Yes, there is something nerdier than blogging:

We learned about the biggest difference, though, by reading this interview with Mel Guymon, Google’s Head of 3D Operations: Second Life is a land of do-as-you please, and many Second Life visitors like to do things that they won’t be able to do in Lively — like have virtual sex: “Google has a pretty strong reputation–they know we’re not going to be putting porn in there–and they’re looking at it and thinking it’s a safe place to enter.”

Obviously, there’s commercial upside to having a PG — or at least a PG-13 — environment at Lively. But we’d argue that it cuts both ways. There are lots of people engaged in grown-up behavior at Second Life because lots of people like to engage in grown-up behavior. And limiting what people want to do in a virtual world seems like a good way to discourage them from showing up at the first place.

Very early on, Second Life decided against having a “red light district.” Instead, Linden limited its service to the 18-and-over crowd, and then took a largely laissez-faire approach to content. It seems like there ought to be a reasonable way to split the difference — perhaps one all-ages room, and one for grown-ups. Kind of like the real world.

Phil Gramm was only partially right. We’re apparently becoming a nation of pale, frustrated, and creepy whiners.



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