slifesNow, you can hope to get a more customizable Second Life experience. Linden Lab, creator of the virtual world Second Life, today (April 22) announced a series of initiatives to achieve that.

“From the beginning, Linden Lab has led the way in the development of virtual worlds and has set the standard on many cultural and social issues involved with virtual communities,” said Mark Kingdon, CEO of Linden Lab. “Preferences and community standards vary tremendously across industries, countries and cultures; our goal is to retain as much of the freedom as possible while continuing to push the medium and our platform forward.” 

In its attempt to improve Second Life experience, in January this year Linden Lab had announced acquisition of two Web-based marketplaces for virtual goods, Xstreet SL and OnRez. It planned to consolidate the two marketplaces on the Xstreet SL platform, offering one online shopping experience for customers and merchants. 

Second Life continues to be an 18+ environment. This will now be supplemented by the following initiatives: 

• The definition and implementation of a three-tiered rating system – PG, Mature, or Adult – that will be used to identify content and set individual preferences for Residents. Definitions of each of these maturity ratings are available here.

• The implementation of a new account verification system. In order to access Adult regions and search results, Second Life users will need to verify their accounts in one of two ways: a) by having payment information on file, or b) by using Linden Lab’s age verification solution, provided by Aristotle.

• The setting of maturity ratings for all regions, classifying them as PG, Mature, or Adult. Mature remains the default setting for all Second Life users. Access to Adult regions will be restricted to Residents with verified accounts.

• The migration of adult-oriented content from the Second Life mainland to a newly created continent. A timeline and specific details on how the migration will be managed and implemented is being finalized in consultation with those affected and will be published later in Q2.

• The filtering of search results according to maturity ratings and content preferences. Search results using Adult keywords will appear only for Residents with verified accounts.

To help enforce, manage and measure the success of the program, Linden Lab is implementing several automated processes to supplement its existing abuse reporting procedures. 

From a technical perspective, it says, Linden Lab will soon make available version 1.23 of the Second Life Viewer available as a release candidate (RC). This iteration will have a series of controls that will enable Residents to set maturity levels for regions, set individual preferences, and filter search accordingly. 

Developed and launched by Linden Lab in 2003, Second Life is a leading 3D virtual world environment. It enables its users – known as Residents – to create content, interact with others, launch businesses, collaborate, and educate.

Photo courtesy: Second Life

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About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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