Location: Goth-Barbie's Creepy Fetish Roleplay Treehouse
If only the social life of avatars were as innocent as the silly tubing-party shown above, from an item advertised on the Xstreetsl.com site, now owned by Second Life's creator, Linden Lab.
Dang, what a pile of commas in that last sentence! Qualifying clauses aside, I can state this: what sells there is both amusing and sad. I never fail to notice, out the corner of my beady eyes, the little "popular" box one sees after logging on to the Second Life Web site.
This is dubious marketing for something educators would ever consider "mainstream." Have you readers in education ever clicked on any of these items? It seems that Linden Lab does know where the money is, which may be why they aquired the XStreet and Onrez sites. The money, as people keep saying again and again at our weekly Roundtable meetings, is not with us:
This outfit had the terms "Neko, Goth, Vampire" and more with it. I am so dense. I thought that the roleplaying communities (see correction at end) could not rival education for in-world spending. After all, we pay tier on entire islands. But I'm wrong, apparently. I reckon they own piles more.
Yet one wonders about how such promotion of content will influence future users. How will admins and parents react, when they browse the SL Web pages, and see this for the class in which junior has just enrolled?
Yes, this is what is popular: awful ink and electric tape (not that I mind discrete ink in real life).
As in so much of our crazy popular culture, crap sells. And we who would raise humanity's lot with ideas worth debating, with science pushing back ignorance, with new ways of conceiving our place in an indifferent cosmos?
We get crumbs, as we do in real-life America. Yay, Goth-Fetish Barbie! You go, freak!
Correction for Jan. 19: I hope that the roleplayers of Caledon, New Babbage, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings do not come after me with rolls of black tape. I stupidly generalized here. Not all roleplaying is adult-rated. Mea Culpa.