What Constitutes "Age Play" or "Child Avatars" in Second Life?
Posted by Suzanna Soyinka on July 25 2011 09:18:27
As everyone is well aware, we do not allow age play or child avatars in the City of Lost Angels, this has been in our rules for years literally since almost the day I opened the doors of the city back in 2006, I established this as an unacceptable part of Second Life that I was not going to allow in CoLA.

Of late though I've been getting a lot of requests for what constitutes a "child avatar" and people asking me for definitive definitions of what the exact criteria for being allowed to play in CoLA is.

Now you have to realize that this is somewhat similar to the United States Supreme Court's dilemma when they attempted to regulate the porn industry. They had to define what "obscenity" was, and the only true answer to that question is; "You'll know it when you see it."

This means that the United States Supreme Court, in essence realizes that it is nearly impossible to distinctly quantify what obscenity was in a singular definition that would define it legally in all respects.

Determining what constitutes a "child avatar" in Second Life is much the same as this dilemma. Its nearly impossible to make one blanket definition for what is right or wrong in regards to the way an avatar is designed, especially in a role play environment, and say "you must be "this tall" to ride this ride."

The simple facts are, a lot of problems come up in overall avatar development based on relative scales. My own avatar for Suzanna stands at 5'9" tall according to the viewer's avatar editor, but relativistically if I go to sims where other people aren't paying much attention to that, Suzanna looks like a midget or a very short person.

So the simple ruling on what constitutes a "child avatar" in CoLA simply must fall back on the discretion and judgment of the community and GM's on a case by case basis, its very much a case of "you'll know it when you see it". Being "short" does not immediately constitute the representation of a child, but depending on how its being played, it can.

So to try to answer this question once and for all, there is, technically, no "height" requirement for avatars in CoLA, there is simply the judgment and observance of our GM team, if they feel your avatars visual presentation is in violation of our zero tolerance policy for age play/child avatars, then they will tell you and you'll need to make a few adjustments to the avatar to try to avoid any questioning of your intent in how you represent yourself within our community, or any of the communities in the CCS network that have similar policies.

Sorry I cannot give you a more solid answer on this question, but its always been a subjective question and a subjective observation. This does not in any way change our zero tolerance policy in CoLA, if you come into CoLA and you're four feet tall and you're wearing bobby socks carrying a baby doll and start skipping around presenting yourself visually as underage, you will be pulled aside and told to change it or leave.

Effectively the GM's and Admins of the system have the ball on this, and they'll know it when they see it.