup artist wants to know if I am still paying attention.


“u wanna cyber?”

At this point I tell myself that sometimes in the news business you have to be a total pro and put up with truely grotendous pervs, but I’ll give him an out. I’m supposed to be 13 after all, and mom wouldn’t like this at all. Will he back off?


No, he will not back off…


My lucky day – according to virtual romeo, I am a grown up girl now, and I have pretty eyes


Mr smooth is looking for more contact points – MSN or Yahoo – and a time when Mom is not around.


I make another try at establishing that I am really too young – “I’m not supposed to be dating boys yet”


Mr smooth promises me a real good time – “u r goin to like it”


Give RiversRunRed and the Electric Sheep Company credit – at least one guy is getting off on their avatar design and touching himself – but is this violating Google’s community standards?


enough is enough – I decide Mom is coming and I have to go.

After stopping at the Herald offices in Lively to put out a Robot Closet for those that want to experience the joy of the Lively tentacle, I logged out, and headed to the Herald offices in Second Life where someone left the CD player going again. A song lyric jumps out at me:

well hold steady ybor city. you’re up to your neck in sweat wet confetti.
if you want to get a little bit heady. it’s gonna have to get a little bit heavy.


If Google is serious about playing in this space, things are certain to get a little bit heavy.

By aiming at a young demographic and creating a space with nothing much to do, the most likely result is a platform overrun with various forms of cybersex for the early teen crowd – and those attracted to them. But does Google really mind this?

To drive its Internet advertising business, Google needs two things – user volume and accurate personal profiles so they can target ads more effectively. The appeal of capturing “social” chat on their servers, then mining it for preferences, quirks, and peccadillos to feed to the Google advertisement panopticon must be overwhelming. Combine this with the growing use of Gmail, Google Chat, and the various Google online applications and the friendly search engine company will have an increasingly accurate picture of everyone’s online life.

After realizing the lead for Lively- Niniane Wang – also was the tech lead for the Gmail ads project, I felt a chill. I’m going to be really concerned if I start seeing tentacle hentai ads in Gmail.

23 Responses to “Robot Closet Sex In Google’s Lively Chatrooms”

  1. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Aug 3rd, 2008

    “moms coming”



    Aug 3rd, 2008

    Why don’t you take a seat.

  3. Lord George A. Zimmer IV, High Inquisitor for his Majesty God Emperor Frizzle of Fry CI

    Aug 3rd, 2008

    Increasingly, the whole virtual worlds metaverse web 2.0 hurrdrr crowd just wants every single 3D glorified chatroom to be some kind of virtual sex simulator.

    You people clearly demonstrate that evolution is a two way street.

  4. moses

    Aug 3rd, 2008

    where is chris hanson when you need him ?

  5. Charlie

    Aug 3rd, 2008

    What made you think to pretend to be a 13 year old girl?

  6. Chav Paderborn

    Aug 3rd, 2008

    Give people an online environment and they will work out how to have sex in it.

  7. KMeist Hax

    Aug 3rd, 2008

    If this isn’t proof that virtual worlds are nothing more than sex rooms, I don’t know what is. Seriously. It’s impossible to design a virtual world to be sex-proof so long as people are desparate enough.

    tl;dr You already have SL stop fucking around in Lively.

  8. 23JUL

    Aug 4th, 2008

    Hey, while the conclusion is quite good, a few points:
    - you forgot to mention the room’s name, though a few simple words, it will put things in a more appropriate context. As a matter of speaking, I couldn’t find that room back, so it might already have been deleted.
    - while you mention that robot and its implications, I saw people in Lively already experience some kind of such projections by simply sitting in each other.
    - also, while shopping is free, finding all kinds of secret built rooms outside of the normal shell can be quite entertaining.
    - it’s just an extended irc.

  9. Witness X

    Aug 4th, 2008


    “The community standards also state that players younger than 13 are prohibited, and players between the ages of 13 and 18 need their parent’s permission to join – but there does not appear to be much of an enforcement mechanism in place for any of this…”

    That’s because Google realizes that such enforcement mechanisms do absolutely nothing to prevent a remotely intelligent person from accessing their services. Linden Lab, on the other hand, is spending who knows how much money to perform needlessly invasive background checks on a person’s private information to make sure they are over 18 years old. I have verified four accounts (that I have used for griefing) by retrieving information from the Social Security Death Index. Every US citizen who has ever died is in that database, and can be used to age verify a Second Life account. Google knows this, so why even bother?

  10. BJ Tabor

    Aug 4th, 2008

    Reductium Boozoum strikes again; on the internet everything is reduced to fighting and sex. I think what is going to kill Lively isn’t the teeny cybering but the inability to attack each other.

    “enough is enough – I decide Mom is coming and I have to go.”

    Ya’ sure, like we really belive you just cut out. So Pixeleen, what did Mom say when she saw you giving Mr Smooth a hummer in Lively?

  11. Wendell Holmer

    Aug 4th, 2008

    Thanks to Google for creating unsupervised chat rooms for pervs to troll. A respected name brand makes parents feel their kids are safe playing in that environment, while Google cheerfully abdicates any responsibility for what happens. If you got that kind of attention in a few minutes, what’s your guess as to the perv/child ratio?

  12. Rock Ramona

    Aug 4th, 2008

    ummm….a well known journalist???????,you blog in a creepy lil blogspace about a creepy place called secondlife that only a tiny percentage of people in the world even know about,think somebody needs a wake up call..

  13. Bennie

    Aug 5th, 2008

    “You people clearly demonstrate that evolution is a two way street.”

    Oh no, more like a higway cloverfield.

  14. Chav Paderborn

    Aug 6th, 2008

    If you build it they will find a way to have sex in it.

  15. Cheta Torok

    Aug 6th, 2008

    I agree that it appears to be a Terms of Service violation, but whas this sick person reported? Or is this person off the hook for this act because you were ‘just pretending’ for a story? And citizens in this world we are responsible for upholding standards as well. If someone is breaking the law or Terms of Service, it is our duty to report the transgression. Otherwise there is little or no way to maintain some level of civility in online social situations.

    In your case you had a classic example of pedophilia mixed with a case of age play. This individual, after hearing that you were a minor, wanted to continue to try and engage in online sex, either verbal or graphic. In many countries that is illegal. By not reporting it and allowing the person to think they got away with it is in essence condoning the act. You are now an accomplice to the what happened.

    You write for the Second Life Herald, so you should be well aware of why the ToS exists, Linden Labs has taken it on the chin enough over issues like this to make your head spin. Google has them for the same reason as LL, to protect themselves. That said, they don’t have a watchful eye on all communications and can not possible police them all. So it is up to us, the citizens that make use of the service to help assure that everything is on the up and up, unless we want to see the service taken down from law suits.

  16. Christopher Linz

    Aug 6th, 2008

    “If this isn’t proof that virtual worlds are nothing more than sex rooms, I don’t know what is. Seriously. It’s impossible to design a virtual world to be sex-proof so long as people are desparate enough.”

    Club Penguin is sex-proof. They even went as far as to get rid of a heart emoticon, though later they let it back on.

  17. DoNoEvil

    Dec 31st, 2008

    Lively rocks. and would have continued to be so if things like this article are not to happen.

  18. 345cannon

    Jun 15th, 2009

    how do i get in

  19. vince

    May 26th, 2010

    noo….. the dam thing has been closed down

  20. i want 2 make one so bad

  21. Mysteryman

    Jun 2nd, 2010


  22. It's Unfixable

    Jun 2nd, 2010

    Irony: i-er-nee (n) – A dead MMO named “Lively”.

  23. [...] the Google Lively fiasco, I had little confidence Google would get social right – despite promises to be less evil [...]

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