On 19 January , Linden Lab's Philip Linden related in an interview with Metanomics an intent to merge the two grids into one. This immediately attracted uproar on SL's private forums, largely from residents who feared they would be required to use the unpopular age verification system, and would be permanently under threat of a false sex-related allegation or lawsuit by a teenager or a teen's parents. Residents aged 13—17 are allowed to access General Rated areas only.
In Second Life , users can do almost anything that they can do in their physical lives. There are some who do things that they would normally do, like talk to people, while others do things that normally would be more rare for them to do in the physical world. Some media attention has been given to sexual activity involving avatars with a childlike appearance. The USA has attempted to pass several laws forbidding simulated child pornography, however, each one has been struck down by the US Supreme Court as an infringement on the First Amendment right to free speech.
As of May , two such countries, Germany and Belgium , have launched a police investigation into Age of Consent-related offenses in Second Life including both trading of non-virtual photography and involuntary virtual sexual activity with childlike avatars by means of virtual identity theft.
In France , a conservative family union, Familles de France , sued Linden Lab in June , alleging that Second Life gave access to minors to sexual content, including bondage , zoophilia and scatophilia , as well as gambling, and advertisements for alcohol, drugs or tobacco.
However, minors aged between 13 and 17 can access Second Life , but they will be restricted to what they can see or do based on age. Minors aged 13—17 can access areas with a General Rating only. General rated sims exist as an alternative for residents who do not wish to reside in areas where adult-oriented activities and businesses are permitted. Linden Lab has created an Adult rated "mainland" continent named Zindra in response to its other "mainland" continents being mostly General.
However, currently June an effective age verification system is not implemented. To differentiate between minors and adults, the software relies solely on the information given by the users upon registration. Second Life has been attacked several times by groups of Residents abusing the creation tools to create objects that harass other users or damage the system. This included Grey Goo objects which infinitely reproduce, eventually overwhelming the servers;  orbiters which throw an avatar so far upwards they cannot get back down in a reasonable timeframe without teleporting; cages which surround avatars, preventing them from moving, and similar tools.
Although combat between users is sanctioned in certain areas of the world, these objects have been used to cause disruption in all areas. Attacks on the grid itself, such as Grey Goo, are strictly forbidden anywhere on the grid. It was possible to perpetrate DoS Denial of Service attacks on other users simply by scripting objects that spew screen filling characters from anywhere on the grid to another avatar's location, thereby disabling a clear view to the virtual world.
Such attacks were quickly blocked with the use of the "mute" tool. Bugs in the client and server software were also exploited by griefers to kick users, crash servers, and revert content; however, such exploits were promptly fixed by Linden Lab. Second Life features a built-in digital rights management system that controls the movement of textures, sounds, scripts, and models with the Second Life servers at Linden Lab.
At some point, though, this data must be sent to a user's computer to be displayed or played—an issue fundamental to any system attempting to apply restrictions to digital information. In November controversy arose over a tool called CopyBot , developed as part of libsecondlife and was intended to allow users to legitimately back up their Second Life data. For a brief period, an unmodified CopyBot allowed any user to replicate SL items or avatars although not scripts, which run only on the servers at Linden Lab.
Later changes to the SecondLife protocols prevented unmodified copies of CopyBot from working. Nevertheless, the basic issue of users being able to duplicate content that is sent to them remains. Residents who copy content belonging to other users face being banned from Second Life , but Linden Lab has so far never sued any of these users for copyright infringement; since the resident creators and not Linden Lab retain ownership of the rights, it is not clear whether Linden Lab would legally be able to do so.
Any user who uploads, publishes or submits any content keeps the intellectual property rights of that content, however both Linden Lab and other users gain their own rights from your content. Linden Lab receives a content license from anything a user uploads to the server. Section 7. A user who uploads their content to a public area also gives a content licence to other users as well, which allows other users to replicate and record for use in Machinima as outlined in section 7.
Regardless of what rights and licences are given, Linden Lab takes no responsibility for the outcome of any dispute between users or the server regarding content. Section Second Life users are expected to obey the laws of their own local countries with regard to their actions in the virtual world; however, a problem can arise in countries which have tough laws regarding material downloaded from the Internet, such as pornography.
It is possible, for example, for a US user - even in a non-adult area — to approach German users and create an object displaying an obscene uploaded image which is illegal under German law but legal under US law. Although the US user has broken the Second Life terms of services as a result, and faces suspension or banning from Second Life , the German user has broken a real-life sex offense law by downloading the image and faces a far worse penalty.
Even if the user is eventually deemed to not be responsible for this download because it was unsolicited, they will still have been investigated for a sex offense. However, no actual prosecutions have resulted from actions of this type so far. In late , Linden Lab announced that, in accordance to sales tax regulations of the European Union EU , they are required to charge value added tax VAT to EU residents on all money transactions involving the company.
In , attorney Marc Bragg sued Linden Lab, claiming that it had illegally deprived him of access to his account  after he discovered a loophole in the online land auction system which allowed regions to be purchased at prices below reserve. Although most users and commentators believed that Bragg would have no chance of winning, a number of legal developments occurred as a result of the case, including a court ruling that parts of the Second Life Terms of Service were unenforceable, due to being an unconscionable contract of adhesion.
Many of Bragg's legal arguments rested on the claim—advertised on Linden Lab web site—that virtual land within Second Life could be "owned" by the purchasing user, which was removed shortly after the settlement,  leading to speculation that this was part of the reason for the settlement. Court papers allege the defendants knowingly and profitably turned a blind eye to copyright and trademark violations within the Second Life service.
In , a group of banned SL users filed suit against Linden Lab and CEO Philip Rosedale, in the same Pennsylvania Federal District Court that the Bragg case was adjudicated in, with the same judge, to deal with further land seizures and account suspensions by the Lab against various customers. The judge did rule that there was a basis to turn the litigation into a class action, and that there were two classes under which claimants could file claims. The primary class was those who suffered economic damages to their livelihoods, through loss of their business revenues in SL.
The secondary class was those who suffered property losses from loss of land, money on hand, and virtual goods in avatar inventories. With the resolution of that objection,  claimants who had filed claims prior to March 28, began to receive settlement money a few months later. Since its debut in , Second Life has been referred to by various popular culture media, including literature, television, film and music.
In addition, various personalities in such media have themselves used or employed Second Life for both their own works and for private purposes. Then, in June , author Charles Stross held a conference in Second Life to promote an upcoming novel. Much of the published research conducted in Second Life is associated with education and learning.
Unlike computer games, Second Life does not have a pre-defined purpose and allows for highly realistic enactment of real life activities online. Both problem-based learning and constructionism acted as framing pedagogies for the task, with students working in teams to design and build a learning experience which could be possible in real life.
Situated learning has also been examined in SL , in order to determine how the design and social dynamics of the virtual world support as well as constrain various types of learning. Second Life has also offered educational research potential within the medical and healthcare fields.
There have also been healthcare related studies done of SL residents. One survey suggests that users are engaged in a range of health-related activities in SL which are potentially impacting real-life behaviors. Another focus of SL research has included the relationship of avatars or virtual personas to the 'real' or actual person. These studies have included research into social behavior and reported two main implications.
The research indicated that virtual lives and physical lives are not independent, and our appearances and actions have both online and offline consequences. The SL avatar-self relationship was also studied via resident interviews, and various enactments of the avatar-self relationship were identified. The study concluded that SL residents enacted multiple avatar-self relationships and cycled through them in quick succession, suggesting that these avatar-self relationships might be shaped and activated strategically in order to achieve the desired educational, commercial, or therapeutic outcomes.
Boellstorff explores the relationship between anonymity and community when everyone in a community belongs to varying degrees of anonymity, and how this feeds into the idea of digital collectivity. He also comments on the phenomenon of data becoming "part of social context" that has been observed both inside and outside of Second Life as surveillance becomes more integrated into everyday life. He stresses the difference between the concepts of anonymity and pseudonymity, identifying Second Life users as belonging to the latter group of people - though their avatars are not directly linked to their real identities and reputations, they have forged new ones in this online space, a unique effect of creating an online persona in the digital age.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the virtual community. For other uses, see Second Life disambiguation. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Windows macOS Linux development paused. This section is in list format, but may read better as prose.
You can help by converting this section , if appropriate. Editing help is available. August Main article: Resident Second Life. Main article: Economy of Second Life. Main article: OpenSimulator. Main article: Arts in Second Life. Main article: Education in Second Life.
Main article: The Alphaville Herald. This section needs additional citations for verification. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. March Learn how and when to remove this template message. See also: Griefer. This section possibly contains original research. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Bragg v. Main article: Stroker Serpentine. June 20, Retrieved August 4, Ars Technica. October 23, Retrieved January 18, NBC News.
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