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Teens aren't welcome almost anywhere in SL


CeLlne
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Crissy Palianta wrote:

I can completely relate to everything you just said. I started SL when I was 15 and I never revealed my age to anyone for different reasons:

1. The prejudice towards underage people.

A lot of people (basically everyone) don't even want to talk to you after you tell them your age. I guess they don't know how to talk to you so they treat you like a freak. Just because somebody is underaged doesn't mean that you're mentally handicapped or stupid or maybe there's just some general hate for younger people. Another thing I have been thinking about is that it seems that a lot of them are on SL to have relationships or to release some sexual frustration so they have no interest in regular conversations.

2. The pervs

I don't think this one needs any explanation. SL is full of a lot of different folks and you never want to reveal your age especially when you're underaged. Pervs always go where they know other teenagers will be and disguise themselves as such just to get close to you. But gladly they're pretty easy to spot because they try too hard (omg sooo kewll etc)

All I can say is that even though I always lied about my age for my own protection I still managed to find many true friends (and a husband) who I still talk to until today and it's been what..7-8 years. And yes to those people I revealed my age and everything else.

I just think it's not necessary to reveal everything about yourself right off because SL is not a dating site, but merely a game (or an extension of real life) where you can connect to different people and if you do find true friends you can always reveal yourself to them later because they are less likely to judge.

All in all, SL is not really teenage friendly. Besides people not liking you, the restrictions are so strong that you really can't even go hair or clothes shopping and you're stuck to some sandbox. Either lie about your age to both parties or quit, that's just my way of seeing it.

Option Three - Lying about your age. (I'm smiling in real life - remembering lying about my age to get into pubs in real life when I was fifteen - by 16 the novelty of stinky beer and **bleep** smoke had worn off and I am just about teetotal now).

I think you make some great points in your post.

And as this is in a general discussions sub-forum, I would like to touch on this issue of seeming prejudice towards young people.

From my own viewpoint, I take each avatar I meet exactly as I find them, just like I would any person I meet in Real Life. I have friends of all ages in real life. BUT mostly if I want someone to just sit down and have a coffee and a chat with, it will usually be with someone who is near to my own real age.

Keeping everything G-rated is no issue for me. My Second life is G-rated, and I want it to be filled with rainbows and butterflies, and I like to explore and admire art, and to play on fairground rides, and to dress up as a giant snail from time to time and go racing (although not done that for yonks because of computer getting older too), and go rollerskating.  The last time I skated in real life was about five years ago, and although I managed to keep upright and I had a lot of fun, it was frowned upon by a checkout girl of around the same age as me when I walked into the supermarket later that day, and she also reminded me that it wouldn't have been so much fun had I broken a hip!

However, I do think a lot of people who come into Second Life are older and, like myself, can remember what we were doing at 16, and a part of us doesn't want to relive that by engaging for very long with "kids".  Nor would we encourage our children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews to use Second Life until they've actually experienced a lot more first life.

You young folk might think us older ones are treating you like freaks, when really its us that don't want to be seen as being the freaks, for playing like big kids in a virtual reality world. We played with 16 year olds when we were 16.  And at the risk of sounding condescending/patronising, we know the young people have got a heck of a lot of things to experience and go through, and that won't happen while the young person allows themselves to have their valuable (and it is very valuable) time drained by virtual reality.  So sometimes, when we're engaging with young people just out of school, conversation can dry up pretty quickly. Rarely will we have the same interests.

As for the awful pervs who come onto the OP, in spite of her being open about her age, my avatars get it too.  These perv people actually don't bother looking at what is written on someone's profile half the time, they just take a chance and send that bog-standard IM. Certain places seem to have a higher concentration of people who apparently come into Second Life just for the purpose of interacting in a sexual way with another avatar. It is offensive - to anyone - who isn't looking for that kind of thing. But as an older person, it bothers me a lot less than it would when I was 16, and that really is only something that develops as a person matures and gains life experience (and there I go again coming across as condescending/patronising - but its true as time will make clear).

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seems to me CelIne that you being way to defensive

in the RL do you run with the 18-25yo crowd? I dont think you do bc of what you have written here

what does it matter to you that you are 16yo in a 18+ crowd? Yes is sims marked G for you to go to as 16yo. And is no reason for you to not. Your age tho is not a badge to wear. Or to wear as a shield. Or even to use as a weapon against others. Used to modify/control their behaviours

when you choose to run with older people (which you do when login to a site populated overwhelmingly by 18+) then you have to level up your maturity in the way you interact with others

if somebody swears and you go: o.m.g! you cant do that bc I am only 16 and I already told you this then you are going to get told to gtfo

if somebody says: hey! babe wanna f*** and you go: o.m.g! you cant say that bc I am only 16 and I already told you this then you are going to get told to gtfo

+

is not exclusive this to SL. It happens in the RL as well. When mid teens try hang out with older teens and 20+ then same happens. Is all fun and laughs for the youngers until situations occur where the olders individually and/or collectively start acting their own age. When the youngers cant deal with this then they told to gtfo. Go away and hang with kids your own age

this happens all over in the RL. skateparks, malls, beaches, streets, etc. Wherever all ages congregate in public spaces

+

take the 16yo badge off your profile. Dont tell anyone. Is nobodies business to know this. And nobody actual cares that you are

what they care about is when is used against them by a child in a public space. Used as a device/shield/weapon to control/force them down to the childs level

something you would know if you did run with a 18+ group of teens and 20 somethings in the RL

+

also

putting that you are 16yo on your profile is dumb. More than dumb. Is the dumbest. If the sole purpose in doing this is simply to let others know that you dont snuggle on SL

if you think is important to let others know that you dont snuggle (so not to waste either your or their time in finding this out) then just put that on your profile: I dont snuggle on this game

is straightforward this. Is not complicated. That you are 16 dont come into it. I dont snuggle. When somebody does ever ask you why not then the answer is: bc I dont

that someone may work out that you are under 18 by your chat or voice then so what. Is heaps of 18+ people who dont snuggle and just say this straight out. Is not any big deal for them who are mature enough to handle anyone who still want to try it on anyways

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I get that you reveal your age. The response to tell you to stop is typical 'privileged race / sex attutide' - "just stop acting like a female/colored person/victim/etc - just stop being you"...

SL is an adult space. And people are overly paradnoid about "things".

I do see a LOT of blond female avatars on the adult sims of SL - but that's other people's problem is they use that presume you are 'seekng that kind of attention'.

I've been in the position, quite recently in fact with my alts, of telling someone repeatedly that I was not here to be their 'toy' for A-conduct... and having it ignored with repeated lamentations of why won't you just engage with this thing I want to do with you kinds of commentary. Two males in fact - one now muted and the other seems to have gone quiet.

There ARE venues that are welcoming to teens. They're likely few though. There are a lot more that are probably hard to suss out.

There are a LOT of places I see on G land that should not be, and a number I see on M or A that would be better served on G... Most confusing is places on A land that hand you a 1000-page notecard with their G-rules... Like they're just looking for confusion.

 

I don't have an answer that will solve your issue - because its a bigger sort of issue with SL culture. This really was an adult's only playground that had a teen playground dumped on it. Like opening a high school in the middle of a strip club - and that has and will continue to create problems...

 

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Hello CeLine, happy to meet you.  

I think you sound mature and smart.  You're probably more emotionally mature than many of the adults you meet.  (Small consolation, but something you need to know : )

Personally, I see no problem with a 16 year old being in SL, and if there had been a virtual world when I was your age, I'd likely have found it myself.    But, I don't make the rules here.  The US legal system and LL, muddle through the best they can, and you can see the results.  (dismal!  lol) 

I have a  lot of landmarks, and will sort through them to find G (PG?) ones, and drop them on you.    There's better places to hang out then welcome hubs, for sure! 

It's good to reiterate:   You're under no obligation to reply to IMs!   If someone sends you a message that clearly isn't something you're interested in, you do not have to reply.   Also, you're not being rude by not replying!   Feel free to mute anyone who IMs you with sexual suggestions.  You do not need to reply or explain to them.

If you need someone to talk while inworld, send me an IM.   I'm happy to chat through IM, and/or meet you at a PG place. 

 

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"There are a LOT of places I see on G land that should not be, and a number I see on M or A that would be better served on G... Most confusing is places on A land that hand you a 1000-page notecard with their G-rules... Like they're just looking for confusion."

 

This is LL fault. Almost all clubs are rated A because in order to get your event posted on the SL Dashboard and actually get traffic to your club it must have an A rating, this does not necc mean that the club/sim owner wants adult behaviour on the sim it just means that the Lindens ade them buy A land in order to be able to post their event, use contest boards etc. 

It's kind of stupid actually. I have also noticed that nobody really cares if a sim is G rated either, in fact I have seen some of the most disgusting and vile things posted in G welcome areas!

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Hi Celine,

 

I have actually seen you in one of the welcome areas and I will say this, the two clowns that were harrassing you are just that....clowns. One pretends to be a psycho analyst and is probably your age or younger based on observing his behavior.

I mean how many adults actually act that way? Anyway, some of the other commentators have hit on the topic, why feel obligated to post your age at all as it does paint a target. It is pretty easy to just NOT respond to an IM or simply block people. 

You mentioned people will know your age on voice...I would say not really..I know many women who have "little girl" voices and I know for a fact that they  are well over 18 in fact some are over 38 and still sound like teens...lol. It is no indicator, as I am a smoker, I have been called "sir" so it is the least of my worries. You just should toughen up a little bit, don't sweat the small stuff. Only you are in control of your emotions, don't let somone else spoil your fun. Simply ignore them and carry on with life.

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Thanks everyone, for the advices.

You didn't have to call me dumb.

Now I just need more Landmarks to "restart" this whole thing. Where I mostly hang out at, everyone already knows. 

Unlike in SL, in RL the adults I hang out with (I go to college and some of my classmates are in their late 20s, some even in their 30s) are a hell lot nicer. They treat me with respect and listen to what I have to say, hang out with me and invite me over to parties they host (serving OJ instead of alcohol haha). Sometimes we have discussions that turn violent fast, like how crappy our government is and how another country's government is even worse and why the people are yadda yadda. I'm just looking for things similar to that in SL (not necessarily about governments), but on a bigger and global scale since SL isn't restricted to only one continent or two. 

I'm not saying that I have to completely avoid lewd things, I do talk about sex stuffs with my RL friends and listen to their experiences to know this and that for the future, but what I don't like is when things start getting personal with me, which happens a lot in SL.

Yeah the RL world I'm in is totally different from SL. I managed to adapt, of course, since I'm still here after 4 months and not intending to quit any time soon. I can deal with pervs in IMs (I've like almost 20 people in my mute list), what I'm complaining is the regularly need to mute people, and the prejudice I receive. 

Also if anyone could offer some nice Landmarks...I'd appreciate it.

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Yours already are quite mature words for your age, Celine; but growing up is really a lifetime learning, and what you’ve experienced is just the next lesson: many people do, at some point in their lives and for different reasons, stop dead in their tracks and grow no more; and so you, on your way to further learning, will speed past some of them. They won’t like it, because it’ll make them feel slow, and chances are many will not keep that resentment to themselves; a few will do it on purpose… others won’t, but even those will kinda feel better if you stop to argue with them, not so much because of the argument itself but simply because you stopped, and therefore they didn’t feel slower anymore. It’s somewhat aptly called “stooping to their level”.

So don’t. Just get used to the fact that you’ll run by many who decided to stop at one point or another, and that on seeing you going past them, some of them might follow you for a short while, barking, until they feel your presence is no longer a threat to their little private parcels of dominance. Ignore them, which in here is even easier.

And yes, that’ll mean you’ll have less company on your way, and that sometimes you’ll feel as if you stepped by accident into a full kindergarten of “adults-in-little-more-than-physical-age”. It happens, and what you do about it kinda determines whether you’ll eventually find the exit and go on your merry way, or rather become their newest resident. And I’m not talking about SL in particular, though God knows it lets people “go back to their childhoods” in perhaps one way too many; as for disclosing your age or not, I don’t know which option will be the least of a “red flag” as others have mentioned, but I know this: you start taking off virtually anything that may be deemed a red flag by virtually anyone, and soon you’ll find yourself completely gray :smileywink:

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It's been a long time since Linden Lab recognized that their most valuable asset is over a decade of hard-won corporate knowledge of how virtual worlds function as communities, and how that fails when it does. They have many "lessons learned" that they seem not to have "learned" at all -- or, at least, we'll see in The New Platform Thingy what they've actually retained from this first generation.

There's particularly a lot they should take away from the transitions they made in handling age and content segregation, both with the Adult content migration (and disastrous age verification snake-oil), and the failed migration from the failed Teen Grid.

I'm not sure SL ever had a critical mass of teens with teen accounts (as opposed to fraudulent adult accounts), but certainly closing the Teen Grid did not improve the situation as they apparently intended. Probably they did it for other reasons, too, but I don't think anybody would judge the current sparse patchwork of G-rated regions to be in any way welcoming, so it's little wonder that hardly any teen accounts remain.

They're so rare, in fact, that several posts here directly challenge the OP's claim to be an actual teen with an actual teen account. Hen's teeth on a blue moon, these teens.

Then, speaking of hens, there's a chicken and egg problem: with so few teen accounts restricted to G rated content, there's little incentive to create G-only content, which dearth of content further discourages users from honestly holding G-only teen accounts.

Go to the western half of Bay City. It's one of two locations that preserved Teen Grid mainland regions as intact clusters. I think the OP may actually find the experience there somewhat less isolating -- or at least we Bay City residents want to think we're having some such effect -- but it's nothing like what it could have been were there more teen accounts in SL.

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Kristina Curtau wrote:

Hi Celine,

Check out Cheertopia, Home of the Second Life Cheerleading Squad. We are a G rated sim and even have a squad just for teens. Oh, my only suggestion, just avoid welcome areas. No one should ever hang out there. lol

I went there just now. There was only 1 other person and the rest are bots. The person didn't even talk or say hi, but TP'd as soon as they see me. 

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JayWaters wrote:

 

This is LL fault. Almost all clubs are rated A because in order to get your event posted on the SL Dashboard and actually get traffic to your club it must have an A rating, this does not necc mean that the club/sim owner wants adult behaviour on the sim it just means that the Lindens ade them buy A land in order to be able to post their event, use contest boards etc.


While I agree that the mess is partially LLs fault (but moreso, the fault of so many SL residents who make flawed leaps in judgement. And I know many here will accuse me of the same - which I will concede. But here I'm referring to the sheer paranoia people have over the actions of the company that "owns" this video game and the arcane logic used to examine the ToS, rules, and results that are often simple issues of flawed coding or a lack of good community engagement...

Lets get to my point: it is a complete fiction that you need to be A rated to have a club. And likewise, to have a club that gets in events or gets traffic.

That is a sheer fictional irrational belief. A very simple example of it being wrong is the club "The Shelter" - one of the most popular places in SL. Go look at its land rating.

 

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There are a lot of people who won't go to G rated sims because many of them are exceedingly hostile towards visitors.

There are also quite a few full time nudists who are simply barred from visiting any G rated sim by the TOS.

And a lot of teen or child avatars have seriously annoying attitudes, which is why many people tend to avoid them.

 

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Well, first off, thanks for being honest. There are a LOT of teens now and before the merge who weren't and for the most part they don't have to put up with the things you are which is not fair, but that's sometimes how life is.

Part of the problem is that LL totally dropped the ball in every way when they did the merge. I think there are things they could have done leading up to that and in the implementation of it that would have helped make things a bit more welcoming. As it was, a lot of the existing adult residents felt like LL had taken their time and money and then radically switched the rules midstream and of course since LL wasn't listening, you and the other teens caught the brunt of the resentment over that and still are. Once again, not really fair, but it's how things are.

Just as unfair was LL merging the grids and then effectively offering no support or help specific to the teens who came in. Your post makes that pretty clear. You shouldn't have to stay on the Welcome Islands and such to find safe places to interact with others. LL has made no effort to make such areas easier to find out about though. There are some family friendly city/town areas that are G rated as well as some other groups that I'm aware of. I actually help manage a group of sims that are G rated that are mostly for those RPing certain popular cartoon ponies. I don't want to give specific names here but if you IM me I can give you LMs to the places I know.

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