At least to me, Topless Tuesday is about protesting The Lab’s ban on topless female avatars in General-rated regions. To be honest, though, I’ve never read or heard that female toplessness is fully official. Here’s what I saw on a wiki:
Is simple nudity without sex Adult?
Depending on context, nudity may not require an Adult rating. For example all of the following could be rated Moderate:
- A nude beach without sexual activity.
- Skin vendors showing a nude skin to display the product.
- Nude art that is not sexual.
- Strip clubs that do not use adult words in search or host sex furniture.
Depending on the context, exposed genitalia may not be considered Adult. For example:
- Hanging out at a nude beach would be fine.
- Walking around pants-less on the mainland could be inappropriate.
Non-sexualized depictions of nudity are Moderate NOT Adult.
Okay, a little vague. Could I have been penalized for the picture in this post since I was shooting it for artistic purposes? I bet I could argue the point. What about when I walk around the west side of Bay City, the G-rated regions? I’m not having sex or displaying with intent to arouse. I’m just nekkid from the bellybutton on up. Any interpretation of this section, though, is clear that any sort of nudity should be avoided in General-rated regions without addressing the differences between female and male anatomies. Should men also be required to wear shirts?
It seems to me that even the Terms of Service are vague (section 4):
(vi) Violate our Maturity Content Guidelines. A region designated General is not allowed to advertise or make available content or activity that is sexually explicit, violent, or depicts nudity;
Nudity isn’t specifically addressed in the Community Standards, but there are links to other sources such as the Content Guidelines, which only mentions “sexually explicit content” without details or clarity. The Linden Lab Official: Mainland Policies wiki doesn’t have anything not the topic.
So where do we stand? May I run topless through Linden Realms (as seen on my Flickr)? Would I be allowed to sunbathe topless outside the Bay City Arboretum (SLurl)? Pretty sure other policies would keep me from diving into Marianne McCann‘s backyard pool (as well as it is kinda shallow and no one wants to face the wrath of the pint-sized titan). I have invited an official reply to be added in the comments of this post, but if you have comments, I’d appreciate if you would add them, too.
Until then, I’m going to go about topless where I feel appropriate as sort of an empirical test of the subject. Join me?
Michael Linden’s slippers, a gift from me a number of years ago. I was once told that Lab employees aren’t allowed to accept gifts, but he not only accepted these, he even put them out in his home (SLurl), now renamed Hotel Adriano since he has left The Lab’s employ. It was in this mansion in March 2015 that I met with Michael to interview him for the Bay City Post about his involvement with the development of Bay City (with the former Blue Linden, whom I interviewed in August 2015; see both here).
Adorable as Michael was in his Mole avatar, I’ve seen him in several forms, including human. I asked him about this during the interview:
UP-S: Do you consider your Second Life persona a “character” or a representation of who you are in Real Life?
ML: More of a representation. I haven’t really been involved in role-playing in SL.
In any incarnation he was always approachable and fun-spirited. Once when encountering my Zyx Flux alt while she was dressed as Wednesday Addams, he rewarded her for finding a flaw in a Mole build: [11:09] Michael Linden: ‘+1 Mole Point for Wenesday’
So far, everything I’ve written here makes it sound like Michael has passed away. Far from it, as my friend Marianne McCann wrote in a guest post on Inara Pey’s blog, Living in a Modem World. In talking with Marianne last night, though, we both felt like it was a death in the family when it was confirmed he was hanging up his crown as King of the Moles.
If Our World really has celebrities (SLebrities?), many would list any Linden as one. Look at the excitement that happens whenever you meet one in-world. Even with Michael on my Friends list and the way he readily answered my IMs without fuss, I still had a bit of that awe one feels around celebrities. Consider that in his 13 years with The Lab, Michael had his paw in just about everything: Bay City, the railroads, various attractions, even janitor work when a prim or two got out of line. That earns the little Talpidae some awe. I hope to meet Michael in his civilian avatar so I can give him a well-deserved hug.
Bay City is heavily featured in this Linden Lab promotional video for Second Life. See if you can spot my wife, Angela, popping up a couple times.
Linden Lab has quietly launched a complete rebuild of the Social Islands in Second Life. These are the spaces new Residents visit after they leave the official tutorial islands. I spent some exploring time at Social Island 9 (SLurl) with friends and was quite taken with the beautiful architecture and the brilliant instructional activities.
To encourage you to visit I’m going to limit myself to one picture (for now) but I will mention some highlights. When you arrive, a HUD will attach and almost guide you through various experiences – building, using a boat, dancing, learning your camera, and more – and pays a special version of the Linden spacebux that can be used in the Social Island shop. I write almost because the exploring is very free-form with no help from a plethora of weasels.
This fourth iteration of the Social Island concept is by far the most peaceful and lovely one. There are fewer attractions than the previous one (blogged about here), much more useful than the second one, and lacking the sandbox of the first. If you search diligently, you should be able to find at least one copy of all these old islands. The Lab is clearly aiming to increase Resident numbers with this rebuild, an early part of the revived Gateway program that lets in-world groups solicit new Residents.
As you tour the new Social Island you might come across things that could be better (like I found some issues with the items for sale in the shop) or you might just have suggestions. Feel free to leave comments on this post and I’ll direct them to various folks I know that might be able to help. Now get out there and have some fun with this new experience!
To be honest, I haven’t felt like blogging. Well, there was the one time shortly after I bought this lovely Adore-Nyx skin from Lumae (SLurl). The delivery packaging is impressive. Like many creators, Lumiya Rae set it up as a HUD so no rezzing is needed, but she improves the idea by using the HUD as an instructional tool, listing features and content and showing example pictures, instead of just having the store logo.
That idea passed quickly despite how impressed I was with the experience (and the bargains on Lumae’s whole line of skins, on clearance till the end of the year), so I simply sat around, not blogging. Nor did I blog when I first took this post’s picture. My friend Marianne McCann had made a wonderful photo set which replicated the outside of Linden Lab’s Second Life offices in (so called) Real Life. After posting this picture to the MySL “feed” I had intended to post it here, too, with the original message “Thank you, Linden Lab. With Second Life I can be the way I see myself in my mind’s eye.”
Wait. I guess I just did.
What can I say about Linden Lab’s new PaleoQuest adventure that Inara Pey hasn’t (see here)? Probably not much, so I’m just going to relax after my harrowing adventure in this new land and post a couple pictures of me with a Torley Surprise at the bar. I’ll write more on another day, but completing the five quests here* is really exhausting. On top of that, I got to hang out with Magellan Linden. Yes, Magellan Linden!! And plenty of other Lindens and Moles from the LDPW who all did a fabulous job creating this new part of Our World.
Click to embiggen or see it on Flickr. I’m wearing one of the several free t-shirts available at the bar.
*By “here” I mean go to the Portal Park (SLurl or SLurl) and look for the PaleoQuest portal.
Looking at my Rez Date you’d think I’ve been in Second Life just a scant nine years. Nay, I say! I spent a while on the Teen Grid, but I abandoned that account nine years ago today and started afresh. New me. New start.
Thanks to Our World, I am nearly over all my Real Life phobias. Just this morning I was in Burger King, the only woman in a room full with nearly a dozen males. Ten years ago you couldn’t have bribed me with enough cheeseburgers to do that. I didn’t want to go outside. I feared everyone, especially men. I’d panic if the postal carrier was walking on our lawn (double so if it was a guy). I was on tranquilizers just to go to school and be in rooms with people I’d known my whole school life.
Second Life was a safe environment. When I landed on the Main Grid (still with the guidance of the RL therapist that put me on the Teen Grid) I stuck to myself, but I was outside. My brother, CC Columbo in SL and just CC in RL, had some land and gave me a home. He took me to a women-only resort called the Isle of Lesbos. I stayed there most of the time and tentatively explored Our World. Gradually, I became comfortable with me and my limits and then I started growing. Eventually, I met all sorts of people. Men, women, furries, aliens, fae, whatever. Eventually, I joined other communities, notably Bay City, and kept growing.
Today, nine years later, I’m on the management staff of the Second Life Birthday Celebration, one of Our World’s biggest events. The people of Bay City (okay, a subset of same) voted me to be Miss Bay City. Employees of The Lab sometimes contact me about my blog or things I’ve posted on My.SeoondLife.com, and people I consider to be SLebrities – movers and shakers in our community – even stop to say “Hi!” if they see me. Please don’t take that as bragging (though, in truth, it might be a little bit). Take that as an example of what Our World can do. It can take a scared young girl and help her become a woman with less fear, greater strength, and unique experiences. In just nine years, in my case.