Ban Hammer Smashes Emerald – Phox Threatens Linden Tell-All

by Pixeleen Mistral on 10/09/10 at 11:49 am

Eshi Otawara Creates Protest Nazi Deathcamp — Soviet Woodbury Celebrates

Linden Lab’s ban hammer struck the Emerald Second Life viewer Wednesday, as all versions of the formerly popular client were locked out of Philip Linden’s user-generated-content cyber paradise. Meanwhile, two high profile members of the Emerald gang – Lonely Bluebird and Arabella Steadham – discovered their accounts had been permanently terminated and Fractured Crystal has disappeared  — the culmination of a slow motion train wreck that has been playing out since March.

Frei Arbeit Macht Frei

Is this the end of Emeraldgate? Perhaps not. In an exclusive interview, Lonely Bluebird (Phox) told the Herald that he plans to release what may be extremely embarrassing correspondence with the Lab, while Arabella Steadham blasted the Lab from her blog.

Ms. Steadham’s lengthy blog post warns others to exercise caution in dealing with Linden Lab saying, "DO NOT CRITICISE LINDENLAB. DO NOT WRITE YOUR THOUGHTS SO OTHERS MAY READ. DO NOT EVEN THINK ANYTHING THAT IS ANTI-LINDENLAB". After Steadham managed to disengage the caps lock key, she went on to question the viability of Second Life:

do I really want to be part of a virtual environment where lackeys of the Board of Directors hunt down those who dare to criticise? Do I want to participate in a world where users are abused by bullying standover tactics and unexplained termination of accounts? Linden Lab as a private company can create their own rules as they see fit, however to ignore at least some of the expectations we have of supposed rights if we operate by the rules- to shift the goalposts mid game – reduces their virtual world to nothing more than a game, a game where childish antics reign supreme in a desperate move to force conformity and mediocrity in an ever shrinking user base.

Eshi is very angry

Emerald developer Fractured Crystal was more circumspect and seems to have voluntarily removed his account in advance of the ban, according to his associate Lonely Bluebird (a.k.a. Phox). Several observers noticed that Fractured Crystal’s disappearance from the Second Life people list occurred last week.

Although Fractured Crystal did not respond to Herald requests for comment on Skype, Phox was gracious enough to reply to several Herald inquiries this week.

Pixeleen Mistral: I see that Fractured Crystal is no longer to be found in the SL people search
Pixeleen Mistral: but the ModularSystems alt account is still thereany idea what is going on?
_Phox: I don’t think he ever planned on using Fractured Crystal again, I wouldn’t be surprised if he cancelled the account

Apparently Phox does not plan to exit as quietly as Fractured Crystal, assuming he makes good on a promise to release selected communications between Linden Lab staff and the Emerald developers:

Pixeleen Mistral: so it looks like LL banned you
_Phox: Mhmm.
Pixeleen Mistral: did they wait until the Emerald viewer was banned or was it afterwardds?
Pixeleen Mistral: looks like they got Arabella as well
_Phox: It was pretty much simultaneous.
Pixeleen Mistral: so what is next for you?
_Phox: Well first I’m going to selectively publish a few recorded meetings, including the last one we had with Oz, as well as some other communication with LL, emails and such.
_Phox: Then move on to real life.
Pixeleen Mistral: I have had the impression for some time that there is a very interesting story to be told in the relationship between Emerald and LL
_Phox: I’ve received offers to do work for some other virtual worlds, I might look into those as well.
Pixeleen Mistral: there are plenty of virtual worlds to choose from
_Phox: That’s true.

Strong emotions were not confined to the Emerald team.

welcome to Second Life

Well-known Second Life designer Eshi Otawara protested the Lab’s actions with a Nazi death camp-themed build complete with ovens and swastika flags. The immersive new-media commentary on the Lab’s governance was eventually deleted by Linden staff – there are limits to the sorts of user generated content the Lab will tolerate – and earned Ms. Otawara a one hour suspension from the game. [UPDATEEshi Otawara has issued an apology for the controversial protest]

It is rumored that the artistic expression also caused Ms. Otawara’s Second Life partner to divorce her – perhaps due to the unfortunate timing of her creations’s appearance during Rosh Hashanah.

Joe Linden ban hammer
Joe Linden has a big ban hammer

The Emerald bans are the most recent chapter in an ongoing Second Life faction war that began when The Wrong Hands group turned their attention from the disgraced Justice League Unlimited to the Emerald gang – but with fortune smiling on them this week, the Woodbury faction was in a party mood.

Several YouTube videos document the NYC New Year’s Eve in Times Square style countdown-to-the-Emerald-ban party in which an effigy of the charming internet personality Prokofy Neva eats the Emerald logo.

After the magic moment passes, the Second Life equivalent of fireworks – self replicating prims – are launched as the party-people lag themselves into oblivion.

107 Responses to “Ban Hammer Smashes Emerald – Phox Threatens Linden Tell-All”

  1. Jayd3n

    Sep 20th, 2010

    So when is Skills Hak going to get banned from SL, he has like god knows how many alt accounts and is defiantly abusing CDS, and IP Logging.

    [2010/09/20 6:08] Skills Coy: you stop using HXO life Martini?
    [2010/09/20 6:08] Skills Coy: Yes?
    [2010/09/20 6:08] ***: How do you know my old avi? And my viewer?? penis nigger..
    [2010/09/20 6:08] Skills Coy: I know all! i god.
    [2010/09/20 6:08] ***: NO, FUCK YOU!!

    I mean seriously another alt Skills Coy.

  2. FriendlyGreetings

    Sep 20th, 2010

    testunit macintyre is jcool alt
    CentralProcessing Core is phox

    Welcome. And I am serious.

  3. pefton

    Sep 23rd, 2010

    Skills Coy is definitely not Skills you moron

  4. Anthony Miller

    Sep 27th, 2010

    Quite Typically How Linden Lab’s handles situations, Unlike how the TPV Works it’s just common on how they ban People for Stupid Absurde Reasons that are Unknown to the Public until the Person who is banned tells it all Like myself.

  5. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Oct 17th, 2010

    Pheonix has proven that they are just as untrustworthy as emerald.

    From their blog:

    “A few days ago we discovered a bug in our first release viewer ver which sends the avatars first and last name to our server on login. This information is not used in any way and this bug does not exist in any of our other releases. We have sent a request to Linden Lab to block this version for the above reason AND because that version was FULL of bugs. We will also be blocking Linux because of bugs as well. We have had many great updates and improvements since then and would like any users still running that build to upgrade.”

    That’s from the blog, a post dated Oct 17, 2010. They have been collecting this data for how long? How did they not know it was putting information on their server? Were they all like, “I don’t know why our server is filling up with information, maybe we should ignore it and see if it goes away instead of looking at what is coming in.”

    All you’ll ever get from anybody who was ever connected with Modular Systems is bullshit and lies.

    Another example: Phox never came through with his LL tell-all.

  6. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 17th, 2010

    @ Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    At least they admitted they have a problem and requested the broken version to be banned instead of saying everyone else is lying. Besides, almost nobody used, so the data they would’ve gotten may not have been noticeable. In addition, there is no mention that the information was actually stored anywhere.

  7. Yep

    Oct 17th, 2010

    I do not like emerald and do not trust Phoenix for that matter. But I agree, it sounds to me like they found some left over emerald garbage in their code and are doing the right thing by making everyone aware of it and fixing the problem.

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