-By Krypton Radio staff
On November 18, 2010 Linden Lab creator of the virtual world of Second Life (SL), posted on its official blog updated news regarding the plans to merge its Teen only version of Second Life with the main grid containing the adult population. The post provided more detailed information to backup the previous statements by the Lab that Teens
being moved to the main grid would be segregated in various ways from the adult users of SL.
Linden Lab reiterated their position that they wish to provide a safe and secure environment for the teen SL members on the main grid by setting up the following restrictions for them:
- 13-15 year olds would be restricted to regions belonging to a real world institution, which must sponsor the teen to allow access to the grid, as well as no access to in-world search functions and the web-based SL Marketplace.
- 16-17 year old will be allowed access to only regions rated as “General” or “PG” regions, and would not physically be able to enter “Moderate” or “Adult” rated regions or estates, regardless of whether or not they had payment or age verification on file. Despite this, they would be allowed to communicate with and add adult members of SL to their friends lists.
Linden Lab staff verified in blog responses that regions and other content created on the Teen grid would, as previously stated, be transferred to the main grid along with the teen population. Adult Second Life users posted hundreds of responses to the news, relating a mix of support and continued outrage over the merging of the Teen and
Adult grids. While many adult users are happy to see the teens brought over, some due to a belief this will help in bolstering the SL economy, many others shared their concerns of teens being exposed to the dangers of the adult grid.
Many opponents of the merger, feel that the Teen SL users will be overly tempted to just make a alternate account without disclosing their true age, in order to access restricted areas, thus putting them in danger of overly adult situations and possibly internet predators. It is currently unclear as to the exact level of monitoring of teen
accounts Linden Lab will be doing, but LL staff indicate that they are taking every measure possible to safeguard teens accessing SL.