Just when the trademark issue started to fade away from public consciousness, Linden Lab has provided us with an even bigger fish. Continuing Linden Lab’s campaign to strangle your inner child, it seems from all evidence that Dusty, Everett, and/or other Lindens are stepping in and barring the SL Kids community from participating in, and possibly even attending, Second Life’s 5th Birthday celebration.
For the uninitiated, the SL Kids are RL adults who express their inner child in Second Life, donning a child-like avatar, laughing, playing, and letting the worries and cares of adult life slip away.
For some reason, some people find it disturbing that a grown adult might find it enjoyable to relive their childhood. Even more strangely, many of the people who decry child-like play have no objection to adults (or even actual children) pretending to shoot each other, chop each others’ heads off, run each other over, or any of the other themes that are so prevalent in video games and movies these days.
Rampant violence? That’s fine. Hopscotch? My god, we have to put a stop to that!
Now, I’d hate to accuse Dusty and the higher-ups of being disgusting, despicable bigots without having hard evidence. More likely, they’re just shit-scared that some ignorant, fear-mongering “reporter” from the German media or the BBC will pounce and tear Linden Lab limb from limb with an asinine article equating child avatars with pedophilia.
Well, here’s a thought for Linden Lab: instead of caving in to ignorance, perpetuating injustice, and discriminating against one of the most wholesome segments of the Resident population, why not take an active role in promoting education, justice, and tolerance?
- Educate yourselves. Whatever god-like powers a Linden has within Second Life, they’re all too human in RL, and nobody is free of some form of bias. Put on a child avatar and interact with the SL kids community for a while. Learn to understand what it means, and replace fear of the unknown with appreciation of a positive community.
- Educate the SL population. Stop condoning intolerance and promoting fear. Stop encouraging Residents to abuse report anyone they disagree with. Engage in a public education campaign to help Residents shed their biases and learn to understand the diverse communities and cultures of Second Life.
- Educate the rest of the world. Stop acting like SL Kids are SL’s “dirty little secret”. Instead of retreating whenever some reporter pushes out an ignorant, fear-mongering article suggesting that SL is the haven of pedophiles having sex with child avatars, counter their ignorance with the truth.
Let’s stop whitewashing the human condition, and start advancing it — towards knowledge and understanding.