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Second Life on TV - "Taboo" Fantasies?


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I just watched the latest episode of "Taboo" on the Discovery Channel (National Geographic).  The theme was fantasies, & the last segment was about a guy who runs a very profitable sex-bed business in Second Life.  He has both a real life family & a SL family, and openly admits to having virtual sex with his SL "daughters".  I heard about this episode through one of my groups in world. The group members had quite a bit to say about this guy & the show.

5333_Taboo-Fantasy-Lives-38_04700300.jpg

Has anyone else seen it & what did you think about it?

 

A couple months ago HBO also aired a documentary called "When Strangers Click", of which the last segment was about a couple who met first in SL & later in RL.  Below is a clip from that show & an interview with the producer & subject of the segment.

 

My question for discussion is what kind of message you think these shows are sending about Second Life? Do they invite potential customers with "wholesome"  or "prurient" interests?  Do they show a virtual environment parents would be likely to send their teenage children into?  Do they show an environment most companies would want to use for business dealings?  Do they show an environment most internet users would want to check out? And do they show a realistic view of Second Life?

 

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To be honest... parents should never, EVER give their children unsupervised Internet access. These days that's definitely a challenge, but the simple truth is that many/most teenagers have neither the experience nor the sense to be careful or to see possible consequences of their actions.

In all fairness, neither should the large majority of adults be on the 'net. From an employer perspective I like it though - it's become easier than ever to dig up even the most private details of a prospective employee.

SL for business... well. I honestly fail to see where it would be useful. We tried it for telepresence, we tried it for prototyping, we tried it for collaboration... it has its uses, but for most things there's better, faster and easier to use ways to do all that. About the only place where I _do_ see some use is e-learning.

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My question for discussion is what kind of message you think these shows are sending about Second Life? Do they invite potential customers with "wholesome"  or "prurient" interests?  Do they show a virtual environment parents would be likely to send their teenage children into?  Do they show an environment most companies would want to use for business dealings?  Do they show an environment most internet users would want to check out? And do they show a realistic view of Second Life?

The message it sends about Second Life is the same message most things send about sl.... in here you can do just about anything you could possibly imagine-and tons of stuff you may never have even imagined before. Sl invites potential customers with all sorts of interests. I don't think they *need* to, or should, cater to folks with one "type" of interest to begin with though.  Parents should never be willing to "send their teenage children" into sl, imo. That said I do not mean that teenagers shouldn't *be in sl. I just happen to think it's something parents need to monitor and not send their children into blindly. But sl in and of itself isn't inherently bad, for teenagers or anyone. Would most companies use sl? I think the answer there is no. Not because of this program or some "message" it sends, but because most companies probably wouldn't benefit from a platform like sl. Some companies would, and have, most probably wouldn't. Obviously it shows the type of environment people want to check out, or people wouldn't even bother. It IS intriguing, regardless of your reasoning for coming in to sl. Yes it shows a realistic view of sl, from the point of view of those interviewed anyway. I've seen a ton of different stories, articles,etc.. about sl over the years. They all depict the view of sl, as it's being told by those interviewed. I would expect most articles to do that though, when they involve specific events or people. It would be rather hard not to. Everything shown/discussed in these interviews is something that does, and can, happen in sl. Of course there is far more to sl than just what we see here, but to pretend these things are anomalies or are abnormal in any way would be foolish.

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I just watched that Taboo show. It isn't that bad in my opinion. Every single story had a positive side presented to it. For the man who practiced infantilism, it was a kind of therapy for an abusive childhood, for the cosplaying kickboxer he was very masculinw, for the male maid cafe the clientele was women. For the secondlife story, the positive side was that he has a very normal real life and he made millions off SL. Comparing all the taboos in the story, SL comes off as the one that most people could take up. What I find funny is that the 'taboo' was more about cheating on your wife virtually and sleeping with a virtual daughter. I got the feeling that regular cybersex in SL between two unmarried adults would not even meet the show's taboo standard.

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Bree Giffen wrote:

...Every single story had a positive side presented to it. For the man who practiced infantilism, it was a kind of therapy for an abusive childhood, for the cosplaying kickboxer he was very masculinw, for the male maid cafe the clientele was women. For the secondlife story, the positive side was that he has a very normal real life and he made millions off SL. Comparing all the taboos in the story, SL comes off as the one that most people could take up. What I find funny is that the 'taboo' was more about cheating on your wife virtually and sleeping with a virtual daughter. I got the feeling that regular cybersex in SL between two unmarried adults would not even meet the show's taboo standard.

 

I have some issues with much of what you wrote.  SL is not an alternative to professional psychological counciling.  By itself, SL infantilism RP will not 'fix' the issues associated with child abuse; nor will 'virtual' kickboxing instill masculinity in an individual. 

The message I read in your words is that of SL acting as a 'sort of' crisis center: where you can 'heal' mentally, 'get rich' selling sexual objects to other residents who will buy your products to initiate with you virtual sexual activities that would be considered "TABOO" by most of the 'normal' people.

If that's what SL is all about - then I want out, now.  But I know it isn't.  

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Oh no!  The infantilisim presented on the show was a man practiciing infantilism in real life as was the cosplayer and the maid cafe, there was also a woman using a realistic doll as a baby. All of those were practiced in real life. The only Second Life story was that of the millionaire sex-bed salesman in SL who presented himself as a very normal person and explained how SL was a big sandbox where the content is defined by the users.

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The only reason the sex bed dude is considered "taboo" by most standards is the "having sex with your virtual daughter". The cheating on his rl wife with an sl wife is, well, not taboo, these days anyway. Some think of it as wrong, and some don't, plain and simple. But the general population probably takes on a "so what, who cares" stance with regard to that.

Having sex with your virtual daughter on the other hand, would intrigue people enough to make them think "what a sick **bleep**". Even though odds are(I hope) the dude's daughter isn't really his daughter, people can't, and wouldn't, let go of that word....incest. It's both a revolting and intrigueing concept to most. One of those topics you completely disagree with the practice of, but still can't help but read the stories about. Humans are weird like that.

That and that alone makes what he does "taboo" to most who will read/watch it. It has nothing to do with his sex bed empire, or his "two families" life(which is becoming far less taboo these days). That's what most will focus on about him. Sure there will be some who also think of his "double life" but it won't likely hold more than a few minutes of their attention. Unlike the "virtual incest".. which will make people wonder what OTHER stuff goes down in sl.

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Good, thoughtful responses. :smileyhappy:

I want to clarify that the man who was in the "Taboo" Second Life segment posted in another forum how he explained to the film crew that he uses the words "family" & "daughter" to refer to a close group of SL friends, rather than role-playing as a family. Virtual incest was apparently never part of his SL play, but that innuendo was the one bit the producers kept to make the story sound titillating.  Neither he nor the previous subject of the HBO documentary came across as weirdoes or losers in my opinion.  One used SL to become a RL professional musician, the other used it to create a profitable business, which allows him more time with his RL wife, children & friends.

 

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Persephone Emerald wrote:

Good, thoughtful responses. :smileyhappy:

Neither he nor the previous subject of the HBO documentary came across as weirdoes or losers in my opinion.

 

They might not come across as weirdos to you because you're inside the culture of SL and can understand the lingo and get past the innuendo. Obviously to that producer they -did- sound like freaks or he would not have played up the 'titilating' part.

To the outside world, they were heavily misrepresented.

 

 

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I have read your posts carefully and there is something indeed, taboo, about someone who refers to someone else as a 'daughter' and then has an intimate relationship with them (albeit pixels).  Why not refer to them as a good friend or even an associate?  The word 'daughter' implies a familial bond.  Hell, refer to her as a mistress!   /me shakes her head

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Venus Petrov wrote:

I have read your posts carefully and there is something indeed, taboo, about someone who refers to someone else as a 'daughter' and then has an intimate relationship with them (albeit pixels).  Why not refer to them as a good friend or even an associate?  The word 'daughter' implies a familial bond.  Hell, refer to her as a mistress!   /me shakes her head

 

I would agree with this statement. And I'd suggest the choice of that person for an examination of SL seriously paints the rest of us in a very bad light. That makes even the Gorean BDSM collared types look bad by comparision.

 

It would be great to see a film about 'here are the kinds of people who enjoy virtual worlds and what they do in them' but 90% of it would probably lack any scandal and the filmmaker would actually have to do some real journalistic effort to make it interesting (not at all hard - watch a travel show or show about some foereign land sometime to see normal everyday people filmed a way that makes you enjoy watching it for an hour and learning something positive - lack of scandal is not at all by defination boring).

 

 

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I cringe everytime I read sl profiles with brothers, sisters, children who then show up as some sort of partner.  I've read chat in clubs between siblings, or sl parents and children cracking jokes and laughing about incest and it all seems just sick rather than funny.  If I were the wife of SS, the guy with the sex beds, I'd be a little alarmed about his proclivities in sl regarding sexual activities, albeit with pretend daughters.  "It's just pretend" doesn't cut it for me.  It's just cyber-sex with a pretend underage person who is part of your family.  That just sounds freaky and sociopathic.  Only a moral idiot would consider it normal and acceptable under any circumstances.

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Yes, his SL "daughters" are not underage. They are RL adults & have adult avatars.  In RL he is a stay-at-home dad who takes is RL daugther to school & back.  Though he's what one might call "sex-positive" & proudly makes his living selling virtual sex toys & beds in SL, I would not expect him to be any kind of sexual predator.

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Persephone Emerald wrote:

 In RL he is a stay-at-home dad who takes is RL daugther to school & back.  Though he's what one might call "sex-positive" & proudly makes his living selling virtual sex toys & beds in SL, I would not expect him to be any kind of sexual predator.

Well if you have an important meeting to attend, would you ask him to babysit for your children?  

 

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I have not met the man in person nor in SL.  I have had a few conversations with him across the street.

It is my opinion that your child would be safe if he were the babysitter.  At least for a price.  He would call the service Second Sitters and he would probably want to get a trademark on any from of  "sitter" and then file suite demanding that anyone who promotes themselves as a sitter, or indeed watches other people's children either for money of for free pay him royalty on such services.

But that's just my opinion. YMMV.  So no, I would not let my children go over to his house for any reason but it has nothing to do with pixel sex of any kind.

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Stroker Serpentine wrote:

"I have not met the man in person nor in SL"

( ..but I am going to give my opinion of him anyways)

 

Well, of course. Everyone knows you can learn everything about a person simply by watching a five minute segment about them on a television show.

...Dres

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Dresden Ceriano wrote: 

Well, of course. Everyone knows you can learn everything about a person simply by watching a five minute segment about them on a television show.

...Dres

I think Oprah would disagree with you.  She is a billionaire because she 'convinces' people otherwise. :matte-motes-bored:

 

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