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Contest Board and Sploders will be removed ?


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Obviously entirely based on my reading of the SGP and the responses by 'Linden Lab' in the Skill Gaming Policy thread. This is entirely my interpretation and my projected opinion based on my experience (working in scripts, interactivity, UIs, clubs, land rentals and business tools since 2008). I can't say what will happen because I am not a psychic or a lawyer, blahblahblah. I also don't condone or encourage any behaviour that goes against any Second Life policy or RL law.

 

  • Contest Boards aren't scripted games (they're social), the dynamic is NOT based on skill, manipulating script outputs to score a win. They aren't casino style games. Therefore they should remain allowable in SL.
  • Sploders haven't been allowed in Second Life since the original ban on Gambling, as they are solely games of chance. That said, there hasn't been any organised effort to remove them, and this new policy doesn't include such capability on a wide scale either. They will continue to be found within Second Life, despite not being allowable in SL.

My projection: Very little will happen without enforcement, which LL won't be doing. The costs of registering outweigh the benefits of recognition, the end.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:

Obviously entirely based on my reading of the
 and the responses by 'Linden Lab' in the
. This is entirely my interpretation and my projected opinion based on my experience (working in scripts, interactivity, UIs, clubs, land rentals and business tools since 2008). I can't say what will happen because I am not a psychic or a lawyer, blahblahblah. I also don't condone or encourage any behaviour that goes against any Second Life policy or RL law.

 
  • Contest Boards
    aren't scripted games (they're social), the dynamic is NOT based on skill, manipulating script outputs to score a win. They aren't casino style games. Therefore they should remain allowable in SL.
  • Sploders
    haven't been allowed in Second Life since the original ban on Gambling, as they are
    solely
    games of chance. That said, there hasn't been any organised effort to remove them, and this new policy doesn't include such capability on a wide scale either. They will continue to be found within Second Life, despite not being allowable in SL.

My projection: Very little will happen without enforcement, which LL won't be doing. The costs of registering outweigh the benefits of recognition, the end.

"That said, there hasn't been any organised effort to remove them, and this new policy doesn't include such capability on a wide scale either. They will continue to be found within Second Life, despite not being allowable in SL."

I don't know about that.  There are some "AR Happy" people in SL who have popped up in the Skill Gamings Thread who have said they've got their lists of everything they are going to AR ready.

And we do know that LL has the ability to remove all instances (copies) of an object.  We see this when we get an "IP Replacement" when a DMCA is filed.  Though exactly how this works I don't know.

And it does look like LL is very serious about this subject.  They have already put a lot of effort into it.

 

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I don't see how contest boards can fall within LL's published definition of a game of skill 


“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.

other than by a deliberately perverse reading of the text.   You don't normally pay to join a contest via a contest board, and neither (I would say) is its outcome determined by skill, unless the skill is being able to tp lots of your friends in to vote for you.

Sploders, though, are certainly games of chance, and always have been.   The only way I can see to bring them inside ToS would be for their creators to produce updates that don't allow payment to join them, so the owner has to pay in all the prize money.   In practice, that's what generally happens anyway, I think -- I don't play on sploders very often, but it always seems that the host or owner pays most of the prize money, with the participants only paying in nominal sums.

I don't think the amount of money in sloders matters, really -- people play them for fun rather than for the chance of winning big money.

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About 3-4 years ago my HS got badly attacked, land deformed to show a giant phallus and some swearing. Had 3 Lindens show up in response to my ticket. I had a sploder (pictured below) in my fishing area that became visible when the HS was reverted and not only did one of the Lindens comment that it was "a nice sploder", but he paid the $L10 required to play so they weren't clamping down on them then. .WormSploder.jpg

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Numpty Mistwallow wrote:

About 3-4 years ago my HS got badly attacked, land deformed to show a giant phallus and some swearing. Had 3 Lindens show up in response to my ticket. I had a sploder (pictured below) in my fishing area that became visible when the HS was reverted and not only did one of the Lindens comment that it was "a nice sploder", but he paid the $L10 required to play so they weren't clamping down on them then. .

As already mentioned, they've found ways to pretend that sploders were games of skill, ever since the original gambling ban. Now they're kind of stuck, having to segregate games of skill, too. I'm quite sure LL would prefer not to do any of this, but whether they can find some excuse to ignore sploders remains to be seen.

It's just a guess, but I'll bet the sploders will disappear. That's what I'd wager. My money would be on that outcome.

Yeah.

Actually, it would be fantastic if somebody could come up with a replacement activity that serves the same purpose as sploders. I mean, the money involved isn't worth the trouble of finding the stupid things, but the little bit of anticipation and... I dunno... "passive competition of lucky fates" or something... whatever makes sploders a draw... it would be amazing if somebody could invent another pure form of that, because frankly, sploders have had a good run, but they're pretty tired and lame after all these years.

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Numpty Mistwallow wrote:

[so some linden played my sploder, its all good up in here.]

It is best to remember that not every linden is a ray of Papal-perfection, both in regards to their own policies, and in regards to actual laws.

As others note - the new gambling policy has all the hallmarks of something coming from the legal department not because its fun, but because somebody is trying to get out ahead of a lawsuit or even criminal investigation.

You DO NOT want to see Second Life get investigated by the feds or something over gambling. The harm from that could damage everybody...

It is much wiser for them to have some strong policies in place, and everything needed so that if/when that promotion-seeking DA shows up with court papers, Linden Lab legal can point to their policy, and to what they've now done to enforce it, and say... go knock on the door of the office down the block if you want to look good for that DA-office you're running for next election, you won't get your promotion off our backs.

 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:


Numpty Mistwallow wrote:

[so some linden played my sploder, its all good up in here.]

It is best to remember that not every linden is a ray of Papal-perfection, both in regards to their own policies, and in regards to actual laws.

<snip>

 

This also assumes that every Linden knows the TOS.  A newer hire might not have been aware of the rules.

Additionally, one gets the impression that the Linden's aren't supposed to take things into their own hands.  They would report to Governance (who are supposed to be the experts on the rules) to handle.  As I recall all the mumbo jumbo over Oskar being terminated he took banning a Griefer into his own hands.

Last of all, this does make me wonder if Linden's don't get a $L allowance to spend.  But something strikes me as very odd here.  We know from the TOS they reserve the right to examine anything and yet it appears as if they don't.  They could concievably buy an object but again it appears as if they don't.  Rather they ask people if they can supply a copy of the object or people volunteer to send them.  I find this interesting.  Unless they are allowed to spend their own money on their Linden Accts.

 

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Qie Niangao wrote:

Actually, it would be fantastic if somebody could come up with a replacement activity that serves the same purpose as sploders. I mean, the money involved isn't worth the trouble of finding the stupid things, but the little bit of anticipation and... I dunno... "passive competition of lucky fates" or something... whatever makes sploders a draw... it would be amazing if somebody could invent another pure form of that, because frankly, sploders have had a good run, but they're pretty tired and lame after all these years.

There is at least one type of sploder out there that works more like a trivia, not sure if they would count somethign like that as skill, though. If you get the question wrong, or take too long, you're **bleep** out of luck. If you get it right, you're in competition with everyone else who paid in, or joined(I've seen versions you don't need to pay in to join too, just have to be in the group). The fastest answer wins the biggest pot...and it goes down from there.  I'm actually interested in seeing where this type of sploder falls under the new guidelines. Very few places use similar systems, though I'm not sure why, they definitely seem more interesting to me.

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Nothing official has been said about enforcement, but I bet they will be doing something, as they wouldn't be doing this at all if they thought they could get away with the status quo.

I also agree, that even if LL doesn't actively enforce it, you'll get AR'd eventually and if you do the consequences may be severe.  Why risk it for a few extra bodies in your club? 

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The TOS applies to "wager" only (betting, gambling). A sploder that is configured as "no-loose" (you always get your stake back) is not wagering, and therefore the sploder is ok. However, if the exact same sploder is configured so you can loose, then it's illegal. In other words, it's not the sploders that will be illegal, but the way they are configured.

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jkessels wrote:

The TOS applies to "wager" only (betting, gambling). A sploder that is configured as "no-loose" (you always get your stake back) is not wagering, and therefore the sploder is ok. However, if the exact same sploder is configured so you can loose, then it's illegal. In other words, it's not the sploders that will be illegal, but the way they are configured.

Are you sure about that?   After all, we know that the fact something can be configured to accept money is sufficient for the policy on skill games to catch it, even if it's set not to accept anything.   I would have thought that, logically, the same would apply to payouts.

Unless you've heard this from some official source, I think it's highly dubious advice.  

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I am not a Linden employee and have not heard it from an official source. So no, i am not "sure" about it.

It is legal to own a car. It is not legal to kill somebody with a car. There is a difference between a thing, and what is done with that thing. So, it is legal to own a sploder, and if it's configured for no-wagering (no-loose) then it is legal to operate and play that sploder. That is my interpretation of the TOS.

With all respect, but your remark "we know that the fact something can be configured to accept money is sufficient for the policy on skill games to catch it" is totally ridiculous. If that were so then all vendor boards would be illegal.

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jkessels wrote:

With all respect, but your remark "we know that the fact something can be configured to accept money is sufficient for the policy on skill games to catch it" is totally ridiculous. If that were so then all vendor boards would be illegal.

You are wrong.  The policy clearly states it is for games, not vendors.  ANY game that has the option to accept money in order to win L's is prohibited unless its on a gaming sim, even if the option is not used.

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I'm inclined to agree with jkessels on this one, purely because of my experience with F2P MMO's.

Games like Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Neverwinter, and a handful of others offer these packs that you buy with US dollars. When you open the pack, you have a chance to get anything from some crappy trinket to the +100 Sword of Awesomeness that everyone wants.

They can get away with doing it without falling under gambling regulations because no matter what, you're getting something from the pack that they said you would, even if it's not the Sword of Awesomeness.

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jkessels wrote:

I am not a Linden employee and have not heard it from an official source. So no, i am not "sure" about it.

It is legal to own a car. It is not legal to kill somebody with a car. There is a difference between a thing, and what is done with that thing. So, it is legal to own a sploder, and if it's configured for no-wagering (no-loose) then it is legal to operate and play that sploder. That is my interpretation of the TOS.

With all respect, but your remark "we know that the fact something can be configured to accept money is sufficient for the policy on skill games to catch it" is totally ridiculous. If that were so then all vendor boards would be illegal.

I meant my remark to be taken in context.   Let's try again.

If an object would normally be caught by the definition of games of skill or chance -- pay to enter, potential to win cash prizes and so on -- the fact that you set it as free to enter doesn't prevent its being caught by the definition.   You have to get an updated version -- as happened with Greedy -- that can't take cash payments from players.   The fact it's set not to accept payment isn't enough.   The mere fact it can be set to accept payment catches it.

I suspect that the same may well be the case for games that can be configured to distribute cash prizes to everyone.   That is, I think it may well be the case that if a sploder is pay to enter and it's capable of distributing cash prizes by luck, that's enough for it to be a game of chance, no matter how it happens to be configured at any one time.

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Gadget Portal wrote:

They can get away with doing it without falling under gambling regulations because no matter what, you're getting something from the pack that they said you would, even if it's not the Sword of Awesomeness.

That's a good analogy with gachas, but not so much with sploders. Even though the Sword of Awesomeness might have some RL market value, it is not the same as L$s, which walk a very fine line between game token and fiat currency.

The current debate, however, is even more specialized, and has to do with whether a device that can be configured to be a game of skill (and hence subject to those new rules) will always be treated as a game of skill even if it's configured to behave differently in some cases. At present, the smart money seems to be on "yes", and that the device creator will need to generate two distinct products, one of which is in the skill gaming category and the other doesn't handle L$s at all (or is something altogether else, like a gacha vendor or something).

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Sorry, but I totally disagree. Linden labs have focused the TOS on the act of wagering, not on the devices. All wagering is to be licensed, wether it is done with a device or not. They give some examples of devices, but also mention device-less betting. The devices will not be illegal (i.e. sploders), but what you do with them. A sploder set for no-loose will be legal, because there is no wagering and is therefore not subject to the policy.

I guess we will have to wait for Linden Labs to get a final answer. In the mean time I would advise not to panic, and to configure your sploder for no-loose. I think most of them come like that out of the box, by the way.

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jkessels wrote:

 A sploder set for no-loose will be legal, because there is no wagering and is therefore not subject to the policy.

I guess we will have to wait for Linden Labs to get a final answer.

only other thing i would mention is that is not what is legal or illegal that is the question. Wether something is legal or illegal is a matter for RL law and courts. What matters legally (law/court) is the concern for LL. Meaning that LL are satisfied that their ToS is compliant with RL laws

what matters for us residents  is how LL interpret/enforce their ToS

our own views on legal/illegal are pretty much irrelevant. As it affects us (as say a game operator/creator) the only opinion that matters is what we get off our own legal counsel. Which LL legal counsel and/or governance team may or may not choose to accept as being compliant with the ToS

+

basically we dont get to decide what is legal/illegal. We only get to decide (thru own lawyer/counsel) whether what we do/make is ToS-compliant

 

 

 

 

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That's an important distinction; I'd just further add that LL's interpretation need not necessarily permit all and only what the law allows. They have a pretty big incentive to allow as much as possible, and another big incentive to disallow stuff that actually violates some RL law, but they also have only a limited amount of revenue coming from in-world gambling ("skill games"), so they can only afford to spend so much on enforcement. Hence they necessarily will cut corners, and that may mean that they will not be willing to investigate whether a particular instance of a product has been configured "no-lose" whereas other instances of the same product are configured as skill games.

If the particular corners they cut aren't what we'd prefer, we can b!tch and moan about it and they might change their minds, or not.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

That's an important distinction; I'd just further add that LL's interpretation need not necessarily permit all and only what the law allows. They have a pretty big incentive to allow as much as possible, and another big incentive to disallow stuff that actually violates some RL law, but they also have only a limited amount of revenue coming from in-world gambling ("skill games"), so they can only afford to spend so much on enforcement. Hence they necessarily
will
cut corners, and that
may
mean that they will not be willing to investigate whether a particular instance of a product has been configured "no-lose" whereas other instances of the same product are configured as skill games.

If the particular corners they cut aren't what we'd prefer, we can b!tch and moan about it and they might change their minds, or not.

LL will write the rules in a way that covers the 'edge cases.'

Still, despite this, it seems we are still able to come up with a ton of edge cases.

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