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Second Life adult content updates: Viewers, namechanges, grannies and grade-schoolers

Tateru Nino

The 1.23 Second Life viewer with the necessary support for Adult content is still being rushed to meet a June deadline, the exact reason for which seems a little unclear. There's some outstanding issues with the viewer release-candidates, but it seems fairly low on actual showstoppers and looks likely to make an official release in the roughly one fortnight remaining.

Definitions for the content ratings have been finalized, though they show little noticeable deviation from Linden Lab's originally proposed drafts. It appears that all the changes have been simple explanatory wording changes. The PG rating holds a couple of surprises, though.

Second Life's PG rating has always been something of a minefield of contradictory definitions, policy-statements and documents. Searching through the knowledge-base could easily turn up between 3 and 5 conflicting definitions at any time.

However, what constitutes PG, says the Lab, has not changed, "[N]ew PG guidelines appeared to be much more strict than our previous PG classification. In fact, the definition of PG has not actually changed, and this is written up more clearly now."

Here's that clear write-up for you: "A Region may be designated PG if it does not advertise or make available content or activity that's sexually explicit, violent or depicts nudity. Likewise, sexually-oriented objects such as "sex beds" or poseballs may not be located or sold in PG regions.

As we've also often said, PG regions are areas where you'd feel free to say and do things that you'd be comfortable saying and doing in front of your grandmother, or a grade school class."

The grandmothers and grade-schoolers yardstick has appeared in a few of the PG definitions published by the Lab over the last few years. It appears to be here to stay.

Grade-school ages vary by region, but are generally in the 6-13. So Second Life PG must therefore be (and apparently always has been) "suitable for display to a six-year-old audience" – That's how it reads to us, anyway. We're open to alternative interpretations, but the text and intent seem pretty clear. Second Life may not exactly be replete with grade-schoolers, but it's certainly brim-full of grannies in our experience.

The adult continent is now to be called Zindra instead of Ursula. We can only speculate about the name-change. Some suggest that the original Ursula name was a intentional slight towards Germany's minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Ursula von der Leyen.

Whatever the actual reasoning behind the original name, Zindra seems a little easier to puzzle out. A large part of the software that actually drives Second Life is called Indra. X-rated Indra would be Xindra, but some cultures habitually pronounce a leading X differently, as 'ecksindra' rather than 'zindra'. Spelling it as Zindra both eliminates pronunciation-based confusion and partially obscures an otherwise emotionally-loaded 'X' prefix.

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