Friday, November 4, 2011

Hamlet's List: The Case for Stratifying It


Location: Head on Desk

Every month, Hamlet Au publicizes a list of Second Life's fifty most popular places. Here's the current one. The data come from Louis Platini's Metaverse Business site.

A commenter at Au's blog noted that segregating the list by maturity rating might give current and potential SLers a better idea of the platform's uses.  I agree...it's not censorship to sort the thing by rating or at least purpose.

Adult content, on the Zindra Continent and private estates, could be assessed with a click. So could education and arts (even if it's erotic art). So could roleplaying sims.

Concurrency at social sites of any rating tends to trump sites used sporadically by a group of avatars for, say, a business or academic meeting. Bowling Green State's virtual campus hosts up to 50 of us for a big meeting of VWER; the rest of the week, concurrency is probably far lower there.

Hamlet's list distorts what can be done in SL. Last month we did have Gerontology Ed Island among the dance-clubs and more salacious sites....now it seems to be all fun and games, of one sort or another.   I've not been to #7, "London City," so it may be a virtual version of the real thing.

As it is, the list hurts those new educators who might enter SL and embarrasses the rest of us. Au is the best known writer about Linden Lab's metaverse, so I'd hope he might change matters next month.

I imagined this scenario in a comment to Au. Here is is again.


Dean Wormwood: Thank you for coming in today, Professor Lag. I wanted to ask you about this Second World thing you use with classes.

Lag: Life, sir. Second Life.

Dean: Yes. Well, it's a lively life!

Dean shows Lag Hamlet's list

Lag raises trembling hand to forehead

Lag: Oh.

Dean: So, do you know what "bukkake" is?

Lag: Um...new type of Sushi....um...region in Second Life dedicated to Japanese culture.

Dean: Nice try. I Googled it...now don't tell me "Gor" is a poorly designed site about the former Vice President.

Update, 8 October: Hat-tip to Hamlet for publishing a new post with PG-rated regions. Of course, many educational sims have Mature ratings because of disturbing content or museums that feature nudity.  But this is a good step!

8 comments:

spyVspyaeon said...

Better call it, selfish taste or/and some interests.

Isabeal Jupiter said...

*applause* Thank you!

Elaine said...

Not sure I understand all of the issues here except for the part about there's more to SL than bukkake. Laughed out loud at the dialogue. Would like to see more of that. heh

Grizzla said...

Is Dean Wormwood related to the character in _The Screwtape Letters_?

Miso Susanowa said...

The Hamster distorting thing?!?! Why, I am aghast! Is such a thing possible? Good day, sir! I say again, good DAY!

[The preceeding comment was sponsored by the Hamlet Au Is A Fair And Balanced Commentator Only Trying To Play Both Sides Against The Middle And Has No Interest In Reporting Fairly Except To Glorify His Name Association]

Next up: Sim Deathwatch 2012!

Iggy O said...

@Miso, he did the right thing. I have been known to self-glorify...it's an academic danger. But as dear old dad used to say about me, "A broken clock is still right twice a day."

Kate Miranda said...

The thing is about quality content in SL, as in anyplace in life, it takes a lot of time and energy to organize it. So Music Island frequently has full sim events but they only occur once a week or so. A number of other fantastic events have the same pattern, Virtually Speaking, Metanomics, etc. So how do you convey that this content is very, very popular, yet at other times the sim is fairly empty?

Iggy O said...

@Kate...no idea, given how the popularity lists are generated.

Song? Dance? Blogging? Reputation helps, one you have established in your promotion of music is SL.