Is China Blocking Student Second Life Access?

by Alphaville Herald on 31/07/09 at 8:22 am

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

Why Ning Listern can’t log into Second Life is a mystery – but some suspect selective filters are being applied to student Second Life access in China. According to a post on the Linden Lab RegAPI mailing list, Ning’s account is one of several created by Hongjun, a RegApi developer who is finding that chinese student accounts work in his offices but don’t work from students’ college networks or homes.

While school networks in China are known to be subject to extra censorship, other Internet service providers have looser policies – which makes the login difficulties even more puzzling.


According to Hongjun's post, even students using China Telecom’s ADSL broadband service are having difficulties. Whatever Second Life access filters in place China are not universal – a Herald source in China last night confirmed he was able to log into Second Life without problem. 

The source went on to say that there is a now a crackdown on online games, but enforcement is spotty and targeted access controls for students both at home and at school are entirely possible if the Internet provider is aware that a student is using a connection. Could China Telecom limit access for students as a favor to the authorities?

Our source reports the Chinese media is full of anti-game stories “trying to keep everyone safe from online violence in games”, and both Twitter and YouTube are blocked on China Telecom’s ADSL. The Twitter filter was put in place shortly after the riots in Iran gave China’s government reason to fear mass tweeting and a YouTube block followed.

Ironically, the difficulties in running Second Life may help keep it off a universal ban list in China, as authorities put their efforts into mass media services with greater reach. But if even partial access bans on Second Life are in place, how Hongjun will connect his students to the virtual world at large?

Forwarded message
From: Hongjun <>
Date: 2009/7/30
Subject: [RegAPIList] new students can't log in SL
To: regapiLists <>

Hi gentleman,

These days,  we have quite a few new students who registered by my
RegAPI can't log in SL . Their accounts status are all active,
And their accounts can be logged into SL in our office, they just can
not log into at their home or campus,
some of them use their campus network, but some of them use ADSL of
China Telecom, which is good broadband connection.
Their computers are good enough to run SL.

They come from different province in China, Some of them are World
Warcraft players.

But they got same error response when they trying to log into SL.

I attached some screen shots from one student. His OS is Vista,
computer is a HP laptop.

Please help me to figure out a solution.



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4 Responses to “Is China Blocking Student Second Life Access?”

  1. Ann Otoole

    Jul 31st, 2009

    login screen is able to connect to get the concurrency so it is connecting to part of the second life web services. Perhaps port filtering? Have the affected people set a different port in the preferences network tab and try again.

  2. LOL

    Aug 1st, 2009

    China is just the first country to block it. Granted for political reasons rather then common sence, but still blocked none the less. Same with other non “E.U.” european countries. Could China be just the start of a dommino effect that will force Various SL Residents out of the game based on the country they connect to Second Life from?

    Only a few weeks ago many (real life) news services were reporting about how the Austrailian Government was talking of denying access to Linden Lab’s servers for thier citizens. Moslty because of the rampent Sex Industry and Sex Trade on Second Life, however it was also in large part because the few people who are able to sustain thier real life financial obligations with money earned through SL do not pay Gov’t Taxes. So rather then loose out on all that tax revenue during a global economic crash the gov’t was thinking to block access untill they could create such tax laws.

    Just today the Canadian government said they will begin to crack down on what they refer to as “Internet Sellers”. Basicly people who earn a Living or Part time living, through sites like E-bay or Craigs List. Revenue Canada (the canadian I.R.S.) is now working with E-bay (a.k.a.) Paypal to get Back Taxes as well as current taxes from people who have not declared money earned through internet sales.

    Check it out for yourself–watch-out-ebay-entrepreneurs-online-sales-taxable

    Linden Lab and Second Life is a victem of it’s own hype, When residents like Stroker Serpentine and Anshe Chung get more press then the lab does, and are refered to as the Hugh Heffner and Donald Trump’s of virtual reality. Then how long can these people tell the world they made enough money to quit thier tax paying dayjobs for a videogame income on fox news before thier governments come knocking. Gove’t will make up any reason to block services like SL if it be for Political reasons, Moral values, or Financial motovation. What ever the reason, Just like Linden lab does in Second life, your Government will bend you over, fuck you hard and not care what you say.

  3. IMHO

    Aug 1st, 2009

    I feel that they should use a proxy like TOR if the Chinese Communists do that.

  4. aurinko

    Feb 7th, 2013

    Rl must come 1st and school is not a right place to play SL,they can play it somewhere else but somehow i’m same line with the ppls who says that Sl is SL and RL is RL.Campus etc is place to study and not to play.But still..China is not very easy country…..!

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