Linden Lab has announced a crackdown 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 to pin down what goes, and what stays.
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 move is also a little strange, given Second Life already has defined adult only and PG rated areas, and has in the past forced age verification, with a strict no under 18’s policy for the main grid (the company operates a kiddy friendly “Teen Second Life” for under 18s.).
From a marketing viewpoint, the move isn’t surprising. Reports on Second Life often focus on its seedier side, and it’s not hard to be exposed to porn inworld, although likewise it’s not hard to avoid either. A porn free main grid is easier to market, although how many new people would join a porn free Second Life is the open question.