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Hi There!

I'm working on a blog about Child Avatars in SL and how people view them.

 

The goal is to delve more into Child Avi's, why people play them, and also why people are against them and overall opinions on the subject.

 

I'm looking for a few people on both ends of the spectrum who would be willing to be interviewed for this, so I can ask you more about your opinion and just get data from people in general. If you play a kid in SL, are OK with kids in SL or are fully against it and are interested in chatting about it, reply to this post or contact me in world. The goal of the post isn't to attack either side, it's a non-biased interview overall on the subject and trying to deep dive into why people have the opinions they do.

 

Thanks in advance! 

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Would you kindly stop using your fetshame brush to paint kinky people into child molesters?  No one gives a flying f whether a given kink doesn't appeal to you, Karen.  Again, go to Fetlife, and this

Though many have said my thoughts more succinctly I thought I would jump in for a moment with my thoughts.  I play as a child avatar who is about 11 or 12 years old. I doubt she'll get older and

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On 3/18/2020 at 1:37 PM, Jaylah Sass said:

are OK with kids in SL

Hey hey, 

I am OK with kids in SL and have been apart of the family community in this world for a few years. While I do not have a child avatar, I have had my fair share of adopting kids in this world and teaching at schools geared towards those roleplaying as them. 

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9 hours ago, BlissTheLioness said:

Hi there! I played (and still play, occasionally) a kid avie for several years and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

7 hours ago, RedWrath said:

Hey hey, 

I am OK with kids in SL and have been apart of the family community in this world for a few years. While I do not have a child avatar, I have had my fair share of adopting kids in this world and teaching at schools geared towards those roleplaying as them. 

Thank you both for responding. I'll send you a message in world!

 

If anyone else eyes this post, I'd like to add to the 'survey' with some people who aren't ok with child avi's or have concerns. Please reply or message me if you're interested in chatting! If you want to be anonymous in the blog, you can be as well 

Edited by Jaylah Sass
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As an artist, writer and over all creative I understand the want and need to have children characters, however I find it to be highly questionable when it is all a person does or there are shops and communities around sexualizing children. I believe Second Life as a whole is a very mature platform and introducing child-like or children to that equation offers plenty of unease. I have stumbled across shops on the Marketplace that I have reported that sell latex and 'wet t-shirt' types of clothing specifically for children avatars. I understand and appreciate roleplay, I love it very much, but I believe there is a line that needn't be crossed. I personally believe identifying heavily with a child avatar is extremely unhealthy for an adult.

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Since being back on SL I've only played as a child-like avatar. I think, as long as you present yourself well, dress appropriately and of course, don't do or put yourself in nefarious situations that people are mostly accepting, or at least tolerant of you. 

The reason why, I think, child avies have a bad rap because already I've seen a few in very proactive clothing that is far more fitting for an 18 year old than 8.  Though it may be presumptuous of me to presume...you know what they are here for.

 

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To understand how I wound up with an alt who's now a teen, you really need to go back to the days of The Sims Online.  I had a friend there that made an extra account with an avi similar to mine, but she didn't want to pay for it beyond the two week trial that was being offered for new accounts at the time.  She had a sci-fi avi, so we pretended that her species only had a two week lifespan, like flies. Her last night using that account involved her dying in my arms, logging off, and deleting the alt account.

This got us thinking about alternate progression of time, between the time that players were experiencing in the real world versus the accelerated time that passed in the game;  I think the ratio was something like four hours in the real world equaled and entire day in the game.  So we considered roleplaying new accounts that would start as infants, then age one day every four hours.  We wound up not doing this, as it would mean it would take us two years just to get to age eight.

Jump forward many years to Second Life, and many years into my main account.  I think it was around the time that I'd been in Second Life for eight or nine years that I started recalling the age progressions we'd wanted to do in The Sims Online.  I was also expanding my Second Life gameplay into playing around with many different avatars on a single account, changing as my mood suited me or the location called for it.  I eventually decided to make an avatar who was the exact same age as the account:  Already eight or nine years old or so, and aging a day at a time in real time.

The problem is, I kept running into folks who couldn't conceptualize someone having multiple avis to roleplay different things on a single account.  To save myself the hassle of dealing with people screaming at me about grrrr why are you dressed as a child but your profile is an adult (at least they actually read my profile lol), I decided to make an alt account dedicated to roleplaying the child avi, who by that time was ten or eleven or so.  I reference, in her profile, that her REAL rez day is the day I created my main, so she's now thirteen.  I call the alt account's listed rez day as the day she first pixelated, leaving it to everyone's individual imaginations to try to figure out what that means.  As far as SHE'S concerned, it means she has TWO rez days, so double presents!  🙂

It's a lot of fun to roleplay her -- and I suppose I should mention that way before The Sims Online I was roleplaying in games like Dungeons and Dragons.  Every year I adjust the avi to look a bit older than before, and look forward to when I've been in the game for eighteen years.

So.  That's why I play that character from time to time.  She's an orphan and a loner, friendly but rebellious, and not at all sexual.  I wish that folks would stop assuming that everything about Second Life revolves around sex.  It's a rather myopic view of a game that has so many facets to it to so many different people.  Playing her is a nice breather from going out to hear my favorite musical artists just to have some random dude IM me "hey bb" or whatever.

Edited by Rabid Cheetah
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On 3/22/2020 at 11:04 AM, Rabid Cheetah said:

To understand how I wound up with an alt who's now a teen, you really need to go back to the days of The Sims Online.  I had a friend there that made an extra account with an avi similar to mine, but she didn't want to pay for it beyond the two week trial that was being offered for new accounts at the time.  She had a sci-fi avi, so we pretended that her species only had a two week lifespan, like flies. Her last night using that account involved her dying in my arms, logging off, and deleting the alt account.

This got us thinking about alternate progression of time, between the time that players were experiencing in the real world versus the accelerated time that passed in the game;  I think the ratio was something like four hours in the real world equaled and entire day in the game.  So we considered roleplaying new accounts that would start as infants, then age one day every four hours.  We wound up not doing this, as it would mean it would take us two years just to get to age eight.

Jump forward many years to Second Life, and many years into my main account.  I think it was around the time that I'd been in Second Life for eight or nine years that I started recalling the age progressions we'd wanted to do in The Sims Online.  I was also expanding my Second Life gameplay into playing around with many different avatars on a single account, changing as my mood suited me or the location called for it.  I eventually decided to make an avatar who was the exact same age as the account:  Already eight or nine years old or so, and aging a day at a time in real time.

The problem is, I kept running into folks who couldn't conceptualize someone having multiple avis to roleplay different things on a single account.  To save myself the hassle of dealing with people screaming at me about grrrr why are you dressed as a child but your profile is an adult (at least they actually read my profile lol), I decided to make an alt account dedicated to roleplaying the child avi, who by that time was ten or eleven or so.  I reference, in her profile, that her REAL rez day is the day I created my main, so she's now thirteen.  I call the alt account's listed rez day as the day she first pixelated, leaving it to everyone's individual imaginations to try to figure out what that means.  As far as SHE'S concerned, it means she has TWO rez days, so double presents!  🙂

It's a lot of fun to roleplay her -- and I suppose I should mention that way before The Sims Online I was roleplaying in games like Dungeons and Dragons.  Every year I adjust the avi to look a bit older than before, and look forward to when I've been in the game for eighteen years.

So.  That's why I play that character from time to time.  She's an orphan and a loner, friendly but rebellious, and not at all sexual.  I wish that folks would stop assuming that everything about Second Life revolves around sex.  It's a rather myopic view of a game that has so many facets to it to so many different people.  Playing her is a nice breather from going out to hear my favorite musical artists just to have some random dude IM me "hey bb" or whatever.

I'm going to IM you in world if you don't mind!

 

 

As for everyone else, I hear you and understand where you are coming from. The purpose of this blog is to discuss this in length. I think it's unfair to presume all people who play underage characters are sexualizing them. I've been a resident for over 10 years and have interacted with many who are perfectly PG (of course, I'd ONLY interact with these types) but I'm also not ignorant to the fact that those who are breaking the rules are here, and they make me just as uncomfortable as you. I've teleported into sims labeled PG and you can immediately tell something is up. It exists. We can act like it doesn't, but it does.

 

But.. there's the other side to it that we can't discredit, too. People who are valid RPers. People who like to play a kid because they like to blog. Is it really any different than someone playing an animal or a wizard, or a furry in that retrospect, if they're following the rules? 

 

That's the point of this blog. I thought it'd be an interesting topic to delve into, and also give those 'kids/youths' who play the role a chance to highlight the good aspects.

In short, I wanted to interview both sides. All of your input is appreciated here,  if you want to flesh out your opinions and be included in the project I'm doing let me know and I'll drop you a NC in world. If not, no worries, thanks for joining the conversation regardless! 

 

 

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I'd be interested in talking. I play a child avatar out of curiosity and as a roleplay challenge, so I'm coming at it from a different direction than a lot of other child avatars.

On 3/22/2020 at 4:27 AM, NewLuden said:

As an artist, writer and over all creative I understand the want and need to have children characters, however I find it to be highly questionable when it is all a person does or there are shops and communities around sexualizing children. I believe Second Life as a whole is a very mature platform and introducing child-like or children to that equation offers plenty of unease. I have stumbled across shops on the Marketplace that I have reported that sell latex and 'wet t-shirt' types of clothing specifically for children avatars. I understand and appreciate roleplay, I love it very much, but I believe there is a line that needn't be crossed. I personally believe identifying heavily with a child avatar is extremely unhealthy for an adult.

But open discussion of rape, kidnapping, and BDSM is perfectly ok? You can replace "child avatar" with any other group and say the same thing. While there is inappropriate content out there, that really seems to be in the minority. Most child avatars just want to make friends and hang out without everything being about cyber. As for you last comment, there are many reasons why people play child avatars. It's fine if you don't understand those yourself, but we need to respect what people choose to play as and why instead of claiming that this or that is unhealthy.

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The first thing when discussing 'child avatars' is to establish what constitutes a child avatar. It needs to be clearly defined before any further discussion can productively progress. For many it is obvious, but for many it is not. People get accussed of ***** arbitrarily. There are grey areas when considering avatar size, or whether the avatar is a teenager, either above or below the age of consent.

I play as an adult, but at 5'2" tall (my adult height in RL) I am often less than shoulder height of many around me. I look small in SL because everyone else chooses to be abnormally tall playing human avatars. With my size I am very conscious of activities in adult areas as it can easily bring unwanted attention from the self-appointed size police with their 7 foot+ avatar. I fear being reported and banned, for nothing more than an arbitrary opinion and report from a fellow user, followed by another arbitrary decision from those in SL who respond to such reports. We all know how slow and one-sided dealing with a ban can be, so I just don't go there.

 

Edited by CandyCole
I notice a word was ***'d out. It wasn't a swear word or anything derogatory, just two small words joined together. I was surprised this word is banned.
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On 3/24/2020 at 3:21 PM, Jaylah Sass said:

 I've teleported into sims labeled PG and you can immediately tell something is up. It exists.

 

About two months ago I went to an adoption agency looking for some kind of pet. This agency had both pet boards and child adoption boards up. That's fine, that's all good. What wasn't all fine and good however was the immediate vibe I got from the place. Some of the kids there were dressed indecently for the age they were portraying. Nothing was showing but you can tell it was 100% meaning to be provocative. There was a high number of single adult avatars there too; that is avatars who didn't seem like they were there in a group. A few random women dressed scantily and many more men just hovering around not even looking at the boards. I feel like they were all in IMs. In the end I didn't even look at the animal boards. I just left. The place gave me the heebie jeebies. Later I thought about reporting it but for what? I had no proof any rules were being broken. I looked up the place again one day to link a friend who had a hard time believing such places like that were out in the open but could no longer find it. I'm pretty sure I remembered the core-word of the name correctly, but I believe it had two words in the sim's name and could only remember one. Still knowing just one I was certain it would yield in the search results if I just looked long enough. But yeah, I couldn't find it. I don't know if the name was completely changed or if it vanished or what exactly happened but I do know now when I go to adoption agencies to look for that elusive pet rper that would fit with me that I'm much more critical and watchful of everything but thankfully I've seen no repeats of that skin crawling feeling I had at that first place.  

 

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I have had and interacted with various child and child like avatars over the years. I would say i am pretty far on the child avatar inclusion/not creepy side as one can get. I agree very much with the comment above that what makes an avatar a child avatar is certainly a topic for discussion and needs to be better defined. I am happy to chat about it if you are still looking for people.

 

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I think child avatars are fine, people might just want to express the natural world view point we are born with but have to leave behind due to social disapproval as we grow up.

We make the world as adults very complicated to were many have a hard time even living in this culture.. while children see how simple the world really is. maybe that is therapy for some and escape for others.

Edited by Shansi Kenin
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On 3/26/2020 at 3:55 AM, CandyCole said:

The first thing when discussing 'child avatars' is to establish what constitutes a child avatar. It needs to be clearly defined before any further discussion can productively progress. For many it is obvious, but for many it is not. People get accussed of ***** arbitrarily. There are grey areas when considering avatar size, or whether the avatar is a teenager, either above or below the age of consent.

I play as an adult, but at 5'2" tall (my adult height in RL) I am often less than shoulder height of many around me. I look small in SL because everyone else chooses to be abnormally tall playing human avatars. With my size I am very conscious of activities in adult areas as it can easily bring unwanted attention from the self-appointed size police with their 7 foot+ avatar. I fear being reported and banned, for nothing more than an arbitrary opinion and report from a fellow user, followed by another arbitrary decision from those in SL who respond to such reports. We all know how slow and one-sided dealing with a ban can be, so I just don't go there.

 

Well, in the context of this post I am specifically referring to avatars who label themselves as a child or youth avatar, not someone in a gray area being accused of such. 

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On 3/27/2020 at 9:36 AM, aquaresonance said:

About two months ago I went to an adoption agency looking for some kind of pet. This agency had both pet boards and child adoption boards up. That's fine, that's all good. What wasn't all fine and good however was the immediate vibe I got from the place. Some of the kids there were dressed indecently for the age they were portraying. Nothing was showing but you can tell it was 100% meaning to be provocative. There was a high number of single adult avatars there too; that is avatars who didn't seem like they were there in a group. A few random women dressed scantily and many more men just hovering around not even looking at the boards. I feel like they were all in IMs. In the end I didn't even look at the animal boards. I just left. The place gave me the heebie jeebies. Later I thought about reporting it but for what? I had no proof any rules were being broken. I looked up the place again one day to link a friend who had a hard time believing such places like that were out in the open but could no longer find it. I'm pretty sure I remembered the core-word of the name correctly, but I believe it had two words in the sim's name and could only remember one. Still knowing just one I was certain it would yield in the search results if I just looked long enough. But yeah, I couldn't find it. I don't know if the name was completely changed or if it vanished or what exactly happened but I do know now when I go to adoption agencies to look for that elusive pet rper that would fit with me that I'm much more critical and watchful of everything but thankfully I've seen no repeats of that skin crawling feeling I had at that first place.  

 

Yes. I've experienced this. You can just feel when something is off. It may have even been the same place, though I don't recall the name.

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Dropping several people who replied a notecard in world if you're interested in fleshing out your opinions for me for the blog that I requested in the first post 🙂 Thanks for all the replies! 

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I personally prefer to play an adult avatar my same age irl. Although I did seek for a sl family and found a real connection with a few people there some of my best friends now irl and sl. I thought it would be kinda cool for the rp to age up into an adult every 3 months my avatar ages im now rping at age 16 and ill stop ageing when i hit 24. I can't really stand babytalk and an abundance of gestures. I think that is why I don't like child avis that much. Other than that I feel most people who play children probably use it how most people use roleplay to experience something they can't irl. A Lot of the child avatars I have met didn't have much of a childhood. Either they were forced to grow up too fast or just didn't have a good one. Sl gives them the chance to re do that portion of there life ..give them a second life.. I personally don't see anything wrong with it as long as they are not breaking any TOS.

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I personally find it really weird and a little creepy when people play toddler avatars. I just can't even begin to understand the appeal. It also doesn't help that all of the child avatars I've seen in SL look and sound like nightmare fuel to me.

That said, I fully support the ability for people to play and RP as them. I'm very much against censorship of fictional expression.

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Though many have said my thoughts more succinctly I thought I would jump in for a moment with my thoughts. 

I play as a child avatar who is about 11 or 12 years old. I doubt she'll get older and I know she won't get any younger. I enjoy it more than being an adult, and no I do not want to be a child nor was my childhood 'broken' in any way. I'm really into roleplaying and playing for some reason makes me feel more comfortable being exuberant, talkative, and outgoing. I love it and wouldn't spend my SL days any other way. My character has her own extensive backstory, dreams, and goals and, when I'm in the right headspace feels alive to me. I can really disappear into her unlike I ever could playing as an adult. As an adult, it was always easy to project myself onto my avatar, which for me was bad for RPing. But with my current character? Well, that's not a problem. She feels more like a reminiscence of childhood that I tap into when I log on.  

As my avatar, I do not do the whole family RP thing. It works for some, perhaps even many, but for me, it seems too restricting. I want to play a carefree and exuberant child, not login to be babied by virtual parents. On a similar note, I see some people in the thread say they don't hang out with child avatars, and really I can understand why. Though my reasoning may be very different from theirs. As child avatar, I don't hang out with toddler or baby avatars because we are RPing two completely different worlds (and honestly baby/toddler talk annoys me, but to each their own, obviously). I imagine the same can easily be said about an adult avie being best friends with a kid. Not only could it possibly look weird, but it probably wouldn't mesh RP-wise. I've adapted a "talk to those who seem friendly" attitude. I have many acquaintances, from kids to adults but I wouldn't go far as to call any of them friends to my avie despite being on my Friends list. And this works out well for me as my character is a bit of an energetic vagrant intent on her own dreams. 

Now...Having said that, SL has a problem. And that problem begins with age and ends with play. I noticed it shortly after getting my avatar set up to the way she is now. It's at the point where I block first and wonder later if I misconstrued the person's message, but so far this strategy has served me well. It also helps that I refuse to go on A-rated sims (as all child avies should - a child, toddler or anyone playing under 18 has no excuse whatsoever to venture into that side of SL!) and avoid what I believe are hotspots for the bad sort - like playgrounds or anything in the search for locations that brings up the words children and or "little avies" in the description of the spot. 

The way I look at it, the people who do bad are the problem, not the people who play as children - at least the TOS abiding ones, and therefore I won't change how I spend my Second Life because some people view the whole community as weird. 

All I hope is that more people would understand that not everyone who RPs as a kid is crazy, a deviant, a drama-stirrer or has an awful childhood of their own. I really see it no differently than the MANY SL users who RP as gorgeous, fresh-faced 20-something-year-old bombshells when in real life they are completely average and more than likely past their twenties, and living a far less glamorous life than they portray on SL. Or those who decide to play as animals. Just because some child avatars are at best annoying and at worst immoral sickos doesn't mean you should paint us all in one big swoop. Get to know someone before you make a judgment...

And this thread is doing just that! Letting both sides voice their opinion and (mostly) be civil about it, so thank you @Jaylah Sass for that! 

 

Edited by gudetama00
certain words were censored, changed it!
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Really interesting thread to read through.I must admit, I'm one of those people whose initial reaction to the idea of adults playing as child avatars is to be creeped out. But since encountering this phenomenon in-world I've tried to understand the appeal and reasoning behind it better.

I think I understand now that it can provide a healthy outlet or escape for some people, just as exploring a different gender or turning into a wolf or a cat can be for others? I guess with child avatars I understand the longing for a return to a more innocent, less-complicated and stress-free time in life. Or if you weren't fortunate enough to have a nice childhood, then the opportunity to relive that moment again and right that wrong? That makes sense.

Of course in all those examples there will be an element of people who try to use this to satisfy something others may find distasteful. But yes, there are so many different reasons behind why someone wold choose to play as a child avatar, that it isn't fair to make sweeping generalisations about the entire community. 

I guess I would just appeal to anyone who does to be very mindful about what sims you inhabit and which people you engage with. 

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1 hour ago, MayaSmit said:

I guess with child avatars I understand the longing for a return to a more innocent, less-complicated and stress-free time in life.

I feel like I can vouch for this reasoning, at least for me personally.

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