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How to deal with somebody else's SL addictions?


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WIll try to make this as short as possible...

Four years ago I bought a few parcels in a well-known --even privileged-- zone in Mainland. Before a month has passed someone built a platform in a 512 sq.m. parcel across the street. Shortly after that a persistent bot problem began. At first I didn't mind it that much because there weren't too many bots; I even thought it was a group of friends meeting up there regularly and having some fun. After all, the parcel is group-owned (ownership is associated with a group that isn't necessarily restricted to that particular mainland zone), so group activities could be a thing.

As time went by, the problem kept growing, and I found out it weren't group parties over there, but some people (I think it's actually a single person) playing a certain SL-based game that, apparently, give players some titles as their alliance numbers grow up. Things kept complicating, up to the point when last year, a total of 29 bots were set on that sky platform for hours on end, on a daily basis. Region performance dropped or course, some neighbors began to leave, and after consulting some friends and some well-versed neighbors in this type of regional conflict, I resorted to AR. Last January I filed an AR for the last time, and then also left the place.

The number of bots went drastically down a few days later, as usual: up to 12 bots a couple of hours a day, so I thought LL may have looked up the problem once again and done something. Yet, yesterday afternoon onward a wave of new accounts creation started and lasted for several hours. By the time I logged off a total of 53 avies have been born and TPed to that sky platform (though the number of them never surpassed 7 at a time). I don't know if there's a way to auto-create SL accounts or if whoever does it has to work them one by one, but yes I counted 53 of them.

And now is when the bot dilemma becomes secondary, because my concern now is: Is this a sign of some kind of an addiction problem? Or is it normal behavior among this game players (the other game, not SL itself) to create so many accounts periodically (yes, that wasn't the first batch of bot creation either) just to play a "game within a game"? I don't think I should attempt another AR because the issue here is no longer SL per se. So should/would you do something else to approach this situation?

I haven't contacted any avies directly (thinking about the suspect's friends --yes, there are some names in his profile and even a partner as well) because with so many alts floating around I'm not 100% certain who is responsible for them (yes I have a name since you leave your "fingerprints" in all objects you rezz around). I also want to avoid any drama, big or small. I did inform the group co-owner about the situation in hopes she, as group co-owner, could do something on that group-owned land, but her advice was to keep watching region performance and AR if I thought so.

Of course, I can move on and forget it all, since I already moved out of the region as I said. But if this actually reflects a potential health issue, would you recommend some other approach, or would you just walk away?

Edited by Xeriko Melnik
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Having almost half a region's normal capacity present for hours on end on the Mainland is unfair, and an AR is appropriate.  I don't understand, however, why you're still ruminating over this matter, even putting it in your Profile Picks, where you mention the name of a game (about which I know nothing, so I can't comment on how it works).  It does seem to me that after a year of having left the place, it's you who's having a problem.  You seem now to be harassing a person in a public forum, without even having had the courtesy to contact them.

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43 minutes ago, Xeriko Melnik said:

because my concern now is: Is this a sign of some kind of an addiction problem?

 

43 minutes ago, Xeriko Melnik said:

But if this actually reflects a potential health issue, would you recommend some other approach, or would you just walk away?

 

I don't think there is any way that you can truly determine whether or not it is an addiction issue, nor should you try.  You don't know anything about the person in RL and I"m guessing you are not a mental health professional.  Thus all you can really do is judge the person based on your own perceptions.  I can pretty much guarantee that they would not appreciate you butting into their affairs.

If you wish to truly befriend them, then you could go that route and, if what you believe is true, you may offer then a diversion.  Otherwise, simply AR situations that are ARable and just go on with your SLife.

 

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26 minutes ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

Having almost half a region's normal capacity present for hours on end on the Mainland is unfair, and an AR is appropriate.  I don't understand, however, why you're still ruminating over this matter, even putting it in your Profile Picks, where you mention the name of a game (about which I know nothing, so I can't comment on how it works).  It does seem to me that after a year of having left the place, it's you who's having a problem.  You seem now to be harassing a person in a public forum, without even having had the courtesy to contact them.

I guess you didn't read all the message? (it was indeed a long post). To clarify, I left the place just two weeks ago, after ARing the issue again in January. And yes, at first I was having a problem with the bot issue, hence why I put it on my profile (where I can add whatever I want) because after living in that region for 4 years (6 years counting 2 more years I spent there as a tenant), you can guess I did invest enough time and money to maintain several parcels. I liked those parcels a lot, and didn't think it fair having to move out just because someone else thought putting two dozen bots next door was a better use or resources (which might have been this person's opinion), so it wasn't that easy to simply move because buying more land in that place isn't as easy as packing things up and setting your stuff next door. Besides it was actually more like giving up than just simply relocating (I don't know if you understand what I mean).

I took care to avoid all possible name (even gender) references in what I posted, so I don't know why you conclude I'm just harassing whoever this person is (or did I leave something in the text to suggest an identity?)

28 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I don't think there is any way that you can truly determine whether or not it is an addiction issue, nor should you try.  You don't know anything about the person in RL and I"m guessing you are not a mental health professional.  Thus all you can really do is judge the person based on your own perceptions.  I can pretty much guarantee that they would not appreciate you butting into their affairs.

You're right, I'm not an expert whatsoever in mental issues or anything related to human behavior. Hell, I'm not even used to deal with private issues inworld. After almost 13 years in SL, this is the first time I have to deal with an out-of-the-ordinary situation. That's why I decided to consult this forum (my mistake?): I didn't want to do anything else that would be totally inappropriate. Now some of you, it seems, think even posting here was inappropriate (?). So I do appreciate your observation.

My point was this: Yes, I don't know this person, but TO ME  this behavior is not that "normal," from my limited and inexperience perspective. Should I just walk away and ignore it entirely, or try to know if there's something else that can be done (in case there's really a problem), or is it just me and my ill-judgment, from my limited perception?

So far, it seems I should just let it be, and avoid posting in this forum as well (?).

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Abuse of region resources is something that does concern LL. If it can be shown (or LL can determine) that someone is abusing resources, they will do something about it. But since the OP no longer lives on that sim they would have to make an effort to go there and take the screenshots of the Statistics Bar periodically in order to have evidence of sim resource abuse.

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3 minutes ago, Xeriko Melnik said:

You're right, I'm not an expert whatsoever in mental issues or anything related to human behavior. Hell, I'm not even used to deal with private issues inworld. After almost 13 years in SL, this is the first time I have to deal with an out-of-the-ordinary situation. That's why I decided to consult this forum (my mistake?): I didn't want to do anything else that would be totally inappropriate. Now some of you, it seems, think even posting here was inappropriate (?). So I do appreciate your observation.

My point was this: Yes, I don't know this person, but TO ME  this behavior is not that "normal," from my limited and inexperience perspective. Should I just walk away and ignore it entirely, or try to know if there's something else that can be done (in case there's really a problem), or is it just me and my ill-judgment, from my limited perception?

So far, it seems I should just let it be, and avoid posting in this forum as well (?).

The most important thing about forums is to learn to not take things personally.  Nine times out of ten, even things that sound like personal attacks are not.  Some things just sound harsher when written, without any of the non-verbal stuff that comes with in-person or voice communication.  Yes, some things are an attack or a judgement or lecture, but you just have to learn to ignore those posts.

Even if everyone on the forums agreed that the behavior is not normal, I would still highly advise against saying anything to the person.  If they are truly unbalanced, who knows how they would respond.  And LL won't get involved as there just isn't enough to imply that outside intervention is needed.

Don't stop posting, but don't let it get to you if people don't agree with your perception or even if they seem to come across as negative or lecturing you.

 

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2 hours ago, Xeriko Melnik said:

WIll try to make this as short as possible...

Four years ago I bought a few parcels in a well-known --even privileged-- zone in Mainland. Before a month has passed someone built a platform in a 512 sq.m. parcel across the street. Shortly after that a persistent bot problem began. At first I didn't mind it that much because there weren't too many bots; I even thought it was a group of friends meeting up there regularly and having some fun. After all, the parcel is group-owned (ownership is associated with a group that isn't necessarily restricted to that particular mainland zone), so group activities could be a thing.

As time went by, the problem kept growing, and I found out it weren't group parties over there, but some people (I think it's actually a single person) playing a certain SL-based game that, apparently, give players some titles as their alliance numbers grow up. Things kept complicating, up to the point when last year, a total of 29 bots were set on that sky platform for hours on end, on a daily basis. Region performance dropped or course, some neighbors began to leave, and after consulting some friends and some well-versed neighbors in this type of regional conflict, I resorted to AR. Last January I filed an AR for the last time, and then also left the place.

The number of bots went drastically down a few days later, as usual: up to 12 bots a couple of hours a day, so I thought LL may have looked up the problem once again and done something. Yet, yesterday afternoon onward a wave of new accounts creation started and lasted for several hours. By the time I logged off a total of 53 avies have been born and TPed to that sky platform (though the number of them never surpassed 7 at a time). I don't know if there's a way to auto-create SL accounts or if whoever does it has to work them one by one, but yes I counted 53 of them.

And now is when the bot dilemma becomes secondary, because my concern now is: Is this a sign of some kind of an addiction problem? Or is it normal behavior among this game players (the other game, not SL itself) to create so many accounts periodically (yes, that wasn't the first batch of bot creation either) just to play a "game within a game"? I don't think I should attempt another AR because the issue here is no longer SL per se. So should/would you do something else to approach this situation?

I haven't contacted any avies directly (thinking about the suspect's friends --yes, there are some names in his profile and even a partner as well) because with so many alts floating around I'm not 100% certain who is responsible for them (yes I have a name since you leave your "fingerprints" in all objects you rezz around). I also want to avoid any drama, big or small. I did inform the group co-owner about the situation in hopes she, as group co-owner, could do something on that group-owned land, but her advice was to keep watching region performance and AR if I thought so.

Of course, I can move on and forget it all, since I already moved out of the region as I said. But if this actually reflects a potential health issue, would you recommend some other approach, or would you just walk away?

I wouldn't be concerned about the "addiction" aspect, as unless the owner of the bots is being abusive and smashing the windows of your house (which is impossible in Second Life to do, unless you have those smashable windows - which actually self-repair (oh they are so cool) ), then the addiction is the other person's issue and there really is nothing you can do about it, or should do about it.

But if I were living on a sim where someone had a substantial number of avatars logged in at one time and it was hogging resources, I would submit an AR.  And that is pretty much all you can do, unless you are a friendly neighbour and can chat with your neighbour, be interested in their hobby, for that is what it is, rather than an addiction.  There are plenty of people in Second Life who partake in this particular hobby too, but a lot tend to park their avatars in individual water sims, neutral zones, and Linden Lab don't seem to mind stray avatars all over the place like that. You could advise your neighbour to do the same thing. This way, they are less likely to draw attention to their hobby as they have done by parking a job lot of avatars in one area.

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2 hours ago, Xeriko Melnik said:

Of course, I can move on and forget it all, since I already moved out of the region as I said. But if this actually reflects a potential health issue, would you recommend some other approach, or would you just walk away?

as this seems to be the condensed issue ...

move on, nothing to see anymore

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If it's some kind of reputation game, then it's not anything to be concerned about... really. Obsession with games is quite prevalent in today's society. Mobile game developers hold technology meetings with each other on how to make their games addictive. People spend huge amounts of money in games and the biggest spenders are called "whales". This person you talk about is creating new avatars for free. That's hardly destructive to them financially. I'd just walk away from it and never think about it again. 

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It seems to me the addiction is yours.  You said you moved on - why do you continue to care?  And what sort of addiction would be fed in creating a ton of new accounts just to leave them sitting around inactive?  Only thing I can think of is it's a griefer farm - making a bunch of throwaway alts and aging them.  In any event, it's not your problem and, other than IMing the guy and say, "Yo, Dude, what's up" you'll never really know.

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42 minutes ago, Xeriko Melnik said:

I guess you didn't read all the message? (it was indeed a long post).

[...]

I took care to avoid all possible name (even gender) references in what I posted, so I don't know why you conclude I'm just harassing whoever this person is (or did I leave something in the text to suggest an identity?)

[...]

My point was this: Yes, I don't know this person, but TO ME  this behavior is not that "normal," from my limited and inexperience perspective. Should I just walk away and ignore it entirely, or try to know if there's something else that can be done (in case there's really a problem), or is it just me and my ill-judgment, from my limited perception?

So far, it seems I should just let it be, and avoid posting in this forum as well (?).

I read all of your message.

I believe you are harassing this person because you have given clear indications to anyone who knows that area, resident or not, that this is a certain person, and you did not approach the person, despite claims of being concerned.   I find speculation on their possession of alts to be obnoxious; these things are none of your business, and none of ours.

Who made you the judge of what is normal?  Why are you seeking validation from us instead of acting as a genuinely concerned person would do, and talking to the person in question?

Edited by Garnet Psaltery
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Walk away...you have very, very little control over real life people let alone people on the internet.

I'm sorry you lost your home/land.  I hope you find a better one!    There are nice people here that do not price gouge at all and there is lots of land at a fair price too!  I'll send you the name of a friend who is a landlady.  She works mainland mostly.  

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Although you abandoned your land, please don't abandon the forums!  Some of the advice given may sting a bit, but it's not meant to drive you off.  Here's the thing:  These sorts of situations have two sides, and while some people here are giving you advice about how to deal with the person and situation that's annoyed you, some others are pointing out that it's also well to perform some self-examination and see if there is anything to be fixed on your end of things.

I think maybe you abandoned your land too soon, but you were the person on the scene at the time, and the one responsible for the stay/go decision, so I won't argue it.  However, I'll tell you what I'd do in the case of an annoying neighbor, and if any of it works for you, then that's great.

  1. Collect some data on the impact of their activity (in your case, frame rates and other performance stats).
  2. Send the neighbor a POLITE notecard, using your data to clearly show how they are affecting the other residents in the region, and suggesting an alternative (like Marigold's "dispersed alts" suggestion).
  3. If they persist, send a second POLITE notecard, letting them know you are following up on your last letter and asking them if they received it.
  4. If they still persist, submit an AR.  Name the owner of the parcel, and name each of the alts/bots involved.  Include your statistics on sim performance.
  5. Wait a week or two.  If there does not appear to be any change, submit a second AR, updating your first and referencing it.
  6. If the situation still doesn't improve, you may want to attend one of the Governance Team's in-world discussions.  This is an optional step.
  7. If there is still no improvement, admit defeat, sell or abandon your land, and move on.  (One way to get some satisfaction:  Set a fairly high price on your land and let the Bad Neighbor know it is for sale.  Often Bad Neighbors are Bad because they WANT to drive away others, and buy their land cheap.  At least you may be able to make your nemesis pay for their antisocial behavior.)
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I was AR'd over the very thing you describe.  Only I owned a 1024 bit of mainland.  I was also harassed by some of my neighbors who thought it was unfair of me to have so many alts logged in at the same time. I actually lived at on my land for many years before I started playing the game.  Much longer than the person who AR'd me who just moved in and started complaining immediately.. And I had 2 premium accounts all that time.

In fact, you are not supposed to have more than 5 avatars unless the excess are registered as bots.  It doesn't matter if they are actual bots or not, you just can't have more than 5. There are no rules about who gets to use the system resources. Just being logged in is not a crime and you can AR it but you won't get any satisfaction because it is not breaking the rules. The only rule I was breaking was that I had so many alts and none were registered as bots. 

My account was suspended until I registered the excess as bots. Being registered as a bot doesn't mean anything really except to LL, it messes up their algorithms about popularity, But since I wasn't running a business nor did I advertise anything, I didn't care.I was assured that it was quite all right for me to have them all logged in once I solved the bot issue.

And I was told to AR the complainers if they continued to harass me. Being the non-confrontational sort of person that I was, I chose to move my game playing to another place where I didn't have neighbors who complained. And once we all hit the princess level I got bored and stopped playing the game. 

But suggesting that a person is addicted to SL for playing a game within SL is stretching things a bit. How would you even know how many people are logged in and for how long at your neighbor's place if you weren't also in SL for the same length of time? Is playing a game more or less addictive behavior than checking up on your neighbor?

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1 hour ago, Lindal Kidd said:
  • If they still persist, submit an AR.  Name the owner of the parcel, and name each of the alts/bots involved.  Include your statistics on sim performance.
  • Wait a week or two.  If there does not appear to be any change, submit a second AR, updating your first and referencing it.
  • If the situation still doesn't improve, you may want to attend one of the Governance Team's in-world discussions.  This is an optional step.
  • If there is still no improvement, admit defeat, sell or abandon your land, and move on.  (One way to get some satisfaction:  Set a fairly high price on your land and let the Bad Neighbor know it is for sale.  Often Bad Neighbors are Bad because they WANT to drive away others, and buy their land cheap.  At least you may be able to make your nemesis pay for their antisocial behavior.) 

This.

Personally I'd skip the optional step and file a support ticket since the issue is abuse of region resources. That is what I was advised by LL to do, anyway.  Only sell or abandon your land when all else fails. And of course it's better to sell than abandon but if the parcel(s) are located out in the "middle of nowhere" (sparsely populated) you likely won't have much luck selling. Most people tend to want to be where they have neighbors they can throw rocks at rather than beat on a hollow log to get their attention. Know what I mean?

It doesn't hurt to give karma a helping hand now and then.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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It doesn't take someone a long time to make a bunch of accounts and set them to run a game while they go off and do something else. If you're genuinely concerned about the person playing the game... don't be. There's no reason to suppose that playing the game is doing them any harm.

This really is just about the region resources being used unfairly by one land owner, but you've left the area so your part in this is over. You've walked away, so don't look back.

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The post was not about what to do with the bots nor me abandoning the land. As I said, I already "solved" that problem by moving to another region. It was about me worrying about a stranger I shouldn't be worrying about in the first place, and figuring out if I should try to help somehow (that was me thinking the person might have a problem, when probably it isn't so). 

7 hours ago, Marigold Devin said:

...be interested in their hobby, for that is what it is, rather than an addiction.

...and:

1 hour ago, Polenth Yue said:

If you're genuinely concerned about the person playing the game... don't be. There's no reason to suppose that playing the game is doing them any harm.

Those two comments gave me the information I was looking for, so thank you.

2 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

These sorts of situations have two sides, and while some people here are giving you advice about how to deal with the person and situation that's annoyed you, some others are pointing out that it's also well to perform some self-examination and see if there is anything to be fixed on your end of things.

..etc.

Yes, that's why I wrote the post: to seek some "fresh" opinion, and it indeed helped me see some perspective that I simply overlook (the two comments above).

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