Linden Lab has announced restrictions on adult content within Second Life.
Content defined as adult will be quarantined in a separate area in Second Life, away from the mainland continent areas many users frequent. Adult content will be removed from Second Life search, and users will need to be age verified to access
the new adult areas.
What counts as adult content though hasn't yet been decided, and Linden Lab will consult with the community over the next 6 weeks.
The move may have serious consequences for the Second Life economy. Love it or hate it, adult content is a big part of the Second Life experience, and is a major player in the inworld market. The current setup is for an adult main grid with a
separate area for youngsters. Now the main area will be for all users with a fenced off area for adults.
Perhaps the porn free main grid is easier to market, although how many new people would join a porn free Second Life is the open question.
Virtual world Second Life has put in effect some new measures to keep adult content away from users who might not want to run into it.
Later this year, parent company Linden Lab will create a standalone continent for adult content, and members who don't purchase private land will be asked to migrate there if they wish to partake in adult-related activities. Second Life
is an 18+ environment already, but stricter age verification policies will be put in place. You'll need a verified account, either through credit card information or through Linden Labs' filtering system, to get into the adult
Members will be asked to start flagging content as adults-only as part of a new content rating system, which will start to roll out in an update to the downloadable Second Life client that will be available next week.
At the behest of US Congress, the Federal Trade Commission is looking into children's access to explicit content in virtual worlds.
In 2008 Representative Mark Kirk called on the FTC to issue a parental alert about the virtual sex occurring in Second Life : Sites like Second Life offer no protections to keep kids from virtual rape rooms, brothels, and drug
stores. If sites like Second Life won't protect kids from obviously inappropriate content, the Congress will.
Second Life publisher Linden Lab recently announced a plan to restrict underage Second Life users from accessing mature content.