Over on New World Notes, Hamlet talks about Linden Lab’s upcoming changes with regard to “adult-oriented content” in Second Life®, and laments the fact that many bloggers don’t seem to have expressed an opinion on these upcoming changes.
Well, Hamlet, you want an opinion? I can sum it up for you in four words: “I Told You So.”
Linden Lab seems to be employing a strategy with respect to “adult” content in Second Life reminiscent of the strategy the Nazis employed with respect to the Jews of Warsaw: First, herd them into the ghetto, then, over time, enforce stricter and stricter controls on them, until they can eventually be eliminated. Well, you providers of “adult content,” welcome to your ghetto. But don’t expect that it’ll stop there. LL, in their quest to present a “clean” face to the world, especially to would-be regulators in government and would-be investors in the business community, will gradually tighten the screws on both the “adult” continent and the remaining “sanitized for your protection” mainland. Eventually, you and your content will be driven away to some OpenSim-based grid. Those of you that can’t or won’t move, will perish. Either way, LL will get its wish, and, likely, nothing will be permitted on the Main Grid that would offend Dr. James Dobson. Or perhaps, the mullahs of Iran.
(Now that paragraph ought to piss a few people off. At the very least, I’ll probably get called for a Godwin’s Law penalty, fifteen yards and loss of down. )
How it affects those of us on private islands, like Lexxotica, I’m not certain yet. But I’m thinking we’d better not try to put pole-dancers into any club we build there, lest we be forced to declare the whole sim “Adult” and possibly lose rental business. Which means we won’t be able to employ as many people as we have in the past…and we won’t get traffic from the people who want to see pole-dancers. Classic Catch-22 scenario.
More and more, I’m becoming convinced that, with the departure of all the executives from the early days of Second Life (the last one, Ginsu, took off just recently), Linden Lab has lost its soul. Yes, perhaps the alternative was for the whole company to go down, given the present economic and political realities. But take a moment and lament that which has been lost, and which is soon to be lost.