Warren Ellis on Second Life: Please stop doing that to the cat

Snip from the latest Second Life Sketch by Warren Ellis for Reuters. In this episode, Mr. Ellis discovers uninvited avatar-strangers having sex in property he's recently purchased:

In return for allowing her avatar to be animated into bump-and-grind moves around The General, she got paid Linden Dollars. Not a lot, but hers was a free account, which means the system doesn't give her a stipend in return for paid membership. She could leave her computer running for a couple of hours, making sure her Second Life connection didn't time out, and earn enough Linden Dollars to get through the week – mostly spent on styling her av and helping with the rent on the land she and her friends called home. Which doesn't sound a million miles away from the life of a real-world dancer, subtracting the need for food.

That Second Life can replicate that sort of blank existence would seem reason enough to take a good look at what kind of experience the world is really fostering. But that is really the soft edge of sex in Second Life.

There have been attempts, recently, to downplay the role of sex in Second Life. Anyone's who's spent more than a day in-world knows those attempts to be disingenuous at best. The mainland is divided into Mature and PG areas, and any tour of the Mature regions will inevitably feature a collision with the sex business. A longer tour will illustrate how little of it is vanilla.


Previously on BoingBoing:

  • Second Life: Drew from "Toothpaste for Dinner" tries it.