back to article Could Sadville break the internet with nakedness?

Second Life's introduction of adult zoning and age verification highlights an uncomfortable truth about the future of the web - as network function increases, so the anarchic free-for-all we are used to will be eroded further, and possibly abolished forever. There is much frothing on Sadville forums over Linden Labs’ proposals …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    In a thousand years, virtual archaeologists will be frantically trying to work exactly what kind of e-calamity befell every continent except Ursula.

    The basis for this? Flying penises will have been wiped off the rest of the world.

    A bit like horses dissappearing from the Americas.

    ...except in 1000 years, scientists are not even going to think about Second Life. It's going to be a footnote to a footnote in the development of the web.

    I mean what sort of retard spends money on giving their avatar new clothes? Get a REAL life, I say!

  2. Dave Ross
    Thumb Up


    Thats the second intelligently written, non-condescending article on Second Life I have read on El Reg. Standards are slipping! :)

    Fact is, the vast majority of adult rated content in SL is on privately owned sims which this will not affect. This only applies to sites that are built on mainland sims. I don't think they will be too bothered by being moved to a new (and most likely much faster) sim.

  3. Anonymous Coward



  4. Jason Togneri


    Get a first life so you don't have to make so with a Second Life ;-)


    "A spokesman cited educators using Second Life for training. "Even if an entire class is over 18," he said, "you don't necessarily want to be confronted with adult content while you're trying to teach someone about the internal workings of the pancreas"."

    I think this goes a LONG way to explaining why education levels are so atrocious in the English-speaking world. You're seriously telling me that high school/university-level students are being taught using Second Life as an education resource? I weep for the future of humanity.

    @ AC #1: I don't think future virtual archaeologists will be looking very deeply, because by that point people will have forgotten how to actually program stuff, and will only know how to use the tools that were already there. Innovation will grind to a halt and no real progress will have been mode :-(

  5. Nicholas EGF Berry


    Is this a cunning bilingual pun? Ursula, from the Latin ursus, bear - bare?

  6. JohnG
    Paris Hilton


    Sadville citizens wouldn't need so much adult content if they actually turned the computer off and went out to meet some real people once in a while - they might actually get real sex instead of the knuckle shuffle offered in Sadville.

    Paris for obvious reasons.

  7. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Wankers

    I'm bored of the endless 'lol u has no life' comments. No, I'm not on Sadville. I would just like to see the debate mature a smidge here.

    So! Now we've got the point - Sadville inhabitants have no life (less of a life even than people who persist in commenting about how people who spend so much time online have no life). No more such inanities will appear on this thread. Raise your game, folks. This is your really very minor challenge for the afternoon.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spend money?

    I don't even know anyone with a personal account.... Why is anyone spending money on this? How odd how really very odd...

  9. Greg

    @Nicholas EGF Berry

    "Is this a cunning bilingual pun? Ursula, from the Latin ursus, bear - bare?"

    Or, going for a less educated (and therefore far more likely) approach, are they referring to Friends, where Ursula is a porn star?

  10. Mike

    Real Life??

    I have seen your so called "Real Life" and for the most part want to have nothing to do with it. And as to "what type of retard", most residents are retards of the 120-160 IQ variety as opposed to the 50-70 range required for "world of whore crack"

    As far as the "Adult Content" ban goes, no one is happy with it, but hey, if you have lots of corporate cash you can bend SecondLife to your will. I have not seen any arguments from secondlife residents in favor of this action. But it really doesn't matter that much, just rename all your "interesting" stuff to something euphemistically harmless.

    Mines the virtual one with "photo-realistic nudity" in the pocket.

  11. Dave

    @ Ms Bee

    In that case, how about I tell the IBMers to get a real job, instead of playing around in Sadville and pretending they are inventing new business paradigms? (So that I can have that job instead.)

  12. Rob

    Don't get it...

    ... I still don't get why you would want to create an avatar to get into Second Life only to carry out tasks which you could do in the real world. The education in part I can understand but I don't the business side of things. To conduct a meeting in 2nd Life seems wholly pointless as it requires a lot more effort than say video/telephone conference.

    I totally get the sex/adult nature that's sprung up, we're human it's what we do best with technology and the Porn industry has a good track record of pushing technology that little bit further. They even have software akin to 2nd life but just without the non-adult zones. All you need now is someone like Nintendo to support the software and invent some Wii-Adult devices, that would definately make for some interesting news stories about 'accidents'.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Wankers

    "Raise your game, folks. This is your really very minor challenge for the afternoon."

    Good morning from this side of the pond.

    I remain puzzled, though, as to why it is so much more fulfilling to use SL instead of "hanging out". I'm seeing some of this in my own kids who are in various stages of WoW-obsession. I certainly don't want them to be lusers, but I don't want to deny the relative "coolness" of the experience. I also note that even in novels like Snowcrash - or what I consider a closely-related predecessor short The Veldt - that the authors clearly show the dangers of VR as well as a fascination for the genre/medium/whatever.

    Let's not get started on The Matrix. Mine's the long leather one with the armory.

  14. Mike

    @Sarah Bee

    You should give it a try, stop by sometime, Fridays and Saturdays are best. Drinks are free, grab a cigar out of the humidor and kick back and listen to the tunes. The DJ will play pretty much anything you ask for. If that doesn't work for you maybe you could do some tai-chi, hang out at Pixelhenge, or test fly one of my X-302's. We even have a few people that will throw free hair and clothes at you so you don't come off as a total n00b.

    Ask for Fmagick.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    While your at it can you get rid of the Paris Hilton icon or at least all the comments that use it, in particular those that say why they've used it. All the "Paris, because she would" and such is getting rather tedious.

  16. FreeTard

    @ Sarah Bee

    But it is just too funny to not slag off. I joined up out of curiosity, but OMG it's totally and utterly sad.

    Join it and see for yourself, you will laugh.

  17. Michael Frame

    Minor factual error...

    Minor factual error... a standard sim runs on a single CPU core, not a whole CPU. Given they use mostly quad-core processors, you actually get four sims to a CPU, not one as mentioned in the article.

    There are also some further exceptions, such as "OpenSpace" and "Homestead" regions which are multiple sims to a core, but those are uncommon.

  18. TeeCee Gold badge


    ".....inventing new business paradigms....."

    That sort of thing has no place in the real world and you should just let 'em get on with it.

  19. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ Sarah Bee

    That's as maybe, but the article isn't really about whether or not Sadville is totally lame-o, is it?

    Oh, and Paris is beyond my jurisdiction. This place has many, many, many internal memes which aren't going to go away. I suspect I am becoming one of them. I can no longer be entirely sure that I exist at all.


  20. Steve

    Re: Re: Wankers

    "I would just like to see the debate mature a smidge here."

    And I'd like to claim lap-dances on expenses, but it ain't gonna happen. Immaturity is the only redeeming feature of Second Life - I honestly can't think of a better way to bring down the pompous and self-righteous than a swarm of flying penises.

    @ Mike

    "most residents are retards of the 120-160 IQ variety"

    Educated idiots are always the worst.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @ Sarah Bee... or maybe not

    I think you're a meme and/or bot brought into existence by the overwhelming desire for a) a female, and b) somebody in 'Authority' to argue with, on these comments threads. Face it. Even there was once a real "Sarah Bee" - which I strongly doubt - she'd have long since been consumed by the moderatrix meme lurking at the back of that organic brain.

    If there is a real Sarah Bee, however, then judging by Reg's last Christmas bash photos she's quite cute and we want more pix :-D

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    In answer to the questions raised in the article, I would like to say no, no, it doesn't, no, it's not, and I doubt it, in that order. Second Life's zoning system will not have an impact outside Second Life; it does not effect anyone who does not care about Second Life, which is the majority of the tiny minority of humanity that could potentially have a good reason care about Second Life.

    "If that doesn't work for you maybe you could do some tai-chi" - there is a difference between actually doing tai-chi, and right-clicking on the screen and selecting a menu option that causes your on-screen character to stiffly adopt some tai-chi poses. Besides, it seems incredibly inefficient to log on to Second Life, journey somewhere that has a DJ, and listen to his tunes, when you could listen to a podcast instead - and perhaps do real tai-chi whilst you listen to the music, or something else, rather than just sit in front of a virtual DJ, exchanging one-line messages with the handful of people that wander by.

  23. Richard


    It's Meh. M - E - H. Meh.

  24. John Ozimek
    Paris Hilton

    wii sex aids?

    Sorry to inform you...but these already exist. It is possible to link inworld genitals to, um, real world vibrators....and similar.

    Of course, the technology is actually fairly old hat. Wireless controlled and mobile-controlled vibrators have been on the market for years.

    Paris...has to be...cause she knows a thing or two about vibrators.

  25. Langalf
    Black Helicopters

    Why not Second Life?

    Here is one explanation for "hanging" in Second Life ... I live in a small town two hours from any major entertainment / shopping / interaction with a larger group of people. For little more than the cost of an Internet connection, I can (and routinely do) spend time with people from all over the world. I can engage in role play in fantasy / medieval / futuristic settings, attend live concerts, and generally have a whole lot more fun than if I plopped down in front of the TV for the evening. We cannot all live in large metropolitan areas with the world at our real-life fingertips.

  26. John Ozimek

    Factual error?

    Thanks for the comment, Michael. I have no way of checking whether you are right or not. I got the single CPU per region remark directly from the avatar known as "Q Linden" yesterday. He gave his role as "manager and technical lead of the Sustaining Engineering group" I assume he would know.

    To be honest, I remain a semi-sceptic as regards SL. I've done the inworld conference thing, which included a video feed from a real world conference session - and the lag was atrocious. Neat idea... but a load more processing power needed for it to work well.

    I also use sl to refresh my language skills. As my surname sort of indicates, I am of eastern european origin...but do not have very good spoken Polish. Sure: I could do Berlitz...drop into a Polish language chatroom...but I have also used the SL version of Krakow as a focal pint for just sitting and listening to language as it passes across the dialogue boxes.

  27. Mike


    Firstly I agree with you, this will have no effect outside SL.

    To the rest of your comments,

    SL is AIM with pictures + mp3 broadcasts with a request feature + on demand movies in an international setting (not to mention the voice chat feature which is basically a free international conference call). I know the international thing scares some people, strange thoughts and ideas from around the world, who in their right mind would want any part of that.

    And I do the Tai-Chi with my online character. And podcasts are for pod people. And most of the time I am fixing dinner, or actually doing other things while in-world.

    I really hate it when the press convinces the unwashed masses that SL is just a bunch of sedentary losers who have no life, when in fact in most cases the opposite is true.

    When was the last time you took time out from your day to chat with a terminally ill cancer patient from half way around the world, just to brighten up their day, for me it was last week.

    It usually takes most people (usually?, most?, now there are some qualifiers) about 3 months of regular online visits to get the hang of SL and actually enjoy it. Any less than that and you haven't really experienced it at all.....

    Just saying, don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

    Mines the one with righteous indignation stenciled across the back.

  28. Rob

    @John Ozimek

    Do you know what, I'm not surprised :)

    It won't be mainstream or widely accepted unless it's got a Wii badge on, plus I think the fact that all their kit is white in colour would probably help as well (degenerating again, didn't last long for me, sorry Sarah).

  29. Anonymous Coward

    I love arguments like these

    "Second Life is for lusers who don't have a first life"

    Well, actually that might well be partly true. If, rather than berate something before you had tried it you actually experienced it, you might know that a fair old chunk of SL's user base indeed have no life but not in the smarmy condescending way some of you suggest. Some of them have crippling disabilities which means their real-world scope for movement is very limited. Some of them are from quite impoverished households or are part of big families so their access to real-world cash and resources is limited.

    In any case there are a lot of people who use SL to simply experience things a lot of us take for granted or to experience things they would never come close to in the real world. Usually the people who are the quickest to judge others as losers are the same muppets you see on a friday night all packed into the nearest Wetherspoons with the same haircuts and the same t-shirts but I digress.

    As for Sarah Bee not having an SL persona... If she doesn't have one I think she should make one. A Reg presence in-world would be enough to make me download the viewer again. Just don't make the boy Dziuba a greeter!


  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Youth is wasted on the young, said Oscar Wilde

    That some choose to spend considerable time stuck in a poxy semi-virtual reality I find strange. Most could do otherwise but don't. There's a world out there, of real people, real sex, real encounters, of -- -- of reality.

    You have a choice but with many years of chronic pain and being effectively unable to get around beyond the absolute minimum necessary to live, I have not had the luxury of that choice. I spend it inside staring at the walls and going mad (actually mad. Not an amusing metaphor, actually alienated and dangerously warped in thinking). Suicide has been an option twice, not taken obviously.

    Where I sit people choosing a life substantially online, it's like watching rats choose to live in a white plastic box in an odourless, soundproofed and purely white laboratory. Makes no sense.

    Now This problem of mine is coming to an end I'm looking to get back to what other people seem happy to forego, of real life and people. When my mental problems have fixed themselves, when my faded social skills have recovered a bit there's the world out there for me. Even being able to walk any distance down a street without pain would be something special - genuinely special.

    You (most of you anyway) had a choice. I didn't.

    So as I betimes think, and as Oscar Wilde might also have said, Life is wasted on the living.

  31. LaeMi Qian

    Appologies for posting ON-topic

    I have a little little parcel in SL that is VERY adult themed.

    Ironically, I have gone to so much trouble to keep the adult stuff out of the neighbors' faces that I am likely to be missed for the move, despite that I WANT to go to the adult continent.

    I sell enough virtual product (mostly adult stuff) to cover my playing costs (which is all I desire - I have a day job to cover RL costs) and being located in a place where people seeking this stuff will be going rather than in some random corner of the general grid suits me very well.

    And believe me: if you are into the RL equivalents of some if my SL stuff than YOU are the real saddo (plus, where the hell did you get it?)

    Final note, I am spending more time on OpenSim these days anyway. SL = eWorld, OS = WWW (in the very early days).

  32. wayne

    feh @richard

    feh - 13 definitions - A [yiddish] word - expression of distaste or disgust, or in slang term general uninterest.

    I for one welcome our uninterested, disgusted meme.

  33. Estariel

    For a given value of real

    IANISL (I am not in Second Life)

    However, the key difference between Real Life (tm) and Second Life is that in the game of real life you have to play the exact hand you are dealt with. One chance. Even if your hand sucks.

    In Second Life (or any other online world) you can pick most of the cards you want, and play with those. And if you dont like how it turns out, you can go around again as someone else.

    Its not quite as real as getting dumped by your boyfriend or mugged in an alleyway, but its a more authentic experience than Eastenders or 24

  34. John Ozimek

    The disability dimension


    Thanks for bringing this up. I write about SL because the technology fascinates me. I think the concept is currently flawed and slightly unbalanced by the (media) focus on strange sex. (Back in your box, LaeMi, in the nicest possible way!).

    However, from visiting inworld, talking to people there - and also talking to people in what I guess we would call the real world "disability community" - it is worth underlining that "men dressed up as women" is not the only, or the main, bit of pretending that goes on in there.

    One of my most chastening experiences was a lengthy, interesting and serious set of conversations with an av about modern literature and the influence of certain philosophical trends. At some point I remarked on how well read the individual was and how interesting their views on the subject were. I got back a slightly grumpy remark about how it was a pity others couldn't see that.

    I followed up: the individual explained they had a serious disability, disfiguring their face, making speech difficult, and marking them out as "different". They had endured a lifetime of bullying and a general consensus that they were "thick". Only behind and through a screen was it possible for people to "see" the person first - the intellect, the intelligence - and ignore the disability.

    I would love to be able to say that had I met them in real life, I would have been the exception. I have this rather guilty suspicion that I might not: that I, too, might have found the disability a barrier that was too easy to regard as absolute - and therefore have missed out on the person beneath.

    It may be that I am wholly wrong about virtual reality: it may yet turn out to be a blind avenue in technological development. On the other hand, I remember being pretty much the sole advocate, back in 1997, for a major insurance company with which I worked at the time, to explore the internet.

    "There, there", was the approximate answer, as everyone in the marketing area dismissed the internet as sci-fi gobbledegook: a place for geeks and sex maniacs. Within a couple of years, that had changed, and I listened in bemusement as born-again netophiles berated me for not being more enthusiastic about this new technology.

    I don't think el Reg has an inworld presence - but my SL av is "Desiderio Blitz": those with stories to tell or serious conversations to have, please im... I don't bite...and I won't make you sit on any poseballs you don't wish to.

  35. Dani Eder

    Practical Uses for Second Life

    It's true that the current uses of Second Life are mostly socializing and adult activities. But there are practical uses for a 3D virtual world which is cheap for the user to set up. Today, flight simulators are used to train aircraft pilots because (a) flying real aircraft is very expensive per hour (b) training errors are even more expensive (crashing the aircraft). But even flight simulators cost millions to set up and run.

    When you don't require the fidelity of a flight simulator, and the costs are much lower, there are many more simulations that can be done. Some examples:

    Training for disaster drills - much less expensive than pulling out the real fire trucks and ambulances

    Practicing operating room procedures

    Training auto repair technicians (the individual user does not involve a high cost per hour, but there are a lot of them to justify developing the simulation)

    Commercial real estate planning and client walkthroughs

    With aircraft pilots, eventually you need to get in the real aircraft and fly it, and so with other things, you eventually need to do the real activity. But there is a stage between reading the manual and reality where using a simulation makes sense. And it makes sense in a lot more places when the software is cheap, and the tools to create the simulation are easy to use.

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