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2 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

It bears repeating over and over in this ridiculously long thread: in the common-law country of the US, the judge's application of law, and the body of rulings from court cases, matter as "the law" and there is no ruling in the US on lootboxes; on the contrary, Apple and Google beat those charges and obtain rulings in their favour.

It does matter what California does and its limits established by litigation and court rulings because that's where LL is. The idea that Australian or Japanese law somehow self-executes, or by some other mysterious path still dings LL is out of place

Quite so, and if LL did business only in the US you might well have a point.

However, since LL's customer base is world-wide, providing electronic goods and services to many jurisdictions, they find themselves subject not only to US law but also to the laws of Australia, Japan, EU and EEA jurisdictions, the UK and elsewhere, to the extent they do business there.     

These laws, civil and criminal, are enforceable not in California but in the local jurisdiction, whose courts can, and will if necessary, enforce fines and other financial penalties through local banks and payment processors (credit card companies and PayPal) who hold payments from local residents destined for Tilia.

So even if LL's new owners were prepared even to contemplate flouting the law in this way,  it would rapidly become very difficult for them to send or receive funds overseas, and I doubt Mastercard, Visa, PayPal and Skrill would want to do business with them in the US either, which would be the end for Tilia and LL both.

Anyway, one way or another, it's done deal. 

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32 minutes ago, Aria Fae said:

The gacha system was never created as a way for creators to earn mega bucks from it. It started off as a way of putting items that you may not have been able to sell to your regular customers ..... do you own a normal clothing store but really want to make a cosplay set .. or a pet Llama ..... or a gun that shoots rainbows ... put it into a gacha as a fun little extra for people to buy.

Now everything seems to be gacha, even items that have no sense in being gacha..... like splitting a normal clothing item set up into six pieces for each color...... 

 

I have to admit your post confuses me. 

When Purplemoon was open Poulet  released fantasy items as well as regular releases and people raved about all of it.   the same goes for Izzie's who released fun little items along with the skins, makeups and cosmetic enhancements. I guess it just confuses me that if someone likes a creators work and the creator wants to branch out a bit, I think their customers would look at it as a bit of fun and be into it.   If they really don't like it they won't buy but that shouldn't stop a creator from building and releasing what they want.   That's just sad.  They have to have fun in SL too.  

I do agree with the sentiment about people putting things into gachas that shouldn't be gachas.  I hated the hair ones.  Or the ones where it was one item but 15 colors.  Just release one item and have a texture change HUD.  Or release items that go with that one item (like if it was a car release other stuff to go with it).  

Edited by Yhishara Cerise
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3 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

The number of Pavlovian dogs barking to His Master's Voice on this theme is astounding to me in a land whose past included the "Tea Party" and the telehub pushback and VAT protests and much more. If nothing else, those who routinely question every policy of even liberal real life governments should question the implementation of this policy.

That's funny. Most of the Pavlovian dogs I'm hearing here are barking because they want to go back into their Skinner boxes.

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9 minutes ago, Innula Zenovka said:

Quite so, and if LL did business only in the US you might well have a point.

However, since LL's customer base is world-wide, providing electronic goods and services to many jurisdictions, they find themselves subject not only to US law but also to the laws of Australia, Japan, EU and EEA jurisdictions, the UK and elsewhere, to the extent they do business there.     

These laws, civil and criminal, are enforceable not in California but in the local jurisdiction, whose courts can, and will if necessary, enforce fines and other financial penalties through local banks and payment processors (credit card companies and PayPal) who hold payments from local residents destined for Tilia.

So even if LL's new owners were prepared even to contemplate flouting the law in this way,  it would rapidly become very difficult for them to send or receive funds overseas, and I doubt Mastercard, Visa, PayPal and Skrill would want to do business with them in the US either, which would be the end for Tilia and LL both.

Anyway, one way or another, it's done deal. 

I agree with this.  If the anti gacha laws started in - I want to say Belgium - but I could be wrong - then as a company that has an international reach then the legal team for Linden Labs should have been telling them, "We can't do that because we have an international base and in some places this is illegal and other countries are looking into the legalities of it as well."  Then they could have banned them a long time ago.   Or they could have taken a 'wait and see' approach to see how many companies were okay with it and then took it from there.  But they let it go to far when they should have proceeded with caution and said no a long time ago.  Then we wouldn't be dealing with this today. 

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10 minutes ago, Innula Zenovka said:

Quite so, and if LL did business only in the US you might well have a point.

However, since LL's customer base is world-wide, providing electronic goods and services to many jurisdictions, they find themselves subject not only to US law but also to the laws of Australia, Japan, EU and EEA jurisdictions, the UK and elsewhere, to the extent they do business there.     

These laws, civil and criminal, are enforceable not in California but in the local jurisdiction, whose courts can, and will if necessary, enforce fines and other financial penalties through local banks and payment processors (credit card companies and PayPal) who hold payments from local residents destined for Tilia.

So even if LL's new owners were prepared even to contemplate flouting the law in this way,  it would rapidly become very difficult for them to send or receive funds overseas, and I doubt Mastercard, Visa, PayPal and Skrill would want to do business with them in the US either, which would be the end for Tilia and LL both.

Anyway, one way or another, it's done deal. 

Once again, I challenge you to show me WHERE AND HOW any of these other countries enforced, or notified of intent to enforce, any relevant law.

They did not.

Your notion that they imply is just that, your notion, based on forums mongering. This idea that because SL is accessed in foreign jurisdictions, that therefore the laws of those countries "apply" is one of the biggest illusions that people like you labour under. It's simply not the case, as much as you wish it to be so. Have you ever looked at all the cases of the EU against Google? Of Russia against Twitter? Sometimes they succeed, sometimes not. Sometimes Twitter pays a fine of...US $87. You really need to show your work here, Innula. Law is not code and does not self-execute.

There has to be a process, a procedure, notifications, etc. 

It's not that they are "contemplating flouting the law".

There is no law because there are no cases. Law may seem to you like code, an abstract indifferent force that enacts its muonic will on people across thee ocean. 

There's no country that held any fines, threatened to hold fines, barred any person from SL or threatened to bar any person.

You really need more citations here. A general feeling of the "climate" is not enough. Oh, I totally get it that LL's new owner make take a star turn here and posture about consumer protection and abiding by laws. That's not law. That's politics. 

Mastercard and Visa come in at a later stage WHEN there are successful lawsuits and actual judicial decisions that show lootbots=gatchas.

They don't exist.

And it is worth saying this over and over to people like you, regardless of what LL does or doesn't do, because it shapes the future of the Metaverse, and your beliefs around this subject are ungrounded. Note that WHEN there is an EU overreach or a Russian security police grab, companies respond. They do try to predict them. But we have nothing to show here.

Your smug "it's a done deal" rests ONLY on the ability of a private company to do what it wants. It does not rest on any actual rational analysis of any legal action anywhere. And that is highly important to point out. Or then next thing will be that you, a scripter, are told you need a license to script or sell your products. Will you care then?

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4 minutes ago, Yhishara Cerise said:

I agree with this.  If the anti gacha laws started in - I want to say Belgium - but I could be wrong - then as a company that has an international reach then the legal team for Linden Labs should have been telling them, "We can't do that because we have an international base and in some places this is illegal and other countries are looking into the legalities of it as well."  Then they could have banned them a long time ago.   Or they could have taken a 'wait and see' approach to see how many companies were okay with it and then took it from there.  But they let it go to far when they should have proceeded with caution and said no a long time ago.  Then we wouldn't be dealing with this today. 

Just the opposite. When they have this confused mix of signals that are noise and not prosecutor's directives, they need to say exactly what you said, regarding NOT banning gatchas: "We can't do that because we have an international base and in some places this is illegal and other countries are looking into the legalities of it as well." That is, we can't preemptively fulfill your will when you don't have a lawsuit anywhere, let alone against us. 

Gatchas came in 2012. The California gambling law was 2010? Lindens got rid of gambling. They never made a ruling that these machines that have been here nearly 10 years were gambling, so rushing to do it now is not persuasive in any way.

There was a time when the powers that be in the resident population would have brought suit against LL for caving to this; or would have quietly persuaded them in private talks to stand now.

But they don't have the power they once did, every since they were herded into suburbia and into the MP with a 10% tax, more than in NJ or NY.

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37 minutes ago, Yhishara Cerise said:

Very well thought out post but I disagree with the statement above: 

Just because you have a wait time rather than instant doesn't change that the outcome isn't known at the time of payment.  You might have some idea (like looking at a gacha key) but it doesn't guarantee that's what you are going to get.  

Indeed. I kept coming back to anc's store for a year and rolling one or two times to get the mermaid princes. You have to know how to talk to gatcha machines, show them whose boss, and one way is to come for a year, playing once only, and another is to look them in the eye and tell them the rare better come now, or else, on the spot. People are so wishy-washy.

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12 hours ago, MoiraKathleen said:

Which is why I still think that the best thing for creators to do is to display the set in their store, rezzed out, and let people buy which ever of the pieces that they want to buy - in which case I could just buy the couch intially, and not have to worry about having to buy other parts of the set when I'm only interested in one of the items. 

If they make a nice display showing off the pieces and how well they go together, it is likely that a number of customers would buy a majority, or perhaps even all, of the items. 

Yep - selling the "regular" way. Quite a few stores do that... I agree, it's so much nicer for the consumer....

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I'm sure this has been asked, but i'm not reading 130 pages of posts :P

will 7seas be ending too?.. or is this a "skilled game" ?.. i didn't see them listed there.

you pay , you get a random prize, seems like they are getting special  treatment?

 

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7 hours ago, MillyWH said:

If there aren't any gachas then people will buy regular stuff.  There are a lot of creators who don't do gachas at all or only do them in small amounts and they still sell stuff.  Most people who buy things buy because they want to wear them or use them or whatever, not just to buy to resell. And those that are buying to resell are doing it because there are people who want things but don't want to deal with gachas or just want to get that one thing.

So if there are no gachas people will buy stuff. There are plenty of stores that don't have gachas or only have a few and it's not the main source of their business. 

 

I do buy gachas directly from the machine or buy on the secondary market but a lot of times I would rather just buy what I wanted from the store rather than have to search marketplace or in world for the item that I want that is close to the pull price. If it was priced like regular merchandise in most stores I would buy that but if it's a gacha for the most part I want to stay close to the pull price.

 

 

Yes people will buy stuff. This is a given of SL. Anything will sell in SL as long as it is set to sale. Some people have a hard time grasping that, as they think they need a conversation first to sell something, or setting it to sale is tacky and low culture, but trust me, it sells when it is put to sale, even things I make, imagine. Anything. If not at one price, then another.

But...they won't sell AS MUCH stuff, and that's what this debate is all about. We all know that, and you know it , too, if you are honest. You might airily assume if there is no gatcha you will pay three times as much. But you won't. Or, you may find certain things you really want, and then you will. There's no real predicting.

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6 hours ago, Irina Forwzy said:

I'm incredibly progressive in my rl politics but there's a point where you got to also put responsibility on end users.  As to rules on loot boxes,  I comprehend it.  I even comprehend some of the gacha policy. Though I know this will impact creators negatively. What I do not get is regulation about addiction in games. When the whole process of you playing in SL for 10 hours, and NOT GOING OUT. Is actually ruining your RL. It may not ruin it financially, at first. But plenty of people actually have had their relationships, their financial lives, and their work lives ruined by online games.  Sooner or later governments WILL start to see this and also may potentially try to control that as well.  I would have actually allowed gachas but as long as the maximum item was 10l-25L lindens, and the script was the same, and created by LL. As in you have a random chance, but no more than approximately 500-1k to get all items or at least the rare ones.  In other words, you control the gachas but you don't necessarily eliminate them all.

And plenty of people get financial issues just from buying land in SL. But you wont see that as a control issue in LL. 

In fact,  this is more than likely what we will see.

1. Some creators will no longer sell any gachas. (I suggest they do put their items out at fatpack price of 500-2000k depending on quality and quantity.

2.  Resellers in Marketplace will edit their pricing. Now they will no longer sell something that you can get for in a vending machine if you play 2k. Now the items in that vending machine may no longer even be in the game itself. So the limited stock will drive some marketplace stores to price up basic items from 50L to 100 or even 200 lindens.    And since people may not want the full fatpack, they may go for that item.^ And resellers do not get any ideas on this, I usually skip over these type of resellers, and can spend that cash. But nope, I rather give that level of $$ to the actual creator and not you.   I just know some folks will do this.

Thus,  there's going to be some price gouging for a while.  I strongly, strongly suggest creators fatpack their creations and do not overprice them. Because they will now need to compete with their resellers and become the more viable option.  (Food for thought, and I may be wrong, but I've seen this happen with some gachas that have been taken out commission by vendors).

Please explain to me why your RL progressiveness does not extend to concern for labourers making a living creatively in SL. That's the mystery to me. But then the entire leftist movement around the world cares less about workers and more about identity these days.

A book was written on this subject of addiction to virtual worlds by a professor who theorized that the government would have to send in troops to entire cities to arrest people and make them work to run electricity, food, and garbage, as they would be sitting at their desks playing video games. Presumably a Metaverse will be more addictive by its nature, and already is, and might grind society to a halt like the pandemic -- except the pandemic is what enabled more of it, and all those poor people who can't code and can't get a job at Instacart or Uber even because robots and driverless cars will take their place will just be captive in the Metaverse and sustained by stimulus checks -- or not at all, til they die.

Ultimately he admitted his own alcoholism and sought treatment and we haven't heard so much of his rather extreme thesis since then but Korea and China report these kinds of cases all the time and that's why the Chinese government was going on about "spiritual opium" recently and forcing parents to take children off computers. Now he writes this.

I don't think we are there yet, and that the average SL session is as destructive as you say.

Furthermore, I think those creators should put those fatpacks on transfer, and for $750 not $3000. They they both compete with and help the secondary market, and they need to do both.

Alia Baroque of Libertine is the only gatcha maker I have seen write about this symbiotic relationship between his own work as a creator of exquisite surprise eggs, for example, and his customers' need to have them to trade and gift in their virtual lives. They have economic and sentimental value and he undertands this.

We're about to see some very popular male designers in particular retire all their gatchas without a backward look, and not even put them in fatpacks on no transfer. How do you like them apples.

And we will see a few brave women put them on transfer but likely not make as much.

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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2 hours ago, Yhishara Cerise said:

 So what if a new event featured only full collections and nothing sold as individual items?[...]

The creators would have control over how many items they include in each pack as well: If they have a collection of 20 pieces they could break that down into smaller packs based on things like item type or colour or they could just set up the whole set as one purchase.   The only stipulation for the event to qualify is that nothing can be sold as a single colour or item.

Presumably, some people would then buy the fatpack to break it into pieces for selling on the marketplace individually. As somebody said somewhere in earlier in this thread, I'd rather give that money to the creator. So, if a creator would like that money...we're back to selling things the time honoured way...

Actually, for every item in a store, I think it would be great to have two options to buy an item: one that is copy/no transfer, and one that is no copy/ transfer (I think I have seen some stores that do that).

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Hi everybody.

I just want to say how impressed I am that everyone is remaining civil. That none of this has devolved into massive political issues. It's just so impressive. I'm also really impressed by how well everyone is taking it and realizing how possibly damaging all this was and how accepting everyone is of the new policy. It's just so nice to really see the community come together like this, in a time of stress and turmoil, to support all the creators in adapting to this new world. And not complaining about losing their underpaid products. I'm also really glad nobody on here is speculating about all the reasons this might be happening, nor inciting fear about the future of SecondLife. 

I hope we can all be this civil and wonderful all the time.

 

/sarcasm

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26 minutes ago, Xiija said:

I'm sure this has been asked, but i'm not reading 130 pages of posts :P

will 7seas be ending too?.. or is this a "skilled game" ?.. i didn't see them listed there.

you pay , you get a random prize, seems like they are getting special  treatment?

 

i'd advice to read the blog post.

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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8 minutes ago, hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian said:

Presumably, some people would then buy the fatpack to break it into pieces for selling on the marketplace individually. As somebody said somewhere in earlier in this thread, I'd rather give that money to the creator. So, if a creator would like that money...we're back to selling things the time honoured way...

Actually, for every item in a store, I think it would be great to have two options to buy an item: one that is copy/no transfer, and one that is no copy/ transfer (I think I have seen some stores that do that).

I invite you to read about "first sale doctrine," a concept weakly understood on the forums in particular let alone inworld.

The idea that say, Olivia the creator is good and you can give them money because they are good because they are skilled, and you can't give money to Jane Q Avatar because she is unskilled at anything except selling others' works, and therefore she is dirty and not virtuous, belongs to the Middle Ages, and frankly, they didn't have it then, either as the Medicis funded art works, they got sold to individuals who then re-sold then happily. 

Thanks to Jane, Olivia's works get visibility and others go to her store. Jane is not just an economic actor, she's free advertising. And her work and skill in selling Olivia's gatchas gives her cash so she can buy more of Olivia's works.

The inability to see this chain in the round, free of oppressive ideological blinders, is why this discussion goes in circles.

Your belief that you are virtuous if you buy "directly from the gatcha creator" but not from the re-seller sure doesn't apply in RL, where you buy milk not from farmers but from Gristedes. I think this notion of virtue is misplaced.

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6 hours ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

That would be too convenient and leave nothing but commons in the visible queue after the vultures picked the bones clean.

If I saw 11 items visible and one was a rare and I was allowed to buy any of those 11, it would be a no brainer what I would buy. Same goes for anything over commons.

But if someone can only buy the first item and you see a rare is coming soon, they might be enticed to buy what they don't want to get to it, perpetuating predatory selling.

with a device of the pictured design a queue of 11 items, and a random selection algorithm, then all 11 items in the queue can be commons. Which means the player will have to pull a minimum of 12 times to get the 12th item into the buy window

at 100L a pull thats 1200L assuming the 12th item is not a common. 1200L is the minimum spend to not get a common. Then 100L a pull for each additional time that it is another common

or with the buy any displayed item, the player can pull 1 time, and the 12th item is not a common. Minimum spend 200L

the typical player prefers a minimum spend of 200L rather than 1200L for a similar item available elsewhere. And will tend toward frequenting the 200L opportunity shop, moreso than the 1200L opportunity shop

a way to ameliorate this 1200L pull effect is to not use a random algorithm, to use a non-random disordered sequence

a thing with this tho, is that players recognise non-random sequences when they see them. For the combinatory math inclined we can spot them more readily and when the non-random sequence algorithm is naive then can be taken advantage of. For those who aren't combinatory math inclined, they can feel/smell that something is off. They are expecting random and not getting it. When so they stop playing, especially at 1200L a pop
 

Edited by Mollymews
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48 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I invite you to read about "first sale doctrine," a concept weakly understood on the forums in particular let alone inworld.

The idea that say, Olivia the creator is good and you can give them money because they are good because they are skilled, and you can't give money to Jane Q Avatar because she is unskilled at anything except selling others' works, and therefore she is dirty and not virtuous, belongs to the Middle Ages, and frankly, they didn't have it then, either as the Medicis funded art works, they got sold to individuals who then re-sold then happily. 

Thanks to Jane, Olivia's works get visibility and others go to her store. Jane is not just an economic actor, she's free advertising. And her work and skill in selling Olivia's gatchas gives her cash so she can buy more of Olivia's works.

The inability to see this chain in the round, free of oppressive ideological blinders, is why this discussion goes in circles.

Your belief that you are virtuous if you buy "directly from the gatcha creator" but not from the re-seller sure doesn't apply in RL, where you buy milk not from farmers but from Gristedes. I think this notion of virtue is misplaced.

Interesting reply, but you're the one bringing morality into it. It was nowhere in my mind when I wrote my post.

Yes, I would rather support creators than resellers (and I say this as somebody who buys a lot of things second hand, in RL, and who loves thrift stores and fleamarkets). Virtue? Pffffft. It actually makes economic sense. Nobody will want to create anything to offer for sale if they don't sell anything, surely? And if the primary market dwindles, so does the secondary market. The "work" involved in selling a gacha item is minimal, especially considering the work involved in creating the item in the first place. I mean, it's like comparing a grain of dust to the Great Pyramids of Giza. Skill? Don't make me laugh. Most of the resellers on the marketplace don't even bother writing anything, they just upload a picture of the gacha sale poster, usually low res, so that you have to squint REALLY hard to see what item corespond to the gacha item number. That's if they add the number in the first place. Free advertising? Have you ever seen a gacha reseller giving the the slurl to the original store?

Edited by hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian
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9 hours ago, Faly Breen said:

i just could create a token people can buy (not random) and use a token on a vendor than FOR a CHANCE of a random item. it would be the same as 7seas.

yes that's correct

the random item given by your vendor in exchange for the token has to be No-Transfer going forward. Same as the fish have to be No-Transfer going forward

and when the random item is a card then the card will be a collectible. What it won't be is a tradeable collectible

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9 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

In the future, whatever they catch Fishing must be a No Transfer item - so no value outside of whatever the winner deems it worth to them.

I suppose you can create a token for a chance at a random item and as long as that random item is also No Transfer, you might be okay.

 

23 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

yes that's correct

the random item given by your vendor in exchange for the token has to be No-Transfer going forward. Same as the fish have to be No-Transfer going forward

and when the random item is a card then the card will be a collectible. What it won't be is a tradeable collectible

Im a bit confused now. So basicly everything which will be "sold random" is forbidden as long as its tradeable.

This makes no sense.

And yea, as i said, gacha creators could do such system i said with an ease. They dont even have to do much but just creating an object which reacts with their vendors, setting all their stuff on not tradeable and done. The only "idiot" at the end will be actually the costumer now since you cant resell them if you have like doubles. Tradeables cant exist at all, erasing trading cards from its total existance if the creators wanna at least earn money with them, giving them out for free as random gift, i think, should be ok since people dont pay for that at all and can get those gifts ones pay day, hourly or weekly (or similar).

 

So yea, i think the token idea sounds for me the best and easier way than the actual conveyor belt system people talk about since that basicly is a lot work and has nothing to do anymore with the random factor. The token idea leaves at least room for the random sales and brings again back the "droprate" system wile the conveyor belt system leaves that behind and actually people would sure rise their prices if they can, simply put, "wait" for their object they wanna buy.

 

I will have to think about that but @Patch Linden should actually check the idea i have in mind with the token.

In case i didnt explain it already, ones again in short:

Costumer goes and buys a "Token" like item for X L$. Said Token item is build to react as currency/key item for your vendors. Costumer can use said token on such vendors to still get a random item out of it (100% chance or like 7seas basicly with rarety system, up to the creator). So it would still count that the costumer actually pays for a non random item which is the said token but uses those to actually GET a random item.

Srsly, i would like to hear if that idea could be actually used legit. IF so, well then...

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6 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Once again, I challenge you to show me WHERE AND HOW any of these other countries enforced, or notified of intent to enforce, any relevant law.

They did not.

Your notion that they imply is just that, your notion, based on forums mongering. This idea that because SL is accessed in foreign jurisdictions, that therefore the laws of those countries "apply" is one of the biggest illusions that people like you labour under. It's simply not the case, as much as you wish it to be so. Have you ever looked at all the cases of the EU against Google? Of Russia against Twitter? Sometimes they succeed, sometimes not. Sometimes Twitter pays a fine of...US $87. You really need to show your work here, Innula. Law is not code and does not self-execute.

There has to be a process, a procedure, notifications, etc. 

It's not that they are "contemplating flouting the law".

There is no law because there are no cases. Law may seem to you like code, an abstract indifferent force that enacts its muonic will on people across thee ocean. 

There's no country that held any fines, threatened to hold fines, barred any person from SL or threatened to bar any person.

You really need more citations here. A general feeling of the "climate" is not enough. Oh, I totally get it that LL's new owner make take a star turn here and posture about consumer protection and abiding by laws. That's not law. That's politics. 

Mastercard and Visa come in at a later stage WHEN there are successful lawsuits and actual judicial decisions that show lootbots=gatchas.

They don't exist.

And it is worth saying this over and over to people like you, regardless of what LL does or doesn't do, because it shapes the future of the Metaverse, and your beliefs around this subject are ungrounded. Note that WHEN there is an EU overreach or a Russian security police grab, companies respond. They do try to predict them. But we have nothing to show here.

Your smug "it's a done deal" rests ONLY on the ability of a private company to do what it wants. It does not rest on any actual rational analysis of any legal action anywhere. And that is highly important to point out. Or then next thing will be that you, a scripter, are told you need a license to script or sell your products. Will you care then?

Many countries, including my own, are in the process of introducing legislation that will clarify the law to bring gachas, loot boxes, and the like firmly within the purview of national gambling regulators.    This is happening right now, so over the next couple of years the list of measures LL/Tilia has to take, and reporting requirements everyone has to follow, to keep themselves in compliance with everyone's local regulations, is going to keep growing.

Failure to keep up would potentially place LL and Tilia in grave legal danger, and they seem to have taken the view -- very sensibly, to my mind -- that whatever the disadvantages of proactively banning gachas now, before they become a major legal headache, those disadvantages are more than outweighed by removing problem completely, so there's no compliance and reporting to worry about.

I used to have to know a bit about some aspects of anti-money-laundering legislation and the parts of British online gaming regulation relating to money laundering for my First Life job and I've wondered ever since I discovered SL how the L$ fit into all this.     

The problem is that, while obviously the legislation is written with banks, payment processors and online casinos in mind, not virtual worlds, there are certainly some parts that seem  (or seemed, before LL banned various activities and also before they started Tilia) at least potentially to catch various aspects of SL, and if any regulatory body here ever decided to take a close look, then determining in the British courts the extent to which relevant UK law actually did apply to SL would be a difficult and expensive process, even if it transpired they didn't.      

It's not a risk any sensible business would want to take unless they thought they had to and, unless they considered gachas a major part of their future business plan for SL, I  can't imagine why the new owners would want to assume it.

I think what probably happened is that, possibly as part of the due diligence phase while the sale of LL was going through, someone asked their legal advisors to take a look at any possible present or impending legal issues that might affect SL, and this new ban is one of the results.

You ask  

Quote

next thing will be that you, a scripter, are told you need a license to script or sell your products. Will you care then?

Some years ago, before LL introduced their skill gaming rules, I was asked a few times if I would be interested in making some casino-style games, and some of the offers were sufficiently interesting that I checked with our Gambling Commission what what sort of licences we'd potentially need and both what I (as the person responsible for the software) would need to do to gain their approval and sort of responsibilities I'd be undertaking if my software were licenced.

That was enough to put me off the idea very quickly, because, even assuming I could get the software licenced (and was prepared to pay the costs and fees for the application process), the cost and administrative burden of remaining in compliance with reporting requirements, and the continuing cost of proper professional advice to keep us in compliance, were completely disproportionate to any rewards we might hope to see. 

So I dropped the plan and went on to script lots of other stuff in SL for fun (and sometimes for profit, too) that doesn't carry with it such risks.

ETA:   Any Brits considering designing or operating whatever comes after gachas might want to read this guidance from the Gambling Commission on Remote Gambling.     It probably doesn't apply right now but it, or something very like it, will almost certainly start to apply at some point during the life of the present government.

 

Edited by Innula Zenovka
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6 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Your original comment and subsequent explainers are not only a harsh take on the gatcha industry, but an uninformed one, and you admit that you yourself are not in business now because of changed made to the platform years ago, whatever your plans to compensate. So it's hard to understand why you feel the need to stand up and denounce your fellow human beings here, again and again, when you don't even post that much in general.

First, you would be hard put to call gatcha creators "carnies" with "bunko" or predatory anyway, or cynically "fixing" the odds for "the house," once you saw who they were. Have you actually talked to any designers? Do you know any? I do, and I've been talking to many I didn't know before in recent days, and surprised to discover some from Eastern Europe and Russia who don't advertise that fact. I asked them frankly what they make from gatchas, which they do use to make a RL living. Answer: US $250, US $500, US $1000 per month. If you have any kind of aversion to commerce, you'll oppose any kind of independent money-making, yet you claim you don't oppose artisans making cash online. Is a musician a finer person than a dressmaker or a cabinetmaker? These gatcha sales amounts are really modest, and are only the revenue; there are considerable costs -- texture uploads, mesh models for those who don't make their own mesh, textures, paying scripters or customer service people, and of course tier. Someone who could make $1000 per month in pandemic-beset Russia makes a little bit more than other creative intelligentsia, but it is terribly insecure. They can't make this amount *every month* because there aren't events every month, they can't always create, they don't always get *invited* -- Arcade only *invites* people, so even if you are willing to pay $5000 or $10,000 or whatever the booth fee is, there's no guarantee you have an outlet. Now that person is wiped out, likely to dump their sim or downsize considerably and forced out of the virtual world in a crisis economy with few jobs. Maybe the Internet Troll Factor is hiring social media interveners?

Again, when you see someone posting that a gatcha creator makes 250,000 or 500,000L from an event, remember that's only $1000 or $2000 real dollars, and not enough to live on in the US or even Europe, and they make that within a few days a month, and are on a treadmill to take part in events constantly to stay in view, and to keep that revenue coming in. ALL of them say that selling fatpacks of gatchas simply does not yield the same revenue. ALL of them say that their individual creators or furniture or clothing sets do not sell as much as gatchas. *And that's ok to admit and is not about poor quality unworthy of higher prices*.

You have a terrible dislike of what you perceive as gambling, although when Silicon Valley brands this as "gamification" and builds it even into health care, if you are a techie, you don't care. I currently signed up for a medical experiment where my bottle is electronically wired to signal a nurse in a nearby hospital. Each day, if I open the bottle and take my medicine, I am entered into a lottery; if one of my numbers comes up, I win US $5 which is deposited on MyCliniCard, a card used for this and other types of medical ventures. If I miss a dose, the system appears set up to claim I would have won the $50 for both my numbers, as I've seen that twice (hard to believe these particular carnies). So far I won $60 in 2 months, which is at least 3 days of groceries, and I value that greatly. I assure you no gambling authority is coming after this gamified medicine; it's not a lootbox which I play to advance in the game of life; the reward is better health from more consistent taking of my multiple medicines.

I don't know whether your aversion springs from religion or ideology but the basic cultural concept is this: no one should get something they didn't work for, that would not cost that much if sold without gambling, and that those who use this system are shilling marks and chortling all the way to the bank. Except a Polish dressmaker or a Spanish decor maker isn't looking for marks; they're looking to stay alive in their poor countries. That's why your statements are so out of place. And they aren't gouged or destroyed by the usual pull session of perhaps $5 or $10 -- after all, every pull produced a prize. I don't have illusions from actual experience that you make back from rare sales what you pulled -- you don't. PS I do not make my living from my SL business; I have only made two small gatcha machines in my life that only had a dozen players at $5 or $25 a pull; yet even with the fatpack advertised on the machine, people preferred pulling past the fatpack price BECAUSE THE ITEMS WERE TRANSFERABLE. They could sell my little teacups or give the extras as gifts and they didn't mind.

So you don't accuse me of mercenary motives, I'll note I only have few merchant tenants who have gatcha machines; they will go on selling their gadgets or art or clothes without gatcha and not suffer too much. If they don't remove their machines, I'll have to be returned from my land to comply with the new rule. Most of my merchants and artists sell items on no-transfer, or if on transfer, not by the gatcha method. That's why you will not have heard of some of them; that's why they don't make a lot of revenue like the big artists. A few of the famous ones among my tenants simply prefer not to make gatchas, largely because of consumer hate about not getting rares. My yardsale tenants have refunded in some cases out of fear the market will collapse, yet others are holding and waiting or even expanding. I don't have a big dog in this hunt and I'm not a big dog myself. I do care about the rest of the people in the economy as we are all in a shared boat. You should, too.

If I play the slots in Nevada, rightly called "Lost Wages," it's sunk, I get nothing; in NYC, I may have gotten only a $4 dinner ticket from a bodega that has the $9 bus ride to Atlantic City, but if I put $200 into the slots and don't win, I don't even get a bus ticket home or a lousy t-shirt.

In SL, I get an item that may be a more valued rare, or may be a common, but I can either use it to decorate my house or re-sell it. That feature of transferable and ability to fuel a secondary market is something you seem utterly heedless of. That makes up for all the sins of gambling that the Calvinists might condemn in gatchas because it enables poor people to furnish their houses then also deter costs or even pay RL bills. I talk to a lot of gatcha resellers -- some actually make real money from them as they spend time watching the market; almost all of them use it as a way to offset their shopping or tier. That seems eminently beneficial.

There really is a difference between lootboxes and SL gatchas and any judge who actually applied the law here in California -- and none have! the law has been successfully challenged by Google and Apple! hello!. Here they are:

o EA.com is paying a fine because the gambling law applied to lootboxes deals with game companies, multi-million entities that are fleecing their vulnerable child customers using their parents' credit cards. Google and Apple as platforms, not game companies have only recently obtained rulings that the lootbox ruling does not apply to them and PS that the losses are not sufficiently noteworthy to be considered as damages.

In SL, it's not LL that runs the lootboxes; residents do. To be sure, LL gets a 10% tax on every sale on the MP, and gets a fee for every currency purchase so they benefit and feel liable. But trust me, if those fees could carry LL as distinct from the land/server business, LL would be out of the land business, something they have philosophized about for years. But they aren't. They moved to Amazon servers and pay more for their land and try to get more abandoned land under tier. 10% of the sales of the 905,000 gatchas on the MP now would not be such a figure as to really come to the notice of any regulatory authorities. No legal notice or actual application of law has occurred here; it's just a preemptive move to avoid limit liability for litigation, a classic method to provide shareholders' value. So be clear on the accusation of "predatory" -- it's not the company LL, it's not the creators who make a living or offset expenses and provide nice things for the largely poor people in SL. Who reliably makes bank from gatcha, unlike any of us? Yard sale rentals agents, who are jittery now, but these are hardworking people who push prims like others of us in the land and content business, usually women, not wealthy, trying to make a life. They are not carnies who move on. They will not be folding their tents. They live and work here, and there is no call to be so unkind to them. They go to your concerts and will buy your wares someday, too -- don't step on them.

o Lootbox class action suits are brought by parents of children who used credit cards. SL has no children in it. The adults use the credit cards and I'm not aware of a single consumer in SL who has run screaming to SL saying "I wuz robbed!" because he didn't get the rare. Americans are terribly uneducated about math and how percentages work and don't get it about gatcha rares. The machine can't know how many times you played unless set up for "player rewards" and each pull is a fresh test of the law of randomness. In fact, Arcade's machines have a different calculation that softens that law of percentages on single gatchas in stores -- read about it. Every merchant and event posts notices about how gatchas work and how they do not give refunds or take complaints. In all my years of filing tickets with LL, I only once got a reimbursement for gatchas but that was due to a technicality -- they didn't deliver from a machine due to a sim malfunction and never arrived in inventory and the record of their purchase and their names was clear in chat and on the web.

o AFAIK, Lootboxes are not transferable or put into any lawful secondary market but are used to advance gameplay. There isn't gameplay in SL, they are not necessary, it is not a game.

Another really unfair misperception you have is that lazy and avaricious merchants use the gatcha mechanism because if their goods stood alone for a fixed price, they wouldn't command the same worth they do in gatchas. That's simply not true in the sense that their goods are horribly undervalued anyway in this virtual world. If I spend $25,000 pulling to get the rares from E.V.E. in his last steampunk set, I've paid him what in fact an intricate and delightful set of statues is worth. That's only US $100. That's not what sculptors make in RL by any stretch. In SL, sculptors command thousands of Lindens; I have bought them for $3000 and seen them for $5000 or more Lindens, or $20 US. Yet you don't complain about that and likely celebrate RL artists being paid at least *something*. Yet so many gatcha rares are decor that are pieces of art, very high quality and original, and you strangely resent anyone getting paid more for them via gatcha enhancement -- which still is not really reflective of their work. Especially in a world of NFTs where digital art goes for millions. The pull is 20 cents (50L). In a fatpack that won't sell as much, it may be 60 cents. So what? It's still *undervalued* in this artificial world.

I don't regret a minute of paying for Noke Yuritza of E.V.E. US $10 o r $20 or even a total of US $100 in his gatchas because the last day I talked to him last year, he said he was going to visit his mother who was sick with COVID in a small town with poor Internet service. He never logged on again, and more than a year later, I and others who have used RL email etc to try to reach him have not succeeded and we fear the worse. If I put any peas in his pot in those difficult days, great! THIS is the person you speak of as a "carnie" needing to "fold his tent" and "look for another bunko". For shame!

If there are less high-quality artists, if there are those who are less creative and just recolour their commons, so what? The lesser valued gatchas fall out of view and the Marketplace; there is a hierarchy of quality. And the cheap ones still give somebody cheaper decor than they would have had if they paid not 50L but 500L for an armchair. THAT is what you are failing to see; the consumer aspect and the reselling economy that is vital in providing a way into the virtual economy for many unskilled people. For that reason, if you care about morality and decency, you should care about the terrible loss this represents. If one is not skilled, and his country doesn't even allow him to buy Lindens, there are not many avenues for having a virtual life. Sex work is one; hard customer service labour in rentals or bouncers in bars is another; land flipping is yet another; and then there's breedables. Breedables are more "skilled gaming" that requires attention to traits as well as the market but still relies on random chance to get the Megapuss or whatever. Yet Linden Lab tolerates this because of technicalities.

@Tari Landar You and others keep chastizing those who are trying to come up with alternatives and I see Cain Maven, who has not a minute to worry about sales of his expensive houses and who does not make gatchas telling other merchants to "move on".  Why? They are perceived as "whining" or "not adapting" -- all the Schumpeter trumpeters invoking "creative destruction" aren't the ones being destroyed and take far too pleasure in the misfortunes of others. There is an old Russian saying: don't spit into the well; you may have to drink from it".

I see only two actual gatcha makers in this thread; Silas Merlin has been willing to stick his neck out and actually speaks for many others who aren't willing to risk the abuse here, and he and others look for alternative scripts simply because they know that consumers need incentive and they need collectible tradeables, and that is more than fine. The markets are interdependent. If they aren't your markets, and you sell performances or gadgets or no-transfer mesh, that's great, but you're about to see your own fortunes affected by the overall impoverishment of the world.

I can't understand why Tari keeps banging on people for discussing alternatives when she is not in this business, and sells Meeros or plays Bloodlines or whatever she does, and faces no immediate losses. Why do you care what someone else does to save their livelihood? What skin is it off yours if someone finds a way to stay in business? It doesn't compete with you and only enhances the overall market. I think again, for most of the peanut gallery here, it's about the forums as the game of hate and resentment.

I think we need to see a clear-cut Linden response on the proposal of the "conveyor belt" which is really like a Lucky Chair, only even better, as the customer can see what he will get AND have have more choice. You can't choose the items the merchant puts in her lucky chairs. You stand around til your letter is called and sit to get something you may not like, but may be on transfer to sell. The conveyor vendor also would bring life back into stores as people would stay and shop as they wait for a rare to appear and buy it for a higher price, features that make it compliant with the law.

To be sure, that system is not as amenable to event organizers as it means less customers, waiting longer, less sales, and need for more cam sims. I personally don't mourn the demise of merchant events as there are too many of them, yet they exist in such numbers, like the weekend sales, in fact to compensate for other dislocations in the SL or RL economy. And even if I have become jaded about them personally, I don't call for them to be killed. The idea that cultural warfare on the forums has to be deployed with the Company's blessing to cull this or that "objectionable" feature of the economy is really nauseating. People have to live. There's a pandemic.

And why select one artificial mechanism over another, for that matter, for execution at dawn? EVERYTHING is artificial in the SL economy, as much verisimilitude is attempted. It starts with the fixed Linden cost, not allowed to flat to its true value and artificially kept low to create the illusion of "thousands of dollars" for just US $5, the price of a latte. There is no proper advertising in SL in fact -- there is too much (ad farms) and too little (no welcome area ads as we used to have). There is no viable consumer rights board or better business bureau -- the company doesn't get involved in resident-to-resident disputes. There isn't a free press inworld or on the forums, such as to be able to report bad behaviour and shoddy products so that consumers have information -- this is removed, again, to limit liability for libel for the platform provider. It's an offense to copy chat which also might make for more informed consumers. There is no independent judiciary. There  is anonymity and lack of accountability. There is not an easy cashout and it's more expensive. Inventory loss, Marketplace malfunction, artificial scarcity in the form of inability to get into an event (NOT rares, as they can always be bought on the Marketplace) abound. For all these reasons and more, merchants adopt methods like sales, chairs, groups, events, and gatchas to try to make cash. I see no call for haranguing the people trying to cope with the robot electronic economy that does not meet actual human needs, nor even the software and platform provider.

These are the early years of the Metaverse. But that's why we look to Linden Lab, the premiere maker of a virtual world with 18 years of experience in governance and economics that most wannabee Metaverse makers have never contemplated to be better on this topic of gatchas.

Prokofy, normally I would not engage with you at all on here as our respective histories indicate that we would seldom, if ever, agree or even find common ground. I see little point in what would rapidly devolve into "arguing for argument's sake" and beyond this reply you will therefore receive no further response from me on this thread.

However, having said that I have some responses I must make regarding your post quoted here.

Firstly, holding up a mirror to the post as a whole suggests that if my position is unduly harsh then so is yours. This is human nature at play, I suspect and the objective truth lies somewhere in the middle, uncolored by our respective life experiences.

Secondly, I take issue with your assertion that I am "no longer in business" in SL. I may no longer be an active asset creator for sale into the marketplace but I assure you the business of performing live is a business, as much in SL as it is IRL. I put in long hours working on it offline and it is because of those hours that even though I perform in a niche genre my SL still turns a small RL profit. I have marketing issues to address as much as I ever did in the past and those decisions directly impact my bottom line as much as they do for anyone selling inworld assets.

Finally, I may not post much but I read daily - including your comments. I confess to briefly plonking you in the past but no matter how vehemently I disagree with them your comments are usually thought-provoking so, after some reflection, the ignore tag was removed. A paucity of posting on my part does not indicate a lack of interest, just a willingness to keep my yap shut until I have something substantive to say.

Our opinions differ on the main subject of this thread. That's fine. I hope we can each respect that difference, you certainly have my word that I will try to. You do you, I'll do me and at the end of the day LL will do what LL do without either of our opinions counting for much.

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1 hour ago, hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian said:

Presumably, some people would then buy the fatpack to break it into pieces for selling on the marketplace individually. As somebody said somewhere in earlier in this thread, I'd rather give that money to the creator. So, if a creator would like that money...we're back to selling things the time honoured way...

Actually, for every item in a store, I think it would be great to have two options to buy an item: one that is copy/no transfer, and one that is no copy/ transfer (I think I have seen some stores that do that).

They wouldn't be tradeable. I would much rather buy from the creator too. 

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2 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Indeed. I kept coming back to anc's store for a year and rolling one or two times to get the mermaid princes. You have to know how to talk to gatcha machines, show them whose boss, and one way is to come for a year, playing once only, and another is to look them in the eye and tell them the rare better come now, or else, on the spot. People are so wishy-washy.

ANC was one gacha machine I  wouldn't play.   I was looking for one rare and the odds of getting it were ridiculous.  After spending far more than the item was worth, I vowed never to play their machines again.   That taught me a valuable lesson.  I may really like gachas but sometimes playing them for the prizes that are in them just isn't worth the cost.    I suppose the good thing is that I am probably not in danger of being addicted to gambling because I know when to just walk away lol 

Edited by Yhishara Cerise
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