Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Linden Labs, and the mainstreaming of Rape

Adults, by which I mean sexually mature people, not merely those who have reached legal majority, have sexual fantasies, and virtual reality is one place where they can play these out. Even extreme fantasies can be healthy, healthier worked out than bottled up. At the same time, people should not have to have other people's search for sexual fantasy inflicted on them. That's the logic behind ratings. Just like commercial activity, sex is such a powerful motivator, that people looking for it will fill every available niche. This is a good reason for ballrooms banning escorting, and it is a good reason for having search classified by category. Since "PG" in LL is so low a bar that even El Greco wouldn't always meet it, "Mature" can't be a sufficient bar for sex to jump.

I am not in favor of how LL has done ratings, because it has very clearly injected it's own crass commercial interests in spying on people in return for sex. But LL is doing more than that, in that it's policy enforcement is clearly intended to mainstream rape. LL does not enforce its rules against rape parcels almost at all. Despite personal knowledge of them by LL employees, despite repeated reports, despite flagrant violation of its own rules. Since LL does threaten parcel owners who break content rules, it cannot say that it is not pro-active, on the contrary, it has been very pro-active in pushing people into Zindra, and getting parcels to shift to adult.

Most imfamously the former "Rape Torture Kill" is now "BnB Forced Sex RP," on a mature sim, with other surrounding sims. Yet LL leaves it strictly alone. It has changed owners, and LL continues to protect it and promote it, by driving other competition out. LL is not merely allowing one sim to remain going, it is mainstreaming rape by removing other areas. Rape rooms are far more trafficked now than they were before, precisely because LL has left so many of them strictly alone.

But not rape parcels.

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