Ageplay theory

I started that on the forums, but the thread got closed. Meanwhile, I think the discussion I started has merit and is not idle theorising, because it demonstrates gaping holes in logic.

Second Life Terms of Service do not, as such, say anything about the subject of ageplay. It refers you to the Community Standards, which, as written, do not contain the word ‘ageplay’ either. In fact, never in those two documents are the words ‘age’ and ‘sex’ encountered in the same sentence. So whatever policy exists in place forbidding sexual ageplay, it is not stated clearly anywhere a rank resident may read it or even know it’s forbidden.

The consensus in various resident discourse has been that any person wearing a child avatar and simultaneously engaging in any activity that can be termed sexual, for example, animating their avatar in a lewd manner, is committing an offense against TOS, even though that is not stated clearly in any official source I don’t have to search the deep web for. But, this behavior is hardly atomic. What sexual ageplay in SL context is? Is it creating an image to be seen by someone else, consuming an image that has been created by yourself in cooperation with someone else, seeing an image created by someone else, or what? To clarify, let us consider the following set of hypothetical situations…

Situation 1: Suppose a person creates two accounts, A and B. That same person dresses up both as child avatars. Then the hypothetical perpetrator sets up an MLP-based animation device full of animations of sexual nature in a private region where no visitors are allowed. The animation device is set up in such a way as to be triggerable from chat commands.

Then they use Metabolt or another non-graphical client to log in both avatars and proceed to seat them onto the poseballs and engage in a sexual animation that even the owner themselves doesn’t see, and nobody else can observe since the region is private, except a hypothetical God-Mode Linden, who may or may not be present, and there is no way for the owner of the two nongraphical clients to know they’re there.

Situation 2: Same as situation 1. But let’s assume that instead of Metabolt, pure uncontrolled preprogrammed bots are used to connect, that can only sit down on two specially marked poseballs and nothing else. An LSL script is used to randomly cycle poseball pairs in the MLP device, and the device contains 50 purely innocent pose pairs and 1 pose pair of sexual nature. The cycling happens once, say, every hour.

The MLP device is set to silent mode — this way, at no time the owner of the bots may be aware what animation is being played right now. Since the animations are switched through server-side scripting, the owner literally has no control over whether the bots ever appear in a sexual ageplay scene, and the probability of it happening in any given day once is 47%. Mind you, the owner of the bots makes a point not to visit the bots to observe them, and makes sure nobody but a God-Mode Linden can do this.

Situation 1A: Same as situation 1. But now A is the owner of that account connecting with a normal client and viewing the animation as it occurs.

Situation 2A: Same as situation 2. But now A is the owner of the account connecting with a normal client and viewing the animation as it occurs, glued to the screen.

Situation 2B: Same as situation 2. But now A is the owner of the account, connecting with a normal client and not viewing the animation as it occurs, being busy around the house with something else.

Situation 3: A much more realistic and less scientifically rigid version now… Let us assume that a perpetrator has set up a system of camping chairs in a public mall, that are using an animation engine to animate avatars in innocent couple animations, like playing chess. At some point, a bot, B, dressed up as an adult avatar, sits on one of the couple poseballs. A few minutes later, a user, A, dressed up as a child avatar, sits on the other one. The multipose system used for the camping chair was made by adapting a sex bed, and the maker opted to keep the original sex animations intact. Due to a bug in the code, at a random point with an undetermined chance, the system may make A and B engage in a lewd animation. A is present at the keyboard as it happens, but is not aware that they may stop it by teleporting out.

Situation 3A: Same as situation 3. But now, A, dressed up as a child avatar, sits on a poseball first, and for a while has no idea a bot, B, might ever join them.

Situation 3B: Same as situation 3. But A, being an expert camper, is not present at the keyboard as a lewd animation happens, busy with something else entirely.

Situation 4: A common chair with an embedded pose is maliciously modified to request and keep animation permissions of the sitter with a separately introduced script. Since the scripts in objects sat upon are given permissions implicitly, the user is unaware that it happens. At a random time, if the person who was sitting on the chair but now isn’t, is still present in the sim, they are being animated in a lewd manner. A user, A, wearing a child avatar, sits on the chair to check out the pose, stands up and hangs out in other shops in the same sim, when the malicious script triggers.

Situation 4A: Same, but A was wearing an adult avatar at the time they sat on the chair, but purchased a child avatar shape, skin and clothing while still being in the sim, and wore them to check them out before the malicious animation triggered.

Which of these situations have sexual ageplay being committed as subject to an Abuse Report? Who exactly is committing it when, and who should be reported as the perpetrator? How exactly would their guilt be determined? Who has the burden of proof that any wrongdoing was committed? I must remind you — “There’s nothing objectionable nor illegal in having a child-like avatar in itself and we must assume innocence until proof of the contrary.” — Lewis PR Linden.

And most importantly, why, if it’s so easy to deliberately mislead a person wearing a child avatar into a situation which would be so questionable, and where they would have no control over ending up in it, are they actually presumed guilty by a rank resident that Abuse Reports them, and by a Linden that suspends them before actually checking if any wrongdoing occurred?!

Fun. I really should find professor Stanley Cohen — the gentleman is still alive and well, I hear — and ask his opinion on this particular moral panic. But I bet he’s crying his eyes out now.

Because I almost am.

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This is how you do sculpted clothing

A picture says a thousand words

A picture says a thousand words

Pretty much nothing to add to that, since I guess anyone can see how lovely this coat is. Available at .+*Cipher*+., for L$350, and in case you aren’t sure, there’s a free demo for you to see if it fits.

Do better, I dare you. 🙂

P.S. Yes, they do have a few items for men too. 🙂

Active users

I have always wondered what does the number of active users given by Lindens at 1.9 million, give or take a barrel, actually mean.

But I think I have stumbled on what sounds like a plausible explanation of a definition they’re working with, as usual, by accident.

It is reasonable to assume that an average land-owning resident owns around 1024 square meters — the majority of the land owners (that is, recorded as owners of the land in the About Land tab) would own less, while a certain percentage would own more. While certain residents will own estates, it will not affect the About Land information.

Around 30`000 sims are known to exist, which totals to about 1`966`080`000 square meters of land. Dividing that by 1024, we get 1`920`000 — which is the same 1.9 million Lindens report as ‘active residents’. They might not actually be active, as in, they might not actually log in, but they are easy to see as paying customers, either directly (on mainland) or indirectly (through their contribution to estate tier).

Considering that there are numerous reports of residents who paid for a year in premium fees, bought a land plot, put up a prefab on it and never came back, the actual number of ‘active residents’ we would consider — people who log in regularly and spend an appreciable time inworld — is probably somewhere just above a million, which would put the average inworld time at 12 hours a week for each of them.

But that’s not counting the traffic bots, which throw off any and all estimates, since it’s pretty much impossible to tell how many of them are there.

Suckers

Barnum was right, there really is a sucker born every minute. Calling them noble vampires doesn’t change that much.

When Vampire: the Masquerade came out, it was a revolutionary roleplaying game setting, that brought new blood into the subculture, and while the results have been mixed, it significantly advanced it’s sophistication. People who really are into roleplaying vampires probably know what I mean, people who aren’t, can imagine that for many this was a powerful vehicle of self-exploration, the rules were simple and encouraged smooth, minimally encumbered game of imagination.

Unfortunately, roleplaying has it’s history rooted in tabletop wargames and mathematical approach to strategy, so there are and will always be people who will try to exploit the mathematics of rules in order to win the game – if winning conditions are defined in any fashion.

And winning conditions are all that The Thist: Bloodlines is about. To put this long story very short, while the author(s) imply that it was originally meant as a support system for roleplaying — a noble cause, to be sure — as it is used now it is nothing more than a financial pyramid. An ingeniously evil one, because it’s legal:

  1. Everyone bitten by a vampire gets an invitation to become a vampire themselves.
  2. Everyone bitten only contains 5 liters of “vital blood”, period, and no more can be extracted. It does not regenerate.
  3. Every vampire consumes 0.25 liters of “vital blood” daily.
  4. Biting more victims confers higher status in the scoreboard on the vampire.

It goes without saying that if a victim is willing, they are likely to also purchase their own set of scripted fangs and join the game as vampires. Simple extrapolation shows that as soon as the pool of willing victims is exausted, unwilling victims will be introduced. Even though you cannot actually bite anyone without their permission, because the design of Second Life prevents it, far too many people will give the permission carelessly or without knowing what it actually entails.

This will slow the growth of the pool down, but only marginally, because the new entrants into the pool of vampires will mostly consist of careless or unknowing people who are, incidentally, more likely to enjoy treating the system not as a device for roleplaying and self-exploration, but as a button-pushing game. So they will seek out new victims and target people more like themselves, rather than roleplayers.

Eventually the number of non-roleplayers will exceed the finite number of roleplayers in the system, and cause untold amounts of annoyance to bystanders who don’t want to play it and consider the whole idea silly, not to mention shame the roleplayers.

Well, that’s exactly what happened.

Numerous calls to stake the impolite vampires so far resulted in nothing, since they’d have to give their permission just as the victims do, and more importantly, because they don’t realise that what they’re doing is annoying everybody. The makes of the game are starting to take countermeasures by rewarding roleplaying explicitly, but I think this is too little, too late — far too many people with no interest in roleplaying are already in the vampire pool.

There is only one hole in the system that I have been able to find so far: the victim scanner treats everyone who isn’t wearing the Bloodlines HUD as a potential victim. Since the HUD objects communicate by passing messages over open public channels, it should be possible to create an object that responds to this query with something plausible that excludes you from the potential victim list and saves everyone time and trouble, or at least, detects the scanner query and launches appropriate countermeasures, like a cloud of particle stakes.

Unfortunately, the number of possible channels is very high, and scanning for them is a rather complex endeavour, requiring controlled conditions, so I haven’t been able to figure out a way to do it without getting a set of fangs of my own, and even if I do break down and get me some fangs, it might take up to 66666 attempts to track the channel down.

Any ideas?

Sex, lies, and statistics

I have mentioned previously that there is almost no good cosplay in Second Life. This applies both to anime and to any other fan culture I have so far observed. Which still strikes me as patently odd, but I think I have a theory now.

As far as I can see, the distribution of products seen in themed markets devoted to these pursuits is 90% junk, 10% worthy things that “aren’t quite cosplay”, meaning that they are obviously inspired by the theme, but do not follow it directly or do not copy the original material faithfully. The distribution is far more polar than you could think — while in most other areas, the distribution is close to a rather even normal distribution curve, with the highest number of products being of medium quality, in fan cultures the median is quite far away from the mean. The amount of products that look like a child made them, but which make an attempt to faithfully copy the source material, far exceeds the amount of high quality products which make no attempt to follow any source closely at all.

Well, maybe it really is because a child made them.

It is no secret that while Teen Second Life exists, the barrier for a teenager to create an account on the main Second Life grid is essentially nonexistent. (Well, technically they’re the same grid artificially partitioned, but I digress.) It is not known just how many of them are actually out there, since residents on average are not inclined to pry, and the only way someone would suffer for beeing a teenager on the main grid is by them telling someone explicitly and that someone ARs them.

It is not known just how many of them are trying to create their own stuff in Second Life either. There are no released statistics describing the Second Life user age distribution that I could find, only rough estimates or data based on surveys, the validity of which I cannot assess.

My own rough estimates say that the majority of users that actually produce content are over 30, and this holds for all areas — except explicitly faithful fan media, where the majority of content producers would actually be teenagers.

Which makes sense, because hardcore fan behavior is relatively uncharacteristic for people over 30, who commonly have families and other long-term commitments, like careers, and even if they do have a subject of hardcore fandom, they are less likely to be active members of a fan community, which would put value on faithful reproduction. For teenagers, being members of a fan community and status in it would be directly connected to faithfullness of any content they produce, and they value such status much more.

Why do I think the others are teenagers though, and not within 20-30 age bracket? Beside the obvious lack of general skill, which is gained as time passes, and the increase in self-criticism, which progressively prevents older people from releasing something obviously inadequate, there is one a very interesting and common brain bug that can often be seen in many things made by people under 20. I have no idea if there is any research to support that, but apparently, at least part of the ability to correctly estimate the level of a 2-dimensional planar deformation of an image that repesents an object with known proportions only starts appearing in people after 20. It can often be seen in video, where a 16:9 image is stretched to fill a 4:3 space as if nothing out of the ordinary is going on, mixed with other footage which was 4:3 initially — not because the editor of the video doesn’t know about the proper editing tools to correct that, but because they aren’t aware it’s happening. It is also easily seen in images where the skull axis is sheared consistently to the right up to 45 degrees because of the way the drawing implement is held in a hand that rests upon the paper — when confronted about it, the artist says that nothing is wrong with shearing, even though editing the image later brings it much closer to a realistic proportion. The effect starts quickly disappearing in people older than 20.

Mind you, not everybody agrees with me that it even exists, but hey, my blog, I can theorise all I want.

That leads us to another interesting question. If the above theories are true, it appears that either users within the 20-30 age bracket themselves are underrepresented in Second Life, or that they create considerably less content than other age brackets both above and below them.

Why?

One prim clock, revisited

I have more or less dropped my attempts at making a single-prim analog clock, until I have abruptly bumped into a solution, used expressly for this purpose in the Japanese lands. All credit for this trick goes to kit Pizzicato, who sells them under the label *chronokit* — whether the original inventor of the trick is the maker of the clock, I don’t know, but, I’ve figured out how they did it and am going to tell anyone who cares, now. 🙂

To the left is the original, my replica of the prim is to the right.

To the left is the original, my replica of the prim is to the right.

The mystery shape is a Ring type prim, with around 75.0 hollow, Triangle hollow shape, and a 0.25-0.75 profile cut. Chopping a ring up like that results in a round object with at least three individually texturable faces visible from one direction, depending on other parameters — the limit you can twist it into would be five. By default, the texture on these faces is distorted in a non-linear fashion. However, if you switch the texture mapping to planar, on at least three of the faces the distortion will become linear, and you can use a rotated flat texture to create a clock face and a minutes and seconds hand with no unusual scripting required.