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Skill Gaming Policy Thread

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Qie,

Agreed, LL will still need to police the non "gaming regions" with respect to any gambling / skillgaming there.
A few remarks:

1. That doesn't pose anything new really, LL already had to police gambling before this initiative to regulate skillgaming.

2. We all know LL rarely actively engages in this policing job, if at all, it rather prefers to take a reactive stance where things are only investigated when complained about, sooner when done so by a large number of residents.

3. LL's reaction usually only affects the actual object that was complained about, other similar objects that would qualify for identical complaints may go unscathed (to their defense, if stuff is modifiable any alteration, even just a name change, would make it "not the same object", if I understand the asset server ways well).

 

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Sapph is talking about Drag racing or Oval racing in SL. Normally the buy in for a race is 100L, but it is optional. And its done via a buy in jar that shows who bought in and how much. When the race is over the total amount gets divided between 1st 2nd and 3rd place winners. If you don't buy in and win you simply get a trohpy instead of money.


This is the deffinition of skilled gaming I read:

“Skill Gaming” shall mean a game, implemented through an Inworld object:

1) whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance;

2) requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play;

3) provides a payout in Linden Dollars;

and 4) is legally authorized by applicable United States and international law. Games in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not within the scope of this Skill Gaming Policy. “Skill Games” are not intended to include and shall not include “gambling” as defined by applicable United States and international law.

 

So if we if we read this, the way we currently do it I guess it would fall under skilled gaming since we "permit" buy ins. It doesn't say requires, it says permits. We also offer a pay out. Even races that don't have buy ins sometimes have a pay out that is donated by sponsors or the sim owner.

If you want to consider drag racing a skill or not is sort of debatable because all you are really doing is hitting a button at the correct time and hopping lag is on your side lol. I guess its kind of skill, but its alot of luck too.

But the kicker to this is in the opening line "“Skill Gaming” shall mean a game, implemented through an Inworld object:"

This tells me that in order for it to apply an OBJECT needs to take your money and pay it out. Not an individual avatar.

 

So there are few things one could do to modify your game to be in compliance. This would be your best choice "Games in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not within the scope of this Skill Gaming Policy"  Simply don't use an object to to take money from a resident and race for fun.

Another way would be rather than have racers pay an entry fee, or a "buy in" they just donate money to the sim. Nothing illegal about that, resident can give another resident money for any reason they desire. Just about every sim has a donation box. And then for the winners you can give them prizes like parts, cars trophies or gift cards. The wording clearly states "linden dollars".


Another way to do it would be to simply do it out of world on your own website. Would it be totally legal? Not sure, but what I do know is it would be nearly impossible to track or prove since its not done on a linden website. Sort of the same deal as releasing chat logs. You can't do on one of their websites, but they have no control what you do on facebook, twitter or your own blog.

I don't think this will ruin racing, its just one more adjustment we will have to make. This isn't nearly as bad pathfinding lol. That really screwed us up and had us scrambling.

Then you also have to consider how hard they will enforce or police this. I can't think of a time when I filed an AR and something actually happened lol.

 

Vladi Hazelnut, VP of Kustom Klassics

 

 

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It won't ruin racing in SL. It will just require racing that players can't be required to pay to enter or win money unless it is licensed in a gaming sim. The only way it will ruin racing is that it may be difficult for sim owners to justify the cost of a sim if they depend on the income for the content they are providing.

Also if you were thinking of the old win a prize then go elsewhere to sell said prize that is likely not to work for long. This is how gambling on Pachinko works in Japan and is an approach that is well known.

 

They just need to rework the entire policy. The way its worded it makes it sound like a video arcade game where you simply pay to play is not allowed without licensing with nothing to win.

 

I think the problem with LL is they don't understand what a game of skill is but is relying on a SL created term "Skill gaming" as policy. I don't think this term is really used elsewhere outside of SL. Usually say game of skill etc.

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Sorina Garrigus wrote:

"You own a gaming sim? Didn't you know that gambling hasn't been allowed in SL for years? But you did know, and you chose to break the rules."

You have no clue what your talking about there is a policy on wagering not gambling per say
. Games of chance have not been allowed in SL for years. Games of skill always have been allowed and is clearly stated right on the wagring policy.

Additionally LL has been very aware of games of skill such as all the slingo variants since 2007. Its impossible not to and they actively allowed them and even had a secret white list of games that were ok.  

"Gambling is strictly prohibited in Second". Those are the very first words of the blog post about the new policy. Notice that is says "gambling". I think I do have "a clue what I'm talking about" ;)

A secret white list? What's secret about it if you know it exists? But yes, I do know that skill games have been allowed since the gambling ban. It's just that when someone says they have a gaming sim, it's generally understood that gaming is gambling, as in 'online gaming'. Do a search in Google on the word 'gaming'. You'll see all the online casinos come up, using the phrase 'online gaming'.

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Sorina Garrigus wrote:

"Chess is a game because it has gameplay, but it's not a sport. Long-jumping is a sport but it doesn't have any gameplay"

Websters Definition:

gameplay
(noun)
:
the experience of playing a video or computer game

Oxfords Definition:

gameplay noun
The tactical aspects of a computer game, such as its plot and the way it is played, as distinct from the graphics and sound effects.
 
If your going to argue a physical game like the olympic games or a football game is not a game make sure the people listening to you are high on something first.


How about that. The dictionaries define the word 'gameplay' as something different to the way i use it. I like my definition better :)

Nevertheless, it was clear from my post what was meant; i.e. that chess is a game because it has <insert word here>, whereas long-jumping isn't a game because it doesn't have <insert word here>. I don't think anyone needs to be high to understand the difference ;)

Btw, football is game. I did say that. Did you read my post before replying to it?

One more thing. You said, "If your going to argue a physical game like the olympic games ...". What? A physical game like the olympics games? I wonder why that made sense to you when your wrote it :D

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Sorina Garrigus wrote:

"
It's been made perfectly clear. If a game
can
be set as pay-to-play, and pay out winnings to the players, then it needs the licenses, regardless of whether ot not it is being used in a free mode.

Games that cannot be set to pay into don't need a license and can be used anywhere, regardles of whether or not they pay out."

Not really. A semiolon isn't making things clear. And what about people running tournaments and taking in manual payments and pay outs. its all in the same spirit. So really any kind of contest of every possible kind that you pay to play or it pay out needs special license? So if you go to some golf course where you have to pay to play you have to have a special operators license? If you go to some video arcade and play a tetris game that has a pay in but nothing to win then you need a special sim.
So your saying ALL games that cost ANYTHING at all to play are all now confined to special sims.
I have a little zombie shooting area where you buy weapons so that must need special licening? No they are not clear and if it is clear than all games are restricted.

No I'm not saying that at all. You quoted what I said (I highlighted it in green). Notice the word "and" in it, as in, "and pay out winnings to the players". Pay-to-play games do not come under the Skill Gaming policy UNLESS they also pay out to the players.

As for contests, such as racing, you'll have to get LL's view on it. It does seem somewhat grey to me. I'm only thinking about table games and similar. I'm not trying to post short cover-all statements. In the post of yours that I replied to, you said you weren't clear about something that had been made perfectly clear by LL early in the thread. I helped you by making it clear for you. You're not very grateful, are you?

 

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Sorina Garrigus wrote:

"It's been made perfectly clear. If a game
can
be set as pay-to-play, and pay out winnings to the players, then it needs the licenses, regardless of whether ot not it is being used in a free mode.

Games that cannot be set to pay into don't need a license and can be used anywhere, regardles of whether or not they pay out."

Not really. A semiolon isn't making things clear.

Even with the semi-colons, it is still very clear, imo. If the semi-colons were intended as ORs and not ANDs, then it would say "“Skill Game” or “Skill Gaming” shall mean a game, implemented through an Inworld object: 1) whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance", which would mean that all skill games that are only for fun must be licensed and confined to special sims, and common sense says that it cannot mean that. So it's perfectly clear that the list is AND seperated.

 

ETA: In the past I've understood that the semi-colon is the hardest punctuation mark to use correctly, because we, in general, don't know how to use it. Maybe LL uses it correctly in the statement, or maybe they don't. I couldn't judge whether or not it's a correct use of it. It may well be. But either way, imo, it's very clear that the list is AND seperated and definitely not OR seperated.

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Marishka Ixito wrote:

Having read through most posts in the thread, my impression is that many people think LindenLabs will choose an active role when judging what games qualify to be run in a gaming region, and thus kill off those games that are the most popular now because they resemble "gambling" the most, thus creating an opportunity for more truely skill based games to be operated in sl.

I very much doubt LL will take that route.

I'm inclined to agree with that. The policy itself states that, "Linden Lab reserves the right, but not the obligation, to monitor and enforce this Skill Gaming Policy." I underlined the relevant words.

It does give the impression that this is about them getting things into compliance with legalities, rather than them wanting to crack down on anything. I can hear them now: "If we're gonna have to set things up to comply with legalities, we might as well get some money back for the effort." Hence the fees.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

I have to say that, as a native speaker of British English (and as someone who is used to reading English legal documents), it didn't occur to me to interpret '“Skill Game” refers to any game: 1) whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance; 2) requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play; 3) provides a payout in Linden Dollars; and 4) is legally authorized by applicable United States and international law.' as meaning anything other than that all four requirements must be met, as opposed to any one of them, until I saw your posts on the subject.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course you are right, there's no reasonable option to interprete the given definition in any other way. All four requirements must be met.

The only escape I see is in the bit you left out,  "game, implemented through an Inworld object:" Unless avatars count as an "in-world object", pay to play games that offer monetary prizes could still be implemented through direct payment to an avatar.
I would suggest to LindenLabs to include "and/or bot" in its definition of skill games that are subject to the  new regulation if they want to cover their loophole ass a bit more.

That said, I doubt we'll see a witch hunt to kill everything with L$ prizes outside gaming regions. I fully expect clubs / venues that accept donations and offer free to play beauty contests / races / whatever with L$ prizes will be left in peace.

Moreover, games that use other (virtual or not) currencies than L$ are not a worry for LindenLabs. Stuff like that operates outside of SL and thus is and should be a legal worry for the operator of such games, they can't hide under SL's gaming umbrella.

 

.

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If the gambling takes place avatar to avatar then I doubt it would need to be covered by a TOS any more than any other communication system would... telephones, email, postal service etc etc

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Marishka Ixito wrote:

Of course you are right, there's no reasonable option to interprete the given definition in any other way. All four requirements must be met.

The only escape I see is in the bit you left out,  "game,
implemented through an Inworld object
:" Unless avatars count as an "in-world object", pay to play games that offer monetary prizes could still be implemented through direct payment to an avatar.

 

I would suggest to LindenLabs to include "and/or bot" in its definition of skill games that are subject to the  new regulation if they want to cover their loophole ass a bit more..


Since can use llGetObjectDetails on an avatar, to get information about them, I dare say they are considered an object in SL. *grin*

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Marishka Ixito wrote:

Having read through most posts in the thread, my impression is that many people think LindenLabs will choose an active role when judging what games qualify to be run in a gaming region, and thus kill off those games that are the most popular now because they resemble "gambling" the most, thus creating an opportunity for more truely skill based games to be operated in sl.

I very much doubt LL will take that route.

I'm inclined to agree with that. The policy itself states that, "
Linden Lab reserves the right,
but not the obligation
, to monitor and enforce this Skill Gaming Policy.
" I underlined the relevant words.

It does give the impression that this is about them getting things into compliance with legalities, rather than them wanting to crack down on anything. I can hear them now: "
If we're gonna have to set things up to comply with legalities, we might as well get some money back for the effort.
" Hence the fees.

I said way back in this thread that I didn't think LL would be making judgement, that it was more of a case of people "self certifying."

But I also do not think they will be "rubber stamping" the applications either, same way that they say they don't "rubber stamp" DMCA notices. 

My guess is these documents will be vetted by Attorneys and they don't come cheap.  Because this is being done to comply with a lot of legal issues, if they just rubber stamp the applications then their actions would be looked at as a facade.  All of this is being done to bring them into compliance.

Still, I do get a kick out of one phrase in the FAQ:

"A reasoned legal opinion from a credible attorney....."

Is that an oxymoron?  ;)

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Inworldz is also subject to US legislation, so the rules are (on paper) the same for them. Maybe slight difference since they are in NY state.

Avination, on the other hand, is registered in the UK and are therefore subject to UK and EU legilsation therefore different rules apply (for the grid.)

You are regarless subject to the law of your country (+state for US) of residence.  

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Regardless of the legal issues Gavin identifies, what would you say is the minimum population of actively gaming (or gambling) avatars needed  to make it worth running such games in either of those grids?

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

Regardless of the legal issues Gavin identifies, what would you say is the minimum population of actively gaming (or gambling) avatars needed  to make it worth running such games in either of those grids?

Can't you simplify that by asking what is the minimum population you need to support a sim of active gaming or gambling (at the cost for such a sim)?

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

Regardless of the legal issues Gavin identifies, what would you say is the minimum population of actively gaming (or gambling) avatars needed  to make it worth running such games in either of those grids?

Innula is right.  Go visit those grids, you'll find them empty.  I don't think gambler types will leave SL just to visit and play on a vacant grid.  They'll seek their fix elsewhere.

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Gavin Hird wrote:


Innula Zenovka wrote:

Regardless of the legal issues Gavin identifies, what would you say is the minimum population of actively gaming (or gambling) avatars needed  to make it worth running such games in either of those grids?

Can't you simplify that by asking what is the minimum population you need to support a sim of active gaming or gambling (at the cost for such a sim)?

All you need is one fool with a lot of money.  ;)

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Phil Deakins wrote:

 

ETA: In the past I've understood that the semi-colon is the hardest punctuation mark to use correctly, because we, in general, don't know how to use it. 


The semicolon is basically a glorified comma, nothing else.  The semicolon is used in this paragraph (correctly) to divide items in the list because one of the items itself (item #1) contains commas.  The semicolon is there simply to clearly divide the specific items the same as a comma would. 

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Kenbro Utu wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

 

ETA: In the past I've understood that the semi-colon is the hardest punctuation mark to use correctly, because we, in general, don't know how to use it. 


The semicolon is basically a glorified comma, nothing else.  The semicolon is used in this paragraph (correctly) to divide items in the list because one of the items itself (item #1) contains commas.  The semicolon is there simply to clearly divide the specific items the same as a comma would. 

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon

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just having the game be skill driven does not include it in  "skill gaming" It clearly states that any game that is NOT pay to play is not covered by this. Quite simply is what this says is any game that requires you to pay in and at the end pays out is not allowed. If it is based on skill it will have to be registered, if it based on luck it is gambling and is already not allowed.

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