Past the 2-year post, just

Well, it’s been two years since I waddled onto orientation island, or wherever On-Rez started me. Actually 2 days plus two years now.
The last 12 months have been some of the most turbulent of my RL. New status (single again) and a new place to live.
New challenges too, insofar as I am on a finite timeline to the next world now, or so it seems.
One aspect of life has kept me sane – my Second Life! Now to some SL is a sleazy, dubious fantasy world populated by folks who can’t hack it in Real Life. Those people are utterly wrong. In my time in SL I have met people who revel in the technological challenges of the graphic interface, some who through disability or illness (as in my case) are acting out a life simply not available to them in the “real” world, and some who are here for a game, a laugh.

There are a few unpleasant people too. They prey on the unwary and innocent, wreak havoc upon the unwise, and generally give SL a bad name. In the name of “cleansing” SL, its owners Linden Laboratories have shown themselves to be unaware of the abilities and feelings of their clientelle, and have proven inept at trying to meet the justified concerns of people outside, on the periphery of SL.

The phrase “trying to crack an egg with a sledgehamer” sums up LL’s efforts to sanitise SL. They attempted to ghettoise the BDSM community of SL with their “Adult Content” policy – despite the fact that all SL users “should” be adult. The fact that it is farcically easy to provide bogus information to LL in order to register as “Adult” makes that policy a laughing stock.

Now LL are alienating some of the most competent folk in SL by forcing them to take responsibility for the actions of a few clever and utterly amoral individuals in SL. It is rare that a piece of LL software works well intially until it has been taken apart, cleaned up and reassembled by one of the bright stars in the open-source firmament. These people believe, as did many of us at the outset of SL, that the internet should be open and unfettered – a place where common sense would prevail. LL wish to have executive control over all aspects of SL – it is an American arrogance, and offends some of these people to their core.

It seems remarkable that this spirit of control-freakery has not died with the USA’s arrival at understanding that is is NOT the be-all and end-all of freewill. Some people in the US seem not to have come to enlightenment in any way. I know the US is a big place and that those born and raised in its heartlands struggle to understand that there IS a world outside the USA. That thinking does not excuse LL from taking a global view of its position.

We need these free-thinking open-minded people to provide the impetus and oxygen to power SL’s growth. Accountants and lawyers will not innovate and refresh our first or second lives.

Linden Laboratories need to reassess their policies and attitudes if they are to avoid SL becoming an also-ran in virtual worlds. “Second Life? Oh, I remember that- it didn’t quite work.” Not the Epitaph that I would choose for one of my ventures.

Turn again, Kingdon or whoever, you need the very people you are turning away from your doors.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on April 8, 2010.

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