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« Chasing Their Tails | Main | Can't We Fix that SL Avatar Smile? »

September 21, 2011



why is it that i find this this statement from ing so disturbing

"Actually, 30 states legally set the age of consent to 16. 8 states are 17 and the remaining 12 are 18. So, technically, 16 can be an "adult" for half the country. (^_^)"

I live in an "18" state. (^_^)y


Strangely, the FBI is or was in Second Life. Supposedly they had recruitment and most wanted posters around the grid (I never saw them). They were also in the process of investigating virtual currency counterfeiters in other games.

Why LL hesitates to get them further involved in SL is very interesting to contemplate.

A Facebook User

Until premium accounts carry a bigger benefit than they do, there isnt that much reason to take one up. What confuses me is that the "improvements" to premium accounts are junk like "a set of furniture". Considering that sims are closing, the labs need to put serious time into making subscription income pick up, to cover the losses.

Kim Anubis

When Habbo introduced premium accounts the big offer was monthly exclusive free furniture and access to some exclusive clothing options. Habbo players were very into consumer status (users who would fill their rooms with expensive redundant items, like rows of refrigerators, in order to impress; collections of "rares"; mean-spirited "beauty contests" in a game where there were only a few face types and clothing options). So a lot of kids were very eager to use their parents' credit cards to go premium and get the "rare" monthly furniture and a few new clothing items.

I notice Hamlet often referring to the success of Habbo to support ideas like gamification of SL, click to move, etc. Perhaps, now that SL has the adult content corralled and the teens in the main grid, they're after teens who'd use Habbo as a key target market.

Prokofy Neva

Well, they have premium content now Kim, didn't you see that? It just started. It's pretty good, furniture by Colleen Desmoulins, FIC like you -- although it should be on transfer so that people can give it to others and sell it. Yes, sell it. That would help the economy. Of course they won't do that, not only for reasons of socialist utopian ideals but because they think that holds the value. But it would actually become more valuable if it could be bought and sold on a free marketplace.

There are many Europeans and others who can't supply the "payment information on file" that Linden will accept -- not everybody has the PayPal or credit cards that LL will take. And while they are trying to expand on that and deal with it, people in some countries simply can't supply this info and remain NPIOF, and remain dependent on friends to cash them out -- or they never cash out, using their money from sales of creations or from work in clubs to fund their own SL or generosity to friends. there's a lot more of this than people realize. I remember a guy who made $10,000 a day making and selling boots, but couldn't cash out. Sometimes he gave it to his girlfriend, but eventually he moved on from SL, it wasn't viable for him.

Whiskey Thistle

EXCELLENT post. I've tried arguing along similar lines previously on forums (often with little success), and you've summed up many of my feelings on the matter.

For those railing for NPIOF bans, I think it's worth asking: who exactly do you expect to slap your voteboxes, apply for your club host, dancer and DJ roles, loiter around your lucky chairs, click your Midnight Mania boards, enter your contests or take on your SL jobs in general? For many NPIOFs, even a sum like 200L from a few hours' work seems a great result and grants them more of a stake in the game, whether it's a step towards buying more items for their appearance or entertainment, or just being able to tip and consider home rentals. There are many reasons why people feel uneasy putting their c/card details on file, it doesn't necessarily reflect sinister intent.

The majority of NPIOFs I've met inworld (as well as my non-paying self) have absolutely no time for griefers and are aware of the ammo these idiots give to the 'pay RL money or get out' lobby. So thanks for this post. I sincerely hope LL doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater and reconsiders this decision, if the rumors are true.

Amanda Dallin

Good post Prok. I"m not sure the FBI would get involved but it is a social problem not technical problem.

I can't see LL locking out the NPIOF. Concurrency would drop through the floor and as mentioned by Prok they do spend money.

One question, Why would anyone care about those vote boxes. LL hasn't used them in years. I've had club owners tell me they helped you in search. Not sure where they are getting that idea.

Desmond Shang

At the risk of making this sound... awful, the bottom line is that nobody in their right mind will ever get rid of unpaid avatar access. I'd estimate that to be a multi~tens~of~millions dollar mistake at this point. Might have turned out differently before, but, by now the die has been cast.

The awful part has to do with the sort of 'food chain' nature of the whole thing. The platform is quiet enough, even *with* all the 'unpaid' avatars running around.

But even if they are completely outside the $L economy they perform a valuable function. Without them, there is a whole lot less social interaction, a whole lot less content, a whole lot less 'world' overall. Translated: they create motive for *anyone* to spend money. Nobody's going to buy much 'stuff' in an asocial desolate vacuum. As such, actual nonpaying residents are *still* the base of the economic pyramid, if it is to be of any significant size at all.

Of course, many 'unpaid' residents are actually some of the strongest real~dollar consumers in 'disguise' as it were. It's just another layer of quasi~anonymity.

And finally, an economic comment: All residents are 'paid for.' The question is: paid for by whom. For those not footing the server, bandwidth, licencing or development bills whatsoever, look to the landed residents; that's where the vast majority of the subsidy comes from. It's worth it, I'm sure, or we wouldn't have much of a world.

Kim Anubis

Of course I know about the furniture, Prok. What I meant is that I notice LL doing a lot of the same things Habbo did a decade ago. Seems to me an important clue about where things are headed, although your usual geschreien about supposed FIC inside information is more entertaining.

I'm sure you're right about the SL class war, though. After all, when some FIC plutocrat transfers a pile of L to his alt so he can go anonymously to the fashionable mesh talking fetish wang store, but can't enter because the alt is NPIOF, he'll blame it on a Socialist Plot and call out the Pinkerton bots and breedable hounds, AR a few hobo encampments for encroachment, and send in some Linden enforcers to bust some heads, until he can find someone to grill on live Treet TV about this incriminating picture of the accused accepting a free beer at a Woodbury party at SLCC.

Horus Vale

Without physical contact and biometric data, it is impossible to verify identity with any certainty. So despite appearances to the contrary, most online businesses, including SL, depend ultimately on the honesty of their clients for the accuracy of the record keeping. Security measures based on unverifiable data are inherently flawed and a waste of time. At best, you are keeping the honest people, honest, at the cost of annoying them. At worst you are driving away good business, while not locking out bad.

Prokofy Neva

Kim, I pride myself on knowing a fair number of Yiddish expressions after 30 years of life in New York, but I don't know this word "geschreien". Doesn't it mean "whining"?

It sure is FIC for Colleen to get her furniture put in the premium gift pack! Even I will go to her store, I liked her bowl and lamps! I hope they paid her.

I don't think LL is following the Habbo script, they've had freebies for customers in various forms for ages. Remember the Banshee bracelet for participating in load tests? I still fear taking that thing out, because when you put it out, only a Linden is capable of removing it from your sim, it's that pernicious. If you ever need a Linden to come, put out the Banshee.

There *are* FIC plutocrats -- or secretly rich even *non*-FIC -- who are NPIOF. More than you seem prepared to admit.

Accepting a beer at a Woodbury party isn't an innocent act.

Horus, the reason people use credit cards for identifying information is that either the charge goes through, or it doesn't. Pretty reliable way to establish identity. Either people have a valid charge card to use in life, or they don't.

Even so, driver's licenses, even being fairly easy to forge, represent another valid form of ID that LL could require if they have doubts. The default is to trust people, as 90 percent of the people put down accurate info.

Kim Anubis

Prok, it means shouting (or crying, but I was thinking even you wouldn't argue about the shouting definition). I'm not arguing with you about what is or isn't FIC, since you made up the term in the first place. The way I see it these days, FIC is just an annual award issued by Prokofy Neva based on his own criteria for his own reasons. I still wish it came with a statuette. I'm not really into furniture collection, but I ran inworld and got my premium furni immediately cause I like plants and flowers.

Anyway, you seem to have put your sense of humor away and forgotten about it or something today. Of course there are rich folks in SL who throw their weight around, just like there are in pretty much any group of humans on the planet that gets big enough. But I was posting to joke around.

I agree Linden isn't just following the Habbo script, but there are some similarities, and it's hard to overlook Hamlet's repeated comparisons. Obviously, I'm not the only one who sees it.

It's hilarious that you find accepting a free beer at an open room party at a convention to be freighted with sinister meaning. But hey, that sort of entertainment is why I keep reading your blog. Never change, Prok.

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